I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil (Psalm 100:1-4).
I was struck this morning with the resolution given here by the psalmist. For him, his spiritual life is not something reactive, but rather something that he thinks through beforehand. Much like Daniel, who had decided beforehand that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, and was therefore able to walk faithfully through a difficult problem (see Daniel 1), the psalmist has looked ahead, and determined how he will live.
If you were to come up with a prayer before God, stating the intentions of your heart, what would the prayer look like? What are the areas of your life that need forward looking, proactive attention?
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
True praise has reasons. We don’t appreciate things or people in a vacuum. A man praises his wife for specific reasons. A friend is thankful for a friend for specific reasons. A fan does not cheer randomly at a football game, but only at certain times, and for certain reasons.
The psalm this morning is a call to praise. And, like all true praise, the songwriter has his reasons. And they are surprisingly simple.
The Lord is God.
He made us.
We are His.
That’s it. Simple, yet deep enough to plumb for eternity. And deep enough to still the soul who would believe it.
The Lord is God. He is the creator and ruler over all things, whether the movement of the galaxies, the nations, a community, a family, or the inclinations of my own heart. Nothing falls outside the arena of his power or his concern, not even, as Jesus taught us, a sparrow. The Lord made us. As we are. Perhaps not like we might like to be at times, but as he saw fit. Which is very good. And we are his. We belong to him. I belong to him. You belong to Him. And with that comes a fierce love and a commitment that the Lord will never let you go. For in Christ you are His. What can separate us from the love of Christ?... For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, not things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35, 38).
Meditate upon these things—that the Lord is God, that He made us, and that we are His. See what the Lord shows you. And as He does, let that lead you to praise.