19Bless the LORD, O house of Israel: bless the LORD, O house of Aaron:
20Bless the LORD, O house of Levi: ye that fear the LORD, bless the LORD.
21Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.
Praise Ye the Lord!
Psalm 135 ends with a glorious praise to God by calling all peoples, "Praise ye the Lord." Beginning with the nation, then the extended family, then the family, all who fear the Lord are called to bless Him.
As I am writing this devotion, I am looking out the window watching heavy snow float down and then wisp sideways by the strong winds. For our local teens, it's a great day--no school! Living right downtown, there is plenty of action outside our window this morning. Snow plows are trying to make the roads somewhat passable, cars are trying to keep moving, and snow blowers are chugging along the sidewalks. I am amazed at how quickly everything changes, in this case, in the event of a significant snow. Yet, we are only speaking of a six inch snow. How much more does everything change when the snow amounts to two or three times that amount?
In truth, we are very fragile creatures. We do best when temperatures hover around the 70 degree mark, but are quickly paralyzed if those same temperatures drop to 70 degrees below zero, or rise to over 120 degrees. Our earth is sustained by God's Almighty hand, yet how much do we take our day to day lives for granted. Only when extreme conditions, such as a "200 year" flood, or a massive outbreak of tornados, or a monstrous hurricane crouches over New Orleans or New York City, do we remember to stop and thank God for His sustaining hand upon us. Yet, even then, as a teen, if you do not live in those localities, your life goes on pretty much the same.
Unfortunately, even though we see through Scripture, God's hand actively sustaining the nation of Israel or bringing judgment upon them for their sin, we fail to realize that God works in the same way today. When we look at the horrendous sin which overtakes nation after nation, why do we not see God's hand of judgment when the forces of nature seem to overpower or cripple the economy of one nation after another? Even closer, when we see the predominant sin in our own country, as believers, why are we not down on our hands and knees crying out for our nation?
What of violence in the schools? As a teen, how has your life changed due to the recent school shootings. Unless you are actually in a school which has experienced that violence, your day to day life probably goes on pretty much the same as it always has.
I fear that we, as believers, have been lulled into complacency, no longer even being shocked by the sin of our people. With the world, things that were shockingly sinful decades ago are now accepted as alternative life styles. So, as we look out upon a cold and stormy winter storm (in my case, anyway), let us remember that it is God who loves us, it is God who sustains us, and it is God who protects us, not only from the forces of nature, but from the forces of sin which surround us.
As Christian teens, let us rise to the occasion and praise Him for His great and mighty hand of blessing upon us. Without the Lord, where would we be? I shudder to even think of the answer to that question.
So, this day, as you go about your normal duties, remember the words of the Psalmist, and "Praise ye the Lord!"
God Bless You,