Scriptures and Reflections for the week of June 26 – July 1
Monday – June 26
Psalm 145: 1-2; 3a; 8a; 13b; 17a; 21a; 4
1I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name forever and ever. 2Every day I will praise you and extol your name forever and ever.
3aGreat is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
8aThe Lord is gracious and compassionate,
13bThe Lord is faithful …
17aThe Lord is righteous …
21aMy mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
4One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.
Forgive the convoluted verses from Psalm 145; the madness should have a method in a moment or two! Read on!
It seems that Christians are always talking about PRAISE … what if we don’t praise God enough … what if we praise God too much and it becomes hollow … what if we praise God the ‘wrong’ way … does cheap praise equate with cheap grace?!! But David, in Psalm 145, develops this resounding cornucopia of praise using a memory peg technique in which each verse begins with consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet … David is praising God from A to Z, or better said, from aleph to tav. This is the type of psalm that is designed to memorize and become a part of Jewish liturgy, much like the Lord’s Prayer or the Apostles’ Creed for Christians. From David’s perspective, you address God with every word of praise that can be devised from the Hebrew alphabet … David praises God even with the Jewish kitchen sink! In Psalm 145, David develops four thematic songs beginning with verses 3a, 8a, 13b, and 17a …read and reflect on these songs of praise. In verses 1-2 and verse 21, David provides the introduction and conclusion to this message of Praise! Finally, look at verse 4 … [my words] ‘generation after generation will tell what God has done’ … are we part of the ‘generations’ who are now people of God? Praise God!
Tuesday – June 27
Psalm 146: 1; 7-9; 10b
1Praise the Lord.
7He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, 8the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. 9The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10bPraise the Lord.
Many scholars believe that Psalm 145 is the last Psalm attributed to David, but what follows are five so-called Hallelujah psalms that give expression to David’s conclusion in 145:21… “My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord …forever and ever”… thus speaking to the “generations” who will continue to praise and serve God. You will notice that Psalms 146-150 all start and end with Praise the Lord …thus referencing Hallelujah, Praise the Lord. In Psalm 146, the Psalter continues to Praise the Lord because God upholds … gives …sets free …lifts up …loves … watches over … sustains. Also, if we live out our lives as an example of God’s faithfulness to those in need, then our lives become a testimony of upholding … giving …setting free … lifting up … loving … watching over … sustaining. We become a part of the ‘generations’ who are people of God, telling through our lives about this message of Praise. Praise the Lord!
Wednesday – June 28
Psalm 147: 1-3; 7; 20b
1Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
2The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. 3He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
7Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.
20bPraise the Lord.
Verses 2-3 is a reference to the post-exilic restoration of Jerusalem and Israel, but there is a parallel passage where Jesus says, “I will build my church.” [Matthew, 16:18] We go back to David’s comment in Psalm 145 where he talks about the generations to come who will tell about God’s mighty works. God rebuilds Jerusalem so that His people would be the center of praise to His name. That is why Jesus Christ is building His church … at Canyon Hills … so that we can praise and glorify God. I also refer to 147:7 … singing and making music to the Lord; more about that subject on Friday when we take a look at Psalm 149.
Thursday – June 29
Psalm 148: 1-5; 7-12; 13-14
1Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens … 2Praise him, all his angels …!
7Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures …9you mountains and all hills …11kings of the earth and all nations …
13Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. 14bPraise the Lord.
As you read the entirety of Psalm 148, we quickly realize that praise of God may be in song or prayer, individually or collectively, spontaneous or planned, originating from emotion or from the will. It is all joy to our Lord! Praise the Lord.
Friday – June 30
Psalm 149: 1 and 9b
1Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints. 9bPraise the Lord.
Go back to Wednesday’s devotion … “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.”
[147:7] And now … “Sing to the Lord a new song …” A church who is faithfully praising God develops a rhythm; a harmony. As the church grows in faith and practice, new rhythms develop and multiple layers of harmony, tone, and rhythm begin to improvise simultaneously. Yet, the church reaches out to a suffering and divided world with the simple message: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”
Saturday – July 1
Psalm 150 … Read it again and again.
Check out the harmonic and rhythmic music that is played in Psalm 150:6 … the choir celebrates God’s mighty acts and greatness … this is the glory of all His saints. Praise the Lord! Jesus triumphant!