By Pastor Anthony L. Scott
In the opening lines of his commentary on Psalm 33, James Montgomery Boice notes, “The Psalter has been called ‘Israel’s Hymnbook’ because so many of its Psalms call upon the nation to rejoice or praise God.” That is, they are written from the perspective of Israel’s experience as a nation and express their defeats, victories, and longings as the people of God. This Psalm looks to all nations and all generations to praise God and thank Him for his universal blessings.
As our nation pauses to observe Thanksgiving, it is fitting for all of us to give thanks to the God who has provided much to and continues to bless our entire nation.
Every praise song should emerge from a fresh awareness of God’s grace. I for one believe that what our country needs most during this hour is a new encounter with God’s wonderful grace. H. C. Leupold says that a new song is “one which springs freshly from a thankful and rejoicing heart.” P. C. Craigie calls it “the ever-new freshness of the praise of God.” Alexander Maclaren adds, “There is always room for a fresh voice to praise the old gospel.”
We are very much in need of a voice like a young boy who found himself at sea during a dangerous storm. The passengers aboard the vessel were frightened and uncertain of their fate. Noticing this young boy calm and undisturbed one passenger exclaimed, “How can you remain so sure during such a turbulent time?” The young boy responded, “The pilot of the ship is my father, He will take care of me.”
God’s watchfulness over us is a reason to rejoice. There are many deliverances unknown to us because they were turned back before they ever came within vision. The saints of old would say he has spared us from dangers seen and unseen. God’s nature is another reason to rejoice. During times of national tragedies and natural disasters, the only sustaining foundation to stabilize our emotions is to reflect on the perfections of God. His goodness, kindness, mercy, grace, and love remain unchanged despite what we may be seeing and experiencing.
We can also rejoice if we trust that God will save us. As a young woman was learning how to fly a plane, her instructor gave some very astonishing instructions. He told her to take the plane into a steep extended dive. After a brief time, the engine stalled and the plane immediately began to plunge out of control. Being left alone to correct the situation, it became apparent to the young student that the instructor was not going to help. After a few seconds, her mind began to function, and she recalled the classroom training she received from the instructor. As she implemented what she had been taught the plane was soon corrected. As she looked toward her instructor, she heard him say, “there is no position you can get this plane into that I cannot get you out of.”
No matter what we may face, there is no situation that we get into that God can’t get us out of. The key is do we trust God, or will we continue to go it alone? My prayer for you this week is for a new awareness of God’s grace!
Pastor Anthony L. Scott is the pastor at First Baptist Church North Tulsa.