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Meditations by John Dean

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

He Deserves Our Praise

(Psalms 126:2 ASV)  Then was our mouth filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing: Then said they among the nations, Jehovah hath done great things for them.

Our text is speaking of the joy the Jews were experiencing when they returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. However, while in captivity they not only refused to sing to the Lord, but they even hung their harps on the willows (Ps 137:2). In other words, their circumstances determined their worship.

Scriptures like this in the Old Testament are a good example of how the natural- minded man works. When people feel good and things are right then they might worship the Lord. If they do not feel good and if things are not going well then they will not worship the Lord.

The New Testament teaches us that one’s circumstances do not determine one’s ability to rejoice and worship the Lord. A good example of that is the apostle Paul and Silas when they were thrown into prison. They did not allow their circumstances to keep them from praising the Lord. As a matter of fact, their love for the Lord was greater than the pain and discomfort they felt in that cold dark wet dungeon, so they started praising Him. It was because of their praising the Lord that His heart was touched to the point that He caused the prison doors to open.

As a result of the prison doors opening they were able to win the jailer and his entire family to the Lord and even baptized them.

The point is, one should celebrate and worship the Lord because He not only deserves our praise, but we are actually better off for it.

I still remember those wonderful days when I was a young man in the piney woods of East Texas. I remember how folks would often gather at someone’s farm for a church social and how laughter seemed to be the key ingredient. The women would be on the inside of the house fixing food. The little kids would be chasing each other or throwing a ball. The men would be on the front porch talking or playing dominos and a couple of teenagers would be cranking the homemade ice cream freezers.

After feasting on all of that good food and eating enough homemade ice cream to pop every button on our shirts, we would rest for awhile before ending the day with an old fashion gospel singing. We would gather around the old upright piano and start singing some of the best four-part harmony southern gospel music known to man...at least we thought it was.

Back in those days most country folks could sing a little harmony, but if not…at least they could sing loud. I am sure we could probably be heard for a mile through those piney woods.

My point in telling this story is that many of the folks singing the loudest at those simple gatherings were the folks who were hurting the most. However, their pain did not keep them from praising the Lord in the best way they knew how…simply because the Lord deserved it. Their circumstances and pain had absolutely nothing to do with giving the Lord all the praise they could. They…not like the one’s in our text did not hang their harps on a willow.

Father,
Thank You for giving us the example of Paul and Silas and how their pain did not determine their praise. We not only want to learn from Paul and Silas, we also want to have the same results they did and win others to the Lord as a result of our praise.

Amen

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