Today we finish up the book of Psalms with six psalms of praise and joy that our returned exiles would have sung as they completed the temple and participated once again in the sacrifices and worship of God.
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (126:4)
“Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!” (Psalm 147:1)
Today is my birthday. As I look back over the years of my life, I can truly say these words express what I feel about the Lord. I understood the gospel and surrendered my heart and life to the Lord at the young age of 7, but there have been times throughout my life when, like the Israelites, I disobeyed God. I’ve felt the sting of discipline and conviction; my heart has felt “exiled” and captured by sin. How good and pleasant to be restored back, forgiven, and returned to a place of worship.
Of the psalms I read this morning, I love the encouraging words in Psalm 147. It speaks of God’s power and control over our world, not only in its creation but also in the sustaining of our world. God determines the number of stars and calls them by name. He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down His hail like pebbles; He stirs up His breezes; He makes waters flow. He sends icy blasts.
What wonderful peace and stability to my heart. I do not get up in the morning worrying if the sun will grow too hot one day, or the oceans will rise too far. I realize that tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes exist and that in the last days they will increase as this physical world groans, longing for its redemption. I have a normal, healthy fear and respect for the strength and power of the physical world, but I trust that God holds every raindrop, every wind, every movement of the earth’s crust in His hand. The stars will not fall without His permission. The sun will shine at exactly the temperature He determines. He is trustworthy, and He alone has the power and might and wisdom to sustain what He has created. That’s a great thing to celebrate on one’s birthday. Praise the Lord.
“For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” (Romans 8:19-22)