LOOKING TO SALVATION
Lord, allow us to experience the joy of the psalmist in our worship services.
Read PSALM 149
1 Praise the Lord.
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.
2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with timbrel and harp.
4 For the Lord takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with victory.
5 Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor
and sing for joy on their beds.
6 May the praise of God be in their mouths
and a double-edged sword in their hands,
7 to inflict vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with fetters,
their nobles with shackles of iron,
9 to carry out the sentence written against them—
this is the glory of all his faithful people.
Praise the Lord.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
If the Lord takes pleasure in his people (4), then at least someone out there thinks you are worth doting over.
Today’s psalm appropriately rounds off our readings this week. It expresses the same aspect of “now and not yet” that David has experienced. For the king, restoration is well underway, though tensions remain. Israel, too, knows both spiritual downfall and renewal, even after judgment in exile. Just as the king’s reinstatement is not yet complete, so Israel’s reinstatement in the post-exilic period, in which this psalm probably belongs, awaits fulfillment. The implementation of God’s grand plans seem slow in coming. Yet the people are encouraged here to sing a new song to the one who created them and who is their King (1,2). Something fresh has begun, and God’s people are called in this psalm to rejoice and praise him as they anticipate the future completion of their salvation (4). Such worship may have included a ritual dance with swords (6) symbolizing the final victory over the enemies of God and his people, the ultimate expression of God’s justice against the evil in this world (7–9).
Christians, too, are called to worship God not only when we see him fulfill his purposes, but also as we still await our final redemption. This is our expression of trust in the God who shows faithful covenant love to his people. For some who live with suffering and pain daily, it may be a great longing of their hearts. For others who feel settled and comfortable in their lives, it may be a mild challenge to desire this ultimate reality. Our worship also reminds us of the future. As we partake of the Lord’s supper, we proclaim the Lord’s death, his definitive victory in breaking the power of sin and death until he comes. Indeed, as did Israel, we also know that the outcome is assured because this victory has been written (9) in the Scriptures long before we arrived on the scene.
How much of the spiritual horsepower of this psalm can you claim for your church’s worship service? At the next service, see if you can increase it for yourself a few notches.
Lord, teach us to live in hope and anticipation of our final redemption!
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