Saturday, June 18, 2011

Psalm 149

The Lord Takes Pleasure in His People

Matthew Henry states that, while yesterday's Psalm 148 was a hymn of praise to the Creator, this is a hymn to the Redeemer.  It is a praise of triumph in the God of Israel, and over the enemies of Israel.  Some Biblical scholars believe it was penned when David had taken the stronghold of Zion and settled his government there.  But it also looks further to the kingdom of the Messiah, who goes forth conquering and to conquer.

 The chosen people are exhorted to praise God, in view of past favors and also future victories over enemies, of which they are impliedly assured. The tone is exceedingly jubilant and exultant.

Verses 3 & 4 indicate that celebration included not only singing, but dancing to the accompaniment of timbrel and harp.  The sacred dance was a significant element of Israelite worship. 

Let them praise His name with the dance.
~ Ps. 149:3
King David dancing before the Lord

Verse 4 reminds us once again of God's pleasure with the humble.  May we clothe ourselves in humility and live each day as such. 

Some Bible translations use the word "meek" - He will beautify the meek with salvation.

Meekness not only gives great peace of mind, but often adds a lustre to the countenance. We only read of three in Scripture whose faces shone remarkably— Christ, Moses, and Stephen—and they were eminent for meekness.
~Matthew Henry
Spurgeon notes that the Lord's taking pleasure in His people is:
1. A wonderful evidence of His grace
2. The highest honour they can desire
3. Their security for time and eternity

Verse 6, describing a dance featuring swords, anticipated future judgment on the nations and their kings.

  • God is worthy of my highest praise
  • God is my Maker
  • The Lord takes pleasure in His people
  • The Lord will beautify the humble with salvation
  • God will judge the wicked
  • I praise God for Who He is and for what He has done - throughout history and today in my own life! 
PRAYER: a beautiful prayer of praise by Ruth Myers:
     O Lord, I exult in the free, confident access You have provided, so that I can come into Your Presence for warm fellowship, for refreshment, for mercy when I've failed, for grace when I'm in need.  What a joy to know that I can draw near to You at any moment, wherever I may be . . . that I can come boldly to Your throne of grace, assured of Your glad welcome - not because I'm worthy or because I've served You, but because You're a God of grace, a God of unmerited, unlimited favor.  I'm so glad that You welcome me just as I am, simply because Jesus is my risen Savior, and I am alive with His life and righteous with His righteousness!
     Thank You that I can praise and adore You and offer my requests in detail, with thanksgiving . . . that I can pour out my heart before You, being honest with You about my feelings and my mistakes and my sins. 
     Thank You that I can "be still" and know that You are God . . . that You are in control. . . and that I can restfully depend upon You and absorb Your strength and joy and peace.  To think that You not only permit me to come before You but You actually desire my fellowship, my worship, my prayers and my eternal presence!  Your desire is for me!  Such is almost too much for my understanding - thank You !
Amen and amen!

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