The Psalmist calls God’s chosen to:
- Give thanks
- Make known
- Sing to
- Tell of
- Glory in
And all of this….. directed to the Lord our God! Hmmm….. gives rise to ponderment — how much of my day, my week, my life entails the above?
Oh Lord, You truly are worthy — worthy of all my attention and focus. That which we value…. we speak of! I pray, Lord, that I will so value You that my voice will go forth — in thankfulness and praise! May You be who I glory in, who I delight over, who I rejoice in. I pray for an appetite for You and of that which You love. Be my JOY. Be the subject of my “telling”. Be my NOW — be my memories. May my voice find it’s place in You! I pray for boldness that comes naturally, just because You are my life!
v.1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! v.2 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wonderous works! v.3 Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! v.4 Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually! v.5 Remember the wonderous works that He has done, His miracles, and the judgements He uttered, v.6 O offspring of Abraham, His servant, children of Jacob, His chosen ones! V.7 He is the Lord our God; His judgements are in all the earth.
God is faithful — He remembers forever
God remembers forever — You are a faithful God! You remember — not that You ever forget but “remember” as in tied to action. When it is time, You rise up and act. Your remembrance is tied to Your faithfulness — what You have promised will be forever. The Psalmist writes of Your faithful promise to Abraham — Your covenant to make of him a mighty nation and give them a land. And this land was to be an inheritance, as was the covenant, passed to Isaac, Abraham’s son — his heir. And then confirmed as a statute to Jacob. You are a faithful God and what You say, we can believe. We can trust You always!
v.8 He remembers His covenant forever, the word that He commanded, for a thousand generations, v.9 the covenant that He made with Abraham, His sworn promise to Isaac, v.10 which He confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, v.11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance.”
Thank You, Lord, for Your plan. Even if I don’t understand why You choose as You choose, I trust Your sovereign right to do so. Israel was blessed that You chose them. And I am blessed that You chose me! Such amazing GRACE!
God calls…… God accomplishes
God called a people and He faithfully protected them. I think about when Abraham and Sarah went to Egypt because of the famine (Genesis 12:10-20) and Abraham was fearful of that nation and had Sarah say she was his sister. But You stepped in and protected her from being just another wife of Pharaoh. You afflicted him and his house with great plagues. You protected the union of Your called — Abraham and Sarah. You protected them from nations and You protected them in and from their own bad choices. In Genesis 14:1-16 You protected Abraham when he went against the 4 kings/5 kings battle and rescued Lot from Chedorlaomer and the kings with him. You brought that victory. In Genesis 20 You again protected the union of these chosen ones, protecting Sarah from Abimelech when again Abraham had her lie about being his “sister”. You called. You accomplished. Even when they were few in number and of little account!
v.12 When they were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it, v.13 wandering from nation to nation from one kingdom to another people, v.14 He allowed no one to oppress them; He rebuked kings on their account, v.15 saying, “Touch not my annointed ones, do my prophets no harm!”
Lord, You are faithful. Those You call, You equip. They were a small little gathering among many nations. They could’ve easily fallen — but You are faithful — You accomplish it. Easily.
God summons famines
Lord, we just can’t know why You do what You choose to do! The Psalmist tells us You summoned a famine —
v.16 When He summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread, v.17 He had sent a man ahead of them. Joseph, who was sold as a slave. v.18 His feet were hurt with fetters; his neck was put in a collar of iron; v.19 until what He had said came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.
Why do things happen as they do? I wonder, thinking out loud….. considering that You have plans — and YET…. the heart of man makes himself pretty unusable!! Is this why TESTS come? Do You have to do what You do, the way You do, because You know us — and we aren’t very usable (like we are) for accomplishing Your purposes — thus You must hone us, and mold us, and shape us — chipping off the rough edges of self, in order to bring about Your end result?!!!! I wonder!
Time! It “matters” so much to us! Joseph’s life is such an example of waiting! And yet he remained so faithful in the wait!
v.20 The king sent and released him; the ruler of the peoples set him free; v.21 he made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions, v.22 to bind his princes at his pleasure and to teach his elders wisdom.
What a beautiful picture Joseph’s life is — a life of trusting You and remaining faithful, in spite of all he had to endure in the trying circumstances of his life. He obviously held You as dearer to himself than he was to himself! He tested well and came forth golden. Lord, I pray for me — I make so much of life about me — what I want, what I think I need, how I think, how I feel. Lord, help me to learn from Joseph. I do want to have a teachable spirit that loves You and trusts You and Your bigger plan, trusting what I don’t know and can’t see.
The sovereignty of God —- HE makes fruitful; HE turns hearts to hate for HIS purposes!
No situation, no circumstance is too difficult for God to maneuver and overturn. You, Lord, are in Sovereign control. You were, in this Psalmist’s account, and You are now, in 2020 Pandemic.
v. 23 Then Israel came to Egypt; Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. v.24 And the Lord made His people very fruitful and made them stronger than their foes. v.25 He turned their hearts to hate His people, to deal craftily with His servants.
