“And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by His name you shall swear. – Deuteronomy 6:10-13
Just before this passage in Deuteronomy the Israelites had been commanded to love the LORD your God with all their hearts…to sear It is the LORD your God you shall fear on their hearts…to teach these words to their children…to write them on the doorposts of their houses…
If you were to build a collection of songs and prayers about the God who had commanded this…the God who had produced the food that your children eat and the beds in which they sleep… the God who has provided such security that vines and olive trees have time to mature… were you to compile a book of worship for His people…how would you end it? What impression, guidance, or wisdom would you include in the final pages that would instill a sense of what it’s like to witness, and respond to, the works of this LORD?
As you read the conclusion of the book of Psalms, consider what impression is being left. As I’ve said before, assume that there is intention behind the manner in which these are compiled. Yesterday’s theme of threat-and-refuge gives way to grateful praise. Notice that the LORD is faithful to the righteous while the wicked are vanquished. Notice how Israel’s special status and Jerusalem’s unique role are celebrated. And notice how even sun, moon, and stars, trumpet, lute, and harp, strings and pipe and clashing cymbals – how everything that has breath – is commissioned to praise the LORD.
Our verse for this week is James 5:16: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Psalms 145 through 150. Now let’s read it!
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.