Imagine a majestic, colorful temple, filled with people who have just received wonderful news. They have been freed from slavery or rescued from their enemies. The war is over; loved ones have returned home. Wrongs have been righted and at last all people are free to tell the truth and live in peace.
One entire section of this temple overflows with musicians and all sorts of instruments. The worship begins with loud, lovely music, and singers proclaim:
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous.
Praise befits the upright.
2 Praise the LORD with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skilfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
A favorite poet stands on a platform, visible to the crowd and placed so that her voice can be heard all the way to the back of the room. She reminds us of our reality.
4 For the word of the LORD is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
he put the deeps in storehouses.
From a balcony, another speaker booms out this encouragement:
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands for ever,
the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.
Now all the people join in. The room reverberates with joy and confidence.
13 The LORD looks down from heaven;
he sees all humankind.
14 From where he sits enthroned he watches
all the inhabitants of the earth—
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all,
and observes all their deeds.
A general from the army delivers these verses:
16 A king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
and by its great might it cannot save.
And now a choir of children sing:
18 Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 to deliver their soul from death,
and to keep them alive in famine.
And the whole congregation joins the song for the final verses.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and shield.
21 Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
I encourage you to read this psalm every day this week. Read it silently, read it aloud, chant it, or memorize the verses that encourage you. Happy Easter Week!