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365 Devotionals: Songs of Praise

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22 AMP

The Seeds of Promise Devotional Series

Calling Father

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Song of The Day

Listen to “Oh Give Thanks” by Dr. Judith Christie McAllister.

Bible Basis

July Book Read From Read To Devotional
17th Psalm Book 132 Book 138 Calling Father

Memory Verses

11 The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. 12 If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. 13 If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore. Psalm 132:11-13

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. Psalm 134:2

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 136:1

Key people

Here is a list of key people found in today’s reading (in order of appearance) with bios from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

David. A young shepherd who gains fame first as a musician and later by killing the enemy champion Goliath.

Today’s Devotional Reading: Psalm 132 – 138

Psalm 132 Amplified Version (AMP)
Psalm 133 Amplified Version (AMP)
Psalm 134 Amplified Version (AMP)
Psalm 135 Amplified Version (AMP)
Psalm 136 Amplified Version (AMP)
Psalm 137 Amplified Version (AMP)
Psalm 138 Amplified Version (AMP)

From Matthew Henry’s Commentary

It is probable that this psalm was penned by Solomon, to be sung at the dedication of the temple which he built according to the charge his father gave him, 1 Chron. 28:2-21 Having fulfilled his trust, he begs of God to own what he had done. I. He had built this house for the honour and service of God; and when he brings the ark into it, the token of God’s presence, he desires that God himself would come and take possession of it, Ps. 132:8-10. With these words Solomon concluded his prayer, 2 Chron. 6:41, 42. II. He had built it in pursuance of the orders he had received from his father, and therefore his pleas to enforce these petitions refer to David. 1. He pleads David’s piety towards God, Ps. 132:1-7. 2. He pleads God’s promise to David, Ps. 132:11-18. The former introduces his petition: the latter follows it as an answer to it. In singing this psalm we must have a concern for the gospel church as the temple of God, and a dependence upon Christ as David our King, in whom the mercies of God are sure mercies (Chapter 132).

This psalm is a brief encomium on unity and brotherly love, which, if we did not see the miseries of discord among men, we should think needless; but we cannot say too much, it were well if we could say enough, to persuade people to live together in peace. Some conjecture that David penned this psalm upon occasion of the union between the tribes when they all met unanimously to make him king. It is a psalm of general use to all societies, smaller and larger, civil and sacred. Here is, I. The doctrine laid down of the happiness of brotherly love, Ps. 133:1. II. The illustration of that doctrine, in two similitudes, Ps. 133:2, 3. III. The proof of it, in a good reason given for it (Ps. 133:3); and then we are left to make the application, which we ought to do in singing it, provoking ourselves and one another to holy love. The contents of this psalm in our Bibles, are short, but very proper; it is “the benefit of the communion of saints” (Chapter 133).

This is the last of the fifteen songs of degrees; and, if they were at any time sung all together in the temple-service, it is fitly made the conclusion of them, for the design of it is to stir up the ministers to go on with their work in the night, when the solemnities of the day were over. Some make this psalm to be a dialogue. I. In the Ps. 134:1, 2, the priests or Levites who sat up all night to keep the watch of the house of the Lord are called upon to spend their time while they were upon the guard, not in idle talk, but in the acts of devotion. II. In the Ps. 134:3 those who were thus called upon to praise God pray for him that gave them the exhortation, either the high priest or the captain of the guard. Or thus: those who did that service did mutually exhort one another and pray for one another. In singing this psalm we must both stir up ourselves to give glory to God and encourage ourselves to hope for mercy and grace from him (Chapter 134).

This is one of the Hallelujah-psalms; that is the title of it, and that is the Amen of it, both its Alpha and its Omega. I. It begins with a call to praise God, particularly a call to the “servants of the Lord” to praise him, as in the foregoing psalm, Ps. 135:1-3. II. It goes on to furnish us with matter for praise. God is to be praised, 1. As the God of Jacob, Ps. 135:4. 2. As the God of gods, Ps. 135:5. 3. As the God of the whole world, Ps. 135:6, 7. 4. As a terrible God to the enemies of Israel, Ps. 135:8-11. 5. As a gracious God to Israel, both in what he had done for them and what he would do, Ps. 135:12-14. 6. As the only living God, all other gods being vanity and a lie, Ps. 135:15-18. III. It concludes with another exhortation to all persons concerned to praise God, Ps. 135:19-21. In singing this psalm our hearts must be filled, as well as our mouths, with the high praises of God (Chapter 135).

