Psalm 69:30

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.

The Psalmist invites us to sing His holy name with a joyful heart. Give God all the praise, glory and honor that is due Him. Do all this with a thankful heart to allow Him to  more deeply engrained in us; to bring Him our worship and magnify His holy name.

Other translations of scripture use the word magnify instead of glorify. Both are true. Both call us to give praise and worship to God and to extol His name. In all of these, music can be used to send our praise to Him for who He is and express our gratitude for what He has done. 

Reflecting on this passage reminds us of the reason behind using our voices in song. It is not for ourselves. Though it can be beautiful to our ears, it is not just for our entertainment. It is for the purpose of giving God glory through the worship of Him. In song, we can draw near to God for He is good and loves to hear us praise His name.

Dear Heavenly Father, let the words of our mouth expressed in song set to music bring you praise. Let our song magnify Your name. Thank you that we can express our gratitude in the form of worship. May you always be glorified. Amen.

– Patricia Yarbrough

Psalm 125:1-2

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore. 

It’s hard to think of something more stable than a mountain. Years, decades, centuries go by, and they remain unchanged, unshakeable, always visible on the horizon. Psalm 125:1-2 uses this image of mountains to describe our security in God. 

First, it says that when we trust in the Lord, we are like a mountain, “which cannot be shaken but endures forever” (Psalm 125:1b). 

But how can we be like an unshakeable mountain? Our lives are full of uncertainty, disappointment, chaos, and loss. We often feel grieved, afraid and discouraged. We get hurt, confused, and even angry. Aren’t we pretty shakeable? After all, on our own: “All people are like grass…the grass withers and the flowers fall” (1 Peter 1:24). 

But don’t forget, the Psalmist says, “Those who trust in the Lord…” (Psalm 125:1a). We are not on our own, for we have put our trust in God. And we have a new kind of life – “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). We still feel grieved, angry and afraid. We still experience upheaval, depression, and loss. But in the midst of it all, there’s something unshakeable that grounds us. And that something is the presence of God. 

You see, Psalm 125 doesn’t just say we are like any mountain. It says we are like Mount Zion. This was the mountain where the temple was, the temple which represented God’s presence. As long as God was with his people, no one could stand against them. And the same is true for us. It is because of God’s presence in us that we have a secure hope (1 Peter 1:3), a joy that endures through trials (James 1:2), and a peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). It is God’s presence with us that allows us to say, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31) and “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid” (Heb. 13:6). 

Next, Psalm 125 uses a slightly different metaphor – still talking about mountains, and still describing our security in the Lord – but now it is God who is compared to the mountains. “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people…” (Psalm 125:2a). In ancient times, a city surrounded by mountains had a good defense. To get to the city, enemies would first have to bring their armies over the mountains, which was no easy feat. The Psalmist here writes that God guards his people just like mountains guard a city. Although we face trials of many kinds, we do not need to be afraid, because God is with us (Isaiah 41:10). And he will always be with us – “both now and forevermore” (Psalm 125:2b). 

Life is not easy and sometimes our foundations are shaken. But there’s something deeper, something unshakeable that grounds us. And that something is the presence of God.

Father, I acknowledge that I need you. Forgive me for turning to so many other things for my strength, comfort and security. You are the only one who is unshakeable! Help me to trust you. In the best and in the worst, I need you to protect me, strengthen me, and keep me faithful to you. Thank you that you live in me through your Holy Spirit. Please keep me firmly rooted in the eternal hope that I have in Jesus. Amen. 

– Hannah Carroll Entz

Psalm 78:4;6-7

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and His might, and the wonders that He has done…that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.

When we first moved into our home in Concord, we had a large wall in our living room—a blank canvas—begging to be adorned.  Under the advice of a designer friend, I resisted my impulse to throw some picture frames over the space and call it a day, and instead waited for the right inspiration to come along.  That “light bulb” moment happened during one of our first months at Leroy, when the Youth Pastor, Tucker Barlow, shared a message from this passage in Psalms.  

A little background, first: both my parents and my husband’s parents are first –generation believers.  That is not to say that we had no Christians whatsoever in our family tree, but it is to say that our parents grew up in households where Christ was either never preached, or was only spoken about in the context of “believe only what the Catholic church tells you to believe.”  But God, in His divine mercy and grace, brought both sets of parents to faith in Christ while in their young adult years, and thus our households from that day forward were forever changed.  

Now, back to Leroy.  That summer day, while sitting in the pre-remodeled sanctuary of LCC, I listened, as these words of Scripture resonated with my soul.  “Tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord…that the next generation might know them…and arise and tell them to their children.”  I immediately thought of my parents.  And of Chris’ parents.  And of our children.  And one day, Lord willing, our childrens’ children.  I believe strongly that the Lord chose the family unit as one of the primary ways to reveal His glory and advance His salvation message.  From His initial command to Adam and Eve in creation to “[b]e fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28), to His covenant with Abraham, making him the “father of a multitude of nations” (Genesis 17:4), to His establishment of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the promise of the Messiah coming from the lineage of David, the Child born to Mary and Joseph, the status of being adopted as sons and daughters of God, and the awaiting for the Bridegroom to come and celebrate with a wedding feast for His Bride, clearly, the Lord prizes the family as a pivotal way to expand His Kingdom.  

So when I read these verses, I am reminded of the high calling given to me, as a parent.  I hope it will be said that my children look back on their time living under my roof recalling with fondness our holiday traditions of decorating the Christmas tree, or searching for hidden Easter baskets, or hosting Thanksgiving dinner; that they remember the joy they experienced riding their first rollercoaster, or catching their first fish, or scoring their first soccer goal; that they closed their eyes at the end of a long day feeling safe and secure and loved.  But above all else, I pray that my children look back on their time at home and can say with confidence that Jesus Christ was a topic of much conversation, that stories of His faithfulness were told, that the Father’s love for them was and is the greatest love of all, that the Holy Spirit comforted and encouraged them in their faith…and that they now get to carry on this message to the next generation. 

Lord, we agree with the psalmist who said, “the Lord’s deeds are glorious, His wonders continue to amaze, and His work of salvation is not yet done.” Just as You have been steadfast in Your love and faithfulness, help us, Your Church, to be faithful throughout all generations. Amen. 

– Lauren Aey