Hey there, Relentless Students! Today is day 10 of our 30-day Devo. We have officially hit double digits! As a reminder, today's activity is to go outside for 15-20 minutes and enjoy nature. With the weather that we've been having should be easy enough.
Our passage today is found in Psalm 96:11-12, but I think the entire chapter is so good that we will be focusing on 1-13 which says,
"Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! 4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! 8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! 9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! 10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” 11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 12 let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 13 before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
Being found in the psalms it is meant to be a song and/or prayer to God. When I read this as a whole I can't help but hear it as a melody playing in my head. It's a beautiful piece meant to inspire awe at the idea of who God is and His judgment of the earth. The idea is that the writer feels God is good and His justice is also good, so sing His praise. I think we would all agree that God is good, but could we say that His justice is good?
In verse 13 the writer says "He will judge the world in righteousness..." Before coming to this conclusion we see that God is good and worthy of all praise. So, to assume that His justice would be anything less than good would be contrary.
Now, our technical passage is found in 11-12. In these verses, we see the writer explaining how not only will we sing God's praise, but the whole earth. The way this worded it could be the animals or the literal planet. Regardless it's meant to bring about this thought that God is so worthy of praise even the earth itself can't resist rejoicing. Do you feel this way?
When going through a crisis like we are now, singing God's praise feels....weird. We don't feel like singing. If anything, we feel like yelling. All these emotions going around in our minds and I doubt any inspire singing praise. The issue is God is still God. Like we talked about yesterday, God is the same every day. He has not changed His ways, He is still good and worthy of all praise.
I'm reminded of the song by MercyMe titled "Even If". You see, God is good all the time, even when I don't feel it. But like the song says, "It's easy to sing when there's nothing to bring me down, but what will I say when I'm held to the flame, like I am right now." We get comfortable when things are normal and when the world shifts we lose balance. This loss of balance can lead us to feel that somehow God did this to us or God stopped protecting us. The thing is, God hasn't changed, the world changed overnight and we are trying to cope with what has happened.
In the last few devotions, I have challenged you to act and be a light in a time some would consider dark, but today I am reminded some of you may not feel God's goodness and may not want to sing His praises. I just want to say, that's okay. God understands. Now, I'm not giving you this as an excuse, but what happens next shows your faith. Are you willing to say, "even if you don't my hope is You alone."? Or are you unwilling to sing His praise in the midst of what is happening? To remind you, the whole earth sees His goodness and is rejoicing in it even now. How are you responding?
My challenge for you today is to spend time in worship, alone or with your family. Play some worship songs and sing. Praise God for His goodness and be reminded that He is here, even in the midst of this crisis. You can find some awesome live performances on youtube to sing along to today. I'd recommend doing it as you get outside and rejoice with the rest of the world.
Our prayer today,
God, thank you for this day. Thank you for being good. You are worthy of all praise and honor. May we rejoice in your name, even now when we don't feel like singing. Let us sing with the whole earth songs of your goodness. May we not forget who You are and what you've done. It is through you we have salvation and can have hope in the midst of any trials. God, we love you and we know you love us. May we keep singing today and every day, proclaiming your greatness to all who would hear. I pray You remind us of the hope we have in You. I pray you guide us during this time. God, we thank you for all you have done, are doing, and are still going to do. We lift this up in your Son's blessed name, Amen.