A Message from God

As though David continues his worship service, he opens his mouth and shares a message from God, which is the major theme of this composition. We can imagine his standing before the people and preaching about the needs of humanity and the grace of God. First, he considers the pitiful inadequacy of humanity. Read verses 3 and 4 slowly. Think them over and enter into the mental picture David has in mind.

Read More

A Song of Praise

Having worshiped God in a short doxology, David reflects on the greatness of his God and, in doing so, offers praise. Observe as King David takes his place before a congregation of believers to lead them in worship. [You] have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of Your adversaries

Read More

Songless Saints

I was on a scriptural safari. Prowling through the Ephesian letter, I was tracking an elusive, totally unrelated verse when God’s sharp sword flashed, suddenly slicing me to the core . . . speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19)

Read More

Thanks for God’s Giving

I USED TO FEEL A LITTLE SORRY FOR Thanksgiving in Southern California when my family and I lived there. Since leaves don’t turn and pumpkins don’t get frosty, it’s tough to get Thanksgiving fever. The problem is compounded when stores jump from Halloween masks to Christmas trees. But at the risk of sounding a bit dated, I’d like to stand in defense of what I consider the greatest holiday of the year.

Read More

Songs in the Night

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE SONGS OF the faith to help us live beyond the grind. Why else would God have inspired those age-old compositions? Surely, He realized the lasting value of each musical masterpiece and therefore preserved them to help us persevere. They drip with the oil of glory that enables us to live beyond the grind.

Read More

On Loan

With Job facedown in worship to God, the only one cursing is Satan. He hated it! He resented Job’s response! Of all things, the man still worships his God—the One who would allow these catastrophes to happen.

Read More

The Why, Where, and How of Worship

Some things just don’t mix! Oil and water always separate, no matter how much we shake them. An open fire and a can of gasoline don’t go together. And alcohol and driving should never coexist! There’s something else that doesn’t mix–the praise of almighty God and the promotion of self. You cannot blend them, nor […]

Read More

Making Melody

God’s sharp sword stabbed me deeply recently as I was on a scriptural hunt in the Ephesian letter. I was searching for a verse totally unrelated to the one that sliced its way into me. It was another of those verses I feel sorry for (like John 3:17 and 1 John 1:10—look ’em up). This was Ephesians 5:19: “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”

Read More

Praise at All Times

Psalm 149 encourages the people of God to praise Him at all times, regardless of circumstances. In times of blessing, praise Him! In times of suffering, praise Him! In times of warfare, praise Him! When we come to that enviable place in our Christian experience that we can honestly say, “Praise the Lord!” in every situation—and genuinely mean it—we will have assimilated the full thrust of this magnificent hymn of praise—and all the songs in Scripture. May that day come soon, and may it never end.

Read More

In Times of Blessing

Psalm 149 is one of five “praise the Lord” psalms that conclude the Hebrews’ ancient hymnal. Like the other four, it begins with the command “Hallelujah!” leading to a time of exalting God’s goodness. In this case, the people of God are summoned to praise Him in response to three different situations: times of blessing, times of suffering, and times of warfare.

Read More