Jul. 20. Psalms of Joy, Praise and Thanksgiving

Ps. 33:1-22; 66:1-67:7; 100:1-5

There was great rejoicing, praise and thanksgiving as Josiah led his people back to the proper worship of God. We view the following psalms in that setting as they were possibly sung in worship at that time.

The psalmist rejoiced at the great power of God. It was through His breath that He spoke everything into existence. There are some who refer to the existence of God as a “fairy tale” or figment of one’s imagination. It is more reasonable to attribute the creation of the universe and its inhabitants to the work of a divine Being, than to rely upon the thought of a random explosion that resulted in order out of nothing. God’s presence is universal. He sees all things—both good and evil. Man was not placed upon the earth to flounder on his own, but God is here as our help and shield for our survival. Nations have fallen because of a lack of trust in Him. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”

Man was instructed to make a joyful shout to God by singing praise and honor in thanksgiving to His name. The psalmist presented a lengthy list of the things that God had done for His creation including the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. Some were not pleasant. However, as it takes fire to refine precious metals, hard times refine His people. A resolve to worship Him followed the listing of God’s blessings. If we will fear Him, He will hear us.

The people were urged to praise God for His righteous judgment of all nations. That eventually would include the Gentiles after the establishment of His church. Many times, judges either through mental errors or from corruption make decisions that do not properly reflect the testimonies presented before them. God is a merciful Judge who does not take bribes nor make mistakes. We must serve Him faithfully in order to receive the reward of a favorable judgment at the end.

Songs of thanksgiving were repeatedly sung by the children of Israel when they were faithfully following God. There were many times when they would backslide and worship idols instead of the living God. Those periods were followed by a return to Him with praise and thanksgiving for His mercy and compassion. Thanksgiving should be a constant attitude among God’s people and not just at a designated time of the year.