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TO CHEW ON: "Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance." Psalm 89:15
When we feel discouraged or stressed or sorry for ourselves, we're often encouraged to count our blessings. Our list usually includes blessings of the physical life—food, shelter, clothes, family, friends, etc. But do we ever go beyond to also count our spiritual blessings?
Ethan, the Ezrahite, writer of Psalm 89, sets a good example for us in Psalm 89:15-18. Some blessings he names:
1. Familiar with the sound of worship: "Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound." For the Israelites that would have been singing, shouting, and instruments like the harp, the trumpet, and the horn (Psalm 98:4-6).
2. Life directions: "They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance."
3. An association with a God of great reputation: "In Your name they rejoice all day long."
4. Worshiping a God who is righteous: "And in Your righteousness they are exalted."
5. The ability to glorify God through successes: "For You are the glory of their strength."
6. Divine favor: "In Your favor our horn is exalted."
7. Divine protection: "For our shield belongs to the Lord."
We could add these blessings to our count. Pause, sometime, to listen to the sweet sound of worship coming from the sanctuary of your church during a morning service. The music of our contemporaries worshiping and adoring God is a beautiful thing!
Similarly we can thank God for all the other blessings Ethan names—the insight we get from the Bible on how to live, that our God is strong, righteous, gives favor, protection, and enables us to live for His glory. In fact, without these blessings as the foundation of our lives, I would suggest that the other blessings we so easily list would be mere shells of themselves.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the spiritual blessings that are the foundation of, and give significance to, all my other blessings. May I never take them for granted. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.