I hope you all had a good weekend. Today we are starting our new way of sending the Reflections out with Wednesday being our ‘News’ day. So here is today’s Reflection from Martin Fair:
Gal 4:21–5:1 Psalm 113 Luke 11:29–34
Seated with the princes!
Today I am stirred by Psalm 113. It is the first of six Psalms that were traditionally sung at Jewish festivals; along with Psalm 144 before the Passover meal; and Psalms 115 to 118 after. Jesus and his disciples would have sung these the night he was betrayed. (See Matt 26:30).
The Psalm opens with a call to praise – a good start to the week or any day for that matter!
1 Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, you his servants;
praise the name of the Lord.
The Psalmist calls all his servants to ‘Praise the Lord’. So, now we have got in that frame of mind, you might ask, ‘How and where do we praise?’
2 Let the name of the Lord be praised,
both now and forevermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The answer given is – ‘now and forever, all day long!’
The main message of the Psalm is in the following verses.
4 The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
6 who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
Looking at verse 5 – have you ever wondered what God is like? He’s like no one else; yet he stoops down. The Psalmist would have not fully appreciated how he did this, as the Psalm predates when God incarnate actually physically stooped down in the form of Jesus.
7 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
8 he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
These verses offer some real encouragement. What an awesome God we have! Although in glory above, he comes to provide for the ‘poor’ and ‘needy’ (v7).
The original word used for ‘poor’ – means dangling! Our God is great, he doesn’t leave us dangling! It’s not just those who are left materially without, but the poorly and poor in spirit. Here God promises to lift them from the ash heap and seat them with the princes. ‘We will be joint heirs with Jesus’ (Rom 8:17) – so as princes we await the great and glorious day when we will rule with him. What a promise! Jesus elaborated, ‘the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt 5:3).
9 He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord.
Verse 9 highlights the childless women, and this psalm has many parallels to the song of Hannah (1 Sam 2:1-15) and the Magnificat, Mary’s song while at Elizabeth’s (Luke 1:46-55). This bursts with praise for what God had done for them, which through their obedience went on to bless nations and eventually the whole of mankind through these significant births.
So, if you didn’t feel like praising God this morning, hopefully you do now! ‘Praise the LORD, you his servants; praise the name of the LORD’!
We thank you that you are worthy of praise. You have done so much for us, through sending Jesus to lift us from poverty of mind, spirit and body. Help us this day to remember your presence with us and to guide us to the paths of truth.