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Apr 07 – GARMENT OF PRAISE !
“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3).
It is not pleasing to the Lord that you should be sorrowful. He wants to fill you with the oil of joy. He does not like that your spirit is oppressed. He fills you with the spirit of joy, and gives you the garment of praise. Like the specially designed spacesuits of astronauts, it is essential that you should put on the special garment to meet the Lord, to praise and worship Him.
In the key verse of day, we read about the spirit of heaviness. Some are oppressed by others, and some others oppress themselves. Some have a grudge against the Pastor and confine themselves at home. Some always blame their relatives and stay away from any fellowship with them. Even within families, there is bitterness between husband and wife, or among parents and children, and thereby they lose their fellowship and stand isolated.
Once a nightingale, was confined in its nest without its usual joyful singing in the night. A goat which was at the bottom of that tree asked the bird: ‘Why are you not singing tonight? Do you know that the whole forest is waiting eagerly to hear your sweet voice?”
That nightingale said: “Are you not able to hear the unpleasant croaking of frogs and the loud buzzing of the black bees? How can I sing in such a circumstance?”
The goat responded: “O nightingale, those sounds are bothering me and the night is more sorrowful only because you are not singing”. Saying this, the goat requested the bird again to sing.
So, the nightingale started to sing again. And as it began to sing, it was filled with joy and excitement. It was so wonderful that all the unpleasant noises were silenced.
Why are you oppressed and feeling heavy without praising? God loves you, irrespective of who loves you or loves you not in this world. He is always gracious, loving and compassionate unto you. Will you not praise Him with your songs?
Children of God, when you begin to sing and praise Him, all the issues and worldly problems that are looming against you like a mountain, will just melt like the snow at the rising of the sun. Rejoice in the Lord and sing praises to Him.
Verse for further meditation: “The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land” (Song of Solomon 2:12).