2007-04-22 - Crying Praise
Psalm 28:6, "Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy."
David trusted in Jesus Christ. You might wonder how that is possible, since Christ came so many years after David's death. David did not know the specifics of who Christ would be as a person. He did not know how tall He would be. He did not know what the tone of His voice would be like. However, he did look forward to the Messiah. He looked forward, with anticipation, to the coming of the Lord, our Righteousness. David trusted in Jesus Christ.
The same can be said of all the Old Testament saints. We have a fine rundown of some of them, given to us by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews 11. The chapter is easily summed up in the phrase, "These all walked by faith." Faith in what? Faith in the one who would come and hear their cry for mercy. By faith, the saints of the Old Testament had fellowship with God, rejoiced in God, and experienced His love. None of these things could have been true of them, if they had not experienced and personally known His love to them. While they looked forward to the coming Messiah, they walked by faith, and by faith, trusted the promises of the coming Mediator.
What can we say of David? Here we have a phrase taken out of the 28th Psalm, that screams that David had experienced forgiveness for his many and great sins. "Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy." We don't know all David's sins, but Scripture gives us some obvious examples. Pride, adultery, and murder should suffice for us to understand that David was a sinner. He knew it and rejoiced that on the great day, he would stand before God in Christ's righteousness and not his own, which he knew was no righteousness. Can you hear the delight in his voice when he said, and must have said often, "Praise be to the Lord?" He was not thinking of his great victories, or his rags-to-riches story of going from shepherd to king. He could exclaim, with eternal wonder, that which only by God's grace any of us can cry, "Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy." David had the distinction between temporal and eternal in perspective. He knew that those things that really matter were those things that mattered unto eternity. Take a moment and read Psalm 73:23-26, to see this firsthand.
Can we say this? Can we say with joyful voice, "Praise be to the Lord, for he has given me a nice place to live, family/friends, and a cool car?" See the distinction there. Of course, we can and should praise God for temporal blessings, but those are not God's preeminent blessings. Oh, let us be able to praise the Lord first for His mercy to us. Let us praise Him for His gracious kindness in Jesus Christ. Let us thank Him, above all else, for hearing our cry for mercy. This is tasting and seeing that the Lord is good. This is true rejoicing in God our Savior.
Soli Deo Gloria,