Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Psalm 147

As with each of the last five psalms which comprise a final benediction to the Psalter, this psalm begins and ends with the words, “Praise the LORD!” As a Hymn of Praise, Psalm 147 focuses on the LORD’s gracious provision in bringing the exiles back from their banishment and rebuilding Jerusalem, providing them with crops and rain (vv 2, 3, 14, 18).

The psalm says of God:
“His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” (Psalm 147.10–11).
This delightfully poetic sentence reveals an important fact about God that we should take to heart. In our world, we honor physical beauty and athletic prowess above almost anything else. ‘Celebrities’ are most often those who are beautiful or athletic, or, even better, both at once! We listen to them over even experts and we expect more from them than we do from ‘normal’ people. Consider how Tiger Woods sexual immorality has so deeply disappointed people. Even though he is not a standard-bearer of morality, many people seemed to believe that his physical prowess propelled him above common human sins. When he showed by his actions that he was, in fact, less moral than normal people, there was great anger and disappointment.

What is most highly valued among people is insignificant in the eyes of God. Instead, what God honors is people “who fear him…who hope in his steadfast love” (v 11). Rather than being enamored with celebrities we should seek to be the kind of people whom God recognizes as worthy of honor.

When we recognize what God desires, we will seek to build our lives around being the kind of people who will display that kind attitude.

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