July 19

Read Psalms 144 -- 150

In the last five Psalms, the psalmist begins and ends each with: Praise the Lord! This phrase is a translation of the Hebrew word: Hallelujah! (Psalms 146:1,10; 147:1,20; 148:1,14; 149:1,9; 150:1,6).

We too have the privilege of expressing praise from our hearts: Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live I will praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being (146:1-2). We praise the Lord that we can look to Him for our needs rather than trust in princes, or in the son of man, in whom there is no help (146:3). We praise the Lord because we have the God of Jacob for our help . . . who made Heaven, and earth, the sea. . . . The Lord shall reign for ever. . . . Praise the Lord! (146:5-6,10).

The psalmist continues by saying: It is good to sing praises unto our God, for He heals the broken in heart. . . . The Lord takes pleasure in those that fear Him. . . . He sends forth His commandment upon the earth (147:1,3,11,15). His Name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and Heaven (148:13). We praise the Lord. . . . For the Lord takes pleasure in His people (149:1,4). The desire of the Lord is to meet every need of His children. This reveals both His great love for us and the reason our praise and obedience are due Him.

The fact is, the more we are determined to truly trust the Lord and put Christ first in our lives, the more we will experience interruptions which demand our time and attention. When this happens, we often seek what is best for "our" kingdom rather than seeking the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Many times, even "good things" keep us from "the best" that God would give us. This is Satan's way of keeping us from fulfilling the will of God in our lives. But, it may also be a test of our faithfulness, to see if, like Job, we will come forth as gold (Job 23:10). Let us seek God and His presence, not merely the answers to our problems. He will reveal Himself and His will for our lives. If temptation comes from the devil, we can resist steadfast in the faith (I Peter 5:9; see also James 4:7). If chastening comes from the Lord, we know that it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Hebrews 12:11).

Throughout the Book of Psalms, we are made aware that nothing comes into our lives by accident. In His wisdom and love, everything God permits or causes is to develop His highest good in and for us.

These closing psalms assure us we have a loving Heavenly Father who wants the best for His children. To make this possible, He has provided His Word as the One True Guide that reveals how we can please Him. God has also provided His Church where we can sing praises to Him, share our testimonies with others who love Him, and receive instruction and inspiration from our spiritual leaders. We were never meant to be self-sufficient, independent loners (Ephesians 4:16).

The Book of Psalms concludes by proclaiming: Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord! (Psalms 150:6).

Christ Revealed: As the One who gives sight to the blind (Psalms 146:8). Jesus Christ opened blind eyes (Matthew 9:27-30; Mark 10:46-52; John 9:1-41).

Word Studies: 144:7 rid means rescue; 144:13 garners means grain storehouses; streets means fields; 145:3 unsearchable means beyond our understanding; 147:4 telleth means counts; 148:7 dragons means large sea animals.

Prayer:

Government Official: Rep. John Hostettler (IN) · BPM Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Pray for World Help and Vernon Brewer, President · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Letha Hash's brother, Henry Rogers · Country: Romania (22 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Rumanian and Hungarian · Freedom of worship · 70% Eastern Orthodox; 7% Protestant; 6% Roman Catholic; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Pray in faith and the Lord will answer (Mark 11:24).

Optional Reading: II Timothy 4

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:162,167