Lamentations 1:1-22; Philemon 1:1-3; Psalms 100:3-5; Proverbs 22:2-4
Psalms: “Acknowledge that the Lord is God. He made us, and we are his— his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good, and his faithful love endures forever; his faithfulness, through all generations.” (Psalms 100:3-5 CSB)
Psalm 100 begins with a call to the whole earth to shout to the Lord and serve Him with gladness… to come before Him with joyful songs. In order for the whole earth to do that, they must first acknowledge that the Lord is God. The active Hebrew word in that charge is the word ‘yada,’ which is oftentimes translated as ‘know.’ ‘Yada’ is not a “book-knowing,” but an experiential knowing. The psalmist called the entire world to experience the Lord… and upon experiencing Him, come to the point of acknowledging Him as the One True God of all creation.
For the whole earth to experience and ultimately acknowledge the Lord God, His people – the sheep of His pasture – need to be faithful to proclaim the Lord’s praises. The overriding call of the nation of Israel was to declare to the rest of the world, the greatness and goodness of the Lord. For God’s people to passionately proclaim the Lord’s praises to the rest of the world, they also needed to know God by experience. So the psalmist called the people of God to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. In Psalm 22, David stated that the Lord inhabits (or takes His throne on) the praises of His people. God dwells and reigns in the midst of praise that is lifted up in His name, and through that thanksgiving and praise, God’s people are able to draw near to Him and experience His goodness, faithful love (mercy, kindness, faithful covenantal love), and faithfulness (steadfastness and security). As God’s people express their thanksgiving and offer up praise, it blesses the Lord and reveals God to the rest of the world.
Proverbs: “Rich and poor have this in common: the Lord makes them all… Humility, the fear of the Lord, results in wealth, honor, and life.” (Proverbs 22:2, 4 CSB)
All people are created by the Lord God. Therefore, all people, regardless of their socioeconomic status, are of equal value to the Lord. Of course, all people are uniquely crafted and gifted in different ways – but they all have equal value. Being rich does not make you better than those who are poor, and being poor doesn’t make you less valuable than those who are rich. This understanding only comes to those who truly acknowledge the Lord as God. The earnest acknowledgment of the Lord as God leads us away from pride and toward humility and the fear (honor and respect) of the Lord. Our humility before the Lord and our faith-filled honor and obedience to His word, will and ways results in true wealth (that cannot be taken away), honor, and abundant life for all – rich and poor alike.
Prayer: Lord, You are good. You are steadfast and true to Your word. You are loving, merciful, kind and gracious. I know that because Your word says that of You – but I also know that because I have experienced it first-hand. You are God. I acknowledge that without reservation. I also endeavor to make that truth known to all through praise and thanksgiving. Help me, by Your Holy Spirit, to not miss an opportunity to give You the glory that is due Your name – so that all the earth will experience You and know You as God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.