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Praise the Lord!

October 14, 2018 Speaker: Brian Wilbur Series: Stand-Alone Sermons

Topic: Worship Passage: Psalm 147:1–147:20

PRAISE THE LORD!

An Exposition of Psalm 147

By Pastor Brian Wilbur

Date:   October 14, 2018

Series: Stand-Alone Sermons

Note:   Scripture quotations are from The ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard   Version), copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

THE SCRIPTURAL TEXT

1 Praise the LORD!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
    for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
    he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
    he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
    his understanding is beyond measure.
The LORD lifts up the humble;
    he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
    make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds;
    he prepares rain for the earth;
    he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food,
    and to the young ravens that cry.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11 but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    in those who hope in his steadfast love.

12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
    Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
    he blesses your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders;
    he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
    his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
    he scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
    who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
    he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob,
    his statutes and rules to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
    they do not know his rules.
Praise the LORD!

INTRODUCTION

“Praise the LORD!” A common enough expression in Christian circles, sometimes conveyed in the acronym PTL. I wouldn’t say that I’m a big fan of this acronym, although the reality underneath it is certainly biblical. But I wonder if the PTL or the “Praise the Lord” reflex that people sometimes have might cheapen the depths and heights of true praise. I wonder if our praise is sometimes so connected to temporal earthly blessings that we lose sight of the really big things that God is doing, and the divine glory which His deeds reveal.

What would it really mean, anyway, to praise the Lord because our team won the game or because the weather was to our liking? Would we praise the Lord any less if our team had come up short or if the weather disrupted our plans? Further, when people say “Praise the Lord” or comment PTL at such times, do others proceed to actually praise the Lord as a response to the call? Most people who speak or write “Praise the Lord” in a spontaneous way probably don’t intend it as a call upon others to bring praise, they probably just intend their spontaneous words to themselves be an expression of praise – and perhaps they are.

But when the psalmist declares “Praise the LORD!” he is actually calling upon us to render praise and thanksgiving to our God. The Holy Spirit who inspired the psalmist’s words actually wants our hearts to spring upward to God, our lips to sing the goodness and grace of our King, and our hands to make melody on the lyre or other musical instruments.

The psalmist, however, is not content to only tell us what to do. He also tells us why we should do it, why we should bring the sacrifice of praise to our God. As we shall see in Psalm 147, these reasons are far greater than favorable temporal circumstances that so quickly come and go. While we rightly give thanks to God on all occasions, our praise and thanksgiving must be anchored in the big things that God has done and continues to do.

WHAT TO DO: PRAISE THE LORD!

So let’s begin with the ‘what to do’, the called-for action of praise. This call to praise is issued four times. The beginning of verse 1: “Praise the LORD!” Verse 7: “Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; / make melody to our God on the lyre!” Verse 12: “Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!” The end of verse 20: “Praise the LORD!” Psalm 147 is repeatedly calling us to praise the Lord, to show forth this praise in melodious music and grateful singing, and to do this not as stand-alone individuals but as a member of God’s people, as a citizen of God’s city. Together as the people of God – together as Jerusalem, as Zion – we are to sing praise to our God. Although we can and should declare God’s praise through unsung words, it is songs of praise that are especially on the psalmist’s mind here: he says “sing praises” and “a song of praise” in verse 1, as well as “Sing to the LORD” and “make melody” in verse 7.

This praise of God is the particular focus of the end of the Book of Psalms. Psalms 138 to 145 are all psalms of David. Psalm 145, the last psalm attributed to David, is actually called “A Song of Praise” in the superscription. Although the phrase “Praise the LORD!” does not occur in psalm 145, David says that he will “bless” and “praise [God’s] name forever” (Psalm 145:1, 2). Psalm 145 concludes with David’s firm resolve that he will praise God followed by his desire that “all flesh” join him in this holy endeavor: “My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever” (Psalm 145:21). David’s concluding sentence seems to set the agenda for Psalms 146-150. Psalm 146 begins with the individual worshiper praising the Lord: “Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (Psalm 146:1-2). Psalm 150 ends with “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 150:6). Along the way, all believers – the true Zion – get enveloped in this chorus of praise (e.g., Psalm 146:10, Psalm 147:12, Psalm 149:2).

Each of the final five psalms begins and ends with that same phrase, “Praise the LORD!” All told, the word “praise” or “praises” occurs a whopping 40 times in just these final five psalms.[1] The theme is unmistakable – the Psalter concludes with a crescendo of praise.

But why is it that we should offer this gladhearted praise? Praise by its very nature implies the praiseworthiness of its object, and so the psalmist shines the spotlight on the doings and delights of our God and essentially tells us, Praise God because of these things that I am telling you about.

