Isaiah continues his description of the Messiah. The Messiah would bring forth a time where Israel can be reunited, and bring a time without fear. He says “In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all … The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.” (11:6-9, NLT). Isaiah adds a song about salvation and giving praise to God. This song is given to continue the illustration of the coming Messiah. It’s a song from people who have found their salvation and thank God at all times for it.
Do we do this today? Unlike the Jews that Isaiah was speaking to, we know where and when our salvation comes. When Isaiah wrote, the people needed encouragement to get through the difficult times. Today, the scripture is still there to encourage, but instead to encourage us to praise Him. We no longer have to wait for Jesus to come, as I said yesterday. Yet since he has come, when we receive His gift we get a new purpose. “See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The Lord God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” (12:2, NLT). Jesus gave us our victory over sin and death. What better of a reason for celebration is there? We have been made new and clean, so we should praise Him everyday and every opportunity we can. When we get up, praise! When we get in the car for work, praise! When we get to work, praise! When we do well, praise! When we don’t do well praise! Praise Him all the time! He has saved you from your sin and death, so He deserves our praise!
Here’s a song all about praise!!!!
Also in this Series
In today’s chapter, Deborah and Barak sing a song. This song is a song meant for worship. It retells all the events from chapter 4, with some other bits added in. The purpose was to give God thanks for all that He had done through them, and for deliverance from their Canaanite oppressors.
I think that there is a simple lesson to be learned from this chapter. We pray and ask for God’s help with many situations in our lives. But how often do we turn around and thank Him for what He has done? Being a task oriented person, I tend to move one when something gets accomplished, no matter how difficult. There have been things where I have really needed God’s help, and spent lots of time in prayer over these matters. But wants it’s done, I go onto the next thing. But I should slow down and spend some time thanking God for His provision and help. It’s easy not to do this, but I think that it is the lesson that Deborah and Barak teach us in this chapter of Judges.
Let’s spend some time being thankful to God today. You can give Him thanks for anything, just acknowledge Him today.
Also in this series
Psalms to Pray: Psalm 45-47
I’ve started reading this book called The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. There is a paragraph that I would love to share with you as we lead into Thanksgiving and subsequently, Black Friday.
“There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to posses. It covets ‘things’ with a deep and fierce passion. the pronouns ‘my’ and ‘mine’ look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. Thy express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Thing have become necessary to us, a development never originally intended. God’s gifts now take the place of God, and the whole course of nature is upset by the monstrous substitution.”
The meat of this paragraph is found in the last sentence, “God’s gifts now take the place of God”. We get so consumed in our culture with going and getting the best thing. Thanksgiving brings this out in us, because we want to bring the best recipe. Or we get upset when a family member doesn’t bring their “world-famous” whatever. Then of course there is Black Friday. People have died trying to buy the perfect gift!
Things have become the god of our culture. God does not wish this for anyone. Simply look at the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17; Deuteronomy 5:7-21). The first two are to not put anything above God and to not make physical things our focus of worship!
Don’t get me wrong, gift giving is great. It’s an awesome way to show people you care about, that you care about them. I just encourage you not to let it be your focus of this upcoming holiday weekend. Spend time being thankful for what you have. Spend quality time with your family, not just begrudgingly go. Thank God for His many blessings, and start to prepare your heart to celebrate His ultimate gift!
So I sat down to write the post for today and questioned what I should write about. I really didn’t have anything on my mind. So I did a Bible Study that I have been leading my praise team through, hoping that might trigger something. It didn’t. So I thought about it and went to Psalm 119. I knew that this was a long psalm (the longest in the Bible), so I figured I might be able to pull something out of there. But God drew me somewhere else because right on the other side I noticed another psalm. This psalm is quite the opposite of Psalm 119, in that it is a very short psalm. It reads:
“Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Praise him, all you people of the earth.
For he loves us with unfailing love;
the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.
Praise the Lord!”
–Psalm 117, NLT
Two verses, and it says everything that I could ever say. It’s a good reminder that when you don’t know what else to do, give God praise and worship (not the music, the actions). So I’ll list a few things that I am praising God for today.
- That He loves me enough to come to this place to save me
- For the beautiful family He has blessed me with
- The job that He has given me, so that I may be able to care for my family
- The car that He has given me so I can get to my job
- That I live in a place where I can praise him openly without fear or persecution
- For my Bible (all 9 of them), and the fact that I have the ability to read it
- My loving friends and extended family that love and support me
The list goes on and on. I know that this sounds a little like an exercise in listing on thing you are thankful for as we lead up to Thanksgiving, but I encourage you to give this a try. Give God thanks and praise for the things He has blessed you with, even if you don’t understand why or how it’s a blessing.
Also, I just had to post a song!