“Praise the Lord. Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise he name of the Lord. Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seat them with princes, with the princes of their people. He settles the barren woman in home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 113:1-9 – God’s Present Help and Praise )
Social conditions cause undeserved, innocent suffering. God especially helps the poor, needy, and barren. Social sanding does not reflect standing with God.
Psalms 113 – 118 form the “Hallel” psalms of high praise and wee sung at the Jewish festivals. This opening hymn calls for the universal praise of the Lord in time (v2) and space (v3). It is characteristic of the praise of the Lord that He who is highest stoops to the lowest (vv 7-9). Praise comes from a servant to the universal God. The basis for praising God here is His sovereignty, His authority and majesty. Just to see our marvelous universe, He has to bend over because He is so far above us. Still He takes not of our needs. God’s prestige and honor have no limitations. They extend beyond earth into the heavens.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, today we see the beginning of the “high praise” psalms and take note that even though You are in the heavens, You are willing and able to bend over to help us and at the same time, take note of others in desperate need, for You love all of us and want us to be open to helping the poor and needy as well as You do. In the meantime continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Everyone wants to participate in the harvest, but few are interested in plowing, planting, watering, and caring for the crops.”
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I asked the Lord for him.’ When the man Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, ‘After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.’ ‘Do what seems best to you,’ Elkanah her husband told her. ‘Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his word.’ So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him. After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year old bull, and ephah of flour and a skin of wine and brought him to the house of he Lord at Shiloh. When they had slaughtered the bull, to him, ‘As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.’ And he worshiped the Lord there.” (1st Samuel 1:19-28 – Gift from God, God’s Purposes, Responsibilities, Personal Worship and Prayer )
Birth, a normal and natural life process, is also a gift of life which only God can give. Especially in the Old Testament, names given to children expressed the hope and faith of parents. Samuel’s birth was a clear answer to prayer, and we need to recognize God’s work in our lives in answer to our prayers and praise Him for it. Petition is not complete until praise has been given for God’s response.
Parents are responsible for dedicating their children to the Lord. While contemporary society would not carry this out in such a drastic form as did ancient Israel, but the need is no less real. Children should grow up with the awareness of devotion by parents to the will of God. We should also recognize that Elkanah affirmed Hannah’s vow. He prayed for God to act as He had said and such a prayer is an affirmation of God’s fidelity more than a petition. God made a promise and kept it as He stated He would. As for us, we should pray and praise God for His answer to a vow being fulfilled.
Second Thought of the Day:
“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of he humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—-holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his am; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.’ Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.” (Luke 1:46-56 – ( “Mary’s Song” )
This prayer recognized the right order of things. Human praise comes to us only because God chooses to act through us. All praise belongs to God, our personal Savior, who faithfully and mercifully keeps His promises. Mary recognized the redemptive nature of God; He not only would send a Savior—-Jesus, who would be born of her in the miracle of the virgin birth, but God Himself is Savior. She praised God for His faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham and Israel, but it carried over into the New Testament as prophesied by Isaiah; He also named His Son, sent into our world to save lost sinners, Jesus, which means the Lord saves or Yahweh saves (Matthew 1:21). Mary also spoke prophetically through her song of the blessings under the reign of her Son. The poor will be lifted us, and the hungry will be satisfied with good things. Jesus lived out this type of ministry, and His disciples lived out the example that Jesus taught them and in turn that they taught all others.
Jesus spoke and taught us how we are to live out our lives, and how we are to tell others. He did this in a humble, servant’s way. He came first in a lowly way, born in a stable, working as he earthly father worked, until it was time to begin His ministry. When He returns, it will be at a time unknown to anyone, only He will return in all His glory, to restore creation to its original state and a day of judgment will come for us all. There will be no excuses, we are either in the Lamb’s Book or not. Now beloved, is the time for decisions. No one can do this for you, it must be your decision to open your heart to Him, once and for all time. It really is this important, so please consider making a life-changing decision now, while you still are able to.