Praise waits for You, O God, in Zion:
and unto You shall the vow be performed.
O You who hears prayer, unto You shall all flesh come.
Iniquities prevail against me:
as for our transgressions, You shall purge them away.
Blessed is the man whom You choose,
and cause to approach unto You, that he may dwell in Your courts:
we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, even of Your holy temple.
By terrible things in righteousness will You answer us, O God of our salvation;
You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
and of them that are afar off upon the sea:
Which by His strength sets fast the mountains; being girded with power:
Which stills the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves,
and the tumult of the people.
They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at Your signs:
You make the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.
You visit the earth, and water it:
You greatly enrich it with the river of God, which is full of water:
You prepare them corn, when You have so provided for it.
You water the ridges thereof abundantly:
You settle the furrows thereof:
You make it soft with showers:
You bless the springing thereof.
You crown the year with Your goodness; and Your paths drop fatness.
They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness,
and the little hills rejoice on every side.
The pastures are clothed with flocks,
the valleys also are covered over with corn;
they shout for joy, they also sing.
Please allow me to share with you some thoughts from my quiet time.
Praise is Silent
Praise waits for You, O God….
In the Hebrew this says, “To Thee is silence-praise,” or “Praise is silent.” This does not mean silent praise, but rather that the noise of preparation has ceased and the heart is quiet and ready to give praise to God.
Imagine the members of an orchestra coming to their seats and preparing for a concert. At first you hear the scraping of chairs, the shuffling of music, and the discordant sounds of everyone warming up their instruments. But then the conductor rises to the podium, taps his baton on his music stand, and all the noise of preparation ceases, leaving a quiet calm in the room, a preparedness, an expectation of the praise which is to come. That is what is meant here.
What can I learn from this? First of all, God is worthy of my praise, and I ought to give Him praise daily. However, my heart must first learn to be quiet and still. I must prepare for praise by ridding myself of distractions and by confessing all known sin so that there is nothing between my soul and the Savior. Then I too can say, “Praise waits for You, O God.”
I Choose You
Blessed is the man whom You choose…
God chose me! Read that aloud and apply it to yourself, then let it sink in. If you are a child of God, it is because God chose you. This mindset acknowledges that all blessings are the result of divine favor, the fruit of God’s great grace and love. I did not earn my standing with Him, nor did I do anything to deserve all the benefits He has lavished upon me. And what’s more, I did not choose God—He chose me.
God has chosen me, and He has put inside of me the capacity to choose Him.
- I choose life (Deut. 30:19).
- I choose to serve the Lord (Josh. 24:15).
- I choose the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:29).
- I choose the good (Isa. 7:15).
- I choose the things that please God (Isa. 56:4).
Peace, Be Still
Which stills the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people….
I love this phrase! The disciples marveled that Jesus had the power to calm the raging sea (Matt. 8:27). But David, here in verse 7, does not stop with praising God for His control of the elements. The God who can calm the troubled waters can also calm my troubled soul. So why do I not go to Him more often when the sea inside of me is raging? Why do I look at the waves, as Peter did, and take my eyes off the only One who can lift me above all that? Lord, help me to keep my eyes continually on You so that I may say with the psalmist, “You still the noise of the seas, and of their waves, and the tumult of the people.”
You make the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice….
This is why sunrises and sunsets are so glorious. They praise the God who made them. The sun appears happy, bright, and cheerful all the day long. Granted, there are things that get in the way of my being able to see the sun, but it is there just the same.
What does that mean for me? Things will come into my life, like clouds and storms and dark of night, that will obscure my happiness. But the joy of the Lord is always there, even when it isn’t clearly visible. The joy of the Lord is my strength, even when circumstances have wiped the smile off my face and replaced it with tears.
There is something this verse tells me: all of us in every part ought to be praising God. His praise fills the earth, from the east to the west. How much more should it fill the hearts of those whom God has chosen!
Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’s name is to be praised.
Malachi 1:11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto My name, and a pure offering: for My name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
You visit the earth, and water it: You greatly enrich it with the river of God, which is full of water… You water the ridges thereof abundantly: You settle the furrows thereof: You make it soft with showers: You bless the springing thereof. You crown the year with Your goodness; and Your paths drop fatness….
God doesn’t do anything halfway. We cannot exhaust the goodness of God. He just keeps giving, and giving, and giving. Jesus said, “If you shall ask anything in My name, I will do it” (Jn. 14:14). Do you believe that? Then take Him at His Word, and ask anything—only be sure that you ask according to His will (1Jn. 5:14). God will not do a thing that is contrary to His nature, but He has blessings in abundance just waiting to be poured out on all who will ask (Mal. 3:10).
God longs to hear our prayers and answer them. Sure, He could give us everything we need automatically, but then we would take His blessings for granted. God’s purpose is so much bigger than ours. It’s not about meeting the need, but about growing our faith and strengthening the relationship between Him and us.
He is a personal God. He is not a storekeeper or the person in charge of checking inventory in and out of some huge heavenly warehouse. He is our Father, we who have accepted His gift of salvation, and He longs for fellowship with us. He wants to walk and talk with us as a father with a child, or as friend with friend. Do you and I want that too? The older I get, the more real God is to me. I still forget sometimes, but He understands my weakness and patiently waits for me to call on Him. God has never failed me, though I have failed Him. He has never disappointed me, though I have disappointed Him. He has given me everything I have, though I have nothing to give Him but my love and praise. And so today I give Him my love and my praise. Won’t you join me?
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Photo is a painting I did from a photo taken of Narrows Falls in North Carolina.
Photo taken in 2011, painting completed in 2012.