Greatly is Yahweh to be Praised!

“A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Qorah.  Great is Yahweh and very much to be praised —  In the city of our God and on his Holy Mountain.” (Psalm 48:1-2 [verse 1 in English]) The greatness of the city of God is not found in the construction of human hands; it is not… Read More

Studying God’s Honor

“The last thing, brothers, is that whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is upright, whatever is holy, whatever is lovely, whatever is praiseworthy, if there is virtue and if there is praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8) Though in English the words praise and praiseworthy come from the same root, Paul employs two… Read More

An Offering of Praise

“You have raised up my horn like a tower; I poured out as with fragrant oil.” (Psalm 92:11 [verse 10 in English])   This verse is a little awkward to translate and as such, there are various renderings in our various English Bibles. To understand this verse, though, you need to break it down a… Read More

Yahweh is Lifted Up!

“But you are elevated eternally, Yahweh.” (Psalm 92:9 [verse 8 in English])   God is lifted up! He reigns on high! There is no god like our God, he is the great Yahweh, who sets his throne in the heavens and makes the earth his footstool. Can we not praise him highly enough? Will we… Read More

God’s Faithfulness

“To declare your chesed in the morning; And of your trustworthiness in the night; Upon the ten strings and upon the harp; With the sound of the zither.” (Psalm 92:3-4 [verses 2-3 in English])   Again we find an emphasis on singing praise accompanied by the sound of instruments. The reference to the “ten strings”… Read More

Christian Hospitality

“He said, ‘Come in, blessed of Yahweh. To what end do you stand outside? I have tidied up the house and a place for the camels.’ And the man went into the house and unharnessed the camels. He gave straw and fodder to the camels and water to wash his feet and the feet of… Read More

God is Truth

“And he said, ‘Blessed be Yahweh the God of my lord Abraham who has not forsaken his covenant faithfulness or his truth from over my lord. As for me, Yahweh has led me to the household of my lord’s brother.’” (Genesis 24:27)   Recently I was speaking with a Christian man who had become convicted… Read More

Hope in the Name of God

“I will praise you forever, because of your work; I will hope in your name, because it is good in the presence of your saints.” (Psalm 52:11 [verse 9 in English translations])   And here, David, in the midst of the grief and sorrow of loss turns his heart to praise. What a remarkable statement… Read More

His Majesty Covers the Heavens (Habakkuk 3:3)

“God entered from Teman and the Holy One from Mount Paran—Selah! His majesty covers the heavens and his praise fills the earth.” (Habakkuk 3:3)   From here on out, there is a shift of focus from God’s coming judgment on Israel to God’s judgment on the Babylonians for coming to destroy Israel.  Teman and Paran… Read More

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 6)

“As with fat and the choicest cuts of meat, my soul will be satisfied. My lips will exult; my mouth will exclaim hallelujah!” (Psalm 63:6 {Psalm 63:5 in English versions})   Now, in a culture that is as health conscious as ours is, we somewhat lose the impact of the initial metaphor.  We usually think… Read More

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 8)

“For you are my help and in the shadow of your wings I will exult!” (Psalm 63:8 {Psalm 63:7 in English Bibles})   The language of God being as a mother eagle to his people, Israel, is a common Old Testament image (Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11; Ruth 2:12; Psalm 17:8; etc…).  And oh, what a… Read More

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 6)

“As with fat and the choicest cuts of meat, my soul will be satisfied. My lips will exult; my mouth will exclaim hallelujah!” (Psalm 63:6 {Psalm 63:5 in English versions})   Now, in a culture that is as health conscious as ours is, we somewhat lose the impact of the initial metaphor.  We usually think… Read More

David in the Wilderness: Psalm 63 (part 5)

“Thus, I will bless you with my life; in your name I will lift my hands.” (Psalm 63:5 {Psalm 63:4 in English Bibles})   Not only will David lift his voice in praise, but he will lift his hands as well—fully praising his God and redeemer.  What a simple, but wonderful thought to keep before… Read More

