Poetry of Praise and Redemptive Mission
Read Psalm 149.
1 Praise the Lord. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.
2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp.
4 For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
5 Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.
6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, 7 to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, 8 to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, 9 to carry out the sentence written against them—this is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the Lord.
The praise of the redeemed. His people praise him because he has made them his people (verses 2–3) and because he honors and delights in them (verses 4 and 5)—though they don’t deserve it (verse 4).
Knowing this, we are sent out into the world to further God’s cause. For Israelites this meant waging literal warfare against the nations that rejected God (verses 6–9).
But a Christian’s sword is the Gospel of the Word of God, which penetrates heart defenses to the Gospel (Hebrews 4:12). We conquer through Christ’s blood and our testimony to what he has done in our lives (Revelation 12:11).
Gospel joy, knowing how honored and loved we are in Christ (verse 5), makes us ready for this mission.
Prayer: Lord, “Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee. Take my voice and let me sing, always, only,
for my King. Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee.”148 Amen.
Timothy J. Keller is an American Christian pastor, theologian, and author, born on September 23, 1950, in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a Presbyterian family and attended Bucknell University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1972.