On Mission to Be a People Who Praise God

I have a confession to make.  I have been heavy of heart.  I have lamented and questioned how, not only this church, but all of God’s greater body the Church, can come together to love one another and behave in such a manner that He will be glorified on earth.  I fear that we have forgotten who we are.  How gracious of God that He would remind me of Himself and what He has and is accomplishing on earth! 

God be gracious and kind-hearted to us and bless us,
and make His face shine [with favor] on us –
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation and deliverance among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
For You will judge the people fairly
And guide the nations on earth.
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
The earth has yielded its harvest
[as evidence of His approval];
God, our God, blesses us.
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him [with awe-inspired reverence and submissive wonder].

Psalm 67

I’m working my way through the Psalms.  This was my Psalm for yesterday.  I came back to it again today.  God wasn’t finished with it yet.  For a fresh perspective, I went to my Matthew Henry Commentary, written several centuries ago in England:

  • There are a people in the world that can, upon good grounds, call God their God.
  • Believers have reason to glory in their relation to God and the interest they have in him.
  • Those who through grace call God their own may with a humble confidence expect a blessing from him.
  • The blessing of God, as ours in covenant, is that which sweetens all our creature-comforts to us, and makes them comforts indeed; that we receive the increase of the earth as a mercy indeed when with it God, even our own God, gives us his blessing.
  • All the world shall hereby be brought to do like them, that is, worship him, which is to be done with a godly fear. 
  • The blessings God bestows upon us call upon us not only to love him, but to fear him, to keep up high thoughts of him and to be afraid of offending him.
  • When the gospel begins to spread it shall get ground more and more, till it reach to the ends of the earth.
  • And the many blessings which those will own themselves to have received that are brought into the church invite others to join themselves to them.  It is good to cast in our lot with those that are the blessed of the Lord.

My wanderings through scripture this morning took me to Isaiah 61, a passage that Jesus quoted at the beginning of His ministry in Luke 4:16-21 and concluded saying, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing and in your presence.” Jesus quoted verses 1-2 in Luke, but I would like to highlight verse 3 as well from chapter 61:

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me to bring good news to the humble and afflicted;\
He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted,
To proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives
And freedom to prisoners,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance and retribution of our God,
To comfort all who mourn,
To grant to those who mourn in Zion the following:
To give them a turban instead of dust [on their heads, a sign of mourning,
The oil of joy instead of mourning,
The garment [expressive of praise instead of a disheartened spirit.
So they can be called the trees of righteousness [strong and magnificent, distinguished for integrity, justice, and right standing with God],
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:1-9

I have to continue to the end of this chapter to verse 10:

I will rejoice greatly in the Lord,
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has covered me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom puts on a turban,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels,
For as the earth brings forth its sprout,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord God will [most certainly] cause righteousness and justice and praise
To spring up before all the nations [through the power of His Word].

Isaiah 61:10-11

Brothers and sisters, we have all been redeemed by the blood of this Jesus Christ. We have been sent to proclaim God’s kingdom here on earth and to share the gospel message into all the kingdom of darkness.  We must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with one another, going forth to proclaim our position together as the bride of Christ until He returns.  God has done a great thing. 

Will you join with me to keep our eyes and minds focused on the only One Who can bring peace?