Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
Judgment against the nations continues--Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, and even the powerful Babylon.
This letter although written to a specific person in a specific congregation has some wise counsel for us in our own congregations. Some of the requirements for leader selection would be difficult to insist upon; e.g. being married only once and, in addition, having church-going children. However, some of the requirements still seem timely to us; e.g., not being arrogant or greedy but being hospitable, prudent, and self-controlled.
Also timely, at times anyway, is the description of some of their congregants as rebellious, idle talkers. The letter continues, "Rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith."
Then adds a statement that we may be more comfortable applying to people we disagree with than to the one we see in the mirror, "They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions."
One time when someone in the congregation complained about having to sing unfamiliar hymns, I told her that the Bible told us to and quoted Psalm 98:1, "Sing to the Lord a new song." Yes, I know that was snarky, but, I was kind often enough that they put up with me when I wasn't.
And, I wasn't just being snarky--this psalm does call us to newness. Every day, we have something to be grateful for that day. God has led us to a new victory over new problems.
The lazy person says, "There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!"
As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a lazy person in bed.
The lazy person buries a hand in the dish,
and is too tired to bring it back to the mouth.
The lazy person is wiser in self-esteem
than seven who can answer discretely.
Prayer for Today: O Lord, guide us onto the proper path. Enable us to be guides for others as they search your way. And, keep us mindful that our words and our actions show others what we know and what we believe. Amen.