Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Psalm 103 - Call to Praise

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The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Psalm 130:19-22
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In this wonderful psalm of praise we began with single person's praise to God. In the first verses David called on his entire being to praise the Lord.  The psalm then moved to the praises of the congregation. All God's children were called to praise. We have progressed to a magnificent call to public praise of God that includes the hosts of heaven.  All created beings, all created things, are called to burst forth in praise to the God who rules over all.

The words for bless and blessings occur more than 600 times in the old Testament. In these last four verses, "Bless the Lord," occurs four times. The word bless is בָרַךְ barak. The basic meaning is to kneel. To kneel is to buckle the knees. This means to falter, which implies great fear or despair. To "Bless the Lord" is to bow the knee and to be reverent or submissive. In the newer Bible versions the word barak is most often translated as praise or extol.

The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Psalm 103:19 God rules over all!  No matter what circumstances you are experiencing, no matter the state of your nation or the world, God rules over all. God is sovereign. The Lord is King of all and King forever. Yes, the Bible does declare that this world's kingdoms are under the jurisdiction of Satan. Satan is the prince of the power of the air for a time. Satan's power is limited by God.  Satan is allowed some power in this world at this time. All the power of Satan will be removed from him by God in the final kingdom.  God has not lost control.  From everlasting to everlasting God has always ruled over all things.  God's plan is advancing according to His plan and timetable. All men and Satan are beneath the power of God Almighty. Job 1:11-12  Our God is absolute ruler.  "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever."  Revelation 11:15

We are to "bless the Lord."  We are to kneel before God and acknowledge His greatness, holiness and total power.  Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word! Psalm 103:20  The mighty angels who are obedient to God are to join in blessing the Lord. They will praise Him day and night. Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!  Psalm 103:21  All His hosts are to join in praise. The word hosts is saba, which means soldiers or battle company.  This would be a divine army that would include the angels, the cherubim, and other heavenly creatures.  All these are to join in praise to God.

Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Psalm 103:21 All of God's creation is to join in praise to God. All creatures of all kinds are to join in praise. All creation everywhere is to join in praise. God’s kingdom extends over all things, so all things are called to praise the Lord.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey at the Triumphal Entry, the Pharisees tried to squelch the joy of the crowd. Jesus answered them: "I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out." Luke 19:40 All creation was made to worship this King who is Lord of all. One man's praise of God has combined with the praise of all heaven and earth. One man's praise has joined the total visible and invisible universe in praise for God.

It will be glorious when all creatures in God's total dominion praise Him. And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!  Revelation 5:13  Everything will shout Hallelujah!!

The psalm has gone full circle.  It ends with the exact words with which it began, “bless the Lord, O my soul.”  Group praise is valuable and should be encouraged.  One must worship with fellow believers. All creation will praise God.  We should however, always bless the Lord.  We should should not forget to individually bless the Lord with all our soul. Unless we personally praise and worship the Lord we will never have that personal fellowship with God Almighty.   Thank God that we have the privilege to individually worship Him.



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