Monday, December 26, 2022

Great Is Our Lord (Psalm 147)

"How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!" (Ps. 147:1).

Psalm 147 praises God on two accounts: for His providential care and authority over all His creation, and His particular government and salvation of the church. God displays His power, goodness, wisdom, and perfection in the common rule over the heavens and the earth. He sends rain on the just and the unjust; He causes the sun to shine on the evil and the good. He has wisely endowed animals with abilities to survive, with instincts to flourish. He has endowed man with the natural ability to establish a stable society. He fashioned the world and the heavens with an array of splendor to reflect His glory and delight His creatures. “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.… He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call” (vv. 6–9).

When we praise the Lord, we would be remiss if we did not consider His awesome power displayed throughout the world, the inestimable manifestations of His glory and goodness, and His unfathomable wisdom in caring for His creation. We would also be remiss if we did not praise God for His faithful provision for His people. God reveals His mighty power not only in creating and meeting the needs of the world but also by preserving the souls of His people. “The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.… Extol the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion, for He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.” Here the psalmist “commemorates the goodness of God as manifested to His own people, in protecting His own Church, bountifully cherishing it, enriching it abundantly with all blessings, and preserving it in peace and safety from all harm,” Calvin wrote.

Unlike the rest of the world, the hope of the church extends beyond the boundaries of this temporal existence. God has promised to sustain His people through the hardships of this life and usher them into the presence of His eternal glory.

Throughout the day today, think about how God wisely provides for the world. How does He display His splendor? Each time you see a manifestation of His wisdom and glory in the world as a whole or the church in particular today, lift up a brief prayer of praise. Endeavor to do so each day this week.