I will praise Him!
I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
(Psalm 89:1-2, NIV)
Reading: Psalm 19
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth (NIV).
When was the last time you went for a walk beneath a canopy of stars? Now, I’m not talking about catching a fleeting glimpse of a dozen or so stars, obscured by the incessant glare of city street lights. I’m talking about walking beneath a canopy of stars, visible in their myriads, stretching from horizon to horizon. Now that’s a truly awe inspiring experience!
That’s where David begins this Psalm. He begins it beneath the stars. He begins it beneath a sky so big it reduces any who behold it to a mere speck of insignificance—a speck below the glorious vastness above. Can you see him standing there—the youthful shepherd, on the Judean hillside, gazing into the face of eternity?
And eternity is talking. The sky is talking to him. What is it saying? Can you hear its words? David can. He hears it pouring forth speech. And it’s not just the night sky that’s talking to him. The heavens are speaking continually, day and night. This is an endless conversation heard around the world.
You see the sky speaks in a language understood by all. Who has not stopped and stood in wonder at the sight of a dazzling sunset, marvelled at the shafts of light beaming down from behind a thunderhead, been amazed by the appearance of a rainbow, or perhaps you have seen the aurora whirl and dance across the northern sky?
These experiences are universal. They are available to all, on every continent, in every nation, to every language and people group. The sky is talking. Are you listening? Do you understand the words?
Response: Heavenly Father, help me hear your voice speaking to me in nature. Open my eyes and my ears to the glory of your creation. You are more wonderful than I can imagine. I praise you for all your marvelous works. Amen.
Your Turn: Does God speak to you through the beauty of nature? Have you paused recently to wonder at the majesty of His creation?
I will praise Him!
Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
The LORD will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.
(Psalm 85:10-13, NIV)
Reading: Psalm 148
Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and women,
old men and children (NIV).
Psalm 148 began with a call for praise for the LORD from the angels, who are heaven’s messengers, from the heavenly hosts and all the heavenly bodies. In today’s reading, the psalmist expands this call for praise to all the creatures of the earth, the elements of nature, wind, cloud and ocean depths, and finally to all humanity.
There is a logical progression in this call for thunderous praise. The call begins with what is distant, the galaxies and the heavenly beings, and then it descends to the earth, and finally it touches humanity. It becomes personal. We are called to praise God. Will you join the swelling chorus?
John, the beloved, gives us a picture of what heaven’s praise party looks like.
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:11-12).
Our Lord taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9b-10).
Surely, it is the will of God that He be praised and worshipped on earth just as He is around His throne in heaven. The purpose of God’s Kingdom—the Kingdom that Jesus came to establish—is to bring heaven to earth. God did not remain distant. In the person of Jesus, He came to dwell among us. He brought and is presently bringing the will of God to the earth through the Holy Spirit. For that Jesus is to be praised. Let all of creation praise Him—praise Him from the earth, because from it we were formed. Let the praise for our Lord ascend from you and me.
Response: LORD God, let your Holy Spirit be active among us. Help us to love and serve you and those around us. Help me to bring a little bit of heaven—a little bit of your will to the earth today. Amen.
Your Turn: How do you picture heaven? What does a little bit of heaven on earth look like to you?
You give your guests a feast
in your house,
and you serve a tasty drink
that flows like a river.
The life-giving fountain
belongs to you,
and your light gives light
to each of us (Psalm 36:8-9, CEV).
This week’s I Love the Psalms theme is thirst.
Today’s verse from the Psalms seems almost too beautiful to be true. It speaks of food, drink and sweet fellowship in God’s house.
You give your guests a feast in your house, and you serve a tasty drink that flows like a river. The life-giving fountain belongs to you, and your light gives light to each of us (Psalm 36:8-9, CEV).
Part of me wants to park these verses in the sweet by and by, up in heaven somewhere someday. But the context of Psalm 36 does not warrant that interpretation. In other words don’t put off till heaven what is available today.
The LORD has a feast prepared for us now in His house. He has a river of delights that we can drink from today. We have access to His life-giving fountain now. His light shines on the path set before us, so now we know the way to walk.
We are God’s guests. Let’s accept His invitation!
Response: LORD God, thank you for all the good things you have prepared for us—for me. You are so good! Meet me now in prayer through the shed blood of your Son. Amen.
Your Turn: Have you put off till heaven what is available today?
All creation, come praise the name of the LORD. Praise his name alone. The glory of God is greater than heaven and earth (Psalm 148:13, CEV).
This week’s I Love the Psalms theme is glory.
There’s a rather common saying: The sum is greater than its parts. While that may not be strictly correct in mathematics, it makes perfect sense in real life experience. The full picture is so much better than segments seen in sequence.
If I divided the autumn picture above into six equal portions, and showed you them sequentially, they would not have the same impact as the entire picture seen as a whole.
In the same way, our picture of the glory of God is like many small snapshots. I am not sure we could handle the full glory of God, if it was revealed to us. But today’s verse from the Psalms calls us to see that greater sum.
All creation, [me included] come praise the name of the LORD. Praise his name alone. The glory of God is greater than heaven and earth (Psalm 148:13, CEV).
Response: LORD God, let me catch glimpses of your glory today, but remind me too that you are so much bigger than I can think or even imagine. You are an awesome God! Amen.
Your Turn: Do you think your picture of God is too small?
Celebrate and worship his holy name with all your heart (Psalm 105:3, CEV).
This week’s I Love the Psalms theme is holiness.
Here’s a quick question for you. Do you like celebrations?
If you answered, yes, then you should love being around God. He loves wholehearted celebrations. Today’s verse from the Psalms reminds us of this aspect of God’s character. Celebrate and worship his holy name with all your heart (Psalm 105:3, CEV).
After telling the parable about finding the lost coin, Jesus reminds us that heaven is a place of celebration. Jesus said, “In the same way God’s angels are happy when even one person turns to him” (Luke 15:10, CEV).
If you have turned from a life of sin to worship your holy Creator, you have a heaven full of reasons to celebrate. Why not start today?
Response: LORD God, I praise you because you found me and took me into your family. I celebrate your goodness and undeserved kindness. Amen.
Your Turn: What do you do to celebrate God’s love?