Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Enter through gates of praise

Light shining through palm branches
Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 118:15-29

TO CHEW ON: “Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD
Through which the righteous shall enter.” Psalm 118:19,20

Do these verses (from Psalm 118) have a familiar ring?
“Save now, I pray, O Lord…
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”- Psalm 118:25,26.

You may have identified them as the words of the crowd that met Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday:
“‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” - Mark 11:9.

(The word “Hosanna” in the New Testament, was transliterated from the Hebrew hoshiya na which was originally the cry for help “Save now.” Over the centuries between the writing of Psalm 118 and Jesus’ time on earth hoshiya na [Greek: Hosanna]  shifted in meaning to become  “Hooray for salvation! It’s coming! It’s here! Salvation! Salvation”” - from “Hosanna” by John Piper.)

My Bible’s notes name Psalm 118:19,20, that refer to entering the gates, as what “...set the mood for the crowd’s use of Psalm 118:25,26 as praise when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem” - Dick Iverson, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 728.

I see in these verses a “gate of the Lord” for us too. It’s praise:
“And I will praise the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD
” (emphasis added).

This psalm is full of implied suggestions about when we can praise God:
  • When we’ve had a near-death experience and our life has been preserved - Psalm 118:17,18.
  • When we recall how God has been with us throughout our history - Psalm 118:17.
  • When God has answered prayer - Psalm 118:21.
  • When we contemplate God’s plan of salvation - Psalm 118:22,23.
  • As we begin a new day - Psalm 118:24.
  • When we’re pushed to trust God for our daily needs - Psalm 118:25.
  • When we meet with people of like faith in church or our home group or wherever we gather - Psalm 118:26.

In a few days we will celebrate Palm Sunday. Let’s get our hearts tuned up with praise to join that welcoming crowd!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, how my attitude changes and I enter Your gates when I open my spiritual eyes to recognize Your excellence, and open my mouth with praise. 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.

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