David is calling out with joy! “Let the people praise You” resounds repeatedly in his call. He also asks God to bless the people.
Usually when David calls out for praise it is in response to a specific blessing God has granted. Often it is victory over the enemy. Today though David calls out for all the nations to “be glad and sing for joy” (verse 4b) in the middle of two requests for God’s blessings. It feels like a “praise Him simply because He is God” kind of praise rather than a “thank You for what You have done” kind.
The requests David sandwiches his call to praise between is a general request to God. He doesn’t ask for anything specific, just God’s presence and favor. He sees God’s hand all around him already in the abundance that the earth has brought forth. For this abundance he credits God.
This psalm seems to come from a place of contentment. David is experiencing the rest and favor of God. And he wants to make sure the people remember to praise Him even in the times of abundance. It is depressing how we tend to move into complacency and take God’s blessings for granted in times of abundance. It’s almost as if we need a struggle to keep us seeking Him.
Thinking about this brings back an object lesson the Holy Spirit spoke to me years ago. It was actually two lessons I heard from Him at the same time. I have already shared the lesson of the conifer trees. How they stand out in the winter but are hidden by all the other trees in the summer. The second lesson spoke to me with the clouds and the sun.
Cloudy days can sometimes be discouraging. The thicker and darker the clouds the more discouraging one becomes. I personally love sunny days. The Holy Spirit impressed upon me though that the sun is NOT gone, even when the darkest clouds fill the sky. If you search you will even find a place where the light shines even just a little more brightly, as if trying to pierce the clouds. When ALL the clouds are gone, the sun is shining so brightly that you don’t actually even look for it. You feel its warmth but avoid looking at it directly. When it becomes a continually sunny season you may even forget how special this time is because all trouble is absent.
God is the sun in this analogy. He is EVER PRESENT in this life. When troubles get in the way I actively search for Him, asking Him to help me drive back the darkness. I look for the light place in the clouds. When the clouds break up I watch diligently for the sun to appear, welcoming its warmth. I begin thanking Him for working on my behalf. When my skies are completely clear I revel in His warmth but don’t turn to search Him out. I’m not in urgent need, so I sometimes take His blessings and presence for granted.
Unlike the sun, continuing to seek God is NOT harmful. He will not burn me if I spend too much time in His presence. That time though will change me. The closer I get to Him the more I will ‘look like’ Him. I don’t have to be afraid to ‘fly too close’ like Icarus did. He will NOT destroy me or cause me to fall for getting too close to Him.
I want to praise God for my life right now. It is a fairly quiet time. I can feel His blessings all around me. It is also a time of unrest in the world. I need God’s continued favor as things shift and change around me. I am amazed by the peace He has granted me when so many others are in unrest. NOT because I deserve it more but because I have chosen not to take on the worry and look for the Son to shine instead.
Thank You Father God for all the blessings You have brought into my life. Thank You that You are ALWAYS with me, even when it seems there aren’t any blessings anywhere to be found. Thank You that the darkness CANNOT destroy You or Your work in my life! I choose to praise You even in the storms. And I will praise You in the bright light of day. But if I stop searching, Jesus, bring the rain!