Awaken Day 15 Soul Song: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What powerful acts and abundant greatness does the psalmist speak of?

2) How are we to be praising the Lord?

3) What if I don’t feel like praising God?

Psalm 150

Hallelujah! Praise God in His sanctuary. Praise Him in His mighty heavens.
Praise Him for His powerful acts; praise Him for His abundant greatness.
Praise Him with trumpet blast; praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with flute and strings.
Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals.
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Hallelujah!

Original Intent

1) What powerful acts and abundant greatness does the psalmist speak of?
On one hand, Psalms is an easy, go-to read with its collection of poems that can individually stand alone as a reading. On the other hand, being a rather long book, the decoding of poetry, and wide span of authors, can make Psalms seem overwhelming.
When reviewing the outline of the book as a whole, (Blue Letter Bible) Psalm 150 is the grand finale to a series of poets and poems and songs wrestling with God’s goodness and faithfulness in the midst of a struggling world. The poets have heavy hearts, they grapple with personal sin, feel the effects and frustration of Israel’s hard heart, and plead for God’s mercies. Their souls are turned to praise as they catch glimpses of His salvation plan.
Notice how in Psalm 150:2 there is a building from God’s powerful acts to His abundant greatness (Crash course on poetical usage in Psalm? Check here!). Psalm 150 was written before Christ came to earth in a manager. However, the Old Testament is full of accounts of creation, seas departing, slaves being freed, battles being won BY the LORD, and much more. His acts are an outflow of His greatness. What makes him abundantly great? His Holy character and stand-alone sovereignty.

2) How are we to be praising the Lord?
Psalm 150:3-5 lists a variety of instruments used to praise the Lord. A few commentators have tried to find significance behind the instruments. Charles Spurgeon notes the trumpet (verse 3) was, “associated with the grandest and most solemn events” and called people together in assembly. His commentary notes the tambourine and dance (verse 4) is associated with celebration after the parting and Israel’s crossing of the Red Sea. A definite situation of jubilance and joy! The clashing and resounding of cymbals (verse 5) are again a loud announcement of praise that is due.
The Enduring Word website notes that certain instruments in the time and culture were often played by specific groups of people (priests, Levites, women, etc.), thus the various instruments encourage every person to be joining in the praise (as summarized in verse 6 for “everything that breathes praise the Lord!”.
These perspectives emphasize that whatever a person has in whatever circumstance, God’s people should use whatever various instruments they have to bring glory and praise to God, even if it’s only our voices!

3) What if I don’t feel like praising God?
Psalms is full of poems and songs expressing the very real struggle of the heart like feelings of being overwhelmed, remorseful, broken, and various scenarios of upset. Psalm 3 starts with, “…how many are my foes!” Psalm 5 starts off, “Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning.” Yet the heart is later turned to hope, refreshment, and confidence in the Lord as the writers reflect on the character of the God they serve. These psalms end with lines of, “Salvation belongs to the Lord,” and, “Let all who take refuge in you rejoice.”
The book of Psalms has this same overarching tone of focusing on God’s character in the order the books are arranged; the last several chapters end with intentional focus on God’s worthiness of endless praise.
God is gracious to us. He is not angry with our broken spirits. Though His worthiness for ceaseless praise never changes, He is patient with us as we struggle and strive to see His goodness even in the midst of sadness. Entrust your hurting and fears to the Lord and cry out to Him. Remember what He has done, and through the process, He will be faithful to strengthen your heart and song of praise!

Everyday Application

1) What powerful acts and abundant greatness does the psalmist speak of?
As mentioned under the original intent, there are endless accounts of God’s amazing works pointing to His plan of salvation and His holy character for which the psalmist could list specifically. Even before Christ’s coming, God’s people still knew He is/was the way of salvation and refuge.
Yes, passing on accounts from Scripture is a huge part of remembering for Christians today, but what about in your personal life? What accounts of God’s greatness can you share in a Bible study or with a friend, tell to your children (or nieces, nephews, church children) over and over, even writing them down so they can learn how God used life circumstances to grow your faith?
This is one reason why corporate worship in a local church is critical, that we might share with one another regularly about God’s faithfulness in our personal lives.  When we declare His good faithfulness, we encourage the Christian brother or sister who is struggling or feeling alone Our lives are testimonies to the truth that God is still moving today just as He always has. His worthiness of praise has neither changed nor diminished, all of which outflows from His flawless character of holiness, justice, mercy, sovereignty, and countless more. What character traits are you most grateful for today? Share them with someone!

2) How are we to be praising the Lord?
Often times, one associates the outward expression of the Lord with a certain church or denomination. Sisters and brothers in Christ often tease one another on acts of standing still, dancing around, or how high to raise your hands. Psalm 150 paints a picture of a joyful and public display of worship. The outward display itself is not what is important, but the rejoicing heart behind the instruments. Whether you are loud or quiet, is your heart focused on the Lord?
Matthew Henry notes the instruments harmonize with one another, helping each other. Yes, we are to worship God in solitude and in the most quiet and solemn of circumstances, but we are also called to worship God as a harmonizing body. To worship as a body, it is important to gather together regularly as a whole. However, it is also important to be walking with each other through the week, stirring up reminders and encouragements to be consistently worshipping our Lord. Have you encouraged a sister to worship the Lord lately?

3) What if I don’t feel like praising God?
I’m writing this Digging Deeper in the season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A time when society as a whole is encouraging cheerfulness, gratitude for what one has, and focusing on the positive. But what if your season is a painful one? A yearly reminder of losing someone you love. Perhaps it’s a season of sickness or stress, or one where you feel unable to participate in happy activity around you. Maybe you’re “right now” is a season of reflection and disappointment that life is not what you had in mind.
God hears your heart, Christian sister. Even in sadness, Psalm 150 is a good reminder for the soul. A reminder that God is constant. He is still ruler of the world, His salvation and help still stand, His mercies are made new every morning, and His work (in you and through your circumstances) are not complete. May we lift our eyes towards His heavenly sanctuary, reflect on His glories, and allow the Lord to lighten our hearts! How worthy of praise is this God?! When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, Pharisee’s commanded the people to stop their praise. Jesus replied, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out.”
His praise cannot be silenced; may it be so from our hearts and lips! (Luke 19:40)

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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