Psalm 107:1-43 A grateful heart is one of the keys to a joyful life. If we look carefully at the moments of our day, we will always see things worthy of our praise. This psalm lists many reasons to praise the Lord. If we do not see His hand in the moments of our lives, then we can praise Him for His very character and His works. Praise comes before worship, and one of the roots of this word is "worth." God's character and works are always worthy of praise. Praise is the first step we have to take when we enter His presence. Let's look the steps the priests had to take to enter the holy of holies in the tabernacle.

Just as priests of Israel had to enter into the holy of holies by a special pattern given them by God, we also enter into His presence using this same pattern. In the early days of the tabernacle, only the high priest could enter into the holy of holies. He entered first into the tabernacle through the eastern gate. The psalmist wrote, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise" (Ps. 100:4). Our first time in God's presence should be spent in thanksgiving, then this should flow into praise.

After entering the eastern gate the priest offered the offerings on the brazen alter. These included a burnt offering, a meat offering, a peace offering, a sin offering and a trespass offering. This represents a time in which we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to be used by Him that day. After this we can enter a time of confession so that we may receive the cleansing of the Lord. After all the offerings on the brazen altar, the priests washed, themselves in a laver filled with water. This laver was made of polished brass, which was used to make mirrors in the early days. Before washing, the priests could clearly see their own reflection in the shiny brass. We all need a time of reflection and judging ourselves before we continue our progress into the presence of the Lord.

The priests then entered a section of the tabernacle called the holy place. Here was a lamp, a table with twelve loaves of bread and an altar of incense. I believe the bread and the lamp represent His Word, which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. The lamp also represents the sevenfold anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God." Before we make our requests known unto the Lord, it might be well to spend some time in God's Word. To pray according to God's will, we must know His Word because His Word is His will. Then the altar of incense represents our petitions and supplications to the Lord. Finally we enter into the holy of holies where we commune with Him. There is no veil of separation now because Jesus rent the veil. We can boldly enter His throne of grace through the blood of Jesus and find help in time of need. Remember we begin this journey by entering His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Use Psalm 107 to begin your journey today. You can praise the Lord for His character—He is good, merciful, loving and kind. You can praise the Lord for His works—He redeems us, delivers us, guides us, satisfies our souls and breaks our bondages.

READ: 1 Samuel 10:1-11:15; John 6:47-71; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 15:1-3

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