1 Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
I remember a moment when my emotions threatened me, and I had spent a lifetime at their mercy. Then I remembered that Jesus promised to go with me everywhere. I prayed, “Lord Jesus, you took all my sins on the cross. Can you please take this mindless anger, too?” He did. That was a great work. When was the last time something difficult and dark reminded you how great God’s work is?
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
How did the Bible come to us? Why did it survive centuries, even millennia, of enemies and opportunity to be lost? When a secular thinker picks at the Bible or tries to threaten it with some recently discovered artifact, how do you stand firm for its value?
In countries where Christians are persecuted by both government and the culture, Christians cling to the Bible, or any part of the Bible. Why do they feel that way about this book?
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
Contemporary political rhetoric accuses “rich” people of being the reason that “poor” people don’t have everything they need. This rhetoric entices people to turn to the government for rectification of wrongs and for provision of all their needs. Where does the Bible tell people to turn? Political leaders of every stripe come and go with the winds of time. Where can people find unchanging truth in someone who never forgets or takes back his promises?
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Social activism and political campaigns always agitate for evolved concepts. Activists look at history and declare that things that were determined to be just in the past are no longer just. Morality and justice must change with the times. What does God say?
Everyone bears a burden knowing that it is true that people do not love one another perfectly. What is God’s answer to that burden? How do the targets of injustice and persecution ever make peace with their past? What about the perpetrators?
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!
The world is confusing and even frightening. How can anyone ever make his way forward with confidence and courage?
By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com.
Image: Torah Scroll
License: Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.