After each call to praise in verses 1, 7, and 12, the psalmist then gives us a cluster of reasons to praise God. So let’s give attention to each of these three clusters of reasons to praise our Lord.

PRAISE THE LORD BECAUSE HE BUILDS UP HIS PEOPLE! (verses 1-6)

Reason #1: Praise the Lord because He builds up His people! I am taking the beginning of verse 2 as an apt summary of the reasons to praise the Lord in verses 1-6.

Right after he tells us to praise the Lord, the psalmist says, “For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant and a song of praise is fitting.” I am not approaching this as a stand-alone reason, but as a lead-in to the objective reasons given in verses 2-6. Even so, we must understand that praising God isn’t merely the right and obedient thing to do. It is much more: it is good, it is pleasant, it is fitting. A song of praise is a fitting response to a praiseworthy object. When we get a glimpse of the divine glory, when we hear the rehearsal of God’s greatness in Psalm 146 – for example, that he “sets the prisoners free” and “opens the eyes of the blind” (v. 7, 8), that he “upholds the widow and the fatherless” and judges the wicked (v. 9), that he “keeps faith forever” (v. 6) and will “reign forever” (v. 10) and in context this means that He will reign forever for our good, if we are numbered among His people – when we grasp these things, there can be nothing better, nothing more pleasing, and nothing more fitting than to turn that encounter with God’s glory and faithfulness into a song of praise.

But Psalm 147 is just getting warmed up. To say that we ought to praise the Lord because it is good, pleasant, and fitting to do so, just pushes the question ‘why?’ back a spot. Now the question is: why is it good, pleasant, and fitting to praise the Lord? How does Psalm 147 itself seek to answer this question?

Consider what the all-powerful Lord does for His people: He “builds up Jerusalem” and “gathers the outcasts of Israel” (v. 2); “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (v. 3); He “lifts up the humble (the word translated “humble” can also mean poor or afflicted[2])” and “he casts the wicked to the ground” (6). The Lord builds up, binds up, and lifts up! He doesn’t establish His people by choosing the brightest and best, the savvy and socially well-connected, the high-performing moralists and religious scholars. In Psalm 113 it is the poor and needy and barren that He raises up; in Psalm 146 it is the oppressed and the hungry that He graciously helps; here in Psalm 147 it is the outcasts, the brokenhearted, the humble or afflicted who are brought into His family.

If a bunch of worldly nobodies are going to be the building blocks of God’s beautiful city, then you know that it must be the Lord’s doing, and not our own. Only an all-powerful and exceedingly gracious God could take the “foolish” and “weak” and “low and despised” peoples in the world and turn them into a holy community that is pleasing in His sight (1 Corinthians 1:27, 28). And you can mark it down: the builder of Jerusalem is great in power.

Right in the midst of this celebration of divine mercy is a seemingly unrelated reason to offer praise, namely, because our Lord is sovereign over the starry hosts (v. 4), is great and “abundant in power” and is brilliant and wise “beyond measure” (v. 5). But I don’t think that the psalmist has changed topics on us. The celebration of divine mercy can devolve into human-centered sentimentality if we forget the greatness of the God who comes to us in mercy. Passages like this are a great help: do not think of God only as a tenderhearted healer (don’t put God into categories like ‘humanitarian’ or ‘social justice champion’); at the same time, do not think of God only as omnipotent and omniscient – our God is not a distant and impersonal deity. The same God who has named all of the stars “gathers the outcasts.” The same God who is “abundant in power” leverages His power to heal and sanctify broken hearts. The same God who knows everything is not ashamed to stoop low and “[lift] up the humble.” He who is great in glory is also generous in mercy!

The Lord Jesus Christ, the One through whom and for whom all things were made, left the glories of heaven above and stepped down into a world of sin-induced pain. Over and over again the Psalms and the entire Old Testament tell us about the coming Messiah, the Anointed King, the specially appointed Servant of Yahweh, commissioned to do Yahweh’s works. Jesus is this royal Messiah, and when He came into the world He said, “Whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise” (John 5:19). So behold Jesus our Savior doing His Father’s work of “[building] up Jerusalem.” This is what Jesus was doing with the woman at the well, the man born blind, the sinful woman, the lepers, the sick and demon-possessed, with His very ordinary followers and even with a slow-to-repent religious guy named Nicodemus. Behold Him lifting up, binding up, and gathering in. He isn’t saving individuals in isolation, but He is saving them into His forever family. Not independent citizens, but a unified city; not independent Christians, but a unified church. Jesus says, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18), Jesus says.

