The six Psalms 113-118 are known as the “Egyptian Hallel”. Psalm 113 is an introductory Psalm that could be divided into three sections as below.
• Praise Unbounded – There is no limit how much we can praise our God. God wants us to praise Him from morning till evening and forevermore.
• God Unconfined – Let’s not limit God with what we know, but allow God to work in and through our lives without any restrictions. —-more—-
• Favor Undeserved – Let God raise us from our situation to a much higher leave that we don’t even deserve. Let His favor remove the barrenness that is in our lives and produce more natural and spiritual children.
Here is the one line summary of Psalm 113 – When we raise Unbounded Praises to the Unconfined God, we will see the Undeserved Favor coming upon His People.
Psalm 148 is the most solemn and earnest call to all the creations to praise the creator according to their capacity.
• Human is not the only creature that praises God, human is one among the many creatures that praise God.
• All creatures other than angels and human beings bring Glory to God by simply being themselves and fulfilling their God given roles in the created order. —-more—-
• When God expects all of His creations including angels, sun, moon and stars, sea creatures, birds and animals, kings, princes, judges, young and old, men and women, to praise Him, if we as human don’t praise Him, He will make the stones to cry out to Him.
He has exalted the horn of His people who praise Him and lifted them up with all honor, glory, strength and power.
Psalm 146 could be summarized as below.
• If we Know our God (V 6-9) and Do What He Says (V3-5), we will not die, but we will Live to Praise Him (V1-2 & 10).
• We know Our God who is a Creator, Giver, Miracle Worker, Champion & Encourager, Guardian & Protector & Defender of Widows and Orphans.
• And if we do what he wants us to do by trusting Him and being Happy, We must not die, but live in order to praise Him.
In Psalm 71, David is painting a picture of life to portray how Praise is involved in all the phases of life right from birth till death. God wants us to praise Him continuously. Living Praise lives along with us all through our lives. Psalm 71 can be sectioned as below.
• Miracle of the Past – Start praising God for creating you, your children,—-more—- the unborn, still not conceived, those who failed to make it from the mother’s womb.
• Wonder of the Present – In the midst of adversities, hardships and trials, God can make you a wonder to many when your mouth is filled with – not evil words, not negative words, not empty words, but praises to God.
• Favor of the Future – Old age could be complex. You need God’s favor to survive in that age, and that favor comes from our continual praises to God.
• Purpose of the Rest – The purpose of the rest of your life is to declare God’s strength and power to the next generation. Ministering to your own children and involving yourself in children and youth ministry.
Zechariah 9:12 Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you.
In this year 2021, God is extending an invitation for us to return to the stronghold, that is God Himself. Also God is declaring a double restoration for us. —-more—-If we return to the city of refuge, the Stronghold, we will see God’s favor in our lives as He is going to restore double of those things that we lost in the previous years.
Life is all about coming out of the house of bondage, traveling through the wilderness, reaching our earthly Canaan, living there until time comes to go the heavenly Canaan.
As we are about to enter into the New Year,
• God wants us to know there are tests on our way, it doesn’t matter if we are in the wilderness or in Canaan. —-more—-
• God tests us in our wilderness to see if we humble ourselves, to see what is in our hearts and to teach us spiritual truths through our lacks and scarcities or shortages.
• God tests us in our earthly Canaan to see if we still follow God, if we still love Him and still serve Him even when we are blessed with all the material blessings.
• He tests us to see if we rely on ourselves saying we achieved everything by our strength.
• It is important to remember the God of our wilderness and humbly walk in His presence to follow His commandments.
• If not, He doesn’t qualify us to enter into the eternal Canaan, instead he destroys us as He destroyed His enemies.
• All that we said is summarized in Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
Advent is a season of hope for tomorrow. We have our hope on Lord Jesus Christ because,
1. He is Sovereign – Advent reminds us that Jesus is Sovereign, He works beyond our limitations, there is nothing that could stop Him and nothing that could ever surprise Him —-more—-
2. He is a Hope Giver – When hopelessness and despair abounds around us, Advent reminds us to look at the one who gives us hope for tomorrow
3. He is the God of Tomorrow – If we really observe Advent, we will lose sight from our today’s limitations and put our hope on the God of tomorrow.
Advent reminds us the coming of the Lord – the birth of Jesus, birth of Christ within us during salvation and the second coming of Jesus. Advent is the season of expectant joy and let the source of joy be Christ alone. This joy comes to you by knowing your relationship with Jesus. Today, you may be missing some of your dear ones who may not be with you right now. —-more—-During Advent, your expectant joy is obtained by knowing that Christ is
• more than a brother for you.
• more than a friend for you
• more than your mother for you.
• more than your father for you.
• more than your husband for you
• the high priest in heaven.
Call Jesus – dear brother, dear friends, dear mother, dear father, dear husband and dear high priest. You will be filled with the everlasting joy.
Advent reminds us the coming of the Lord – the birth of Jesus, birth of Christ within us at salvation and the second coming of Jesus. The coming of the Lord reminds us the labor and pain associated with His birth into the world.
• That pain was upon the children of Israel in Egypt until a deliverer came —-more—-
• It was upon Mary and Joseph as they were struggling to lodge and deliver the baby
• The pain was upon Mary and Joseph as they had to escape Herod soon after delivery
• The pain was upon the inhabitants of Bethlehem and the surrounding places as their sons below the age of 2 were killed
• The pain has been experienced by millions in the form of persecution as they choose to have Christ born in their lives
• That pain is upon the world today as the world is getting ready for His coming
• Even during His second coming, the pain and the terror are going to be experienced by those who reject Jesus
Advent is a time to remember the labor and pain associated with His coming. Advent is also
• Advent – A season of Expectant Joy
• Advent – A season of Hope for tomorrow
We will talk about these in the next two weeks