Praise the Lord! (Sermon Recap)
PRAISE THE LORD! (SERMON RECAP)
In our most recent sermon we walked through Psalm 147 and reflected on three big reasons why we ought to sing praise to the Lord. This psalm begins and ends with a call to "Praise the LORD!" (Psalm 147:1, 20 ESV), and the same call is given again – in a more elaborated form – in verses 7 and 12.
In verses 1-6 we are called to praise the Lord because the Lord builds up His people. He who is great in power is generous in mercy! The Lord takes the raw material of "the outcasts" and "the brokenhearted" (Psalm 147:2, 3 ESV) and gathers them to Himself, "binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3 ESV), lifts them up and incorporates them into His everlasting city. Behold the work of God in saving His people!
In verses 7-11 we are called to "Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving" (Psalm 147:7 ESV) because "the LORD takes pleasure" in His people (Psalm 147:11 ESV). The Lord takes pleasure in the people that He has gathered in by His own power and grace. We who have the privilege of being the built up ones and lifted up ones know that we have been brought into God's family by God's work, not our own. Thus we learn to "fear him" and "hope in his steadfast love" (Psalm 147:11 ESV) and to live in God's big world of abundant provision. We sing His praise – not in order to obtain His favor, but precisely because His favor already rests upon us through the Lord Jesus Christ.
In verses 12-20 we are called to praise the Lord because the Lord takes care of His people. The Lord takes care of the people that He has established, the people in whom He delights. The Lord blesses His people with protection, peace, and provision. Moreover, the Lord blesses His people with the wonderful gift of His Word. God's ultimate word to His people is the living Word, our Lord Jesus Christ. We who have been gathered into God's forever family by God's abundant grace, have the great privilege of learning Christ (see Ephesians 4:20) and "[letting] the word of Christ dwell... richly" (Colossians 3:16 ESV) among us.
For all these reasons, "Praise the LORD!"
It is our privilege, brothers and sisters, to sing the Lord's praise not only as individuals, but also and especially as a community of believers: "Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! / "Praise your God, O Zion!" (Psalm 147:12 ESV) Let us be faithful together in this holy praise, in this "good" and "pleasant" and "fitting" (Psalm 147:1 ESV) expression of worship to our Lord.