Joining In Praise

October 11, 2022

On this Lord’s Day, we join together in praise of our awesome God.  But it is not us who begin this worship.  No, we will enter the throne room of God, in the spirit, to join with worship that is ongoing—that never ceases—in heaven. 

“And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’ And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created.’” (Revelation 4:8-11 NAS95)

Our God is worthy of praise!  He is the creator! He is Holy!  He is the Almighty!  Let us join with these heavenly beings in falling down before the throne to worship Him in reverence and in awe. 

And let us, throughout the week ahead, take time to praise God individually.  His praise should be in our hearts, and also on our lips.  Not only should we praise God in our minds, but we should express our praise to him with our mouths; in prayer, in song, in reminding another of His goodness and glory.  We should do this when life is good and also when life gets hard.  Our God is intrinsically worthy of our praise, no matter what is going on in our lives, and we do not worship Him merely to get something in return.  Yet, God is gracious.  He gives so much in return as we praise Him. In times of turmoil and heartache, if we would praise Him with our hearts and our lips, we will find help.  We will find strength.  We will find a renewed perspective on life.  Praising God will help us to stop wallowing in our own troubles and to fix our eyes on Him.  As we praise Him, we are reminded that He deeply cares for us and that He can handle any problem we may be facing.  What renewed vigor and hope worship brings.  Let us be people of praise in our daily lives and as we gather together as His redeemed people this Lord’s Day.

—Scott Colvin

What Can the Righteous Do?

January 22, 2021

David raises the question, “… if the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do” (Psalms 11:3, ESV)? His advisors seem to give him the solution, “Flee like the bird to your mountain” (Psa 11:1). There may be times when flight is a sensible precaution. I suspect we all wish at times for a place to hide when the world seems like it’s falling apart. But David’s answer has less to do with location and more to do with devotion.

Psalm 11 is a chiasm. Chiasm refers to its literary structure. In chiasms, the author addresses topics leading to the center of the poem which is the most important part and then does the parallel topics as the movement of the psalm goes from the center to the end. This leads to a pattern of topics that go like this: A, B, C, C, B, A. It is instructive to see the structure of Psalm 11. A corresponds to A, B corresponds to B, and C is the central, most important thought of the psalm.

A — God is refuge, 11:1
B — The righteous suffer, 11:2-3
C — God is still ruler of all, 11:4
B — The wicked will be punished, 11:5-6
A — God is righteous, 11:7

David acknowledges the crumbling foundations and suffering of the righteous. But the answer to his question, “what can the righteous do?,” is found in the center of the poem.

The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD’S throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. (Psalm 11:4 ESV)

The reason that devotion is more important than location is that David still has faith that God is on his throne. God is still sovereign. He is in control of history even in those times when it doesn’t seem like it. Yes, there is wickedness, but it will not ultimately escape judgment. And the upright will see God’s face. (11:7).

What do the righteous do when the foundations are destroyed? We are to remember that God is still on his throne. He hasn’t abdicated. The wicked can’t overcome God. Judgment will ultimately come. And we, the upright, have a promise: we will see God’s face.

— Russ Holden