The Savior declares: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”(Luke 4:18-19). At the heart of the Savior’s work is His sacrificial death upon the cross as an atonement for sin. Do you remember how the high priest unwittingly “prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation [of Israel], and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (John 11:51-51). Build, gather, heal, lift up – this is the Messiah’s work. Whatever other social or physical symptoms of brokenness that we may have, let us never forget that the fundamental problem that the outcasts and the brokenhearted and the afflicted have – the fundamental problem that we have – is that we are sinners with sinful hearts, that we are sinners who are alienated from God and from God’s people. As sinners we desperately need the forgiveness, cleansing, and reconciliation that only come through the atoning death and triumphant resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of course, no city can be securely established unless those intent on wickedness are judged and excluded from the fellowship of God’s people. The same God who leverages His great power to heal and sanctify broken hearts, leverages that same power to “[cast] the wicked to the ground.” “[The] city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10), “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22), “the city that is to come” (Heb. 13:14) of which the church is now an anticipation and foretaste, that city shall be perfectly holy and nothing unclean shall enter it. If you are not yet a citizen of this heavenly city, if you are still bound in your sin, I urge you to run to Jesus for that healing of soul that only He can give you.

Brothers and sisters, praise the Lord because He is building for Himself a holy people who will praise His name forever.

PRAISE THE LORD BECAUSE HE DELIGHTS IN HIS PEOPLE (verses 7-11)

But that’s not all: “Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre!” (v. 7) Then comes reason #2: Praise the Lord because He delights in His people. I am taking verses 11 as an apt summary of the reasons to praise the Lord in verses 7-11.

After the call to sing praise in verse 7, we then learn in verses 8-9 that the Lord governs the weather in the sky above so that life on earth will flourish. The clouds yield “rain for the earth” and grass grows on the well-watered hills (v. 8). Then, whether through the grass-laden hills or through other means, the Lord provides food for the beasts of the field and the birds of the air (v. 9). The Lord is the Sustainer of life who provides food for the hungry! The beasts and birds are not self-sufficient, and neither are we. We need the nourishment that He supplies.

The problem, of course, is that we are tempted to be self-sufficient, we are tempted to put confidence in the strength that comes from the flesh. It is so easy for us to be impressed with the might of the galloping war horse or the strength of a powerful runner or rugged warrior – or with a surplus of cash in the bank or what we consider our better than average skills that we have used to build a nice little life for ourselves. But the Lord who is “abundant in power” and exhaustive in knowledge is not the least bit impressed. “[The] strength of the horse” and “the legs of a man” (v. 10) are as nothing before the Lord. As Isaiah 40 tells us, even “the nations” – a strong economy or well-armed military notwithstanding – “the nations are like a drop of a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales” (Isaiah 40:15). But there is something that gets the Lord’s attention: “the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” (v. 11).

Verses 8-11 get to the fundamental attitudes of heart that make or break the possibility of true Godward praise. If we live in our own little world of self-reliance, if we chase after provision as if it all depends on us and our own strength, if we attempt to be self-healers who bind up our own wounds, then our hearts are far from God and there will not be any God-centered praise upon our lips.

But if we live in God’s big world of abundant provision – God-ordained stars shining light into the night sky, God-ordained clouds supplying water to the dry land, God’s generosity to all of His creatures, God’s appointment of victory that does not depend on horses and chariots and military arsenals, God’s enabling the man to “run and not be weary,” to “walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31) – the man runs, not because the man has strong legs, but because the man has a strong God: “He [the LORD] gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29) – if God’s generous kingdom is the sphere in which we live, then we will stand in awe of Him (we will “fear him,” v. 11) and all our confidence will be in Him (we will “hope in his steadfast love,” v. 11).  

If we live in view of God’s abundant provision, then we will be the sort of people who look upward with wide-eyed wonder to the Lord who is great above the heavens, and we will bank on Him to continue His steadfast love toward us – to preserve us, watch over us, provide us with nourishment and sustain us when all our strength is gone. As we do this there will be in us heartfelt praise to Him who is “gracious and merciful” (Psalm 145:8) to all of His people. We will “[sing] to the LORD” because of all that He has already done for us and also because of all that He has promised to do.

But here’s the deeper reality, the relational heart of verses 7-11: we “Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving” and “make melody to our God” because the Lord to whom we sing “takes pleasure” in us.[3] Do you understand this? What will the quality of your singing and music-making be if you think that God is displeased with you or merely tolerates you or is not interested in you?

