Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord , all the earth. Sing to the Lord , praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord , all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Let all creation rejoice before the Lord , for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness. – Psalm 96:1-13
Well I made good on the commitment I made in yesterday’s post to shout to the Lord today….I was at the beach of Lake Michigan, just me and the dog and miles of lonely beach. I was not arrested and it felt very good. I admit I did look around before and after…just in case someone was looking. Maybe one day I will be bold enough to do it when there are people around without looking :). But I Digress…on to today’s passage from the psalms. The water reference is once again fleeting and minor but there was some interesting language here I wanted to explore…so here goes.
I am an unapologetic nature lover…I love God more than nature and creation, but I really feel close to God and my spirit is happiest when I am in natural places. That is probably part of the reason I became a geologist. It is one of the few jobs where you can get paid to enjoy nature (while working of course). I am what some people would refer to as a “tree hugger”. I can be perfectly happy sitting quietly in a forest or beside a waterfall just soaking in the life and beauty around me. Everything from slimy slugs to giant sequoias make me happy inside.
The first part of the psalm is all about followers of God proclaiming “his salvation day after day”. Essentially sharing the Good News about God and what he has done for us. Then comes a couple of things we are to ascribe to the Lord, namely “glory and strength” and “glory due his name”. I had to look up the word “ascribe” as it is not a word I often use. I think in this context it basically means “give credit”. Give God the credit for all the amazing things in your life and in the world.
Creation and the world, “The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved” are to give credit and glory to the “great mover” that is God. The very fields are to be jubilant, which I must say is an apt description of alpine meadows in the springtime — jubilant. The seas are to resound and the trees of the forest are to sing. All creation is to rejoice at God’s coming to judge the earth, including us humans. Interestingly, the way God will judge the world is with righteousness, but people He is to judge with faithfulness.
I am not sure I fully understand this distinction between righteousness and faithfulness. Perhaps it means that creation and the physical world will be subject to the physical rules and laws that govern them — righteousness. Whereas people will be judged based on their relationship with God and the extend to which they have faithfully followed Him.
Prayer: God thank You for the beauty and majesty of all the living things in the world, and thank You for wanting to have a special relationship with us.
Great post about God and nature.
But are you sure heaven will be home and are your own deeds your hope of heaven?
Thanks for reading and commenting. You have posed two interesting questions. I do not pretend to have any sage insights but let me try to address them separately.
Your first question is: Are you sure heaven will be home? If your question is does heaven exist and do I think I will some day experience it the answer is yes. Jesus invites all to God’s kingdom, those who choose to respond (ask, seek, knock) and follow Him will find it (Matthew 7:7).
Your second question is: are my own deeds my hope of heaven? By this question I assume you are getting at the question of whether faith or works are the way to heaven. I am confident that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) and that those who follow Him will find heaven (or perhaps heaven will find them). Your question also seems to be asking whether God’s grace is sufficient. The short answer is yes. This question is one of predestination versus free will. This has been debated pretty much since Jesus walked the beaches of Galilee. My take on it is that God chose us to be his children and we are allowed to choose to be his child or to remain an orphan apart from God.
I think God desires “children of the burning heart” as AW Tozer put it. He wants children who know their father but are always seeking to know Him more deeply and intimately. What are your thoughts?
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My thoughts are that we know the same risen Lord !
God bless you dear Brother
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