Friday, February 3, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum


Sing Praise to the God of Salvation

Santhosh George
St. Johns Mar Thoma Church, NY

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belong eternal praise.” v.10


Psalms are not only a book of Israel’s prayer and praise, but, it is also God’s revelation to Israel and Israel’s response in faith to the Lord.  These songs and prayers invite us to experience how God’s people in the past related to Him. They are prescription for each of us to see how great, wonderful, magnificent, wise, and awesome He is!  

Fear of the Lord leads to Wisdom:

In our world, we are fearful of lot of things.  We fear losing our job, losing a loved one, losing our health, etc.  But, do we “fear” the Lord as the Psalmist says?  Even when we come to worship, do we approach the sanctuary as if God’s presence is there?  Unfortunately, more often than not, we find ourselves too casual and too relaxed because it has been turned into a ritual more than a true realization that God is present in our lives.  In Psalm 111, first nine verses reminds us what God has already done for his people.  God’s works are great, glorious and majestic. They have been studied and pondered by all who delight in them. God’s redemptive works (Exodus, the wilderness wandering, the conquest) are also remembered here (v5-7). Just like the Israelites, we have all experienced God’s glorious works in our lives. Natural response to an infinitely compassionate God who is continuously reaching out to restore our relationship with Him is Fear out of respect and humility.  When we fear the Lord for who He is and what He has done, it will cripple all other fears of this world!  It is this wisdom that gives us the clarity to see who is important in our lives.

Wisdom leads to Praise:

Praise is man’s longing for God and for others to be moved with same desire for God. Psalm 111 opens and closes with a call to praise God.  Since He is the Great King, as revealed in His character, rule, works, and words, His subjects who fear His name must respond in perpetual praise. God's covenant is forever (v.5b, 9), and His praise from the members of the covenant community must be forever.  When we understand what God has already done for us, there is only one natural response, which is to praise Him.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom to see the Great works You have done in our lives. Help us to sing praises to You in good and bad times for what You have already done.  Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Do we acknowledge an omnipresent God’s mercy in our daily experience?  Whom do we give praise to in our life?