Monday, April 30, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 121

Psalm 121 is the second Psalm of Ascent. The first two verses are what made this psalm famous (or well loved and often quoted)

1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

I also really like the second half of v.3
He who keeps you will not slumber

That's a wonderfully comforting verse, don't you think? When my children were sick when they were little I wanted to sit up all night and watch them - check their temperature, make sure they were comfortable, all of those kinds of things. But I couldn't stay up all night. Eventually Cheryl and I would decide that they would be OK for a while without us watching and we would catch a little sleep. Or if they were really sick, we would take turns sleeping and watching.

God doesn't have to take turns with someone else as He watches over us. He never slumbers.

That makes me sleep better.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 120

Psalm 120 is the first of 15 psalms called "Psalms of Ascent." They were recited as pilgrims came to Jerusalem or as they ascended the steps of the temple.

So if the Psalms of Ascent are to be looked at as a set and this one being the first one in the set then we should look at it as the first step as we come to God. (I'll admit that I haven't read all fifteen psalms today so as I read through them this whole line of thought may change.)   :-)

The first step then is to acknowledge that when we are in trouble we should cry out to God.

The psalmist was surrounded or "dwelt" among a bunch of people wanting war - probably with him. He wanted peace, but they wanted war. When we find ourselves surrounded by those against us we should cry out to God knowing He hears.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

150 Days'of Psalms - Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is a celebration of the Word. It begins with these words
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD.

and from there every verse (except two if I remember correctly) has a word in it that refers to the Word of God: law, precepts, commandments, word, ordinances, statutes and testimonies.

The verses you probably know by heart are the ones that are either set to music or the ones that are part of the VBS "I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God's holy word, I will make it a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path and will hide it's word in my heart that I might not sin against God."

The only way for God's word to be all it can be in your life is for you to spend time in it and to know it and to meditate on it and to hide it in your heart and keep (obey) it and .....more.

I think this psalm a day is a good start, but don't let it be all you do and don't stop after this 150 days.

Friday, April 27, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 118

Sometimes it's just one verse that really stands out to me as I read through a psalm. In my blogging about each psalm I have often thought that I should try to write about the entire psalm or find the thought that ties it all together and blog about that. But that has been difficult some days and as I already mentioned, sometimes it's just a verse or two that speak to me on that day.

I have two thoughts about that.

1. that is part of what "living and active" mean as the writer of Hebrews was explaining when he wrote
Hebrews 4:12 NAS

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

2. the writers of the New Testament and Jesus himself Himself did just that. They *He) would take one verse from a psalm and use it to explain something about Jesus. I saw two of those verses in this psalm.

Jesus quoted verse 22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. 23 This is the LORD'S doing ; It is marvelous in our eyes.

Matthew 21:42 NAS (also quoted in Mark and Luke)

Peter understood what Jesus was saying because he quoted this same verse to the Jewish rulers in Acts 4 and used it again in his letter 1 Peter 2:7

Then all four Gospels quote verse 26 as the people of Jerusalem welcomed Jesus as He rode into town and they waved palm branches
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD ; We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

So.... all of that to say it's OK if one or two verses stand out to you as you read a psalm. That's just the Holy Spirit speaking to you through the living, active Word. That's really cool, don't you think?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 117

A Psalm of Praise. 1 Praise the LORD, all nations ; Laud Him, all peoples ! 2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the LORD is everlasting. Praise the LORD ! This is a great psalm to get us ready for our On Mission Conference as we learn more and celebrate together the mission work that we support through the Cooperative Program and the mission work we have participated in at Hilldale. (and it's short so you can start reading ahead on Psalm 119)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Passion Play 2012 - Miracle Man

"The Miracle Man" words and music by Chris Machen from the musical "Bow the Knee" (published by Allegis) is always a great song for the Passion Play. Here are some pics from this year.

"Have you heard the news today? A Galilean came this way. He touched a sightless man, made him see again.

As He moved among the crowd, A crippled man was crying out. Jesus raised him up, made him walk again.
Who but God can do miracles?
Then who must Jesus be?
He's the miracle man...

