8th December 2023
Doug Van Meter shares
The Posture of Praise: God's Grace (Psalm 147:12-20)
16 He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes.
For some time now, we have been studying Psalm 147 under the general heading of "the Posture of Praise."
We have been learning that we, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, look our best when we demonstrate both the disposition and the demeanour of praise.
We have been looking at the deep gratitude of the returned Jewish remnant for God's faithfulness to them.
In the face of strong military might, of economic hardship, and of human impossibility, the Lord showed His faithfulness to His covenant with His people.
He brought them back just as He said He would.
He empowered them to rebuild Jerusalem (Mount Zion, the City of God) just as He said He would.
He would fulfil His promise to bring the Saviour into the world and He would establish His kingdom on the earth.
In our studies, we have sought to make the legitimate connection between what the old covenant church experienced and what the new covenant church should expect.
We are to live with the certainty that Jesus will build His Church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
The result is that the church is to be continually developing a posture of praise as we grow in our fear of God, with a corresponding increase of hope in His mercy.
We fully expect the certainty of God's revealed goal for His people, because we are certain of God's sovereign governance of everything that happens. Such expectations lead to praise.
But let me ask a very important question - and one which might make you uncomfortable:
Who cares? Do you?
Let me just make an important comment as we proceed here:
We need to beware, as always, of the danger of individualism when it comes to this issue.
It is all too possible to study this Psalm individualistically.
That is, it is quite possible to superficially read, and even to superficially sing, this psalm as though it is all about you and your individual needs.
But to do so is to completely miss this point.
We who follow Jesus face the very real danger of losing sight of God's purpose for us.
We can lose sight of what should be our passion.
May I give you a word of pastoral counsel?
At this time of the year - especially - let us seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
As we do, so may the Lord bless us with the encouragement, in the depth of our souls, that He will establish the city of God on earth for His glory.
And as we do so, our posture of praise will improve, for the good of our souls and to the glory of God.
In this closing passage of the Psalm, we look at several aspects of God's grace to His people.
And as we contemplate God's amazing grace, we will be led to praise this great God who "comes to our meetings, attends our services, listens to our hymns, delights in our prayers, finds joy in our expressions of praise."
We would do well to learn from this that only those who are those who make up spiritual Mount Zion, have the right to praise God.
In fact, they are the only ones who can truly praise God!
Those who have not experienced God's sovereign and saving grace find no delight in what God is doing in, through and for His church.
Rather, they are indifferent to the church at best; or at worst, they despise the church of God.
They oppose the church of God. They loathe the real church of God.
Therefore, when they see the church advancing (if, in fact, they take any notice), they find no joy in it.
But those, on the other hand, who do love the Lord (because He first loved them) will find themselves praising God for His work.
There can be only response from His people: "Praise the Lord"
This is an (extremely) edited version. The full article and Bible references are avaiable on request
Doug Van Meter
has served as the pastor-teacher of Brackenhurst Baptist Church since 6 July 1993.
Brackenhurst Baptist Church meets people's spiritual needs through the preaching and teaching of God's word.
Our pastors are equipped and ready to serve you. We have a heart for people just like you.
We exist to glorify God by making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in all nations.
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