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Grace Notes

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A BLESSED DUTY
by Philip Owen

         Some of the duties required of us as believers are admittedly difficult, even unpleasant to perform. Loving those who hate us, for example, or forgiving a person who sins against us again and again may be challenging. But some responsibilities given us to fulfill are so inherently wonderful that the fact that we fail to do them faithfully speaks volumes about our lack of love for the Lord. We discover such a pleasant duty in the first verse of Psalm 105, which, although written for Israel, has implications for the New Testament church. “Make known His deeds among the peoples,” the psalmist commands in the name of the Lord. What that privilege might mean, or how it might be accomplished, he suggests in the next several verses.

         1. “Sing to Him, sing praises to Him” (v. 2). Some of the greatest music I have ever heard has been produced by the vocal cords of people who could scarcely carry a tune. They sang with such obvious love for the Lord, such a desire to praise Him, and such enthusiasm that my heart was lifted up and made to rejoice over the glorious vocal picture that they had painted of the Lord. We truly make known His deeds to the people, when we sing, not primarily to or for others, but to Him.

         2. “Speak of all His wonders” (v. 2). Doubtless this has reference to God’s miracles as recorded in His Word. And like Israel of old, we should never tire of speaking of God’s many miracles, whether the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the destruction of Jericho, the virgin birth of Christ, or His resurrection. Nor should we forget the “mundane” wonders of providence that the Lord provides on a daily basis in order to meet our needs and otherwise bless us.

         3. “Glory [boast] in His holy name” (v. 3). Whether to call it love or maturity, I’ll leave to you, but there is a level of experience, a deepening of relationship between the Lord and a believer, that rises above rejoicing in only what God has done to provide for us to rejoice, or glory, or boast in who He is. To be privileged to get to know Him and to fellowship with Him, and to testify of the glory of who He is becomes the sweetest honor.

         4. “Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad” (v. 3). There is no substitute for seeking to know and fellowship with the Lord. When we seek and receive His fellowship, our hearts are gladdened. And the inevitable joy that radiates from the life of a believer who lives in the presence of the Lord gives striking testimony to who God is and what He has done. It declares that He is good, and gracious, and kind, and merciful, and longsuffering, and loving.

         5. “Seek the Lord and His strength” (v. 4). The endeavor of seeking the Lord gives testimony to the reality that we are nothing and can do nothing without Him. It is His strength and ability rather than ours that we rely on and that we proclaim. Our witness is: this is what God has done for me; when I am weak, He is strong.

         6. “Seek His face” (v. 4). When we can look someone in the eye, when we want that kind of openness and vulnerability, there is nothing hindering full fellowship. When we constantly pursue that relationship with the Lord we witness to the truth that God can save to the uttermost all that come to Him through Christ—so much so that we can be comfortable in the presence of God.

         7. “Remember His wonders which He has done” (v. 5). Is this merely a repetition of #2 above, or is it an encouragement to think and meditate on what the Lord has done? Many blessed works of God lie right on the surface of our experience, but many other praiseworthy works on our behalf become manifest to us only as we pursue knowledge of them.

         8. “Remember . . . the judgments uttered by His mouth” (v. 5). Finally, we cannot truly make known God’s deeds unless we devote ourselves to His Word. Truly, it is there that He fully reveals Himself to those who pursue Him. Will you exalt Him?

     

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