You Thrill Me (Psalm 92 #2)

Yesterday I wrote about the first few verses of Psalm 92, and so today i thought I would just carry on and talk about more of this great song of praise.

You can read yesterday’s post here – Praise in the morning, praise in the evening.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to the Most High.
2 It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
your faithfulness in the evening,
3 accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp,
and the melody of a lyre.

4 You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
I sing for joy because of what you have done.
5 O Lord, what great works you do!
And how deep are your thoughts.
6 Only a simpleton would not know,
and only a fool would not understand this:
7 Though the wicked sprout like weeds
and evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.

Psalm 92:1-7 (NLT)

All He has done

Verses 1-3 encourage us to worship God for particular aspects of His character. It points us toward God’s unfailing love and His faithfulness. Verse 4 turns our attention to the good things God has done as a result of His wonderful character.

I once heard it said that worship is about recognising who God is, whereas praise is about the things He has done. Perhaps the definitions aren’t so rigid, but it is a helpful way to look at it. The psalm, in that case, turns worship into praise.

The New Living Translation, quoted above, uses the word “thrill,” which is a powerful term. God’s work should thrill us! We associate the word thrill or thrilling with something like a roller-coaster or extreme sport. I suppose in some ways our Christian lives can be a lot like that at times!

We are thrilled, or excited, by god’s wonderful works. Think of all He has done for you! We can look at Creation and see its complexity and beauty. We can look at the blessings we receive on a daily basis. Most of all we can focus on the saving work of Jesus Christ and the immense grace shown to us who believe.

Again, we are encouraged to sing in response to the kindness of God. Not just sing though, but sing for joy!

Joy is something I feel I lack. I’m happy, don’t get me wrong, but I find it hard to grasp joy in my inner man at times. Even as I write these words, I hear the Spirit’s whisper that it is because I do not do what the psalmist is instructing us here. I do not consider what God has done often enough. All too frequently I am caught up in the concerns of this life – work, family, or even recreation, and not nearly enough on the things of eternity.

The solution to lack of joy:

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.

Colossians 3:1-2 (NLT)

Does this apply to you also?

Flourishing Evil

Verses 5-7 are really quite interesting. Verse 5 directs us to consider how deep the thoughts of God are. I am truly humbled by the times I have questioned God or what He has done. How dare I even imagine that I could fathom His reasons or actions with my limited mind?

When my children repeat over and over, “Why, dad, why?” I try to explain as best I can, but sometimes the answer is simply because I know things they do not. I cannot ask my six year old to understand the economic impacts of COVID-19 nor explain to my two year old about genetics or astrophysics. Some things are just beyond them.

The same is true for me. God’s thoughts and ways are sometimes so far above our comprehension, it is rather comical that we try to figure it out. God wants us to use our brain and to understand what we can, but we must also know our limits.

Verses 6 and 7 have some tough words for us. It says that only a simpleton would not understand this – that evildoers may flourish like weeds but they will be destroyed forever.

The psalmist is adamant. He tells us it is as plain as day! Yes evil may well flourish around us and be as abundant as weeds in a neglected garden, but they will not get away with it. Evil will not go unpunished. Why not? Because there is a just God in heaven!

Some people ask how a loving God could punish people in an eternal hell. The answer is simple, if not easy. A loving God must also be a just God. If God were to simply ignore sin and evil, then the result of that would not be “loving” for all. Imagine if someone committed a horrendous crime against someone you dearly loved, and the police just let them go. Would you feel loved? No, you would want justice!

The problem we have though, is that we are all guilty of sin and evil. So God, to be just, must punish us all. But thank God for His mercy and “deep thoughts”!

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NLT)

God has done something astonishingly amazing. He could have just left us to face the punishment of our sin but He didn’t – He had a plan. God came down and became human. We call Him Jesus. He never once failed to do good, and never once sinned against God or man. Yet He took the full punishment we deserve. He became our substitute so we can go free.

This thrills me!

God’s justice is fulfilled in Christ’s death. God’s love is demonstrated in the same way. Only a fool or a simpleton would accuse God of injustice or a lack of love towards His creation.

Evil may flourish for a lifetime on Earth, but eternity is a very long time.

Let the God of love and justice thrill you this day! Sing for joy for the things He has done! And another day we will complete this stunning psalm.

Have a great weekend!

Any Excuse To Celebrate

The blog passed a few minor milestones over the last couple of days. We exceeded the number of views we had for the whole of 2019, which is not bad for mid-April. Now, of course, it helps that I’ve posted much more in 2020 than I did last year, but it’s still an achievement!

This is in fact day 35 of daily posts, which may not be much to some, but I’m pleased to have kept the momentum going this long.

Additionally, I’ve written over 25,000 words on the blog so far this year, which is the equivalent of a short novel.

The blog has picked up more followers and more likes, and I want to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has read any of this over the last few months. I really hope you have enjoyed it and it has encouraged you to draw closer to Jesus even in a small way.

Every word is worth it if it helps you to understand the Bible a little better or build up your relationship with God.

So I also take this opportunity to celebrate this small success. God gets all of the glory of course, but it is right to recognise achievements along the way and take time to reflect on them.

There is much to be down about in the world today, and it can be all too easy to shrug off reasons to celebrate. For instance, perhaps you’ve had a birthday or anniversary during the lockdown period. I imagine it was hard to mark the occasion and enjoy it as you normally might.

Even in the midst of all the issues right now though, we must enjoy our lives. We will never get this time back, and so should not just throw it away in hope of better times to come. It is not ideal I know, but we can make the best of it.

In the Bible, the Israelites were commanded to celebrate at various feasts throughout the year. Some would argue that “scheduled fun” is no fun at all, but equally if we on’t make time for celebration, it generally won’t happen. God instructed he people of Israel to remember certain events and hold festivals to mark various occasions.

The Lord gave Moses 2 the following regulations for the religious festivals, when the people of Israel are to gather for worship.

Leviticus 23:1-2 (GNT)

The Sabbath, which occurred on a weekly basis, was a day set aside for the people of Israel to do no work, and to focus on God. Some feasts or festivals were celebrated annually, such as the Passover, where they remembered and rejoiced at their escape from Egypt.

There were many other feasts, including the Feast of the Tabernacles, Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Some people suggest that each of these feast days ordained in the Old Testament point to different aspects of Christ. It is an interesting study, but one for another day.

My point today is to remind you to stop and take stock. Find a reason to be joyful and to celebrate in your life. Make a special effort to do so right now. Find any excuse to celebrate, and it does not have to be something big.

Make a special meal. Send someone (or yourself) a gift. Decorate the house with something colourful. Do something to lift your spirits and mark an achievement or just another Tuesday!

Take time to celebrate God too. He really is the most important part of life. In “normal” life, we get lost in the hustle and bustle and can lose sight of Him. In lockdown life, we can take additional time to be with Jesus.

Celebration can boost our joy. Joy is important, not just because it is a wonderful Fruit of the Spirit but because it is a source of strength too.

Now go home and have a feast. Share your food and wine with those who don’t have enough. Today is holy to our Lord, so don’t be sad. The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong.”

Nehemiah 8:10 (GNT)

Don’t get bogged down in negativity today, instead celebrate the Lord and all He has done for you!

Why not leave a comment and tell me what you are celebrating today?