The Contagiousness of Worship! (New Song, part 11)

“The Contagiousness of Worship”               Worship, when it is filled with the Holy Spirit, is contagious.  I expect that this is part of the reason that the scriptures emphasize that believers are to live within a covenant community.  Not only can we support one another, but in our joined worship, we enable each other… Read More

Reigning with Christ! (New Song, part 10)

“We will reign with Christ”               One of the major themes of Revelation is that the prize to those who overcome is not only eternal life with Christ, but a co-reign with Christ as well (see Revelation 2:26-27, 3:21).  As the Messiah is given authority over the nations (see Psalm 2:8), here we see… Read More

Our Great High Priest! (New Song, part 9)

“Our Great High Priest”               Though not specifically mentioned here in this particular hymn, where there is a nation of priests, there also must be a high priest.  And, of course, that high priest is Jesus.  He is the one who makes constant intercession for us before the father, and it is he who… Read More

The Scope of the Atonement! (New Song, part 7)

“The Limited Scope of the Atonement”               At the same time that Jesus’ ransom was for people from every tribe and nation, do note that it is not performed for all people or tribes without exception; rather, it is for all people and tribes without distinction.  Christ’s atoning work was fully effective for the… Read More

A Mission to the World! (New Song, part 6)

“A Mission to the World”               The Jews assumed that the Messiah, when he would come, would be a political ruler who would restore the Jewish nation state to independence, as in the time of David.  Yet, this is neither how the Old Testament prophets anticipated the Messiah to be, nor was it how… Read More

The Ransom Paid! (New Song, part 5)

“The Ransom Paid”               We must be careful when we talk about the ransom to be paid, or the debit owed, because we must be absolutely clear as to whom that ransom was paid to.  Through the history of the church, some have argued that Jesus’ death was a ransom paid to the Devil… Read More

Jesus Was Slain! (New Song, part 4)

“Jesus Was Slain”               To those who would deny the crucifixion, this song affirms even this gruesome detail of Jesus’ ministry.  Without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22); each year, the priest, on the day of atonement, would slay a lamb for the forgiveness of the people’s… Read More

The Scroll! (New Song, part 3)

“The Scroll”   Though there is some debate as to just what the scroll that is depicted here in Revelation represents, in context, it seems that the scroll represents God’s redemptive plan for history, namely as is unfolded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  For that book to be opened, God’s righteous judgments against mankind… Read More

Jesus is Worthy! (New Song, part 2)

“Jesus is Worthy”   Jesus is worthy of our praise and no one else is.  Mohammed was not worthy, Buddha was not worthy, Krishna was not worthy, our governments are not worthy, humanistic teachers are not worthy—no one but Jesus is worthy of our praise and adoration.  Jesus is worthy first because of his perfect… Read More

A New Song!: Introduction

Introduction:   While we often think of the book of Revelation in terms of God’s judgment being brought upon his enemies, one of the major themes of Revelation is that of worship.  In fact, nearly half (24 of 60 uses) of the New Testament uses of the verb proskunew (proskuneo), which means “to worship,” are… Read More

My Mouth Will Declare Your Praise: Psalm 51 (part 16)

“Oh Lord, my lips you will open, and my mouth will declare your praise.” (Psalm 51:17 {Psalm 51:15 in English Bibles})   Loved ones, hear these words of David, and hear them well.  When it comes to your worship, and what the writer of Hebrews calls your “sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15), the value and… Read More

Praise Yahweh–All the Nations!

“Praise Yahweh, all ye nations! Laud him, all ye tribes! For his chesed is mighty over us, and the truth of Yahweh is eternal! Praise Yahweh! (Psalm 117:1-2)               How greatly our God blesses his people!  How wonderful is our God’s faithfulness throughout the generations!  How our God has given us so much more—abundantly… Read More