1: "God, you will be praised in Jerusalem. We will keep our promises to you." - As we praise God and lift up songs of thanksgiving for His blessings and answered prayers in our lives, we are fulfilling our vows to love and worship "the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind." (Luke 10: 27)
2-3: "You hear our prayers. All people will come to you. 3Our guilt overwhelms us, but you forgive our sins." - Sooner or later all people will come to God loaded with guilt, loneliness, and in search of fulfillment.
4: "Happy are the people you choose and invite to stay in your court. We are filled with good things in your house, your holy Temple." - God's select chosen few, at the time of this psalm, were the Israelites, as His chosen people, and the tribe of Levi, the priests charged with worship, sacrifice, and intercessory prayers. Now, through Jesus Christ, all who come have full access to God's love and mercy and all are invited to stay.
5: "You answer us in amazing ways, God our Savior. People everywhere on the earth and beyond the sea trust you." - God answers prayers.
8: "Even those people at the ends of the earth fear your miracles. You are praised from where the sun rises to where it sets." - God's love is universal.
9-13: "You take care of the land and water it; you make it very fertile… 13Everything shouts and sings for joy." - God's bounty of blessings, as revealed throughout creation, is the source of our praise.
Points to Contemplate:
Are you keeping your promises to God?
When you bow in prayer and ask God for forgiveness, love, and protection, do you sense that there is an expectation from God of you? In the New Covenant where Christ died for your sins, forgiving you once and for all times, do you have promises to fulfill in return? The covenant of Abraham was a contract between God and man: He will bless us so we can be a blessing. Is the New Covenant a contract? Or is it simply a gift from God? Are you not still called to be a blessing to the world? Are you not commanded to love God and your neighbor? Should you not be spreading the Gospel and building the kingdom of heaven here on earth? Are these not vows of discipleship? Are you keeping your promises to God?
Are you one of God's chosen?
Have you been invited to stay in His court? Does this cause you to rejoice? Are you overwhelmed by God's love for you and the promise of glory that lies in store? Can there be any greater joy? If this is how you feel, then what are you doing to spread this joy to the world around you? If all people can gain access to God's love wouldn't eternity be a far better place if everyone were there? What steps can you take today to insure a greater celebration throughout eternity?
Has God answered your prayers? When life seems to be piling up a litany of pain, frustration, and worry, does stepping back and looking at the splendor of God's creation help you to remember the fulfillment of God's promises? As you recount the fullness of His bounty and as you experience the infinite details of His creation in every aspect of your life, are you strengthened and renewed in His Spirit? As you read this psalm of David that beautifully relates the abundance of God's love, does it cause you to "shout and sing for joy?" Promise of the Gospel:
Abundance. David sings to God with a heart filled with thanksgiving for the abundance of God's love. Everywhere we look we see signs of that love. The earth is filled with His glory. But recognizing and experiencing God's bounty does not end with songs of praise. The fact that God has provided us with His Grace is not the end of the story. Even when Jesus accepted His role as the sacrifice for our sins once and for all time, there is more to do. With our salvation secured we still have a role to perform. We have promises to fulfill. The New Covenant requires that in response to God's forgiveness we are to love God with all our heart, love our neighbors as our selves, proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world, and work diligently at inviting all people into God's holy court. Salvation and eternity is available for everyone - no one is to be left out. That is abundance - the abundance of God's love for all.