Let the People Rejoice!

Psalm 147:1-20

Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. 
The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.
He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.
He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?
He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.

Rejoicing and Reflection

According to The Pulpit Commentary and F. B. Myer’s Through the Bible Day by Day, this psalm was written in Nehemiah’s day for the dedication of the wall. When I read Psalm 147, I hear rejoicing and reflection as the writer remembers all that God has done and is doing, still.

Those acquainted with the story know the heartaches, delays, and challenges they faced while rebuilding the wall. At one point, they had to work with a sword in their hand!

Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows (Nehemiah 4:13).

BUT GOD…

So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days (Nehemiah 6:15).

Jacob’s children did not allow their circumstances to dictate their lives. They fought and worked until the job was finished. They gave thanks and rejoiced for the great things He had done. So should we!

Giving Thanks

I awoke with praise on my lips and the following chorus playing in my heart. I had to laugh because I’m not a fan of the music. Curiosity sent me to my hymn book for the verses. After reading the song, I searched for a video containing the words to share with you. I hope it puts joy in your heart too!

I love that Crosby took the focus off the singer and placed it on the One worthy of all praise and glory.

To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Hath Done

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, 
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro' Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.
Words by Fannie J. Crosby. Music by William H. Doane

The Power of Song

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Each morning birds join in song to welcome the new day. But did you know:

  • Birds learn to sing early in life.
  • Male birds sing to attract mates and defend their territories.
  • Some species sing multiple songs while others sing only one.
  • Males do most of the singing, but certain tropical male and female birds sing duets.
  • Not all use their voices to sing.
  • The flycatcher remains true to his species’ song.
  • Some birds sing in flight while others sing at rest.
  • Some birds learn their songs while others inherit the song.
  • Mockingbirds and parrot are mimics
  • With the loss of hearing, birds lose their ability to sing.

Birds aren’t the only creatures called to sing.

  • The younger the person, the easier it is to learn how to lift the voice in praise. But thankfully, people don’t have a window of learning as birds do. You can learn to sing praises no matter your age.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

  • Your song of praise is for worship and warfare. It’s easy to worship atop a mountain, not so much in the valley. Yet, singing may very well be our Commander’s weapon of choice. If so, sing at the top of your lungs!

And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 2 Chronicles 20:22

  • Some may have several songs while others may have one unique song. Whatever the story behind your song, no one can sing it the way you can. If you refuse to lift your voice, the song will be sung, but not in the same key or in the same way! So, sing, children!

But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Psalms 59:16

  • Learn to sing a duet with Beloved. When we spend time with Him, we will come away with a sweeter song to share with others.

His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. Song of Solomon 5:16

  • We may not always use our voice to sing praise. Whether singing out loud or in your head, clapping your hands, snapping your fingers, or tapping your toe to the rhythm of the beat, do it to the glory of God.

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Psalm 47:1

  • Stay true to the song God has placed within us. There are enough voices screaming “be like me.”  There is only one you. Without your voice, the choir is lacking. Stay true to yourself and God.

And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3

  • Whether soaring above troubles or resting on the valley floor, sing.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. Acts 16:25

  • With a hearing loss, we lose our song. We lose our hearing when surrounded by continual noise. Rest is a must if we are to keep our song.

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. Song of Solomon 2:10

Can you imagine our world if everyone was lifting their voice in prayer and praise to our God in Heaven above?

Save

Victorious!

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:15

The above verse is one of my favorites because it describes the practice of a victorious king parading his defeated foes behind him as he enters the city.

Throughout the Bible, we find the Lord described as a protector, a conqueror, and a deliverer.

David calls the Lord his fortress, a fortified place or stronghold.

Fortress 2

Isaiah also speaks of walls and gates protecting God’s people.

In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks (a wall of earth). Isaiah 26:1

Walls of Salvation 2

Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. Isaiah 60:18

Praise 2

Jesus calls us a city. Unlike today, cities once had walls to protect it.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Matthew 5:14

Castle on a Hill 2

And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. Isaiah 62:12

We are not abandoned. God is with us! We will overcome. We will stand victorious!

Do you have a favorite imagery in the Bible? If so, I would love to hear what it is.

Blessings

 

Photos courtest of Pixabay