We finish the Psalms this week, well almost – Psalm 150 is next week. But the point of the Psalms reading this week is about the crescendo that comes at the end of 150 Psalms – a shout of Hallelujah comes resonating from the Psalmist. David has given us a birds-eye view of his prayers and relationship with the LORD. The last fifty Psalms are called the Ascents and Halle; these were used to worship the Lord during the various feast celebrations. I noticed with these final praise Psalms there is almost a personalizing of creation. In Psalm 147:16-18 we have an extended look at the various ways water can be seen – further displaying the creative and artistic ability of our Creator God. Psalm 148: 7-12 gives a running flow of creation depicted in Genesis 1, and creations Praising of their creator. It almost seems like the Psalmist is trying to give a human personality to creation. Yet we have to know that Romans 8:20-22 tells us that creation groans and longs to for the day of its restoration. So a anthromorphistic connotation to creation besides mankind really isn’t out of bounds theologically.
In these final Psalms, we have a continuous Praising and singing – I have been asked “what will we do it heaven? Just Sing?” With all the music and worship wars here in American churches the last 30 years – we will have to come to grips that our audience is God and that He loves repeated choruses! See Revelation 5 and Isaiah 6. The pleasure of our Lord is what we should seek. The last fifty Psalms are there on purpose – so many times we find that there is annotation about many of the Psalms – “Written for the Choir Director.” Today we have many song writers using the Psalms and other scripture for the lyrics of their songs. Yet I hear too often – I don’t like that music – Why can’t we have hymns!? Believers should sing the Word back to God. It is in the music sang for the LORD in Worship that prepares our hearts for the spoken word through pastors and teachers. If we are so focused on whether we like a song or not and get fixated on our displeasure – we have missed out on the pleasure of the Lord hearing our [your] voice sing praises to Him.
Pleasure – the greatest pleasure should not be our own; but the pleasure of someone else. Yes we need to be pleased with worship – but not to the point that it becomes all about us – musical likes and dislikes is deeper that personal tastes. The song is used to stir the hearts of those signing, and bring pleasure to the hearers. Make a joyful noise! Sometimes I think that we haven’t really gone too far – I remember the music wars in the 60’s and 70’s between parents and children. I’m talking about secular music – those that came out of the 30’s and 40’s had their own style of music – when something else came along – many times it was rejected because it wasn’t what people were use to. Do we really want to spend out time with God complaining about music that He loves to hears – yes God loves the music of all people – especially when it is praising from the Heart of His Child!
Psalm 78 – years ago I use to listen to Crosby, Stills , Nash and Young – they recorded a song with the same title of this blog,; who knew that listening to rock and roll would be inspirational? But besides being a great song, it has a timeless message about investing in the next generation. I have recently presented a seminar on Generational Issues and Revitalization; the seminar was packed; this only tells me that the subject was of high interest to many. Asaph writes for all of us a great, but long Psalm 78 speaking to the needs of parents to teach, and model a godly example before their children. Our church decided four years ago to switch ministry focus from Youth to All in the Family – Humm that sound familiar! The material we use comes from D6 and Randall House. The emphasis is on passing on a faith heritage to the children and grandchildren. Currently in the church and workplace there are seven  generations that are all competing for supremacy. Yes you read that right. I thought years ago that the “music wars” were over; but trust me they are alive and well! It seems that because of the advanced technological developments our world has radically changed from an agricultural one to an unban one. The influence of “daily chores” and working for the good of the community are ideas that have fallen on hard times and deaf ears. Also if note, author Haydn Shaw writes in Generational IQ how that every generation is trying to correct the other generations. The focus is on what is different not on Why. Asaph declares that every generation MUST pass on the truths of daily living and worship of the LORD God. Something a few past generations have failed to do. The Church [universal] is struggling for identity and direction, especially in America.
Asaph tells us to speak of the “things of old” – not just old ways, but wisdom. Our older generations has much to offer to all of us if we will listen. Just because they were born in 1938, doesn’t give us reason to completely discount them. Our church also revived an old church children’s program called Royal Ambassadors and Girls in Action. We did this at the cry of our community that children didn’t have any role models on how each gender [Boys and girls] should act. We have found that too many of our children are growing up without “life skills.” SO we teach them how to change tires, build with wood, sewing and cooking. I know that some may read this and be angst that we would be so “gender specific” and role oriented. The scriptures are pretty solid on how God created, even if we don’t accept it. There is a goal with all this in mind – don’t turn out like your fathers who were disobedient. Now who hasn’t said that as a child “I sure hope I don’t turn out like mom or dad!”
The goal is to teach every generation, even those yet to be born – wow what an indictment to us all. My opinion is that we have such a good “parenting book” in God’s word, why are we listening to a lot of “philosophical numbskulls” who have no clue! Remember reading Dr. Spock’s books, he didn’t even have children at the time.
Most of Psalm 78 captures a nation – Israel and their wayward and rebellious ways of doing things. Usually the opposite of what they were told to do by the Lord, who only provided “daily” for their needs – whoa that sounds strangely like a parent!