Think about it: If we don’t fear the Lord and don’t hope in His steadfast love, then the Lord doesn’t take pleasure in us, and if the Lord doesn’t take pleasure in us – if He isn’t pleased with us – then our attempt at praising God isn’t even getting off the ground, and in fact there is no point to it. The Lord will only be pleased with our praise if He is pleased with us, and He will only be pleased with us if we have within our hearts the attitudes of reverence, hope, and trust. But if we do have such awe and confidence in Him, then it is no wonder that praise to God is good, pleasant, and fitting, since God Himself is pleased with His humble and hope-filled worshipers who praise His name.

Do not miss the flow of thought in this psalm! The message is not: you better muster up the godly fear and hope of verse 11, friend, or else your praise is a non-starter. That is not the message!

The flow of thought begins with what God has done for His people: He has built them up, gathered them in, healed their wounds, and lifted them up. By grace, He has made us His people! So get this: we – the built up ones, the gathered in ones, the healed ones, the lifted up ones – we know that it’s all of God’s grace, that it’s all of God’s power, that it’s all of God’s doing. When this happens in in a person’s life, that now regenerated and Spirit-filled person learns humility, godly fear, reverence, and Godward hope. So the beautiful truth of verses 8-11 is this: God delights in the people that He has gathered in by His own power and grace. God takes pleasure in you who trust Him. God inhabits our praise, He is near to us and dwells among us, and He gladly accepts the heartfelt praise that we offer to Him through Jesus Christ.

Therefore, praise Him! Don’t hold back; don’t doubt God’s favor; and don’t “sing praises” as a way to get God to be pleased with you. The logic of praise works the other way: precisely because the Lord has already lifted us up and drawn us in, because His favor is already upon us, therefore let us “sing praises to our God,” for He delights in His humble people.

PRAISE THE LORD BECAUSE HE TAKES CARE OF HIS PEOPLE (verses 12-20)

Finally, we come to a third cluster of reasons, which begins with another call to praise: “Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!” (v. 12) Then, following verse 12, comes Reason #3: Praise the Lord because He takes care of His people. This reality of the Lord’s gracious care for us is an apt description of the reasons to praise the Lord in verses 12-20. The Lord first of all establishes us (v. 2-6) and He delights in those whom He has established (8-11), and now we see that He takes good care of those whom He has established and loves. Consider some of the ways that our Lord demonstrates His care for us.

The Lord protects His people. “For he strengthens the bars of your gates” (v. 13), and “He makes peace in your borders” (v. 14). What good is a city if it is not safe? The Lord safeguards His people and protects us from our enemies. There really are persecutors (Psalm 142:6), enemies and adversaries (Psalm 143:12), and many wicked (Psalm 145:20, 146:9, 147:6) who are against us, but we have this promise: “all the wicked he will destroy” (Ps. 145:20). Though at this present time our outward circumstances may be trying and tumultuous, in Christ we are truly safe. Each believer can say with the apostle Paul, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18).

Within this context of protection and peace, the Lord prospers His people. The Lord “blesses your children within you” (v. 13) and “he fills you with the finest of the wheat” (v. 14). The picture is one of flourishing: the children are healthy and safe, well on their way to becoming faithful pillars of the community; and all are well-nourished because of the quality and the quantity of the great harvest.

Don’t get hung up on the physicality of these blessings. The conditional promise of physical blessings was real enough under the old covenant, but we are partakers of a better covenant, the new covenant, in which it is our privilege to share in the sufferings of Christ. Whether our material blessings are many or few, we trust our heavenly Father to deliver us from evil, guard our hearts and minds with His peace in Christ Jesus, and provide for all of our needs, especially with our need to be nourished by that which is better than bread – for “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). If you’re not convinced of this better-than-bread provision, look at verses 15-20, which is all about God’s Word. Here in God’s Word is better-than-city-gates protection and better-than-the-finest-of-wheat-provision.

How powerful is the Word of God? When God speaks (v. 15), it snows and frost scatters about (v. 16), and ice crystals are hurled down  (v. 17). Then comes a question: “[Who] can stand before his cold?” Can you handle deep winter? Deep winter is a word from God! He spoke it and set it in motion! It is His cold! In like manner – and with both reverence and compassion – who can stand before His hurricanes? Hurricanes Florence and Michael are just a glimpse of His power: “Praise the LORD from the earth… stormy wind fulfilling his word!” (Ps. 148:7, 8) If the cold or the storm unsettles you or discomforts you, it is actually God’s Word that is unsettling you and discomforting you. Maybe that’s a signpost that says you ought to be unsettled or discomforted by other words that God has spoken, like the ones we find in the Bible.

