1Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, And his praise in the congregation of saints. 2Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 3Let them praise his name in the dance: Let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. 4For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: He will beautify the meek with salvation. 5Let the saints be joyful in glory: Let them sing aloud upon their beds. 6Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a twoedged sword in their hand; 7To execute vengeance upon the heathen, And punishments upon the people; 8To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron; 9To execute upon them the judgment written: This honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.
We played army a lot, my mom and me. I would dress up in camo and she would lead me in adventures on the road near the woods close to our house. I’ll never forget that evening as we walked that she said, “Jay, we’re on a secret mission and we can’t let anybody see us!” Of course, I was excited to participate in such a challenge, so I followed along with a big old smile covering my face. I suppose I was the happiest looking soldier anyone had ever seen. As we walked in the darkness a car approached and without warning Ma pushed me to the ground saying, “quick Jay, they can’t see us” and then she dived into the bushes beside me. The car drove by and we laughed at the intensity to which Ma used her imagination and played our game. We marched the rest of the way home as she led me in a cadence saying,
Left, left, left right left Sergeant’s face is turning green Left, left, left right left somebody…
Well, let’s just say that the rest of it said that someone did something to the poor sergeant’s canteen.
I followed along and repeated that chant. Absolutely nothing could have gotten that huge grin off of my face that night. The grin was gone in the morning however, because we both were completely covered in poison ivy. She had unknowingly pushed me into a big patch of it and then jumped into it herself. Even all red and itchy we were happiest of soldiers still!
When I read Psalm 149, I imagine a band of happy soldier marching into battle with songs on their lips and swords in their hands. Can you see it?
Psalm 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a twoedged sword in their hand;
Why are these soldiers singing praises as they go?
The first verse commands them to sing.
In verse 2 they are to be joyful in their Creator and King.
In verse 3 they are to dance.
Verse 4 tells the reason for all the merriment.
Psalm 149:4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: He will beautify the meek with salvation.
The reason for the rejoicing is the Lord loves his people and has beautified them with his salvation. Notice, this adornment is only given to those who are meek, who come humbly to him in seeking redemption. We can’t expect to earn his gift but we he will give it by grace.
We are soldiers happily marching, led by our Lord who delights in us.
Our sword is a spiritual one that has the power to give life rather than take it.
Our King is good and our cause is just, why would we follow with a frown?
Readings for 12/30/20