Did you see Him heal that man? The one who had a withered hand: When he held it up it was whole again.

even now the deaf can hear. Even so the speechless cheer..
Even death has no power over Him. We watched with wonder in our eyes.
Jesus took a lifeless child into His arms,
Then He said, "Child arise!"

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 116

You've probably heard of "foxhole conversions" and the saying "There are no atheists in foxholes." If you aren't familiar with this concept, foxholes are holes or ditches dug in a battlefield where a soldier can get below the whiz of bullets flying toward him and fire back at the enemy while he looks for an end to the battle or a way of escape. Many a soldier when found in a foxhole returned to or found a faith in God as he cried out - like the psalmist here - "Lord, save me!"

I've been reading some blogs I found when I googled about foxhole conversions. Most seem to think that foxhole conversions are worthless. One was about atheists in foxholes. They all actually seemed to have some valid points. One talked about how desperate people in desperate situations will do or say just about anything.

This all leads up to what I was going to say anyway, that the proof of "conversions" during times of trouble is in what happens after the "trouble" is gone. We know the writer of Psalm 116 was sincere and serious about his cry for help because he said

"I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all His people." v.14

"I will offer You a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all His people,
in the courts of the Lord's house..." vs.17-19

It's easy to make promises to God when you are looking for deliverance from something/someone. The proof of your conversation with God during those times  is in what you do afterward.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 115

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name be glory.

We live in a world of glory seekers.. It's easy to see on television where you have American Idol and many other singing competitions - each looking for the next big star. You have politicians and world leaders who seem to have their own glory as their main goal rather than helping those they should be leading. You even see it in the Christian world as TV evangelists and mega-church preachers (and musicians) push their own agendas and seek their own glory rather than pointing to the One who deserves all glory and praise (because of His lovingkindness and His truth v. 1)

The idols of the psalmist's day were easy to identify.. They were carved out of wood or stone or molded out of metal. Of course many convinced themselves that those idols could hear and speak and do stuff, but the psalmist pointed out the obvious - they can't see, speak, hear, smell, etc.

Pointing out idols today may not be as easy since they aren't carved out of wood, but they still are made by man's hands. I'm not saying that watching American Idol makes you an idolater.

I am saying, however, that the recognition that we give celebrities, athletes, politicians, and others is a form of idolatry when we spend more time thinking about them and wanting to be like them and those kinds of things than we do thinking about and wanting to be like the Lord, our help and our shield.

Monday, April 23, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 114

 I would never want to be one to criticize a writer of scripture, but it seems like the psalmist here was just getting warmed up and then he quit. I guess it might have been written by Aaron or Miriam. Miriam wrote other hymns of praise to God for Israel's deliverance form Egypt. Maybe this one was written just after the Israelistes had crossed the Jordan River. The trembling mountain most likely refers to Mt. Simai shaking as God gave the law to Moses. The sea of course is the Red Sea that parted when Israel crossed over.

Even though this is a short psalm it tells of God's greatness and power over the earth as He delivered His people. We tend to look at these miracles as no big deal since we have heard about them since we were little. And of course we believe God could and did do them. But if you stop and think about them, they are totally amazing! Not only did the Red Sea part, but they crossed on DRY land. Their feet didn't even get muddy. Look at each of these miraculous things God did for Israel and see them with eyes of wonder instead of "yeah, I already knew that"eyes and you'll "tremble at the presence of the Lord" just as the psalmist says.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 113

All the pictures I found to go with this psalm were verse 3

But the verse that spoke to me was the last verse because I have seen this verse lived out in many couples lives over the years.
9 He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD !
Children are a gift of the Lord. Some couples can't have children for many different reasons. Adoption then becomes a very good option for many of these couples. But I've noticed that even though there are mothers and agencies and lawyers and case workers involved in the process, the Christian couples I know praise the Lord and say that their child(ren) is/are a gift from God. They give God the credit and the glory and say how their child fits perfectly in their lives. And they follow what verse 3 says and they praise God from the rising of the sun until it sets because He has given them such joy.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 112

How blessed is the man who fears the Lord.