The scope of this psalm is the same with that of the Ps. 135:1-21, but there is something very singular in the composition of it; for the latter half of each verse is the same, repeated throughout the psalm, “for his mercy endureth for ever,” and yet no vain repetition. It is allowed that such burdens, or “keepings,” as we call them, add very much to the beauty of a song, and help to make it moving and affecting; nor can any verse contain more weighty matter, or more worthy to be thus repeated, than this, that God’s mercy endureth for ever; and the repetition of it here twenty-six times intimates, 1. That God’s mercies to his people are thus repeated and drawn, as it were, with a continuando from the beginning to the end, with a progress and advance in infinitum. 2. That in every particular favour we ought to take notice of the mercy of God, and to take favour we ought to take notice of the mercy of God, and to take notice of it as enduring still, the same now that it has been, and enduring for ever, the same always that it is. 3. That the everlasting continuance of the mercy of God is very much his honour and that which he glories in, and very much the saints’ comfort and that which they glory in. It is that which therefore our hearts should be full of and greatly affected with, so that the most frequent mention of it, instead of cloying us, should raise us the more, because it will be the subject of our praise to all eternity. This most excellent sentence, that God’s mercy endureth for ever, is magnified above all the truths concerning God, not only by the repetition of it here, but by the signal tokens of divine acceptance with which God owned the singing of it, both in Solomon’s time (2 Chron. 5:13; when they sang these words, “for his mercy endureth for ever,” the house was filled with a cloud) and in Jehoshaphat’s time (when they sang these words, God gave them victory, 2 Chron. 20:21, 22), which should make us love to sing, “His mercies sure do still endure, eternally.” We must praise God, I. As great and good in himself, Ps. 136:1-3. II. As the Creator of the world, Ps. 136:5-9. III. As Israel’s God and Saviour, Ps. 136:10-22. IV. As our Redeemer, Ps. 136:23, 24. V. As the great benefactor of the whole creation, and God over all, blessed for evermore, Ps. 136:25, 26 (Chapter 136).

There are divers psalms which are thought to have been penned in the latter days of the Jewish church, when prophecy was near expiring and the canon of the Old Testament ready to be closed up, but none of them appears so plainly to be of a late date as this, which was penned when the people of God were captives in Babylon, and there insulted over by these proud oppressors; probably it was towards the latter end of their captivity; for now they saw the destruction of Babylon hastening on apace (Ps. 137:8), which would be their discharge. It is a mournful psalm, a lamentation; and the Septuagint makes it one of the lamentations of Jeremiah, naming him for the author of it. Here I. The melancholy captives cannot enjoy themselves, Ps. 137:1, 2. II. They cannot humour their proud oppressors, Ps. 137:3, 4. III. They cannot forget Jerusalem, Ps. 137:5, 6. IV. They cannot forgive Edom and Babylon, Ps. 137:7-9. In singing this psalm we must be much affected with the concernments of the church, especially that part of it that is in affliction, laying the sorrows of God’s people near our hearts, comforting ourselves in the prospect of the deliverance of the church and the ruin of its enemies, in due time, but carefully avoiding all personal animosities, and not mixing the leaven of malice with our sacrifices (Chapter 137).

It does not appear, nor is it material to enquire, upon what occasion David penned this psalm; but in it, I. He looks back with thankfulness upon the experiences he had had of God’s goodness to him, Ps. 138:1-3. II. He looks forward with comfort, in hopes, 1. That others would go on to praise God like him, Ps. 138:4, 5. 2. That God would go on to do good to him, Ps. 138:6-8. In singing this psalm we must in like manner devote ourselves to God’s praise and glory and repose ourselves in his power and goodness (Chapter 138).

Reflection

Over five years ago, I wrote a song called, “Calling Father.” Thinking only as a psalmist, I could look at those lyrics today and think, that song is a hot mess. There are so many things wrong with it from a technical standpoint. But I recall how that song was made (and this is the case for nearly every song I have ever published online) – on a borrowed computer; and sometimes with broken speakers; and sometimes recorded in a single take without so much as a way to play it back since the speakers did not work (but His joy won’t let me stop singing, even if it is A Capella voice mail – Yes Lord, I’ll do that (I used to record only vocals without music since I don’t play an instrument and had no accompaniment. I also did not have a place to store my music files, so I created a podcast (on a site that no longer exists) and sang into the phone to record my lyrics. Now it’s so easy, you can just purchase beats from other musicians online and hit the studio)).

