December 14, 2021
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 14 December 2021
Psalm 147 requests nothing from God; rather, the exclusive purpose is to express thankfulness to the Lord. There are three instances of praise to God (vv. 1, 7, 12), which are followed by the reasons for such acclaim. Praising God is the foremost exercise of one’s faculties, thus Psalm 147 begins with a call to “praise the Lord!” The reason for such acclimation is “for it is good to sing praises to our God.” How “pleasant” and “becoming” to sing the Lord’s goodness.
God should be praised because He “heals the brokenhearted” (those feeling despondent because of their suffering) (vv. 2-3). He gives names to the countless numbers of stars (v. 4). To name someone or something is to assume one’s care, such as parents naming a baby. Everything in the universe is in its rightful place because of the care of God, who is “abundant in strength.” “His understanding” of each star “is infinite.” To a greater degree, God supports the humble on the earth. He supports and sustains his people. Furthermore, the Lord is able to defeat “the wicked” by frustrating their plans and negating their work (vv. 5-6).
The second stanza begins in the same manner as the first, that is, with a call to praise the Lord (v. 7). God should be praised because He provides for the needs of his people (vv. 8-9). In ancient times, people were dependent upon “the strength of the horse” and “the legs” of a warrior, just as nations today depend upon armies. God, however, “favors those who fear Him” (vv. 10-11). True security and strength is found in God (cf. 20:6-9). Those who recognize the Lord’s greatness, justice, and truth “wait for His lovingkindness” (v. 11). God delights in those who revere and serve Him, and whose hope is in Him.
The third stanza begins with a concluding motivation to “praise the Lord,” who blesses and secures his people (vv. 12-13). God’s blessing results in peace and provision for life’s needs (v. 14). The Lord desires to bless countries and nations today, yet the people must depend upon Him and live in accordance with his revealed Word.
The concluding verses of Psalm 147 testify to the power of God’s spoken word (vv. 15-18; cf. Gen 1:3). The most important aspect of God’s written Word, the Bible, is that it reveals how to live in a relationship with the Lord. The privilege of knowing God is to be declared to all nations (Ps 147:19-20; cf. Isa 42:6; 49:6). God’s people today have an even greater responsibility to make his Word known (Matt 28:18-20; 1 Pet 2:9). Knowing the Word of God is the greatest blessing for any nation or person, yet obeying it is the fundamental responsibility. Therefore, “praise the Lord!”
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
The primary emphasis of Capitol Commission is threefold: prayer, presence, and proclamation. As a ministry of prayer, we encourage all believers – regardless of political ideology or denominational commitment – to pray for their elected officials. One primary resource in this regard is using our prayer website – www.pray1Tim2.org – where you can pray each day for your elected officials. As a ministry of presence, we engage leaders and staff to share the gospel, meet needs, and make disciples. The responsibility of our leaders can be overwhelming, and it is an honor to come alongside them to encourage them and to express gratitude from them. As a ministry of proclamation, gospel clarity and witness are crucial, and this is primarily accomplished through ongoing Bible studies for both legislators and staff. The Lord has called Capitol Commission to a ministry of prayer, presence, and proclamation to a place where few can go, behind the scenes with state and national legislators and staff.