Psalm 112 lists many ways God blesses the one who fears Him. That "fear" is respect, reverence, obedience, etc.

Rather than focusing on what the blessings are, let me point out the actions of one who fears the Lord as seen in Psalm 112.

  1. He delights in God's commands
  2. He is gracious
  3. and compassionate
  4. and righteous
  5. he lends
  6. he gives freely to the poor

If you compared how you live with this guy, how do you measure up?

Friday, April 20, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 111

Hmmmm. I didn't know where to start in writing about this psalm. I just told Cheryl that this psalm is all over the place. So I guess that's what I need to write about. Maybe the psalmist was just overwhelmed with all that God is all all that He does. He talks about praising God because of His great works, then about His righteousness, giving food to those who fear Him, that His precepts (teachings) are sure, that He sent redemption to His people, and ends sounding like something from the book of Proverbs by saying "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom ; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments;"

Maybe it's just a good reminder that God is multifaceted. Sometimes we put Him in little boxes. "I can talk to God about this, but not that." But this psalm covers so many areas of life, perhaps psalmist is trying to say that God is bigger than we think He is. 
This picture I found is a good way to summarize this psalm. (wish I had thought of it this way)

Years ago I wrote a song that LifeWay published based on this psalm, "I Will Give Thanks." I don't have that recording to put on here, but I do have a YouTube video of a Korean choir singing it.

Unfortunately for us, they sang it in Korean.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 110

Psalm 110 is a "Messianic" psalm, meaning it is written about David and/or his descendants, but it's ultimate fulfillment is found is the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. The title is "The Priestly King" which is a term also used for Jesus.
Because of it's obvious and historical designation as a Messianic Psalm it has been set to music by many famous composers over the years.

George Frederick Handel's setting of Psalm 110 - in Latin. Quite lovely! My guess is that you won't want to listen to the entire 40 minute piece, but I encourage you to enjoy hearing just a little bit of it. (You can also find setting by Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach and others, but I think I like Handel's the best.)

"Dexit Dominus Domino meo" = "The Lord said to my Lord."

Jesus used this psalm to question the religious leaders of the day. He was showing that Messiah was before David.

You can see this in Matthew 22.
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 "What do you think about the Christ ? Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied. 43 He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says, 44 " 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." ' 45 If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Even though this psalm is only seven verses long, it is the most frequently quoted psalm in the New Testament.

Acts 2:34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, " 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."

1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

Ephesians 1:20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Hebrews 7:17 For it is declared: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: 'You are a priest forever.' "

(also Hebrews 5-7 is a long passage comparing Jesus Christ to Melchizedek, a priest and king who met Abram after a victorious battle and Abram gave a tithe - a tenth - of all the spoils to Melchizedek.)

1 Peter 3:22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Here is a page from a Bible that was made around 1210. The picture is in a letter 'D' because in Latin the first word of the psalm begins with a 'D.'
Notice the enemies under their feet being used as a footstool.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 109

Wow! Have you ever gotten on someone's "bad" side? You did something that really got them angry with you and then they were on your case for what seemed like forever? Well, someone/someones was/were being rather hateful to David - without cause - and David really blasts them. The footnotes in my fancy Holman Christian Standard Study Bible call this an imprecatory psalm. So of course I had to go to to see exactly what imprecatory meant. Imprecation means "curse." Yep. That sums up the major sections of this psalm.

"Let his children wander as beggars, searching for food far from their demolished homes." Wow!

It's hard for us to wrap our minds around wording like this because we have experienced grace and are following Christ's commands to love - our neighbors, our enemies, the Lord (with all our heart, mind, soul, strength) etc.

So how do we explain a psalm like this? I think it shows us the seriousness God placed on the Davidic covenant. David and his descendants were His chosen leaders. To fight against David was to fight against God Himself. It also shows God's hatred of sin and of those who live their lives in defiance of God. God's mercy is extended to everyone, but to those who reject Him there are grave consequences. David was pointing out what would become of those who are against the Lord.

This should encourage us - not to curse the wicked (if they don't repent their judgement is certain), but rather to pray for them that they would repent and turn to the Lord.

