At the beginning of the year, I chose “praise” to be my One Word for 2022. I have endeavored to making praising the Lord my focus of the year. I have made an effort to read the Psalms faithfully and post verses emphasizing praise on my Facebook page. So, I do not believe that it was a coincidence that God led a friend at church to give me a book that explores the Psalms in some depth.
The book, Thou Art with Me, is in two volumes of about 350 pages each. That’s a lot of pages, and I found it a bit intimating. When would I have time to read the 700-page tome? But I felt an urge to begin reading it last week. I pulled Volume 1 from the shelf. To my surprise and delight, the volumes contain short (3 – 4 pages) essays—one or two per Psalm.
I had just read Psalm 113, so I decided to start there. I replace Volume 1, took down Volume 2, and flipped to the commentary on Psalm 113, which was titled “Praise.” Again, I was reminded that there are no coincidences when we listen to the Holy Spirit.
The commentary by author Abie Kulynych was insightful and instructional. Kulynych explained that Psalm 113 – 118 are called the “Hallel Psalms” and that hallel means praise. They were sung as part of the Passover celebration. The Passover was an event that demonstrated God’s power and His love for His people. It is certainly worthy of great praise and celebration.
As the true Passover lamb, Jesus provided us with an even greater reason to praise God. Jesus’s death extended the protection of the Passover to the Gentiles. His blood covers our sins and allows us entry into Heaven, if we accept His free gift of salvation.
Kulynych goes on to explain hallal further. He says its literal meaning is “to be clear,” and it is a call to pay attention—to listen and learn more about God and His character. Jesus’s death on the cross tore the veil that blocked us from seeing God. Through Jesus, we are able to see God in His glory. He explains this using 1 Corinthians 2:9,10, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, or ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
God sent the Holy Spirit to helps us to know God and to know God’s will for our lives. Kulynych writes, “If you are in Christ, then the Holy Spirit is in you, and if the Holy Spirit is in you, then your eyes have seen, your ears have heard, and your heart has received the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. God has made Himself clear.”
Kulynych ends his essays with, “Praise is so much more than the fruit of our lips; it is the revelation of God’s heart.”
Wow! I am inspired even more to make Praise the focus of my life, not only in 2022, but always. I want God to reveal more of Himself to me, so that I can live a life that reveals God to others.
Abie Kulynych books, “Thou Art with me,” Volumes 1 and 2 are published by City of Refuge Fellowship, Burlington, NJ. To learn more about this church, see www.cityofrefugefellowship.org. The books are available for purchase on Amazon.
If you have never considered that God loves you and created you for a purpose, you may not have experienced the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior and having your sins forgiven. Please click on Basics of Salvation in the tool bar above to learn how you can invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.