Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Make a Show

Praise the Lord, all you nations;
    extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord.
Psalm 117
This is the shortest chapter in the Bible. Just two verses. Yet, even this small chapter calls for a response. The psalmist calls upon the whole world and all the peoples in it to praise God. When the Jews sang this in their worship it must have reminded them that ultimately God deserves and will receive praise from all nations not just the children of Abraham. Paul quotes this Psalm in Romans 15:11 as proof that God had always intended to bring the Gentiles into His family so they might praise Him (see ESV Study Bible notes on Psalm 117 and Romans 15:9-12). The psalm goes beyond simply calling for praise however, by giving us the impetus for praise: the great love and faithfulness that He has shown to us.
According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance the Hebrew word for "praise" in verse one has among its possible translations to make a show, boast, rave, or celebrate. While the Hebrew word for "extol" can mean to address in a loud tone or commend. Taken together this presents a clear image of what it means for us to praise God.
Because of the love and faithfulness God has shown you, you should celebrate Him, rave about Him, even make a show declaring in a loud voice all the good He has done for you. When was the last time your praise of God met this description? I know that we don't want to make a show to draw attention to ourselves, but that's not what this is. The psalmist asks us to make a show to call attention to God! David himself gave us an excellent example of what this might look like when he danced and leapt before the ark of the covenant as it entered Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6). So how can you celebrate God's faithfulness this week? What would it look like for you to rave about the goodness He's shown to you and your family? Find a way this week to proclaim loudly how good God has been to you in Jesus.
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