I couldn't add the pictures that came up when I googled for images of Psalm 109. You'll have to check them out yourself.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 108

If the subtitles don't show up, click the red CC button.

Psalm 108:3-5 is the text for this beautiful song of praise. The clip above is from a channel on YouTube called Praise Among the Nations. Here's what they say about themselves.

"Praise Among Nations (普天頌讚) [Ps 57:9]

Church TV (unofficial channel) of Cheung Lo Church, Church of Christ in China, Hong Kong. It's full of HD clips with various subtitles like Chinese, English, Spanish, etc."

There's something really awesome about hearing a familiar song sung by Christians from around the world. It shows the universal language of music for sure, but more than that, it shows the connection we have with believers around the world.
But more than that it shows how God's Word is alive and active and speaks to people of every nation, culture and language. v.3 I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the peoples, And I will sing praises to You among the nations.
Psalm 108 is a call to missions. It's a call to tell of God's greatness, not just to the people you know, but to every nation, every people.
I'm glad to be a part of a local congregation that is involved in international missions, local missions, an ESL ministry and so many other ministries that are reaching out to people of every race and culture with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
How will YOU be involved in singing/telling about God's greatness in the days to come?

Monday, April 16, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 107

There are several different scenarios described in this psalm. There were people wandering in the wilderness, others were in prison, foolish ones were afflicted because of their rebellious ways and their sins, some were on ships at sea and a storm came and was about to sink the ship...

In each case God delivered/rescued/helped them. The response called for in each case was the same.

v.8 Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.

v.15 Let them give thanks to the Lord

for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.

v.21 Let them give thanks to the Lord

for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.

v.31 Let them give thanks to the Lord

for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.

The final instructions are for all of us
v.43 Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things
and consider the Lord's acts of faithful love.

Whether our troubles are from our own doing or if they are an accident, like getting caught out in a storm, when we turn to the Lord, He will rescue, heal, deliver and then we need to be sure and thank Him - not only for what He has done for us, but for what He has done for everyone.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 106

Yesterday's psalm was a recounting of the mighty acts of God as seen in/through the lives of Jacob and the nation of Israel.
Today we see Israel's unfaithfulness to God throughout the years. The psalm is pretty much summed up in these verses.
43 Many times He would deliver them; They, however, were rebellious in their counsel, And so sank down in their iniquity. 44 Nevertheless He looked upon their distress When He heard their cry; 45 And He remembered His covenant for their sake, And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.

Maybe we could state the bottom line truth of this psalm as:
God's lovingkindness is greater than our sin.

Ooo. That made that old hymn come to mind.
"Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 105

Sing to God! Sing praises!

5 Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth

Most of this psalm is a retelling of many of the awesome things God did for Jacob/Israel, Joseph and then Moses and the plagues in Egypt...

We can praise God when we read about His wonders, but I think the psalmist is encouraging us to go further. Yes, the narrative of how God worked in the lives of Jacob and his descendants is incredible, but we have an invitation

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face continually.

Each of us can have our own really cool story of God's work in our own histories.
There are many verses in scripture with the promise that if we seek the Lord we will find Him. Jacob and Joseph and Moses weren't super heroes. they were men who did what these verses outline for us.
Glory in God's holy name.. Seek the Lord (and the glad heart indicates that He will be found.) Seek Him and His strength (not your own.) And then, seek His face continually. You seek His face by reading His word, spending time in prayer, obeying, trusting, loving.... you get the idea.

Maybe you need to write out your story as the psalmist wrote out Jacob and his descendants story. As you write it out you will see His marvels and your singing will be a personal testimony of what God has done in YOUR life. We forget what God has done. We become like the children of Israel who turned away from God when things were going well. Don't do that! Let this psalm inspire you to remember all God has done in your life and then SING!

Of course the perfect time to sing is together with others who have wonderful stories of God's work in their lives. That's why we gather together on Sundays in worship.

I'll look for many of you in worship at Hilldale tomorrow morning.

Friday, April 13, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 104

This beautiful psalm praises God for His care of all creation. It is through God's work that all of creation is sustained. "The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works."

