All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols. (Psalm 97:7)
Friend to Friend
The mug in my hand was filled with warm, dark roasted incentive. I cozied onto my favorite couch corner, breathing in the quiet of dawn. Prayer-whispers rose to heaven as I settled my heart before the All-worthy One. I was desperate for God’s presence and power to fuel another busy day.
To my surprise and great delight, as I cracked open the Good Book a tiny distraction flew into my peripheral vision. A hummingbird had made its way over to the orchid arrangement on the side table of the deck outside. The artificial orchid arrangement.
The nourishment that little flyer sought could not be found in a plastic and silk imposter, so the hummingbird flew away. I smiled and shook my head at the very notion that the little bird was looking to be fed by a fake flower. But less than five minutes later the hummingbird hovered near to the orchid again.
You’ve got to be kidding me! I thought. What about plastic and fake did you not understand the first time, little guy?
And just like that I was humbled before God.
Yes. I do this too, Lord.
I do this when I look to the approval of others to validate my significance.
I do this when I’m upset and reach for something salty-crunchy instead of reaching for the Bread of Life.
I do this when I spend an hour a day on social media, but only a few minutes in prayer, in worship and in pursuit of knowing God more through reading His Word.
I do this when I find my security in the success of my children, in the numbers on the bank statement, or in promotions or positions at work.
When I believe anything or anyone is more important than God, these things, people, relationships and priorities become idols in my life. They are fake orchids that will neither sustain, nor nourish my life in the ways I desire.
Psalm 97 is a reminder that Lord God is above all and is to be recognized and revered as such. All “worshipers of images” (ESV), those who “serve carved images” (CSB, NKJV), those who “boast in idols” and “brag about their worthless gods” (NLT), will be “put to shame” and “disgraced” (NLT). All the gods (His angels) must “worship” and “bow to” (NLT) Him.” (Psalm 97:7)
The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.
He is righteous and just (v2).
For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.
He is El Elyon, the Most High God (v9).
All creation sees and trembles (v4) in reverence of our triune God, and eventually the knees of every human will bow before the very real throne of judgment, declaring Jesus as the very real Lord of all (Philippians 2:9-11).
Jesus IS the very-real, very-alive, and very-able Lord we’re all hungry for.
Nothing else, no one else is worthy of higher focus or priority in our lives.
And nothing else, no one else can satisfy.
Psalm 97 reminds me to turn to the Living source, not fake sources. Because when I turn to the Lord, I worship the One who is worthy… the One who, in His great mercy, sheds light and joy on all who He declares righteous in the finished work of Jesus (v11). The One who graciously invites us to the feast of His goodness (Psalm 34:8).
No more flying to fake flowers for me.
Let’s reach for the real, and drink in the joy, light and goodness of Jesus (v11).
After all, HE IS the sweet Rose of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley (Song of Solomon 2:1-2), the Vine that’s vibrant with life (John 15), and the Living Water that flows eternally, quenching every thirst. (John 4)
Most High God, You are worthy of all praise and all I need. Please keep my heart from wandering toward fake flowers and help me to turn to You instead. I rejoice in Your love and righteousness today, and praise Your holy name, El Elyon.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What fake flowers do you often fly to? What do you sense the Lord is leading you to do in response today?
Read Psalm 97. Underline or write out any verses that stand out to you.
More from the Girlfriends
You want to grow closer to God, right? Without question, reading the Bible helps make this happen. If you’d like to read and study the Bible, but at your own pace and in your own space, then this is for you!
Girlfriends in God cofounder Gwen Smith has several online Bible Study options that will guide you on a personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word.
These inductive studies will help you know what God says about tender topics like forgiveness, healing, fear, depression, relationships and hope. Each study can be done in the comfort of your home and in a timeframe that fits with your personal schedule. Visit www.GwenSmith.net/BibleStudy to learn more.
- PS. Have you listened to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast yet? Hang out with Gwen and friends as you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, fold laundry, run errands or travel.