But thanks be to God, He commands not only the cold, but also the heat: “He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow” (v. 18). These flowing waters bring refreshment and renewal of life to the pastures and hills and meadows and valleys (Ps. 65:12-13), and the creation sings for joy (Ps. 65:12-13).

This brief survey of the Lord’s powerful, sometimes destructive, sometimes life-giving word to creation is meant to prepare us to consider the precious gift of His revelation – His Word – to His people: “He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules.” Do you hear the sense of privilege in verses 19-20? All the other nations are in the dark: they do not know God and God’s Word and God’s ways. But we do – not because we have figured it out, but because the Lord has “[declared] his word” to us. The Lord has given us His Word, His commandments, His judgments and rulings. Thus we have insight into the Lord’s character, purpose, and will.

The people that the Lord has gathered and is building up is called to continue their praise of God because of the tremendous privilege of having His Word. While it is true to say that we who have received the Lord’s Word must proceed to live in accordance with it, that is not the point of this particular psalm. The point of this psalm is that we who hope in the Lord’s steadfast love ought to praise Him for all that He has given to us, including the choice gift of His Word.

According to Psalm 147, God is the generous supplier of every good gift: He gathers, heals, lifts up, strengthens, blesses, makes peace, provides, declares and instructs. God doesn’t come to a weak, brokenhearted, and vulnerable people and say, Here are the rules: if you’d like to fix yourself up and get yourself healed and healthy, then keep the rules! If you’d like to get God’s favor and protection, then you’d better get your act together. On the contrary, God does it all! He brings to us His abundant salvation (v. 1-6). Then He comes to the congregation that He has thus saved and dearly loves – He comes to the congregation that he has built up, bound up, and lifted up – and He says, Here is my Word! Let it dwell richly among you, let it fill you up, let it nourish your soul, let it shape your life. 

Without neglecting the practical instructions – the statutes and rules – that are meant to guide us on the path of godliness, we must remember that God’s fundamental “word” and ultimate ‘speech’[4] to His people is His living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ (e.g., see John 1:1-18). The primary “word” that we must learn is Christ Himself (Ephesians 4:20). “[As] you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him” (Colossians 2:6-7). Because of our union with Christ, we are able to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). And Christ’s gospel is actually our rule of life: “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27).

The point of saying this is not to call attention to how we are supposed to live (which is not what Psalm 147 is about), but to call attention to the fact that Christ is “the word” sent by the Father and spoken to His people: Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you (Colossians 3:16). This, my brothers and sisters, is a tremendous privilege. The world at large doesn’t know Him, the world at large is fooling around with false words and vain hopes, but you have the living Word of God, Jesus Christ, who delivered you, delights in you, and now directs your steps. Therefore, in the concluding words of the psalm, “Praise the LORD!” Praise the Lord because you have been the recipient of God’s gracious salvation.

A FINAL CALL TO PRAISE

I say to you all:

Praise the Lord, O church of the living God!

Praise the Lord, O congregation of South Paris Baptist Church!

Praise the Lord, O built up ones, because He has established you up as part of His eternal city!

Praise the Lord, O favored ones, because His favor is upon you!

Praise the Lord, O blessed ones, because “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… has blessed [you] in Christ with every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3) and He takes care of you in every needful way as He leads you to everlasting glory.

Brothers and sisters, “Sing [praises] to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God…!”

Let each one of us say now and forevermore: “My mouth will speak [and sing!] the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever” (Psalm 145:21).

Praise the Lord!

  

ENDNOTES

[1] I am referring to the number of occurrences of the English words “praise” and “praises” in the English Standard Version, not to the number of occurrences of the Hebrew word or words that are translated into English as “praise” or “praises.”

[2] The English Standard Version has a footnote after “humble” in Psalm 147:6. The footnote says “Or afflicted,” meaning that the word translated “humble” could also be translated “afflicted.” According to Strong’s Concordance, this word can mean “poor, afflicted, humble, meek.” For information about this word from Strong’s Concordance as well as from other resources, see “6035. anav” on the online Bible Hub resource at: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/6035.htm.

[3] The word translated “takes pleasure” can mean “to be pleased with, accept favorably” according to Strong’s Concordance. For information about this word from Strong’s Concordance as well as from other resources, see “7521. ratsah” on the online Bible Hub resource at: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7521.htm.

[4] The word translated “word” in verses 15, 17, and 19 can mean “speech, word” according to Strong’s Concordance. For information about this word from Strong’s Concordance as well as from other resources, see “1697. dabar” on the online Bible Hub resource at: https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1697.htm.

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