Praise for God
Where even to start today?
Zechariah 12:1-9. Look at how God defends His people. He makes their enemies look drunk, hurt themselves, be burnt up. He will so clearly fight for His people that it will be said, "The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through Yahweh of hosts, their God."
v7-8 are cool. It really seems to me to go with Romans 9-11, and how the new Israel fits with the old Israel. He gives salvation to us -- the Gentiles -- first, so that their glory may not surpass ours.
BWAH. BAM! He saves us -- Jews and Gentiles -- He gets the glory! [Editing note: That is seriously what it says in my notes. I think I've been in the Greek II class for a while.]
Zechariah 12:10-11. Arrow straight to Jesus, anyone?
God does pour out a spirit of grace on us. And pleas for mercy for having pierced Him. Crazy, isn't it, that the first plea for mercy for us was from the one pierced? Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Matthew Henry relates the lamentation/mourning of verse 11 as being the same as that in Lamentations 5:16.
"Woe to us, for we have sinned."
Ai, Lord, so we have.
And Your forgiveness is incomprehensible.
Forgiveness? Oh, was I getting ahead of myself? Where is it mentioned here?
On that day
there shall be a fountain opened
for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem
to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.
Revelation 19 grossed me out at the end. But. It is part of my God. He is holy. He is just. Defending His people means destroying His enemies.
Look at the reasons given to praise Him.
~because salvation, glory, and power belong to Him
~because His judgments are true and just
~because He judged the great prostitute
~because He avenged the blood of His bondservants
~because the smoke goes up from her [the great prostitute] forever and ever
~because He reigns
~because the marriage of the Lamb has come
~because His Bride has made herself ready
~because she can clothe herself with the righteous deeds of the saints
It's much easier for me to praise God for some of these things than for others. Easy for my joy in salvation to outstrip my indignation at sin. But the two must go together.
I must love what He loves, hate what he hates, and become conformed to His image.
Psalm 147 was cool too, throwing seeming paradoxes at me, as if to show me that I CANNOT fully comprehend God. It is also focused on praising God.
~He is intimate (healing brokenhearted, binding wounds)
~He is infinite (determining the number of stars, giving them names)
~He lifts up the humble and casts down the wicked
~He takes care of the whole earth -- from the heavens to individual birds
~He doesn't delight in what men do (strength) but in those who fear Him, who hope in His steadfast love.
~He chooses some and not others.