Advent Devotional Day 3, Sing Praise
And Mary said: My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humbles state of his servant. From now on, all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.
When the going gets tough, don’t it make you wanna… sing?
Probably not, but it is certainly our right response. At this point, Mary has had her entire world turned upside down, has been addressed and comforted by the Angel Gabriel, and now, after all of that, her soul glorifies the Lord. She allows Him to be bigger than herself, and allows the magnitude of His grace and mercy to cover the situation.
She sings praises to the Lord, sings of her blessed life, and the work He is doing through her. She remembers His goodness and mercies and sings of the work He has done with His mighty arm. She sings of His sufficiency for the hungry and His grace for the humble. Most notably, she sings of Him remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants.
Think back to one of Abraham’s most wonderful, and at times most controversial, descendants; David.
Remember Bathsheba? Remember their firstborn?
2 Samuel 12:15-20 takes us briefly through the death of David and Bathsheba’s first child; the child born of the affair. In this passage we see David fast for seven days in prayer for the life of his child. At the end, when he learns the child has died, we read that he:
“got up from the ground…washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes,
he went into the house of the Lord and worshipped.”
David woke up, attended to his most basic needs, and then glorified the Lord; though he may not have sang outright praise to the sovereign Lord in the wake of his first child’s death, we know that he lowered himself, exalted the Lord, and accepted the decision the Lord had made. We read that he ate after this, and comforted his wife as well.
Their second child was Solomon, who’s bloodline gave us Joseph.
Though trials can shake us, and sometimes shake us right down to the ground, there comes a time where we must get up and get back to life. The Lord’s plan is not apparent to us, no, but we can be sure of one thing, and that is that He has never once let one of His children down. He has kept every promise, remembered every good deed, and continues to do just that for us, today. If we could just remember what the Lord has already done for us, we will be able to navigate the unknown, the scary, and even the painful more faithfully and hopefully.
Where would we be had He not kept His promise to Abraham? Even after David’s antics, He remained faithful in the covenant He cut. Their lineage, the lineage of our Savior, was safe in the hands of a merciful God, just as He had promised.
Have you shared a moment of praise when it was quite difficult to give it?
Remember what the Lord has done for you, going as far back as you can remember. Whether you tap it into a note, or write it in your journal, keep it close and add to it as you remember more. Create your own song of praise to the Lord!
2 Samuel 22 is devoted entirely to David’s song of praise. Everything David went through, and all that the Lord delivered him from comes bursting out of David’s heart in an emotional outpouring of love and gratitude. We should all have our own song to sing in these moments.