Psalm 147:1-20 Hymn By Anonymous
Psalm 147:1-20 Jiving Jerusalem
This the second “Hallelujah” psalm, so-called, because it begins and ends with Hallelujah, aka, “Praise The Lord.”
Have you noticed how you are uplifted when you sing praises to the Lord (v. 1)? We should always be praising the Lord, either in word or deed. We can praise the Lord by the way we live. We can witness to others by our actions or by showing them with a Bible how they can be saved (see How To Apologize).
Have you noticed that the Lord really likes Jerusalem? He is going to reign there forever (v. 2, cf. Ps. 146:10; Mic. 4:7).
I love verse 3. What a great promise! God knows what we are going through. Hebrews 4:15 says, speaking of Christ, ” . . . we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are yet without sin.” Hebrews 2:11 says Jesus is our older brother. What older brother would not look after His younger siblings. If you’re down and troubled, and you need a helping hand and nothing is going right, you don’t need to listen to a Carole King song. Call out for Jesus (cf. Jer. 33:3, God’s phone number). He will even sew up your wounds.
Someone has been asking me how stars can seem to have been created billions of years ago if the world is only about four thousand years old as I believe (v. 4). I told him that I didn’t think Adam and Eve were created as embryos and that the world was just dirt with seedlings. God created things with the appearance of age. However that problem is solved, God is cognizant of all the stars, even naming them (v. 4b)! That is how great and powerful He is that He can create things that way (v. 5).
Since God is that powerful, He certainly can help those with problems (v. 6) and won’t let anyone get away with anything. There will be justice for all (cf. Rev. 20:10-15). God will balance all the books.
God provides for everyone (vv. 8-9, cf. Matt. 5:25-34). For that we should sing songs of thanksgiving (v. 7). Christ holds everything together (cf. Col. 1:17). So He is able to provide for all His creatures.
He is stronger than horses or a strong man (v. 10). Jesus seemed to favor John when He was here on earth. John referred to himself as the one whom Jesus loved. John was the one huddled closest to Christ (cf. John 13:23). Sometimes one of my congregants or students think that I favor some over others. I tell them I always favor the ones who want to be favored. God is the same way. If you want to be favored, show Him reverence and love Him (v. 11). Trust Him for His hesed, “lovingkindness.”
God loves Jerusalem, protecting her (v. 13), speaking to her (v. 15), providing food (v. 14), clothing (v. 15), and water in summer and winter. For that, all Israel, Jerusalem being the capital, should worship Yahweh (v. 12).
Yahweh gave Israel, aka Jacob, rules to live by (v. 19). He did not show that kind of love to any other nation (v. 20).
For all God’s love and kindness, Israel should praise the Lord.
For the same reason, we should, too!
Proverbs 18:4-5 Power Preaching
McGee links verse 4 to the saying of Jesus in John 7:38-40, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet [given], because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
The Old Testament is different in many ways from the New Testament. The New Testament speaks mostly of the church age. It is the age of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is mentioned much more in the life of the believer in the New Testament than the Old. One reason is that believers are indwelt by the Spirit in the New Testament (cf. Rom. 8:9, 11; 1 Cor. 3: 16). Prominent believers in the Old Testament had the Spirit come “upon” them (cf. Judg. 14:6; 15:14; 1 Sam. 16:13; 19:13).
If the church seems a bit anemic these days, it could be because of the lack of teaching about the Holy Spirit. There is no power without the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:8; John 15:5). Perhaps that is why preachers lack words that are like “deep waters” and do not bubble up with wisdom (v. 4).
We have been warned before not to curry favor with rich people just because they are rich (v. 5, cf. Prov. 17:23; 23:2-3, 6). James also warned churches not to favor the rich in no uncertain terms (cf. James 2:1-7). This is another reason our churches today are so weak. The rich rule them who tend to be devoid of any spirituality. A pastor learns quickly to appease “the power people” in the church or he will lose his position. It is not good to be partial to the rich in favor of the powerless poor. A pastor must follow his conscience and do the right thing or lose his power in the pulpit.