God's plan is to include us in His work.

Genesis 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." I think we've read enough in the psalms about kings who rule with justice and integrity to understand the correct concept of "rule over."

Another passage I thought about when I read this was the first chapter of Colossians. In it is a fantastic description of Jesus Christ which includes this description of His role in creation.
16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

This psalm ends with the reason the psalmist took time to write about the wonders of creation and of God's care for creation.
33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live ; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 34 Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; As for me, I shall be glad in the LORD

Thursday, April 12, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 103

Several songs came to mind as I read through today's psalm. David wrote beautiful words describing God's love and forgiveness.

Here's a new song from Stuart Townend (he writes with Keith and Kristin Getty - for example: In Christ Alone)

Ah! This one is gorgeous!

This is the one I know.

No matter how you sing it, it's important to remember all of the benefits of the Lord and to then praise Him.

Verses 11-12 have inspired many songs too.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him.
As far as the East is from the West,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 102

There were a lot of familiar thoughts in this psalm - familiar in that the psalmist is crying out for help (as seen in many of the psalms.).

There is a contrast (again) between man's short life and God's eternal being.

"But You, Lord, are enthroned forever;
Your fame endures to all generations." v.12

"Long ago You established the earth,
and the heavens are the work of Your hands.
They will perish, but You will endure;
all of them will wear out like a garment,
and they will pass away.
But You are the same,
and Your years will never end." vs.25-27

Isn't it wonderful to know that with all of the changes in life and the shortness of our lives that God never changes?!

This psalm also reminds us that we need to make sure future generations know about the Lord - not that He really needs our help, but so that we can have a part in their knowing and serving Him. Verse 12 says, "Your fame endures to all generations," but verse 18 shows our part in that.

"This will be written for a later generation, and a newly created people will praise the Lord."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 101

As I was re-reading this psalm and looking for pictures to put with it I suddenly thought of politicians and the promises they make.

"My administration will be the most transparent, most honest, most blah, blah, blah..."

and then they aren't.

Here, the psalmist is making promises like the politicians.
I will walk with integrity.
I won't look at worthless things.
I won't tolerate people who lie, or do evil, or slander others, or are arrogant.

Instead I will surround myself with people who are faithful and blameless.

"7 He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me."

Now wouldn't that be change you could believe in?!

Of course it's easy to point fingers at politicians. However, we shouldn't expect or demand anything from our politicians that we aren't doing ourselves. Preach yourself a sermon now and then fix what you need to fix. :-)

Monday, April 9, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 100

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 99

Happy Easter!

Psalm 99 remembers how God has been with the leaders of Israel - well, at least Moses, Aaron and Samuel. Zion is a name for Jerusalem. Judah is a name for the lower kingdom.

It's a call to praise God because He reigns over all, He is great and awesome, He executes justice and righteousness and more.

Easter is a great day to worship and praise God because of His power shown in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray you've had a blessed Easter and that you will live this week in the power of the Resurrection.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

150 Days of Psalms - Psalm 98

When I read today's psalm I thought of Easter - Resurrection Sunday. Look how well it fits with Easter.

1 O sing to the LORD a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. 2 The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. 5 Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, With the lyre and the sound of melody. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn Shout joyfully before the King, the LORD. 7 Let the sea roar and all it contains, The world and those who dwell in it.

Look at these verses
Romans 1:4 NAS

who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Philippians 3:10 NAS

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death ;

And then we see the promise of the Second Coming!

Psalm 98:8 Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy 9 Before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth ; He will judge the world with righteousness And the peoples with equity.

There's a hymn most of my readers don't know called "This Is the Threefold Truth" text by Frred Pratt Green, music by Jack Schrader. It is based on an ancient confession of faith.

It has several verses, but I want to put just the first verse here. (You can see the comlete text here The Threefold Truth )

1 This is the three-fold truth on which our faith depends;

and with this joyful cry worship begins and ends:

Christ has died! Christ is risen!

Christ will come again!

Happy Easter! Feliz Páscoa!

Knowing this, doesn't it just make you want to burst out in song?!

Side note: this is another psalm telling us to use instruments in worship.