“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” - Psalm 100: 4-5 (NIV).
In almost all monarchial states, whenever delegations are being ushered into the royal court, there are often greeted with trumpets blowing and an advance person singing praise to His or Her Majesty. The reason behind is that by the time one gets to meet the King or Queen, in person, such is already in the mood to receive the guest. Pleased, His Majesty gladly opens up to His visitors.
This is exactly what we are here being advised in our leading verse, that where we are entering into the presence of our heavenly Father, let us start with thanksgiving and praise. As one writer once observed we don’t enter into the presence of mere mortals, but a God who is the Father of all creations. If, earthly kings and queens, are worthy of this treat; then, how about the living God!
However, an important point is that we do this not as a hypocritical gesture, quite common in royal circles, where people blow trumpets to His majesty as a guise to seduce him award them something. In fact, in royal courts, praise singers have a tendency to overdo it, or compete in their adulation of His majesty. Theirs is often empty praise.
For Christians, our praise and thanksgiving must be genuine. When we look back at our lives we are indeed most grateful for all the good things God has done for us. How could we not, aware of His protection from disease and all manner of afflictions that could long have stricken us deathly blows. How could we not, looking back at all we have gathered in this life!
So, today, maybe one of those days, when looking back at all Jehovah has done in your life, you enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. As Psalm 145:3 says, “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom”!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven earth, today I come into your presence with thanksgiving and praise, for have been so good to me, I am thankful, and give you praise!
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!