Psalm 100:1 (KJV)
Sometimes we humans forget our place. Even though we know we are creations of God, we sometimes forget our limitations and think we are capable of living life's journey on our own. But God is always present and He usually reminds us in many ways of our frailties and if we are wise we will listen to his message.
It might be provided by something frightening or sad or something beautiful: a sudden and frightening storm, the death of a friend or loved one, the beauty of a song or even the miracle of birth. But whatever it is, we need to keep our eyes and ears open for Him, for He has many ways to tip us off on what He is thinking and what He expects of us.
The Israelities of old often doubted their God and strayed from His guidance. God would "turn them loose" to see if they would find their way home to Him on their own, but when they did not He often punished them for their transgressions. One of the biggest weapons He would use was the Temple in Jerusalem, for it was considered the center of their civilization and the heart of their love for God. When they abused it, instead of using it as a place of devotion and worship He showed His wrath on many occasions.
We don't know the origination of Psalm 100 but we do know that is was written in praise of God, and the center of praise for God was the Temple. Perhaps the capture of Israel by the Babylonians and the destruction of the Temple thereafter was the source of this Psalm. For the history of its rebuilding thereafter was a source of much praise and glory being given to God.
Imagine if we had been living then and after suffering from bondage and loss of our religious center we were able to rekindle our spirit after gaining freedom and rebuilt God's house. It would certainly be a time of praise as the Psalm clearly spells out in a beautiful display.
We Americans can learn directly from this ourselves today. From a point of world leadership and some say cockiness, we are now going through a humbling experience as our nation has faltered and many say lost its way. Our religious heritage is often under attack and many things we've always considered to be wrong are now being portrayed as right. But at the same time God is always there sending us messages and signals about what we should be doing. Just like the Israelites of old, it's time to pay attention.
First and foremost we should be putting Him first, for if we do He will see us through with His master plan for us. While we don't know the details of what that is, we do know that if we are obedient and follow His wishes, He will care for us and deliver us. And that's the reason why He sent His Son here to earth: to save us from our sins. Jesus Christ was God's gift to us for our salvation.
So on this Sunday morning, let's praise Him and show Him that we love and trust Him. Make a joyful noise; he's listening. And may He bless us and America. Have a great Sunday.