Almighty Lord, to You the past, present, and future are as one. How great You are, Lord of time!
Read Psalm 147:1-20
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Name any fears or preoccupations that may distract you today, hampering your freedom to wait for God in stillness, hope and worship.
Tomorrow we shall begin a new week. We shall move on to new things Jesus has planned for us. Behind us are the achievements and hardships of many excursions in obedience, so today is a day for rest. Our psalm invites us just to be, enveloped as we are by God’s faithfulness as seen in creation (4,8,9,15-18) and throughout history (2,5,6,13,19,20). Today we are rallied to extravagant praise and worship in the climactic final theme of the Psalter (1,7,12; c.f. 146:10; 148:1; 149:1; 150:6)—though these calls are similar in character to the beatitudes declared at the very beginning of the Psalter (1:1,2; 2:12). Today’s song, like the Psalter as a whole, reminds us to stop once again along our journey of faith, to recognize and receive (19) the promise of God’s all-encompassing gift of salvation: release from guilt and sin, and forgiveness for whole nations (11), healing (3), protection (6), political justice (13) and economic peace and prosperity (14). What a truly refreshing and renewing psalm, empowering us through praise to resemble the One we worship!
In contrast with the God-orientated worship of the Psalms, affluent churches can too easily slip into a self-grounded posture (10), exchanging contentment in God’s provision and radical, sacrificial obedience (11) for programs, technologies or paradigms that appear to offer an identity or guarantee success. Self-serving designs that can lead to injustice are scattered throughout post-modernity’s globalized economy. We dare not forget how God responds to those who use worship for their own interests (6; Amos 5:23, 24).
Sundays are practice days for entering God’s rest. Remember God’s cosmic history of grace (15-20) and use it to petition the Holy Spirit for his gift of awe as you worship.
Father, may this Sunday be a day of rest and refreshing for me. May worship re-energize me spiritually. May my priorities be brought in line with Your will.