God is Sprouting Praise

When I was a boy growing up I spent a few summers helping my dad plant his crops. I watched him plow the fields then cut them to prepare for planting. Once the fields were ready to plant, we would load the seed and fertilizer in the planter hoppers then bury them in the soil in neat rows. At that point nature took its course and the seed became a sprout that later became a crop which helped to feed many people. 

Isaiah wrote, For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:11 ESV) God will have a righteous people in all nations that will praise him before all nations. He will cause it to be so. He is sovereign over all things and that is certainly the case when it comes to his righteous people and his praise. 

In 1 Kings 19 after Elijah had killed the prophets of Baal, he fled the wrath of King Ahab’s wife Jezebel. After traveling forty days and nights he came to Mount Horeb and lodged in a cave. The Lord came and spoke to Elijah in a low whisper and asked “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah replied, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” God later replied, “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” God reserved a righteous remnant for himself. 

Near the end of his ministry as Jesus, mounted of a dinkey, rode into Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Luke records that as Jesus entered the city a multitude of his disciples began shouting praises in honor of him. A group of Pharisees admonished Jesus to rebuke his disciples to which he responded, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (Luke 19:36-40 ESV). Knowing the scriptures, Jesus attested to the fact that one way or another God would sprout praise from the earth. 

The writer of Hebrews wrote, Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (Hebrews 13:15 ESV) God said through Isaiah that it is he who creates the fruit of the lips (Isaiah 57:19). God creates the very praise he has called and predestined his righteous people to offer in acknowledgement of his name. 

Twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb and sang, Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe andlanguage and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:9-10 ESV) God sent the Lamb, his son Jesus Christ, to ransom a people for him. 

God said that he formed a people for himself that they would declare his praise (Isaiah 41:21). In other words; God didn’t just create a people knowing that one day they would declare his praise, he created and predestined them for the express purpose of declaring his praise. Peter reflected that sentiment by writing, But you are a chosen (select, elected, favorite) race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV) God’s people were purchased for a purpose; to make much of him before all nations. 

God is sprouting praise. He will see to it that his purchased people fulfill their purpose, for it is he that works in them both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).