GOD APPRECIATES YOU, APPRECIATE HIM –
God’s miraculous victory over the enemy to save Hezekiah, not only preserved His people from falling prey to a heathen monarch, but also the City of David. Sitting some 2,500 feet above sea level on the summit of Mt. Zion; with its whitewashed buildings against the backdrop of the brown-earthed, finger-like hills, pilgrims spotted the city like an opal on a ring finger. Then at night, with all its lanterns burning it sparkled like a diamond in the sky; like a star on a hill; calling everyone to come to its streets filled with laughter and song. But for the Psalmist, the greatest attraction of that marvelous city was the fact that God had made it His home.
“In the City of our One True God, our awesome LORD Eternal is celebrated with great enthusiasm. High up on His Holy Mountain, in a beautiful location on the northern summit where the whole world can see Him, is the dwelling place of our great King. And because it is built so strong, our One True God has made Himself known as a safe haven of rest. You remember, how several foreign kings joined forces and came against this holy city en mass. They took one look and were literally stunned, so they turned and fled faster than they came. And things we once only heard about from others, we now are able to witness where our LORD Eternal, who is worshiped by millions dwells, yes, in the place our One True God calls home; and may our One True God always keep it that way. For inside, Your sanctuary, O One True God, we meditate on Your unshakable love. And because we admire You so, O One True God, that admiration of who You are and what You’ve done extends around the world; because Your mighty hand ensures justice for all. So let the congregations rejoice! Yes, let believers be glad He has given us something to be glad about. This is our Eternal One True God, and He will guide us to everlasting life.” Psalm 48:1-5, 8-11, 14
Reflection: William James, one of the founders of modern psychology theories, received an azalea plant one day, as a gift from his class of young ladies at Radcliffe College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. James often suffered from long bouts of depression, as well as various physical ailments. In response he wrote his class a letter, expressing appreciation for their kindness. In his letter he acknowledge somewhat ashamedly: “I now perceive one immense omission in my Psychology – the deepest principle of Human Nature is the craving of praise, and I left it out altogether in my book.”
One does not need to be a practicing psychologist to know the value of being appreciated, and the blessing others receive when we express our gratitude to them. It’s like a dividend being paid back for their caring investment of love in our lives. How much more then must we show our daily appreciation to the One True God. Not only for all the things He has done for us, but for all the things He did not allow to disrupt, and possibly ruin, our lives. While He is able to read our hearts and minds, those around us cannot. That’s why the psalmist was so vocal about his appreciation for God who gave him victory in a battle he didn’t even need to fight. So instead of waiting to rejoice in triumph after the battle is over, let us begin the shout for joy before it even begins!