Monday, June 12, 2017

What's Your Frequency?

As I was reading Psalm 119, I became fascinated by verse 164, which says "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments."

Recall that this is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses, where practically every verse highlights the attributes of God's word all from the very personal perspective of David, Ezra or Daniel since the author is unknown. This chapter demonstrates raw devotion toward God and his Living Word. It affirms not only the character of the Scriptures, but it affirms that God’s Word reflects the very character of God Himself. The format of Psalm 119 is an alphabetic acrostic, meaning that the first letters of each line in Hebrew follow through the alphabet, 8 lines per letter, thus 8 lines x 22 letters in Hebrew = 176 lines. One message of this psalm is that we are to live a lifestyle that demonstrates obedience to the Lord, who is a God of order (hence the acrostic structure), not of chaos. [Source: gotquestions.org

The Word of God can literally save a life: George Wishart was the Bishop of Edinburgh in the 17th century (not to be confused with another Scot by the same name who was martyred a century earlier). Wishart was condemned to death and would have been executed. But when he was on the scaffold he made use of a custom that allowed the condemned person to choose one psalm to be sung, and he chose Psalm 119. Before two-thirds of the psalm was sung, his pardon arrived and his life was spared. [Source: blueletterbible.org]

Back to verse 164 - what makes a person so emphatic in their declaration of praise? Well, one quick answer is already noted in the verse - it's because of God's righteous judgments. He has seen that God has always done right by Him - He's never left or abandon him.

But there's more. The frequency speaks of devotion; it indicates that God is top of mind and that if He's not, he becomes so. He may be using it as a mechanism to allay anxiety and refocus. Praising God so often must elevate his spirit while acknowledging the sovereignty of God. His praise - whether it is a word, a phrase, a thought a song or a lengthy prayer happens with a notable frequency. Regardless of the length of his praise, it his often. It allows him to starve the flesh and feed the spirit. It equips him to handle what is before him or be grateful for what he's just walked through because the writer of this Psalm had seen his share of troubles.
In trying to take this verse literally, I became aware of how often I could praise God throughout the day. I definitely started my day with praise and often did the same at the end of the day. That left five times throughout the remainder of the day and the precise among us may figure that to be every three hours. The more cognizant I became for the opportunity to praise, the more I did so. It was freeing and I lost count. I realize that there are opportunities to praise God throughout a day at every turn - when I wake up because I have life, when I go outside to get the newspaper and absorb the quiet beauty of nature in the morning, the mess my daughter makes in her room leads to praise because she has a room; dirty dishes lead to praise because I have a sink and I have a family; my family with all their quirks. Opportunities for praise abound. Other religions have an obligation to prayer, a certain number of times daily, facing a certain direction. God makes no such requirement of you. You can exceed your seven times within an hour! Seven is not a limit, but a reference as to what the writer noted in his life.

It was in the process of being cognizant and being aware, that praising God with regular frequency became a habit. Like the psalmist, I could now say, "Seven times a day I will praise you because of your righteous judgments." (Psalm 119:164)

And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long. Psalm 35:28

Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming. Psalm 147:1

Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 
James 5:13

How often do you praise? Do you have a reason to praise God?

--Nylse

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1 comment:

  1. I love your thought here, that we don't have to pray or praise at a precise moment throughout the day and limit it to only 7 times. We can praise Him all through the day especially if we are looking for His presence in our lives. Thank you for an inspiring post.

    Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor at #TestimonyTuesday.

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