He It Was, He It Is

“Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord,
    give praise, O servants of the Lord!..
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
    sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
    Israel as his own possession.

For I know that the Lord is great,
    and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, he does,
    in heaven and on earth,
    in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
    who makes lightnings for the rain
    and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    both of man and of beast;
who in your midst, O Egypt,
    sent signs and wonders
    against Pharaoh and all his servants;
 who struck down many nations
    and killed mighty kings,
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
    and Og, king of Bashan,
    and all the kingdoms of Canaan,
and gave their land as a heritage
    to his people Israel.

Your name, O Lord, endures forever,
    your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.
For the Lord will vindicate his people
    and have compassion on his servants.”

“It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
and rescued us from our foes,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 135:1-14; 136:23-24

The psalmist knew how to center his focal point. His soul spilled over with praise because his mind was filled with God. From the beginning of imagination and time, He it was who had created, ordered, sustained, worked every aspect of creation according to His purpose. He it was who had orchestrated Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and the salvation of everyone covered in the sacrificial blood. He it was who had conquered armies and lands and settled His people in the place He’d promised. And so He would always be faithful, mighty, and true to His character and word. (John 14:6; Hebrews 1:2-3; 13:8)

It should be impossible to enumerate God’s faithfulness and doubt His present help, yet we flounder. We dismiss past deeds as done and fail to see they continue. We acknowledge He works for others, yet in self-pity and -absorption claim He would not for us. The more we focus on me instead of the works He has done, the weaker our faith. His word is given that we might believe and take heart! (Acts 1:1)

He it was, He it is, and He it will always be! Our Savior, shepherd, redeemer, bread, way, finisher of faith, our very life, will be so forever and ever! What hope does this give? What boost of zeal and spiritual energy? What power to go forth and hope to persevere? What conviction of sloth, redirection of priorities, relinquishing of shame, motivation to robust ministry, inspiration to grow and serve does this promise engender? The grasp of God’s ever- presence and eternal activity on our behalf should make a significant difference in outlook, attitude, and action. (John 6:35; 10:14; Hebrews 12:2)

“Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
there is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.” ~Thomas O. Chisholm (1923)

Lord, keep me faithful to receive and continue Your ongoing work, to the praise of Your glory.

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