Category Archives: Psalms

God who is worthy of all praise!

Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.

Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard

(Ps. 66:1-4, 8)

Praise Him for who He is
The entire earth is invited to offer their praise to the God of the Bible, for He is the Almighty. His enemies would surrender in fear because they have seen His power. How do we praise this awesome God?

We do it by expressing our joy in His presence. Telling Him how awesome He is, how much we appreciate His greatness. This means, we are acknowledging openly that He is the Almighty God and He is our God. Several Psalms exhort us to verbally express our joy in His being the Almighty God. We are to shout for joy or make a joyful sound (Ps. 95:1), cheering for Him or singing for Him. We must do it in such a way that it brings Him glory and honor in the midst of others.

Praise Him for what He does
The whole human race is invited to witness His mighty deeds. In fact His deeds are evident to all those who are open and honest. The classic example of His glorious deeds is the history of His people Israel. Two similar incidents are reminded here, the parting of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:21) and the drying up of the Jordan river (Josh. 3:14-17). These were reasons for great rejoicing among His people. He protected them from all the rebellious enemy nations who exalted themselves. His eyes still keep a watch over the nations of the world to see that His people are protected.

How to praise God
We are to do it by exalting His name doing it in such a way that it will be heard by the people around (66:8). This is because He has kept the remnant of His people safe from being utterly destroyed. Due to their disobedience the people of Israel had gone through trials and captivity, hard labor and slavery, fire and water. However, their descendants could enter the land of abundance. They are still a people and now once again restored as a nation.

Go into His presence consciously and offer Him praise, the sacrifice of our lips. Fulfill any vows made before Him. As a testimony proclaim to others all that God has done for you.
Remember, in any prayer we make or praise we offer, our hearts must be clean lest it will not be acceptable to Him.

Man of God in Distress

As for me, I said, “O LORD, be gracious to me;
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
(Psa.41:4)

Distress and agony visits everyone and stays for longer with some. One’s knowledge and experience of God will come to his rescue at such times. For a Christian it is a part of his training for his future reigning in God’s glory. David was a man who went through this experience in spite of his being anointed as King of Israel to succeed Saul. His Psalms are mostly the reflections of his relationship with God.

The books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles paint the backdrop of many of these Psalms. Psalm 41 reveals the agonizing prayer of the man of God. The context probably was the rebellion of his son Absalom and the betrayal of his trusted friend Ahithophel (2Sam.15:2-6; 16:23). David had been in mental agony as well as physical pain. The guilt of his being slack in fulfilling his duties was eating on him. In such distress he knew there was only one place to confide-the presence of the merciful God. If at all David has any confidence, it is in the character of his God.

Principle of receiving and showing mercy

David starts at the right point-the nature and character of God. He tells God his understanding about God’s nature. God shows mercy to them that are merciful towards the helpless. In other words, you give mercy and receive mercy. However, David is not relying on his virtues here. Instead, he is leaning simply on the mercy of God, admitting his unworthiness and sinfulness. He is pleading for spiritual healing before he can experience physical healing.

Principle of having and losing friends

A powerful man has a lot of friends. But they all desert him as he loses his power. Worldly friends are a commercial lot. They are there as long as opportunities for profit are there. Opportunistic relationships are not built on true love but on flattery and hypocrisy. Such friends turn enemies swapping sides for better benefits. They visit you in your sickness with malicious intentions, to demoralize you, to aggravate your condition and to spread gossip with the information they have gathered. As David narrates, it is a painful experience to go through. The only solace for a child of God is the presence of God, from where he she can draw strength.

It is natural to become bitter and revengeful. Eventually one becomes physically indisposed. David felt guilty that he had neglected his daily responsibilities, thus allowing his rebellious son to take undue advantage of the situation. So he prayed for spiritual and physical healing. He is duty bound to discipline his enemies for their rebellion against God’s anointed. However, the focus is on David’s humility in acknowledging his sinfulness and utter helplessness without God.