Praise the Lord, you angels of His;
praise His glory and His strength.
Praise Him for His majestic glory,
the glory of His name.
Come before Him clothed in sacred garments.
The voice of the Lord echoes from the clouds.
The God of glory thunders through the skies.
So powerful is His voice; so full of majesty.
I find three major themes in today's passage:
- Praising God is fun.
- God clothes us with His glory.
- God speaks through the thunder.
First, let's talk about praise. Psalm 134:2 says, "Lift your hands in holiness and bless the Lord." Twelve years ago when I attended a retreat called "The Walk to Emmaus" twelve years ago, I was astonished when people began raising their hands in praise to God. I was a little hesitant at first, but as the weekend progressed my hands went higher and higher. Now, even people in the church I attend raise their hands in praise to God. David said in Psalm 28:2, "Lord, I lift my hands to heaven and implore your help. Oh, listen to my cry." When we make a conscious choice to praise Him or seek His help and raise our hands in total abandonment to Him, He fills us with joy!
Now, let's talk about garments. Isaiah 61:10 says it best, "Let me tell you how happy God has made me! For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and draped about me the robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels." God clothes us with His salvation and adorns us with the robe of righteousness, not because we are good, but because He loves us. However, He allows us the choice, will we wear these marvelous garments, or will we continue to put on sack cloth and ashes or a garment of heaviness?
Okay, now the thunder part. Psalm 81:7 says, "When you were in trouble, you called, and I saved you. I answered you with thunder." Max Lucado says God speaks to us with a voice of "Gentle Thunder." Many times during praise and worship I long to hear God's voice echo through the room; to feel the thunder of His majesty. Instead, I hear a silent voice assuring me of His love for His pleasure in me. Yet, one day, He will again speak with that voice of thunder as all men are drawn into His presence at the judgment.
So, as we lift our hands in praise, put on garments of righteousness, and listen for the gentle thunder of His voice, we can experience His hope. There is hope in the gentle hands of God.