Friday, December 9, 2016

God Loves His People

Psalm 147:1-20

“Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.” (Psalm 147:1)

I Thessalonians 5:18 commands, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  The David practiced this every day as we have seen throughout the book of Psalms.  Simply taking the time to give thanks and praise improves our attitude about our life by focusing our attention on the good rather than the bad.   In a world filled with negative attitudes it is a very attractive attitude. 

“The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.  He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.  He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.  Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:2-5)

God  had done and still does wonderful things of r Israel, restoring their homeland and allowing their people to return.  He heals broken hearts for all his people, on an individual basis, even though he rules the universe, knowing all the stars by name and how many there are.  He has infinite knowledge, so that he is able to keep track of everything and power to deal with them all. 

“The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.  Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.  He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.” (Psalm 147:6-9)

Because he has that infinite knowledge and cares for each one, God can deal with each individual, blessing those who are not focused on themselves , while punishing those who do evil.  Weshould sing thanksgiving to God, because he is one who sends the rain when it is needed, and makes the grass and trees grow on the mountains.   As a result, the animals and birds have food, as do humans.    

“He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.   The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” (Psalm 147:10-11)

Humans get caught up in the strength and power of a horse or some machine, or focus on the athletic ability of an athlete, but God is not impressed because it was him who enabled them to have the strength and skill.  Instead, he is pleased that people respect him enough to obey his commands and trust him to make things work as they should. 

“Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.  For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.  He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.  He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.  He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.  He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?  He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.” (Psalm 147:12-18)

God has blessed us in so many ways.  He has enabled us to protect ourselves, He has given us the love of our families, and given us peace and freedom to live.  He provides us with healthy food, and  He controls the weather and can respond to our needs instantly, causing snow and frost to fall, or the ice to melt at his will. 

“He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.  He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 147:19-20)

He has blessed his people in a way others have not been blessed, giving them his word so they can know what is right in any situation, while others are limited by the constraints of their conscience and understanding.    As Romans 4:11-13 makes clear, those who believe are heirs to the same promises to Abraham as those who were born into Israel, although they are not heirs of the later promises to his descendants.  “ And he (Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

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