Have you ever had a song "stick in your mind?" Throughout the day, you find yourself "singing it" even though you do not know all of it. And what is amazing, you don't have to hear it to begin thinking about it in the first place; it just shows up. The song can be something silly, something sentimental, or something quite spiritual. I have had a song with me for the last day or so, and because I am beginning to know how to use my computer well enough to look it up, I discovered it was "Praise the Lord" by Russ Taff. The song is a proclamation of victory over Satan based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. I find myself praising the Lord every time I "hear it."
I decided to look up the song's premise (God inhabits the praises of His people) in the Word of God so I could write about it today. Much to my surprise, none of the word combinations took me to a Bible verse. After changing "inhabits" to "inhabiteth," etc., I finally found Psalm 22:3. Although the wording is not exactly as I had remembered hearing it quoted, it was the verse. "God inhabitest the praises of Israel" was the actual wording. Of course, "Israel" and "His people" are not the same thing (yes, I know, the nation of Israel is His people). I began wondering if the verse applied to the Church. As a dispensationalist, one can not be too careful, what with the constant danger of falling into the "Replacement Theology" trap and all.
The Lord answered that question by reminding me of something that happened a few years ago when I was leading a Chapel Service for the Christian high school where I taught. In the nine years of weekly services, no other service matched the response of the students that day. I had decided that instead of preaching a sermon, I would read a verse of Scripture about praising God, and then pause for a student or two to share a praise testimony. Ironically, I began with Psalm 22:3 and I will never forget what followed. Student after student stood and praised God for something he or she knew He had done for them. Students that I was sure were wasting their time attending a Christian school stood and, some with tears and difficulty keeping their composure, honored God for His goodness. Many were openly weeping as I am doing now as I write this. After running far past time for lunch, there seemed to be and end to the testimonies, so I gave an alter call to come, kneel, and pray. I am guessing, but of the nearly two hundred students, at least a third came. The weeping continued, and lives were changed that day, especially mine!
So, I pray that Russ Taff's song will continue to pop up. He really does inhabit the praises of His people, both those of Israel and those of the Church. "Praise the Lord - He will work for those who praise Him; Praise the Lord - for our God inhabits praise; Praise the Lord - for those chains that seem to bind you, serve only to remind you, that they fall powerless behind you when you praise Him." Praise the Lord!