Wednesday, 29th July 2020
Title: Songs of Joy
Author: Pastor Wallace Ong
Psalm 65: 8
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
Every time when you receive terrible news such as massive natural disasters or global pandemic, have you ever questioned God’s sovereign power over the heavens and the earth? Can you find peace in your innermost being when you witness all these happenings in the world?
For those who do not know Him, the display of His power and might should cause them to realize that men are finite creatures and many things are not within their control. It is beyond man’s capacity to restrain such forces ravaging them. Some of them may react to the situation with rage, bewilderment, or grief but they quickly come to the realization that their own strength is limited. And for others, when their lives get close enough to the source of this power their perceived security in life is utterly shaken. We have heard countless testimonies attesting that it was during a crisis situation that people are drawn to cry out for help and discover the reality of the true and living God. Regardless of whatever circumstances, God remains faithful and is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow, reaching out to man in love and mercy, seeking to restore all the earth and men.
In Genesis 3, we learn that God allows Adam to perish in his sin as the wages of sin is death. All men are warned that their deeds will be accounted for on the Judgment Day and nothing can escape the eyes of the living God. However, God does not take pleasure even in the death of one soul who is swept away in the storm of life. In Ezekiel 18: 23, the Bible says, ‘Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? Declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?’ Similarly, in Ezekiel 33: 11, the same thought is repeated “Say to them, ‘As surely, as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’ Our merciful and compassionate God seeks to change the hearts and not to destroy even the sinful and wicked men.
The second half of the verse, “where morning dawns, where evening fades, You call forth songs of joy” reveals God’s true desire. God wants His creation to recognize His greatness and to joyfully sing His praises. This exhortation brings to our remembrance the word of Jesus as he spoke to the Pharisees in Luke 19: 37-40. The Pharisees reacted indignantly to the praise that the people were lifting up to Jesus. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to rebuke them. Jesus responded saying “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out!” His answer emphasizes that “God will be praised regardless” If men will not humble themselves before God and give praise to their Creator, then, the Almighty God Himself can bring forth from His creation, be it an inorganic and lifeless stone to render praises to Him.
How often have we been mesmerized with awe to the sound of a new song, depicting the wonders of God, and praising Him for all that He has done for us?
Dear Heavenly Father, With joy and thanksgiving, we give You praise for Your wonderful and Holy Name. You created all things. You are the giver of life. Your majesty is supreme in all the earth. We pray, O Lord, that You increase our faith and help us to have a more yielding spirit to seek after You and do things according to Your will in every area of our lives. Forgive us, Lord, when we failed to be the type of person You want us to become. We want to surrender ourselves to You and look to You for comfort and restoration. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
在创世记3章中，我们了解到上帝允许亚当在罪恶中灭亡，因为罪的代价是死亡。所有人都被警告，他们将在审判日交代他们的行为，没有什么可以逃避永生上帝的眼睛。然而，即使一个灵魂在生活的风暴中死亡，上帝也不喜悦。在以西结书18:23中，圣经说： 主耶和华说：恶人死亡，岂是我喜悦的吗？不是喜悦他回头离开所行的道存活吗？” 同样，在以西结书33：11中，类似的思想被重复：你对他们说：‘主耶和华说：我指着我的永生起誓，我断不喜悦恶人死亡，唯喜悦恶人转离所行的道而活。以色列家啊，你们转回，转回吧！离开恶道。何必死亡呢？’’ 我们有怜悯及丰盛慈爱的上帝寻求改变心意，甚至不摧毁有罪恶的人。
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