1 Come, let’s sing out loud to the Lord!
Let’s raise a joyful shout to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let’s come before him with thanks!
Let’s shout songs of joy to him!
3 The Lord is a great God,
the great king over all other gods.
4 The earth’s depths are in his hands;
the mountain heights belong to him;
5 the sea, which he made, is his
along with the dry ground,
which his own hands formed.
6 Come, let’s worship and bow down!
Let’s kneel before the Lord, our maker!
7 He is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
the sheep in his hands.
Israel’s understanding of the one God they worshiped developed over time. At times, they adapted language from the cultures around them, as in verse 3 of today’s reading. They tended to refer to all supernatural beings, who the New Testament and most Christians call “angels,” as “gods.” But God was the great person they worshiped and thanked, the “great king over all other gods.”
- One continual hazard of Israel’s sacrificial system was the temptation to see the sacrifices as a way to “buy off” God and win divine favor. Psalm 50:13-14 expressed the reality: God didn’t need people’s sacrifices, but valued them as an expression of gratitude for God’s gifts. How have you learned to “come before him with thanks” in your times of worship?
- Verse 7 echoes many other psalms (including the beloved Psalm 23) in identifying us as sheep for whom God cares as a shepherd. The image may have been clearer to pastoral Israelites than to modern city dwellers. Sheep are utterly dependent on their shepherd to keep them fed, watered and safe. Left to their own devices, they tend to be helpless to ensure their own survival. How grateful are you that in a big, complex universe you are one of God’s sheep, watched over with caring and love?
Thank. Think about someone who has taught you something valuable. It may be a school teacher, a family member, someone at church. Take this opportunity to reflect on how their words and action have changed you. In your journal, write a thank you note to a teacher. Consider sending them a hand-written note or an email sharing this note.
Lord Jesus, thank you for promising to be the “good shepherd” who cares for me, who doesn’t run away in the face of trouble but is always there. I gratefully worship and praise you. Amen.
Lindsey is part of the Missions team at Church of the Resurrection. She received her M.A. in Religious Studies from Missouri State University. Her favorite Bible story comes from John 21, because she will never turn down a brunch invite… especially not from Jesus.