If we now think of making excuses for why we can’t do what we are called to do, we should remember that God gave us the gifts of His Spirit, knowing full well what challenges we would face in using them for His purpose.

I have to think, “God knew that I would have PTSD before the age of seven. I did not know that. God knew I would be jobless before I was hopelessly jobless. He knew I would be homeless before I was homeless. He knew I would be starving, before I was starving. And He knew that I would be right here, right now, doing exactly what I am doing before I ever sat down to compose. Since He knew all of that – and I did not; He must know something else that I don’t know.

Logically, it does not make sense that some of my songs are as popular as they are (as a non-performing, non-touring, no-radio, no tv, who the heck is that artis, I still have almost 500 fans on Reverbnation) since the sound quality is sometimes not good enough to even hear what is being sung. But I am reminded always that God inhabits the praises of His people.

I am what some would call, “a Jill of all trades” (just check out my sidebar to see all of the side jobs I do); but I do not say a master of none – because the Lord has taught me well. Whether or not anyone knows about it, I am very good at what I do. He has preserved for Himself the credit of my most robust education, training, and mentorship.

But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I John 20:20

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. I John 2:27

Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. Isaiah 48:17

I have to wonder if He is trying to preserve a pure humility sometimes lost when rags become riches. It is a true point for reflection. There have been countless times when I had “all of my ducks in a row;” then He asked for chickens, not ducks. There I stood like Gideon. And the Lord said, not that one. Not that one. Not that one. When we have much over which to steward, we can easily think, I am a force to be reckoned with. And (though contrary to some beliefs) the purpose of God is not to make you feel powerless; but we do ourselves a great disservice in failing to acknowledge His foundation in our success – because then we enroll in the refresher course that all haughty must take. God will get our attention. And the longer we take to wise up, the lower we will be brought for remembrance.

But I understand in retrospect that I have tried to do so many things; and all He wanted was my praise. This is why He anointed the voice. What an honor to think that God wants to hear us. He wants to be our companion. He wants to grow old with us.

As parents, one of the best things we can do for our children, is to help them to understand the friendship of the Lord. It’s more than reciting verses in the sanctuary. People sometimes look for love in all the wrong places, because they are trying to fill the void that only God can fill.

That is why we sing, Lord, “Take me back to the place where I first received you.” I do not want to relive the struggle. I want to remember the passion that I felt for His glory – that everything I do is for His glory; that everything I say is for His glory; that everywhere I go, I live for Him: to God be the glory. That is the place where I first heard His voice. I was just a teenager. Sometimes, we have to be reminded of that first love of Jesus, when we felt everything was new.

When God looks at our labor of love toward Him (even a song that needs help 🙂) He knows whether our clay is marred. He knows how many times we fallen from His appointed place for us (if we have); or have allowed the dust to settle on our lack of faith. He knows whether we have given Him the left overs, or the first fruits of our gift. We realize then that God knows our very heart; and a praise rich in sincerity, however we may be weak, is His favorite song of all.

We know that we have flaws. But, we must try to see ourselves as God sees us. This is the way to fulfill His purpose for our lives. His purpose is not for us to be carbon copies of anyone, even people we admire. But we are to be like Him. And if we only size up our failures, we will never think ourselves able to perform what mountainous tasks He may inspire. But we must learn that if He requires it, He is also able to perform it – and we can do all these things of His requisition through Him. When we look through His lens to our being, we see that He can change our vehicle. Where we could not go, we can go with Him. What we could not do, we can do with Him. God appreciates our willingness to give to Him. He knows we are not perfect. He wants to see our effort.

Did some people laugh at my songs in a mocking way. Sure they did. Maybe some people still do. Does God mock my music? I don’t think so. You see, the angels in heaven rejoice over a sinner who comes to God. And this is where the songs come from – from the joy of knowing Him; from the understanding that I was saved by grace. Saying yes to salvation in Jesus is the best decision I ever made.

If you could play the movie, This is your life starring YOU, you would hopefully see how much you have grown in your pursuit of Christ. If you are like me, some things will make you laugh; and some will make you cry. But the joy of knowing the Lord is seeing Him shine through everything.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13


References

« The Amplified Bible
« The King James Bible
« Matthew Henry’s Commentary
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