Sing in Praise of His Name
Know: Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
(Psalm 68:4-6 NIV)
Read & Respond: Psalm 68 is a psalm of victory. It is written by King David as he is rejoicing over his military victories both at home and on foreign soil. As we dwell in this passage and on this concept of victory, pay careful attention to who David gives credits and thanks for his victories.
By contrast, think about how you celebrate life’s victories. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][tweetthis]There’s nothing wrong with feasting and celebrating, but do you sit in solitude with God as David must have done when he penned this Psalm and recount God’s intervention, His character, His love and His unsurpassed name?[/tweetthis] Can’t you just see King David – leader of the nation of Israel – sitting with his harp and a tired but satisfied smile on his face plucking out a new song of gratitude to God for His mercy and might?
Do not just wait for the good times to steal away with the Lord either! Try to make such quiet times a part of your daily routine (which will likely make more of the times seem good)! Yet don’t think you have to be in a quiet closet to give God glory. Consider Susanna Wesley’s example:
Susanna Wesley, born in 1669, was the 25th of 25 children! This great Christian saint understood the importance of “being raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” given that she and her husband Samuel had 19 children. Nine of Susanna’s children died as infants…but two of her sons, John and Charles Wesley, went on to become great evangelists and theologians. She once wrote in a letter, “I look upon every soul under my charge as a talent committed to me under a trust. I am not a man nor a minister, but I spare every night to discourse with each child apart, strengthening their tiny faith in God our Savior.” Her children knew to be quiet whenever they saw their mother throw her apron over her head – they understood this was Susanna’s private time of prayer with the Lord. God certainly blessed this amazing mother, and what a model she has been to countless mothers through the centuries. (http://www.joniandfriends.org/blog/susanna-wesley/ Accesses 1/9/16)
However capable we are outwardly, dependence on God will strengthen us inwardly. When we work hard and train hard, it can be easy to take credit for our successes. Yet we can achieve nothing outside of His will. Let’s recognize His presence in every aspect of our life. After all, our history is His story.
Core Concept: Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 1:31)
Think About It:
- Why is it tempting to take personal credit for successes?
- How do the examples of King David and Susanna Wesley inspire your prayer life?
- What is told of God’s dwelling in verse 5? How can this help you draw near to God?
- What can you give God credit for in your life today?
This Week’s Praise & Worship Prompts:
Day 1: Meditate on God as Victor
Memorize Psalm 68:4-6. Dwell in Psalm 68, reading it slowly and noting all the references to victory. Remember that God Himself is your victor and deliverer.
Day 2: Boast in the Lord
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 and Psalm 34:2. What do you learn about God that can help you be humble in the midst of life’s successes?
It is believed that later generations of Israelites would sing Psalm 68 as they were carrying the ark back from battle. The ark contained the tablets with the 10 commandments. God’s Word, the Bible, should always be at the center of our lives. Victory is only given to those who obey and follow God. Read Psalm 68 again today and write in your journal any command that speak to your heart. Respond in prayer & obedience.
Day 3: God’s Restoration
Psalm 68 makes reference to the mountain of Bashan. “Located east of the Sea of Galilee, Bashan was a noted for its fertility. In wider Canaanite religion, it was also known as the gateway to the Underworld and its sinister inhabitants.” Bashan is the opposite of Zion, God’s holy mountain. We spent time on Day 1 reflecting that God is our victor and deliverer. Let’s build on that concept as we reflect today on the fact that God also restores us. Note the verses that talk about restoration. Thank God today for the many ways He has already restored you and is willing to restore you. Spend time in prayer today and lay down all that needs restoring in your life – self-esteem, faith, relationships, finances, health, family, etc. Let God take you back to His holy mountain.
Day 4: Worship Wake Up
Using your journal read Psalm 68 and note all of the ways in which David praises God. Pick one you’ve never tried before and spend time worshipping God in a new and fresh way with an expectant heart.
Day 5: Taking Time to Contemplate
Stillness and quiet can help us hear God’s word and feel His restoration. Tune out the noise of the world today and tune in to the voice inside. As you do spend time today also reflecting on personal victories you have experienced throughout your life. Write them down in your journal and write your own Psalm of thanksgiving to God. If there’s no time or space, throw your apron over your head & pray!
Talk About It: Why is it so tempting for us to take credit rather than give credit to God?
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
Contributors: Chelsea Bastian, Claudia Duff, Muriel Gregory, Tonia Gutting, Hayley Haynes
Graphic Artist: Christie Esterline
Editor: Andrea Plotner
Copyright ©Planting Roots 2015
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