These 3 verses took 2 minutes to write, but the events of these 3 verses took 400 years to play out! The Israelites didn’t grow into the huge nation they became overnight. It was over time. Little by little, You were doing Your work, putting the pieces in place, accomplishing Your purposes. I wonder, as it was all happening, what did the Israelites think? Did people sit at their supper tables and make the off-hand comment……”have you noticed how many kids people are having these days?” Did they even notice? Or did it happen so gradually that it was just “life” for them? But whether anybody noticed it at first or not….. it was happening! It was going on around them –family after family after family — increasing, multiplying! And then — YOU made the Egyptians notice! And YOU turned the hearts of the Egyptians to hate the Israelites. They hated them so much that the king of Egypt made them work as slaves! They became their forced labor (Exodus 1:7-22) and when they still continued to multiply, the king told the midwives, “if an Israelite son is born…. kill him.” But the midwives feared You and did not kill those babies! And You blessed them in that and gave them families! Then (Exodus 1:22) Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”
Lord, Your hand is never shortened! Into the worst situations, — the most vulnerable people-group of that day (boy babies) — You brought forth the one You had chosen as Your deliverer, the one who would grow up and bring Your people out of Egypt……. Moses! Boy baby Moses! What a fascination!
“Time” is essentially important to us…. to people living in the moment. Did Moses’ mother tell his sister Miriam to “hurry” along the bank of the Nile, to see where the little basket-boat would float? Was time important? Would he float? Would he be found in time? Did his mother “hurry” away? Could she just not watch? Whatever went through everyone’s minds, You were at work! You caused Miriam to stay and watch. You caused Pharaoh’s daughter to be bathing at that exact time. You brought her to take pity on this Hebrew baby boy. You even allowed Moses’ own mother to be the “nursing mother” for Pharaoh’s daughter’s “find”…… the baby drawn out of the water — Moses! Nothing is too hard for You, God! You had a plan and it was all unfolding — and yet did anyone have any idea?
I think about life today — Pandemic 2020. What are You doing? What are You up to? I don’t know…. anymore than Pharaoh, his daughter, Moses’ mother, Miriam, or any of the people of that time did. We all just continue waking up to the “circumstances of our day” — and we walk it out. But I’m so thankful that You have put it into my heart to fear You, like the mid-wives did. Lord, help me walk my day (my life) TRUSTING Your exceedingly abundant MORE that You’re always up to (Ephesians 3:20)
God’s sovereign plans —- His doing, at His time
The Psalmist recounts the events of their leaving Egypt — all in God’s plan and bidding! He sent, He had chosen, He turned, He spoke, He gave, He struck down — all of it in God’s sovereign desire and plan — all in God’s perfect time.
v.26 He sent Moses, His servant, and Aaron, whom He had chosen. V.27 They performed His signs among them and miracles in the land of Ham. V.28 He sent darkness, and made the land dark; they did not rebel against His words. v.29 He turned their waters into blood and caused their fish to die. V.30 Their land swarmed with frogs, even in the chambers of their kings. v.31 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country. v.32 He gave them hail for rain, and fiery lightening bolts through their land. V.33 He struck down their vines and fig trees, and shattered the trees of their country. v.34 He spoke, and the locusts came, young locusts without number, v.35 which devoured all the vegetation in their land and ate up the fruit of their ground. v.36 He struck down all the firstborn in their land, the firstfruits of all their strength.
Lord, I can’t even imagine all of these cataclysmic events and what went through everybody’s minds. I wonder how much time passed between each one. They seemed quick and unrelenting. Just to ponder it all, brings me to bow at Your power and might. Do we not “fear You” more because we just don’t sit and study who You are? Draw me to Yourself.
400 years of captivity —- and in 6 short verses….. DELIVERED!
And so, after 400 years, Israel left Egypt — in God’s time, according to His plan. He remembered (as in it was time to act) — God remembered His Holy promise. In Your time, Lord, according to Your promise, things happen — and it happens perfectly — Egypt was glad to see them go — they even sent them off with silver and gold! None among the tribes stumbled. You led them with cloud for a covering and fire to give light at night. You fed them and opened the rock for water to gush forth. What a mighty God You are!
v.37 Then He brought out Israel with silver and gold, and there was none among His tribes who stumbled. v.38 Egypt was glad when they departed, for dread of them had fallen upon it. v.39 He spread a cloud for a covering, and a fire to give light by night. v.40 They asked, and He brought quail, and gave them bread from heaven in abundance. v.41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river. v.42 For He remembered His Holy promise, and Abraham, His servant.
Lord, I love being in Your Word, reading in these 6 short verses — DELIVERANCE! 400 years of captivity…. and it’s over — just like that. Were the people nervous, fearful, excited, hopeful? Regardless what they felt, they were safe in You! Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous man runs into it and is safe. You ARE our strong tower. May I ever stay close!
God chose, God gave, they took
And so, after 400 years of captivity, You brought Your chosen ones out with joy —
v.43 So He brought His people out with joy, His chosen ones with singing. v.44 And He gave them the lands of the nations, and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples’ toil, v.45 that they might keep His statutes and observe His laws. Praise the Lord!
Lord, You chose, You gave — and they took. What undeserved, unmerited grace — they received the land that others had toiled over, the fruit of their labor. And all of this so that Your chosen ones might keep Your statutes and observe Your laws. But their faithfulness to do so proved lacking. But Your faithfulness and love never wavered. It didn’t then — it doesn’t now! You have given us a picture of steadfast love in Yourself. Israel, the chosen one, failed to keep Your statutes and laws — so You sent Prophets to warn them, You sent defeats in battles to discipline them. You even sent captivity again –the northern kingdoms overtaken by Assyria and then the southern kingdom of Jerusalem itself taken captive to Babylon. And yet in all of their unfaithfulness, You are faithful still! You would bring them back, …… because You had a plan and that plan was still in place! You had the plan to bring Your son Jesus from the tribe of Judah. Jesus is our HOPE, our RESCUE, our ULTIMATE JOY! Praise the Lord! I praise You for Your perfect plan and faithfulness. And so in Pandemic 2020, we wait, knowing you still have plans…….. Your Son Jesus is coming back!