Monday, February 12, 2018
Psalms 150 Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.
What an incredible journey it’s been. This is our 175th devotional during our scenic tour of the Psalms. We agreed to take a little sight-seeing trip each day and stop at any scenic overlook the Lord pulled us into. We have discovered some marvelous treasures along the way. I’m sad to see this trip come to an end. I wonder where God will take us next?
There’s only one scenic overlook on today’s excursion. As we exit our vehicles and walk over to the edge to get the full effect of the view, we are immediately overwhelmed by the simple complexity of what we see – simple because there’s only one thing to observe, yet complex because of the diversity of ways to observe it. It is the panorama of praise.
It’s an awesome vista. Multiple individual scenes all turned and tuned to one focal point. No matter which direction we look, our eyes are always drawn to one place. There is no inclination to be distracted by the individual elements of the view. Every part of the scene has but one purpose – to draw attention to the One who created the scene.
Some parts are doing it with a variety of musical instruments. Some parts have chosen to make loud, rhythmic noises. Some parts are dancing. Every part that has breath is singing and shouting. But one thing is consistent – they are all directing their attention to the One who gave them life and breath. In unity they inhabit the panorama of praise.
Some choose to praise the LORD in the security of their homes and churches. Some have decided to climb to the heights and praise Him in public. But one thing is common to them all, they are praising God.
Some praise Him because they have experienced His acts of power. Some are praising Him because they are experiencing the reality of who He is. But one thing remains the same with them all – they are praising Him.
As we look out over this amazing scene at the end of the road, we get a glimpse of heaven. We haven’t seen this view before, mainly because we’ve been preoccupied with our way of praising God. Suddenly it becomes clear – our way is not the only way. As we gaze out over this panorama we are awestruck by the diversity of people and their patterns of praise, and yet they all come together to make one sound – a clear sound – that draws complete and continual attention to the One on the throne. It’s as if all the music, drums, dancing, shouting, and singing have combined to create a new form of music – one unknown to us here on earth.
Our minds are immediately taken to the scene in heaven when all the saints are present, and it begins to make sense.
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirit of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song:
“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
At last we understand. None of the songs we sing today, and none of the musical preferences we have held so dear, will be the final voice of praise in heaven. They will blend with the voices and styles of saints from every age and every tribe and every language and every race and form one new song, with its one and only focus on the One and Only King – Jesus Christ.
We could stand at this spot for a long time and take in the true beauty of what we see.
As we walk away from the edge and return to our vehicle to begin whatever journey God has planned for us next, we are deeply impacted by what we have just seen. We follow the lead of the Holy Spirit to make a renewed commitment to start practicing our praise for heaven. We understand now that the best way to do that is not to invite everyone else to praise God as we do, but rather to let everyone praise God as they do, and let God, the Master Conductor, bring us together in harmony to create the final concerto.
Let the crescendo of praise begin.