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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Praise on!

9-10 We pondered your love-in-action, God,
      waiting in your temple:
   Your name, God, evokes a train
      of Hallelujahs wherever
   It is spoken, near and far;
      your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action. 
(Psalm 48:9-10)

God actually commends those who spend time "pondering" his love in action.  When we "ponder", we are considering something so carefully, weighing all the details, with an attention to the details so that we don't miss a thing.  That is how God wants us to be considering his actions on our behalf.  There is nothing more rewarding than to truly begin to consider God's love in action - it has a  way of refocusing our attention and directing our attitude away from "me, me, me".

This is not a psalm of David, but a psalm of the sons of Korah.  In the book of I Chronicles, we find an account of five sons of Korah that joined David as expert warriors.  We also know from the record of the lineage of Korah, that his family line was numbered among the Levites (those that kept the temple in order).  They were the door-keepers.  They stood at the threshold of the temple in their service.  We find their names recorded as men who were charged with the responsibility of setting prophesy and praise to song, along with musical instruments.  Today, we'd think of them as the men that "open the service in praise and worship".  If we consider their "station" in the temple, they are the ones who provide the way into the holy presence of God (through praise and worship).  

The psalm today reminds us of the importance of speaking the name of God.  We are told that it invokes praise where it is spoken.  Why is this?  Because there is power in the name of God - creative, restorative power.  We may not always see the immediate effect of his name being spoken, but there is a power so intense in that name that all of heaven and earth sit at attention when it is spoken.  It is by that name that all things are held together - even us.

Praise is the "pondering" of God's movement in our lives.  It is the frequent consideration of the keeping, strengthening, delivering power of our God.  When we become less focused on ourselves, and more focused on honoring God with every word that proceeds from our mouths, we open doors.  We may not have the "job" of being the door-keepers in the temple of our God, but we do have a similar opportunity in a hungry and thirsty world.  We need only begin to speak of God's graces and someone who is hurting will be drawn into the presence of the one who can minister to that hurt.  In the exalting of the name of God, they are ushered into the arms that are filled with all goodness in action.

If you want to learn how to be a "ponderer" of God's graces and his goodness, God honors that desire with his presence.  If you want to learn to express the wonder of his love even better than you have in the past, he will meet you in the moment of your praise.  So, praise on!