Our Great and Gracious God.
“How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!” – Psalm 147:5 NLT
These three Psalms are three-fifths of the closing hymns of the entire psalter. They help wrap up this collection of songs by offering praise to God for His power, provision, grace, and mercy. They remind us of just how great a God we serve. He is not a mere concept or force, but a being of immense power and intelligence. He is a loving creator who made all that we see by simply speaking it into existence, and He sustains it all with ease. When we consider the immensity of God, it seems ludicrous to trust in men. God alone has the power to rescue, redeem, and restore. He brings healing to the brokenhearted, sight to the blind, support to the fatherless and widows, food for the hungry, freedom to the captives, support to the afflicted, and favor to those who fear Him. As followers of Christ, those phrases should sound familiar. On a visit to His hometown of Nazareth, Jesus stood in the synagogue and read from Isaiah chapter 61 the following words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come” (Luke 4:18-19 NLT). Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression of God’s grace and mercy. He is the real answer to oppression, illness, disease, inequity, spiritual blindness, hunger, affliction, fear, and even death.
God does not offer just temporary relief from the cares and concerns of life. He offers eternal salvation from the rule of sin and the penalty of death. He has provided a way for men to be restored to a right relationship to Him, in spite of their sin and rebellion against Him. He has made possible a way to remedy the results of the fall and restore mankind and the earth to their former glory. He not only created the earth and all it contains, He is one day going to recreate it – restore it to the way it was intended to be all along. Only God can do that. Any attempts by man to improve the earth and our lives on it are fleeting and temporary. In many cases, our attempts at improvement have resulted in greater devastation. From nuclear power that resulted in nuclear weapons to the combustion engine that has polluted our atmosphere, every “improvement” by man has ended up having a negative impact. God alone is our salvation. He alone has the power to provide us with hope and healing. So the Psalmist reminds us to praise Him. From the oldest to the youngest, the rich to the poor, the wealthy to the needy – everyone and everything should praise the Lord. “Let them all praise the name of the LORD. For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven!” (Psalm 148:13 NLT).
Father, only You are worthy of our praise. Only You have the capacity to do anything about our neediness and hopelessness. I can praise You even before You answer because I know You will – You always do. You have sent Your Son as the answer to every single one of our problems and as the solution to all that’s wrong with our planet and the people who occupy it. Even as I read the news this morning I am amazed at all that is wrong in our world. Earthquakes, riots, rebellions, murders, genocide, war, hatred, greed, and immorality of all kinds. But I can praise You because one day You are going to make all this right. You are going to restore Your creation to the way it was meant to be. And even in the midst of all this, You have given me hope through Jesus Christ, Your Son. He is the ultimate expression of Your favor to man. So I praise You! Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men