December 20, 2021
Today’s devotion is a prayerful meditation and celebration of Psalm 113. Psalms 113 – 118 are knows as the Egyptian Hallel. “Hallel” is a portion of a service for certain Jewish festivals. It’s often a special prayer said/sung on those holidays to give thanks and praise to God. Psalm 113 is typically connected with the Passover meal and other Jewish festivals as a reflection of God’s redemption of His people, the Israelites, as they commemorate their Exodus from slavery in Egypt.
You and I are directly connected as God’s people. We, too, have been redeemed, by the loving sacrifice that Jesus made by laying down His life for the forgiveness of our sins. We should celebrate that gift, of pure selfless love, every second of every day! Friends, we are free from the slavery of sin, and today’s Psalm didn’t only apply to the freedom of the Israelites in the Old Testament, it also applied to the freedom of the disciples in the New Testament. During The Last Supper, both Matthew and Mark recount within their Gospels that after The Supper “then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives” (Matt 26:30 & Mark 14:26). It is likely that one of these Psalms, which celebrated freedom from slavery, were sang. It was a song of praise to foreshadow the freedom and salvation we ALL have in Christ’s death.
This week is the 4th and final week of Advent, the week of Love, the week we celebrate the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His Name literally means “God Saves”, and He does it for ALL people when they turn to Him and accept His Eternal Love into their lives. He deserves our praises, His love is the reason we bless His Name forever, and nothing will ever compare to Him.
Psalm 113 – NLT
1 Praise the Lord!
Yes, give praise, O servants of the Lord.
Praise the name of the Lord!
2 Blessed be the name of the Lord
now and forever.
3 Everywhere—from east to west—
praise the name of the Lord.
4 For the Lord is high above the nations;
his glory is higher than the heavens.
5 Who can be compared with the Lord our God,
who is enthroned on high?
6 He stoops to look down
on heaven and on earth.
7 He lifts the poor from the dust
and the needy from the garbage dump.
8 He sets them among princes,
even the princes of his own people!
9 He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother.
Praise the Lord!
Prayer: Jesus, Thank You for saving me! Please help me this week to be reminded and to be a reminder to others of Your Love. This week is about You. I pray, Lord Jesus, that my heart is constantly fixated on You, and that I do not allow the commercialism of the holiday season to get ahead of You. You are above all things, and You deserve to be praised. I ask all of this in Your Precious and Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written by: Jennifer Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant