Have you ever been picked last to be on a team? Truthfully, back in grade school, even I would have picked myself last to be on a team. Most athletes want the biggest, strongest, and fastest players on their side. I looked deceptively athletic in those days, but I was not strong or skilled, and my classmates knew this. Although I was embarrassed, I didn’t blame them for choosing me last. I, too, preferred my teammates to be bigger and stronger, so we could win against our opponents.
Today, I still feel this way about my life. I need someone bigger and stronger than I am to help me through each day, and I actually have someone who fits this description. He is God, and Psalm 99 reminds me of His skills.
According to these nine verses, God is:
a lover of righteousness and equality,
an executer of justice,
a cloud-pillar speaker,
and an avenger of evil and wickedness.
Imagine a teammate like this! Even more amazing is the thought that He wants to “play” with us! We learn this in verse six. God answers those who call on His name.
The Psalm writer lists Moses, Aaron, and Samuel as examples of men who called upon God’s name and received answers. They were imperfect men who still heard from the “perfect player”—God. Look at verse eight, and be blessed in knowing this communication quality of God.
“You ANSWERED them, O Lord our God; You were a FORGIVING God to them, although avenging their evildoing and wicked practices.” Psalm 99:8
As I grasp the significance of this Psalm, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. The Psalmist seems to be too, as he repeatedly calls for us to “extol the Lord our God.” The dictionary meaning of “extol” is, “to praise someone with great enthusiasm and admiration.” This phrase reminds me of what people do at a game when they cheer for their team. In this case, God gets all the glory. He is perfect—holy.
“Extol the Lord our God and worship at His holy hill, for the Lord our God is holy!”
God IS the most valuable player, and He plays on my team, but now I’m wondering. Does He play on your team, too?
“God, what in the world are you doing? Why do you want to play with us? You are so perfect and amazing, and we are little clay people. Thank you! Thank you for choosing me first. Please, let anyone who will, be chosen. Oh, come to think of it, You’ve already done this. I praise you, I extol you for sending Jesus to become our way of choosing. Knock down the barriers that prevent those who seek from seeing Your incredible value and purpose. And for those who are not seeking Your purpose, give them barriers to their own self sufficiency, so they will turn and look for You, their most valuable and eternal player! Amen.”