Praise is the Goal

Day 167

1 Kings 15:25‐17:24; Acts 10:23b‐48; Psalm 134:1‐3; Proverbs 17:9‐11

Praise is the Goal

Psalm 134 is the last of the Songs of Ascents. The goal of the Israelite pilgrimage was worship at the temple of the Lord. When the pilgrim would “arrive,” those who ministered at the temple were called to praise the Lord by lifting up their hands.

Body and spirit are so closely tied together that when we lift up our hands, we are also lifting up our hearts to God. The body posture informs the posture of the soul. The reaching up of our hands is as stretching upwards of our thanksgiving and praise into the heavenly realms.

As we each are on our own individual pilgrimages to God, we must remember that at the end of the trek, we will find ourselves in a great assembly of praise to the Lord. The path may have its heights and depths, but in the end we will praise the Lord.

“May the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.”

Prayer: I lift up my hands to you, Oh Lord. I offer up my heart and will as a living sacrifice of praise. I praise you, Lord.

The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Church of St. John the Divine
Houston, TX

We Reflect What We Worship

Day 10

Genesis 23:1-24:51; Matthew 8:1-17; Psalm 9:13-20; Proverbs 3:1-6

We Reflect What We Worship

It is a popular saying among motivational speakers nowadays that “we become what we think about.” If we think about positive things, we will become positive people; negative things: negative thoughts and actions. We are reminded of the same spiritually healthy habit by Paul to “think about…whatever is true, honorable, just, pure and lovely” (Philippians 4).

Proverbs is a book full of godly imperatives—calls to think and act with wisdom. But in this passage, the call is not a ‘list’ of how to act, a checklist of “righteous things I must do today,” so much as it is to gaze at God Himself and therefore become like Him. The admonition, for instance, in 3:3 to “let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you” but rather to “bind them around your neckis not merely a call to adopt the traits of steadfastness and faithfulness, but to gaze at the God who proclaimed to Moses that He Himself is “abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6).

We are to bind ourselves to Him, remembering our covenant with God, not forsaking Him. Where motivational speakers might encourage us to develop new “understanding” to lean on, Solomon has told us not to lean on our own understanding, but “in all our ways acknowledge” the One who is before us. As the Apostle John notes, When we see Him, we will be like Him.” When the eyes of our hearts are steadfastly on God, we will reflect What we worship.

Kent Madison
The Summit Church
Lake Mary FL