Praise the Lord, O my soul!
Scripture reading for June 23rd: Psalms 98-103
Praise and worship continue today in these psalms of the hymnbook of the nation of Israel and the gift of God to His people, the church. Praise and worship must be in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24) We must worship from our spirit man and from a mind renewed with the truth. I have picked Psalms 101 and 103 to draw from today for our devotion. I have used these often in my personal life and in ministering to those in various kinds of troubles.
Psalm 101 praises God for His love and His justice. Both of these character traits work together to bring wholeness or holiness to God’s character. Love without justice is some sentimental emotion that lacks integrity. Justice without love is harsh and bitter. Balanced as they are in God’s character, we can only worship Him and sing praise! This holy fear of God’s justice caused the psalmist to be careful with his life and character. He sought to live a blameless life because he did not know when God might come in judgment. He vowed to keep his eyes from vile things. He knew this would defile his heart. He hated evil and sought to live in truth and surround himself with those who were faithful. He promised to eliminate from his house any who were false or wicked. We would do well to apply these simple standards! I have Psalm 101:3 on my computer to remind me of my need to keep my eyes on what is good!
Psalm 103 begins by praising God for all of His benefits. This psalm comes from the depths of a soul who loves God and is purposely remembering why he must praise Him! First of all God forgives us all of our sins! (Psalm 103:3) He not only forgives our sins, but forgets them and removes them far away! (Psalm 103:12) God also heals all of our diseases and sicknesses! This was true in David’s day as in ours; God does not change! God redeems our life from the pit–a place of destruction and punishment! We must bless Him from the depths of our soul! He also renews our youth and satisfies our desires with good things from His house! We are most blessed! He works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He is full of love and abounds in mercy and compassion. God is like a loving Father and we like his special children. His love promises us that though our life is short and tender, we who fear Him will enjoy that love forever and ever! (Psalm 103:14-17)
This last psalm ends with David exhorting a chorus of angels to praise the Lord. The heavenly hosts are called upon to praise Him as well as all His works in the whole universe! Praise the Lord, O my soul!