Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I began this morning singing praise songs to the Lord, and I'm amazed at what a difference it has made in me today! I feel more joyful, more full of hope than I have in a while. 

I realized I'd been starting my days with sighs and prayers for mere survival: "Somehow just help me through today," my heart moaned and whined. While it was an honest sentiment, it was pathetic. I have not felt like a victorious conqueror in Christ, and I haven't really been trying to feel like it either. My focus has been so much on myself and my problems, even when I'm talking with God, and I wonder how he hasn't lost his patience with me yet.

So this morning, he made a good suggestion: "Why not focus on Me for a while? Not on your complaints and doubts and worries, but just on Me." So I did. I sang some of my favorite praise songs for a while, and I felt lighter and freer and stronger as I praised.

It wasn't until after I did this that I read Psalm 8, and this verse stood out to me:

From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
- Psalm 8:2 (NIV)

Something I had never noticed before, was that the word "praise" had a note by it that just said "strength." Usually that means it is a synonym, but I'd never connected those two words before. So I checked a couple others versions/translations of the verse:

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger. (NKJV)

You have taught children and infants
to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies
and all who oppose you. (NLT)

Then I found this commentary:

The word "strength" is rendered by the Septuagint as "praise" - αἷνον ainon - and this is followed in the quotation in Matthew 21:16. The same rendering is adopted in the Latin Vulgate and in the Syriac. The Hebrew word - עז ‛ôz - properly means strength, might; and the idea here would seem to be, that even from babes and sucklings - from those who were in themselves so feeble - God had taken occasion to accomplish a work requiring great power - to wit, in "stilling the enemy and the avenger;" that is, he had made those who were so feeble the instruments of accomplishing so great a work. (Barne's Notes)

As I learned this morning, when we choose to praise God in our weakness, we experience his strength at work in our hearts and lives.... And when we allow God to demonstrate his strength through our weakness, our lives bring praise to Him.

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