Praise ye the LORD! What a striking entrance to a passage. There can be no better way to open a conversation with another believer (or group of believers) than with praise to the One who has placed us on earth for His glory and pleasure. One thought runs on to another and I am deeply awed by the realization that He created us for His own pleasure. (Revelation 4:11) The truth that the all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign Lord of the universe would create mankind in His own image for His own pleasure is beyond comprehension.
Further down in the Psalm there is a series of phrases stating what the LORD does for certain people. Not what He will do, nor what He has done, but what He does. These statements are really beautiful when you pause to examine them, but they are striking when you observe for whom the actions contained therein are made.
- executeth judgment for the oppressed
- giveth food to the hungry
- looseth the prisoners
- openeth the eyes of the blind
- raiseth them that are bowed down
Who wants to be oppressed, hungry, in prison, blind, or bowed down (depressed or afflicted in other ways)? Who desires to undergo all the trials that life on earth could possibly offer? Who yearns to be in the category of those who struggle most with the most basic needs of life? Yet those who are in the lowest places possible receive the LORD’s most tender attention. It really isn’t a matter of desiring trouble, but of thirsting for the presence of and communion with the loving Savior. As we pursue the Lord, we may be sure that He will reward our efforts (Jeremiah 29:13) and the result will be transformation in our thinking so that the mind of Christ may be more fully manifested in us. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)
Do you sense an emptiness in your soul where you have previously enjoyed fullness of joy? Do you hunger where once you were satisfied? Do you feel bound where once you were free? Do you feel blind to the beautiful truths upon which you once gazed in wonder? Are you depressed by seemingly fruitless attempts to come to Christ? Friend, you are exactly where the Lord desires you to be: in the place where He has said He will meet you. Do not seek to heal yourself with efforts as insufficient as a band-aid on a gaping wound. Rather, accept the fact that you are broken, unable, and inadequate. Your very brokenness is what places you in the category of those who receive the most from their loving heavenly Father. Lay yourself down at the feet of the Lord and allow Him to minister to your need. He will, for He has promised and all the promises of God in Christ are yea. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Truly, the LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. (Psalm 145:9) Praise ye the LORD.