December 27, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Praise God For Hope And His Unfailing Love.
CONTEXT & OVERVIEW Psalms 145-150: Psalms of Praise. Psalm 147: Praise to God for His Word and Providence. The last five psalms of the psalter all begin and end with "Praise the Lord," which translates the Hebrew hallelujah. [Believer's SB re Psa. 146:1] These last five psalms overflow with praise. Each begins and ends with "Praise the LORD." They show us where, why, and how to praise God. What does praise do? (1) Praise takes our minds off our problems and shortcomings, and focuses them on God. (2) Praise leads us from individual meditation to corporate worship. (3) Praise causes us to consider and appreciate God's character. (4) Praise lifts our perspective from the earthly to the heavenly. [Life Application SB re Psa. 146-150] Praising the Lord is the highest exercise of your faculties. He is worthy of praise, and you should praise Him whether or not you think your praise is accomplishing anything in your life. However, there are some blessings that come to those who worship Him in truth. Praise brings spiritual beauty to God's people (v. 1; Pss. 27:4, 29:2; 149:4). It builds His work and unifies His people (v. 2). It heals the inner person (v. 3) and lifts the fallen (v. 6). Praise is good medicine! Praise makes God's world real and personal to you (vv. 7-9, 15-18), even the storms; and it is great protection against the enemy (vv. 12-14). Praise pleases the Lord and enables Him to work in your life (vv. 10-11). Praise must never become a pragmatic device for getting blessing from God. When you sincerely praise Him, the blessing will come. Praise changes things--and people. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re Psa. 147] COMMENTARY APPLICATION He delights not in the mighty but in anyone who trusts Him. [Bible Knowledge Commentary] The advantages afforded by the strength of the horse or the agility of man do not incline God to grant his favor; those who fear and trust him are the ones who obtain his aid. [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary] We spend much effort trying to sharpen our skills or increase our strength. There is nothing wrong with doing so, and, in fact, our gifts can be used to glorify God. But when we use our skills with no regard for God, they are indeed worth little. It is our 'fear' (reverence) and trust that God desires. When he has those, then he will use our skills and strengths in ways far greater than we can imagine. [Life Application SB] There is always hope when God is brought into the picture, because there is nothing greater than God's power. He is able to provide for all our needs and is never overwhelmed by the problems or dependencies that we call our enemies. [Life Recovery SB] I tried to have a sense of humor in dealing with life. But laughter had become more difficult as I lost the ability to walk and move about as I once did, My husband bought me a wheelchair so it would be easier to go shopping at the mall, visit the zoo with the grandchildren, and wait in line to vote. My biggest hindrance to using the chair was my pride; I didn't want others to see me stuck in a wheelchair. Worst of all, I felt that my increasing inability to walk and stand (the result of severe arthritis and fibromyalgia) was hindering my ability to serve God. Didn't he want me to glorify him in humble service? Then, in July 2005, I read Psalm 147, and verses 10-11 changed my whole attitude. Now I realize that to God, the most important thing is not physical strength but what is in my heart. Am I thinking about God or myself? I can think about God whether I'm sitting, doing cartwheels, or standing on my head--chair or no chair. Wheel away! Alice McGhee, a writer and Bible teacher, lives in Littleton, Colorado, with her husband, Ken, and enjoys sewing, playing with her grandchildren, and singing in the choir. [The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional re vv. 10, 11] I loved seeing my little grandson Noah as he watched snowflakes twirling from the sky, patted our dog's black, furry coat, and later folded his hands and bowed his red head to say thank you to God for his peanut butter sandwich. He is aware and alive, and his wonder was contagious. Kids are full of wonder, amazement, and awe. Many of us adults, however, have lost our sense of wonder and awe. So God gives us psalms such as this one. They draw us from our ho-hum existence that takes such things as rainbows, snowflakes, and sunrises for granted back to a childlike wonder of our great God who fills the sky with clouds, sends the snow like white wool, and hurls hail like stones. He created everything and possesses all power yet cares for the weak and brokenhearted. He calls the stars by name yet supports the humble. He reigns over all creation yet delights in the simple, heartfelt devotion of those who trust him. His understanding is beyond human comprehension. Surely a God like this can inspire our wonder and awe! Meditate today on the amazing greatness of God, and find your own words to sing his praise. God Of Wonder, I am in awe of your creation, your power, and your compassion. I sing out my praise to you. Your understanding is beyond comprehension! Your power is absolute! How good it is to sing praises to my God! How delightful and how right! Praise the Lord! [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller re vv. 1-5] Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life ... Let your joyful heart praise and magnify so good and glorious a creator. William Law (1686-1761)