"He counts the stars and calls them all by name." Psalm 147:4 NLT
Do you think God has named every animal and calls them by name? That's the question that crossed my mind when I read Psalm 147. Surely if He knows the name of each star, an inanimate object, He would know the name of a creator with breath in its lungs. I don't know the answer to this question but I do know that God knows our names. He calls each of us by name. The Lord declared through the prophet, Isaiah:
"But now, this is what the Lord says - He who formed you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.'"
And in Isaiah 45:3
"I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name."
God calls to each of us in many ways throughout our lives. Some of us hear Him calling and like an obedient child running to her parents when she hears them calling, we run to our Heavenly Father. Some of us hear Him calling over and over again yet we ignore Him until His disciplining hand touches our lives. Then as the child punished for not listening, we timidly say, "I'm sorry," and turn to Him. Still others, like a rebellious teenager, know how we are to live yet when we hear Him calling, we run in the other direction as fast as we can. Then there are those who never hear Him calling. These are the ones held captive by the enemy. These are the ones we need to pray for, share the Gospel with, live a life of unrelenting love before.
Most scholars agree that Psalm 147 was written in the time of Nehemiah as a celebratory song. The people sang this song after the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt. Looking at the Psalm we can see three divisions, each beginning with a call to praise God.
In verses 1-6 the people are remembering their captivity in Babylon. They are praising God for rescuing them, healing them and sustaining them in their captivity. Like the Israelites, we have all been rescued from captivity. Our captivity was to sin, but Christ has set us free! He has healed our sin-sick souls, and His Spirit within us sustains us when we are tempted to go astray.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1-2
We can be thankful our God rescues us from captivity to sin.
The second section of Psalm 147 begins in verse 7 with a call to "sing to the Lord with grateful praise..." The people were praising God for restoring the land that had been barren for seventy years, the number of years of their captivity. We all have barren places in our lives which God has restored.
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast."
1 Peter 5:10
We can be thankful our God restores barren places.
The final section of this Psalm begins in verse 12:
"Extol the Lord, Jerusalem; praise your God, Zion."
They are praising God for His safety from enemies, security during storms, and speaking His Word to them. We have an enemy God shelters us from on a daily basis. We have all had storms in our lives where we needed the security of knowing our God was with us. God's Word speaks to us when we prayerfully read it and listen for His voice.
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution, or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?... o in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:35, 37
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16
We can be thankful our God is our safety and security.
Gathered manna for Psalm 147 is:
God is our Rescuer, Restorer, and Refuge.
From what has God rescued you? What barren places has God restored in your life? When has God been your safety and security?
Praying we all learn to praise God as our Rescuer, Restorer, and Refuge.
Until next time keep gathering manna, growing deeper, and gaining intimacy!
May God bless and keep you,