Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bless God!

 24They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.
 25The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.
 26Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
 27There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.
 28Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.
 29Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee. 

Bless God!

In the verses shown above from Psalm 68, David is describing a processional into the temple. From the least (little Benjamin) to the greatest (the princes of Judah and their council), and every tribe in between (the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali), he encourages the people to bless God, even the Lord.

If one studies the history of David's kingdom, especially later when it was divided into a northern (Judah) and southern (Israel) kingdom, one understands the necessity for David's admonition to the people. Even by the end of the reign of David's son, Solomon, the people, led by their king, began to dabble in the religions of the nations surrounding them. Oh, they never completely left God (at least in their minds), but rather, they added the religious practices of their neighbors to their own worship of God.

David reminds his readers, "Thy God hath commanded thy strength." What a wonderful reminder to us today to remember to bless God, our First Love, for He is the One who gives us the strength to go on each and every day. In His power we can accomplish much, but without Him we will surely fail.

However, there is more! The greatest temptation for us is to do the same thing that Judah and Israel did. As Christians, we must remember that all of our strength, hope, and power comes from God, alone. We must be so very careful that we do not add the gods of this world to the mixture, incorporating them into our everyday life and practice--and even into our worship.

The things of this world are tools God grants to us, and it is not wrong to use them and receive comfort from them. However, the day these things take the place of God, or even come alongside of God, we are in danger of doing the same thing that the children of Israel did.

Think of Jesus conversation with the young rich man. When asking Jesus what he needed to do to follow him, Jesus told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor. The young man went away sorrowfully, for he had great riches. Is it wrong to be rich? No! But those riches are not, even in a small way, necessary for life, joy, happiness, or peace. It is God, alone, who grants life, joy, happiness, and peace to His children.

Two of my favorite verses are found in Proverbs 30, verses 8 and 9.
Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me; lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Go today and bless God, for He alone provides everything we need for life, joy, happiness, and peace!

God Bless You,

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