There are some unusual music genres out there. According to Spotify, there are over 1500 music genres including: Pirate Metal, Math Rock, Folktronica, German Reggae, Cloud rap… I’ll leave it you to if you wish to explore more!
Music has been part of the people of God since the beginning. The longest book in the Bible is the book of Psalms, a collection of songs, poems, and prayers.
On the back of a period of exile, Psalm 147 is written to encourage those who have returned to praise God and a reminder of who He is.
“Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you. He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat. He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow. He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 147 (ESV)
I love how verse 1 is phrased in the Amplified translation: “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our [gracious and majestic] God; Praise is becoming and appropriate.” Psalm 147:1
Praise is a natural response to appreciating something or someone great.
Every week in our church Gatherings because the purpose of corporate praise and worship is to help us focus our hearts and minds on God.
There will be days that you feel like praising God and there will be days that you don’t. I know I feel that.
Our emotions come and go but nothing will bring us into a consciousness of God’s presence more quickly and deeply than praising Him and giving thanks to Him.
God is not looking for an emotional heart, but an engaged heart.
God is not looking for an emotional heart, but an engaged heartTweet
The Psalm both starts and ends with this exclamation ‘Praise the Lord!’ These are encouragements to people who have had a track record of forgetting.
The exiles have been brought home. They were a people who had lost sight of who God is. They went adrift in idolatry.
When praise for God stops, our hearts can easily become a breeding ground for idolatry and sin. We need to reminded of His grace and awesomeness.
“Sin loses its appeal as we allow ourselves to be reenchanted time and again with the unsurpassable beauty of Jesus.” Dane Ortlund (Deeper)
“Sin loses its appeal as we allow ourselves to be reenchanted time and again with the unsurpassable beauty of Jesus.” Dane Ortlund (Deeper)Tweet
“The point made is that One who marshals the host of stars “called them all by name” is more than equal to the problems of His people, both in power and in understanding. It turns upside down the familiar argument that in so great a universe our small affairs are too minute to notice.” Derek Kidner (Psalms 73-150)
We have our challenges, our brokenness, our mistakes and sin but look at God. The healer, the mighty one, the provider, the restorer, the Creator.
From the Bible’s perspective, God deserves praise simply because He is God.
God deserves praise simply because He is GodTweet
To praise Him for:
His majesty, His glory, His awesomeness, His power, His compassion, His grace, that He is slow to anger, abounding in love, forever faithful, forgiving all our sin and transgressions, His is perfectly just.
And, He gets involved in our lives to protect, care for, rescue us!…
“The Lord favours those who fear and worship Him [with awe-inspired reverence and obedience], Those who wait for His mercy and lovingkindness.” Psalm 147:11 (AMP)
Sometimes I need to re-awe-entate my heart.
When I properly stop and think about who God is – His infiniteness, His all-knowing, all-powerful nature – I need to catch my breath.
Yes, life is busy and it’s not a rule that you have to have a quiet time each day, but how could we not want to have quality time with our God each day?
We can somehow grow accustomed to the idea of God, we can go through the motions of reading the bible, or praying, or singing, or attending church, and through these things we lose our sense of awe in who God is.
I think this would be the sin of familiarity where we’ve started to take God for granted.
There are times I need to repent of this.
We see this when, in our hearts and minds, our problems have started to become bigger and God seems smaller.
I know the last few years have been hard whether it’s our personal circumstances, or the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you and I have lost our sense of awe and our passion for God doesn’t seem as fresh then perhaps the sin of familiarity has crept in, and it’s time to repent of routine religion.
I’m a big believer in being authentic to the best of our ability. This means that we’ve got to be real about life – all the ups and downs, and there are many! But we’ve got to be real about who God is as well!!
What stands out to you from this Psalm?
What ways do you find helpful to in re-awe-entating your heart back toward God?
Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to work in your heart to increase its sense of awe of God.