“Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
he puts the deeps in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations…
The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds…
The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a false hope for salvation…
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love…
Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.” Psalm 33:1-11,13-18,20-22
Shout, praise, give thanks, make melody, sing, play skillfully, adore His righteousness, justice and love, fear Him, stand in awe His works, trust His plans and counsel, rely on His strength, wait for Him, hope in Him, be glad in Him, trust in His holy name. Behaving befittingly has everything to do with God and little to do with us or our props.
No need to work for likes, to win approval from stranger and friend, to decide what the majority decide or do what the majority do. Our call to be holy and live uprightly has standards beyond the parameters and expectations of our culture. God’s behavior stands out like an exquisite surprise beauty in the dark, and so must ours.
How ready and willing are we, against societal and mental pressures, to be counter-cultural? To praise when others criticize? To trust in peace when others fret and wrangle? To welcome and smile when others furrow and frown? To love with generosity when others hate with vitriol? To give when others hoard, to serve when others demand? To show compassion when others dismiss as unworthy? To assuage when others incite, to bless when others curse? (Romans 12:14-21)
And how willing are we to ask the Lord to change us? To convict us of sin, and cleanse us from its imposing tentacles? To transform our loves and perspectives to mimic His? To order and direct our steps rather than bless the ones we take without regard for Him?
Father, keep me transfixed with You. Help me live vibrantly and differently from the world, that the light I shine in a crooked generation reflects Your graciousness and glory. (Philippians 2:14-16)