Read | Psalm 149

Praise the Lord.

Sing to the Lord a new song,

    his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.

Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;

    let the people of Zion be glad in their King.

Let them praise his name with dancing

    and make music to him with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people;

    he crowns the humble with victory.

Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor

    and sing for joy on their beds.

May the praise of God be in their mouths

    and a double-edged sword in their hands,

to inflict vengeance on the nations

    and punishment on the peoples,

to bind their kings with fetters,

    their nobles with shackles of iron,

to carry out the sentence written against them—

    this is the glory of all his faithful people.

Praise the Lord.

Respond | Ian Graham

The first and second halves of these songs seem incongruous. The first stanza is a jubilant celebration of the favor of God—singing and dancing—all because God delights in his people. The second. Well, it’s a call for justice, for others to be judged for “the judgment on them to be carried out to the letter.” We sometimes struggle to read the psalms, these kinds of section seem so gratuitous and visceral. But there’s a lesson to be grasped here. Part of praise to God is bringing our full hearts into God’s careful hands. It’s not just the songs that we sing in the congregation but the thoughts we harbor in our hearts. The full revelation of Jesus brings right praise into focus but the psalms implore us: don’t wait until you have it all figured out, don’t just bring your best, bring yourself, entrust yourselves to God and he will do the rest.