Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Honor the LORD
1I will always praise the LORD.
2With all my heart,
I will praise the LORD.
Let all who are helpless,
listen and be glad.
3Honor the LORD with me!
Celebrate his great name.
4I asked the LORD for help,
and he saved me
from all my fears.
5Keep your eyes on the LORD!
You will shine like the sun
and never blush with shame.
6I was a nobody, but I prayed,
and the LORD saved me
from all my troubles.
If you read these verses slowly and thoughtfully, I would imagine that questions might just come to mind. It is a familiar passage to me, in fact verse 3 is engraved in my wedding ring. Today, I read through them very slowly, letting each thought sink in…that just made me have a lot of questioning thoughts.
Take verse one, do I ALWAYS praise the Lord? Answer would honestly and unfortunately be “no”–there are times that I am not willing to submit my crabby or negative or hurting self to praise the ONE who so deserves all praise.
In verses 2 and 3 it goes even deeper…not only am I to praise Him with my whole heart, but the helpless are supposed to listen and be glad. Can you imagine the local newsman or newswoman saying, “Hey, all you poor people, you who are homeless and starving–just listen to God and be glad.” Do you think their response would be upbeat and joyful? Unbelievably, I actually have seen some very poor people still able to praise the Lord with hearts of joy…but that is not the rule, is it? Do we even have the courage to ask them to honor the Lord with us? Or do we ASSUME that they won’t want to because of their circumstances? Do we just give them the spiritual pass and use their difficult circumstances to explain to GOD why we don’t think it necessary or appropriate to have them praise the Lord with us??? Really? What is our rationale?
We come to verse 4 and it is a common pattern for us, isn’t it? We ask for help, He answers us AND saves us from our fears. Amazing how available He is to us and how unavailable we are for His use.
Peter learned a useful lesson about keeping his eyes on the Lord–he was able to walk on water! Wow…would I love to do that! But I would be like Peter and falter. But verse 5 is a promise to us…keep my eyes on the LORD and I will shine bright like the sun and never be ashamed–I believe this references not being ashamed in the Lord.
But I just love love love verse 6–I was a nobody–there are still times that I kind of feel like a nobody, invisible, insignificant. BUT what I really love is that God saves NOBODIES! He hears their prayers and ANSWERS THEM!!! He is not impressed by wealth or achievements. He wants those who will call on His name–and He hears me and saves me from my troubles. What a wonderful God–how can I help but praise Him???