When and why praise the Lord?

When and why praise the Lord?

In perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. – Isaiah 25:1

Isaiah 25:1-5


 1 O LORD, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.

 2 You turn mighty cities into heaps of ruins. Cities with strong walls are turned to rubble. Beautiful palaces in distant lands disappear and will never be rebuilt.

 3 Therefore, strong nations will declare your glory; ruthless nations will fear you.

 4 But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O LORD, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall,

 5 or like the relentless heat of the desert. But you silence the roar of foreign nations. As the shade of a cloud cools relentless heat, so the boastful songs of ruthless people are stilled.

For many decades, therapists and counselors concentrated their efforts on sources of concern that their patients presented to them. The focus was on diagnosis and treatment. In 1998, a dramatic shift away from problem-centric psychology began to emerge. Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi popularized the concept of positive psychology. Positive psychology developed new, positively focused interventions.

A whole new positive psychology paradigm unfolded. The goal was to get people to leverage their inner strengths to promote the best outcomes for individuals, groups, and institutions (Gable & Haidt, 2005).

For millennia, the Father has used positively focused interventions to correct His people and engender repentance and transformation.

The Father never glances at the human situation on planet Earth with shock and dismay. He has never been caught off guard. He never mutters, whoops! All of His plans were formed of old. There are no last-minute details that have to be taken care of that were not accounted for.

Isaiah recognizes, honors, and praises the Father’s remarkable intervention in the space-time continuum to discipline the nation of Israel and her enemies.   

Isaiah 25:1-3

1 O LORD, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.

 2 You turn mighty cities into heaps of ruins. Cities with strong walls are turned to rubble. Beautiful palaces in distant lands disappear and will never be rebuilt.

 3 Therefore, strong nations will declare your glory; ruthless nations will fear you.

The Hebrew word translated as wonderful things, extraordinary things, extraordinary things, or wonders is pele. Pele often refers to something that causes feelings of wonder and awe. It denotes things that “bear the mark of the supernatural, beyond human doing, finding their origin in another real unusual or even miraculous” (Motyer).

Wonderful Counselor is one of the messianic titles of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Hebrew words translated as Wonderful Counselor are pele yaats (Isaiah 9:6).

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah acknowledges and worships the Father for His wonderful, remarkable works planned in eternity past for the nation of Israel. Isaiah watches as the Father’s plan unfolds as the Father intervenes in the space-time continuum. 

Isaiah’s observations and comments seem paradoxical. His writings are a collection of dire warnings interspersed with hope and promise for the future.  Isaiah recognizes the value of discipline. He praises the Father for the difficult times, harsh discipline, and remarkable positive outcomes.

James and Paul mirror Isaiah’s thoughts and actions.

James 1:2-4

 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Romans 5:3-5

 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.

 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

REFLECT & PRAY

“Whatever we need God to be for us, He is. He gives strength to the weak, shelter to the homeless, and shade to those fainting in the scorching sun. Our Redeemer is all this to us, and more” (Stanley).

Father teach me and encourage me to count it all joy as I go through the various trials and difficulties that You have arranged for my life. By faith, I understand that the purpose of my problems and trials is to develop and complete me.

INSIGHT

“Whatever we need God to be for us, He is. He gives strength to the weak, shelter to the homeless, and shade to those fainting in the scorching sun. Our Redeemer is all this to us, and more” (Stanley).

Isaiah counts it all joy as the trials and vicissitudes unfold. He shows the children of the King the way to thank the Father during times of great adversity. When the Father disciplines, He demonstrates His love and consistency. The Father is faithfully carrying out His plan. His marvelous deeds are clear manifestations of the Father’s intent and incredible power executed on behalf of His people. His faithfulness bespeaks His sovereign power and dedication to doing what He plans.    

Isaiah models how every child of the King should thank the Father in both the good times and the dire and challenging life circumstances. We are to make it our practice to praise the Father repeatedly. He is worthy of our admiration and praise in all things.

This requires a significant paradigm shift. We are to take our eyes off the circumstances and focus on the Father and praise him based on who He is in the midst of our circumstances. 

By example and by word, the prophet Isaiah invites the children of the King to consider the mighty works of the Father, and invites them to sing, praise, and worship Him for who He is and what He does.

We do not praise the Lord because of the way we feel; we praise the Lord because of who He is and the way He feels about us (Stanley).

¯\_()_/¯  

© Dr. H 2022

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