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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

April 15 2024

Monday April 15

True Praise Brings Pleasure to the LORD


Psalm 147:1-11

1 Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.

3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.

4 He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.

5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.

6 The LORD lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground.

7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God,

8 Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.

9 He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens that cry.

10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.

11 The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.


Psalm 147 is a psalm that should motivate us to live a life of praise as we experience and celebrate the greatness and goodness of the LORD.  As we remember the setting of this psalm, we recall that after the nation of Israel had been so richly blessed by God they gradually drifted away from Him and they began to worship the blessings rather than the God Who gave them. They forgot where the blessings came from.


They begin to live like the pagans around them and became idol worshippers (Psalm 106). As a result, God allow Babylon to conquer them and take them into captivity for 70 years. The Persian king, Cyrus issued a decree permitting the Jews to return to their land in 537 B.C.. Led by Zerubbabel, a large band of exiles went back to Judah the next year and the temple was rebuilt. Eighty years later, in 458 B.C., Ezra returned with another remnant to restore worship. Then 13 years later, Nehemiah came in 445 B.C. to restore the walls and gates of Jerusalem. Psalm 147 was most likely written for the occasion of the dedication of the rebuilt walls.


I love how this psalm begins! The very first verse reminds us that genuine praise from our hearts is a very pleasant and beautiful experience. As I have been meditating on this psalm, I couldn’t help but think how we have a choice. We can choose to live a life of praise, or we can choose to be ungrateful and live a life of greed, pride and selfishness. It appears that most Americans have forgotten the God who has so richly blessed us. And even most of our praise is from our mouths and lips only and not from our hearts and lives. Jesus said that “this people draw near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” (Matthew 15:8).


In verses 1-6, the people are singing praises to the LORD because they have been restored! The LORD has healed their broken hearts and bound up their wounds! Now in verses 7-11, they are thankful and singing praises on the harp because their land has been refreshed! Windows of blessings from heaven have begun to fall on them again.


The exiles returned to a land that had been left a war zone for seven decades, and they needed the early and latter rains in order to get a harvest. The Lord gathered the clouds over the land and emptied their life-giving rain on the newly planted seed. He even caused grass to grow on the mountains where nobody had planted any seed! He gave food to the wild beasts so they would not attack the humans, and He even sent food for the noisy young ravens. (See 104:1-24.) The ancients believed that young ravens were abandoned by the parent birds and had to find their own food (Luke 12:24). It was essential that the men and their farm animals stay healthy so they could work toward a harvest and be able to feed themselves and their families.


But as important as that was, the most important thing was trusting the Lord, fearing the Lord, and giving Him delight as He beheld their faith, devotion and obedience (Psalms 33:16-17; 146:3-4; Matt. 6:33). It is an awesome thought that we can bring pleasure to the heart of the heavenly Father (Psalms 35:27; 37:23; 149:4).


“The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy” (v. 11). My friend, it is true that God is most satisfied when we are most satisfied in Him. This is the essence of true and pure worship!


God bless!

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