by Chip Cogan
1 Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!
Two things challenge and encourage me most from this psalm.
First, in these unsettling and unstable present circumstances, God’s people have something firm and enduring to stand upon. Five times the psalmist highlights God’s everlasting nature:
- His righteousness endures forever (v. 3)
- He remembers his covenant forever (v. 5)
- His precepts are established forever and ever (vv. 7-8)
- He has commanded his covenant forever (v. 9)
- His praise endures forever! (v. 10)
In the midst of our present uncertainties, we can be certain of this: God’s works are right and just; God’s memory of his promises is unfailing; God’s word stands firm; God’s authority remains unquestioned; and God will be worshipped – and all of this forever.
Second, I don’t know about you, but I can get pretty cynical pretty quickly when it comes to the politics of all of this mess. Which news outlets are telling the truth? Which predictive model is correct? When will my 401K recover? Which issues should I be outraged about? In short: whose voice should I listen to?
Verse seven gives us two things we can trust: God’s works and God’s word. God’s works of redemption (v. 9) are faithful and just; they are worth meditating on – indeed, they are “studied by all who delight in them” (v. 2). Surely more of my thoughts and studies could be directed toward God’s great works for his children through the life, death, resurrection, ascension, and session of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
And God’s precepts – his truth, his guiding principles, his rules, his word – are worthy of our trust. All of them. God does not lie, He doesn’t skew the truth, He is always trustworthy. Perhaps, if it’s tweets we’re after, we would do better to give ear to the birds declaring the glory of God (Job 12:7, Psalm 19:1, Psalm 148:10) than the fickle and fleeting thoughts of men. Surely, if you want to be better informed, growing in wisdom, and stirring your affections for what is true, honorable, and just, then listen to the voice of God.
There may be some wisdom to stay current on the latest news and numbers, but most of us would benefit by turning off the TV, putting down our phones, and picking up our Bibles to stand upon something firm. God’s character is stable; God’s word is trustworthy.
Almighty God, help us to listen to your voice above the fray of so many people, media outlets, and even friends or family. All of your works are faithful and just, and all of your words are trustworthy and true. Help us to meditate on your precepts and fix our eyes on your ways; help us to store up your word in our hearts that we might not sin against you. Amen!