“Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion.” David acknowledge before the Lord that Yahweh was worthy of worship. All of the Lord’s people were to give their God His due. They needed to gather together in “Zion,” the appointed place of holy assembly, so that they could give to Him the praise that He deserved.
Though worship should start with the people of Israel, it should not stop with them. “All flesh” ought to come before the only God who can hear and answer prayer. The Almighty could forgive their sins and cover their transgressions. Could the gods of the nations do that?
But how could anyone from the other people groups of the earth come into the presence of the God of Israel? Any worshiper from the Gentiles would have to be chosen by the Lord, and then God would have to “bring near” the one who would worship Him. Only then could the newcomer “dwell” in the courts of the Lord, and be “satisfied with the goodness” of God’s house.
The ceremonial Law of the Old Testament stood against the hopes of seekers from among the Gentiles. How would the uncircumcised be cleansed and accepted by the God of the Jews? Only through some provision of God’s mercy that would satisfy the demands of His holy Law. The Lord would have to answer the requirements of His own justice through the provision of “righteousness” that could only come from the “awesome deeds” performed by the “God of our salvation.”
The God of the Jews was the only “hope of all the ends of the earth.” The Creator of the universe and the Provider of every good gift would Himself have to bring the nations near to Him. If not, they would all perish without any hope of eternal joy.
But now the hope of the nations has appeared in the gift of the Son of God. Through the righteousness of Jesus Christ an acceptable Substitute has been found, not only for Jews, but for Gentiles who draw near to God through faith in Jesus. The vision of a world restored to the glory of holy blessing has become the confident expectation of millions who believe the message of the gospel.
Through faith in Jesus, people from every ethnic background have heard of a new world that will be theirs based entirely upon the grace of the Messiah. The “river of God” will water a renewed environment in a world without sin. No longer will the people of the earth be hungry, for the Lord will bring the bountiful provision of heaven everywhere. The animals of the new creation will cover the fruitful land, and the earth will be filled with abundant grain. Even the meadows and valleys will “shout and sing together for joy.”
The vision of a gloriously restored creation is one that you will not want to miss. You must see it with your eyes. You should drink the water of heaven with your own lips, and your heart should sing along with new earth as the Lord fulfills all His glorious plans.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Glorious God, You should receive our praise all day long. We come to You now, for You have drawn us into Your house, and we see Your goodness and Your righteousness. You have created the land and the seas. You govern even the spheres in the sky. You bless us with great fruitfulness. There is a joy everywhere that can be seen and heard throughout the world. We will magnify Your Name forever, O Lord.