Summary: God’s wonderful works and his dependable word move us to "Raise the Roof!" to the Lord.
Even if you think it appalling, you have to admit that it’s a bit entertaining. I’m talking about the lavish touchdown celebrations in professional football. I won’t demonstrate the “funky chicken” or the “Lambeau Leap” lest I trip over my gown, but I will share with you a celebration that was quite popular a couple of years ago. It’s called “raising the roof”. When an athlete completed a play he thought was spectacular, he would motion for the fans to “raise the roof” with their shouts of approval.
To tell you the truth, this cheer has been around long before football was ever invented. A songwriter around one thousand B.C. penned a psalm in which he “raised the roof” to the Lord. He did so because God’s works are wonderful, and because God’s word is dependable.
The author of Psalm 111 begins by saying, “Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly” (Ps. 111:1). What would move the psalmist to “raise the roof” for God in the presence of other people? I have a hard enough time getting on my feet to cheer out loud at a sports event. Why should I bother to praise a God whom I’ve never seen? Although we can’t see God, we can see his work. The psalmist described God’s work as great, glorious, majestic, and powerful (Ps. 111:2, 3, 6). What had he seen or heard that would cause him to say those things? In verse five he tells us how God provides food for those who fear him. Perhaps the author was thinking of how God had provided manna for the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land. Daily feeding two million people in the middle of a wilderness would certainly demonstrate God’s power and majesty. It also demonstrated his grace, or undeserved love, for God provided this heavenly food even after the Israelites had accused him of not caring for them.
God’s power and grace is still evident in our life isn’t it? He too provides us with food. No, he may not do this in a miraculous way as he did with the Israelites, but it is he who blesses us with employment or social services and family to provide our daily needs. What’s amazing is that God continues to do this even when our attitude is like Bart Simpson’s who once prayed: “Lord, since we paid for this food, thanks for nothing.”
Still, there are times when we feel as if God has shortchanged us. Perhaps you studied hard for that test but still didn’t get the grade you wanted. You worked hard for that promotion but it went to someone else. You ate all the right foods and exercised three times a week but still got seriously ill. Even when things don’t go the way we want them to we can still raise the roof to God for the psalmist assures us, “The works of his hands are faithful and just” (Ps. 111:7a). What God does is always right and always for our best (Rom. 8:28). Take death for example. While many think death a tragedy, God said: “The righteous perish...and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil” (Is. 57:1). God spares us from the evils of this world by taking us to be with him, eternally free from sin and sorrow. That’s the confidence believers in Jesus can have for it is Jesus who gives us forgiveness and presents us as righteous before God.
So the next time things don’t go your way don’t say, “Why me?” Instead say, “Why not me?” What makes me so special that God should hand me everything on a silver platter? Although I may have done my best to live a life pleasing to God it still doesn’t change the fact that my sins outweigh the seemingly good things I have done. The truth is I deserve a lot worse treatment than I am receiving from God. Yet I can be confident of this: because Jesus died to pay for my sin and rose again to prove that the Father accepted that payment, I am God’s child, not his enemy. As God’s child I know that whatever God does with me is for my best. Therefore no matter what my life is like, I will raise the roof with my alleluias because God’s works are indeed wonderful!
The psalmist wants us to know that it’s not just God’s works that are worth praising; God’s dependable word is worth our adoration too. He put it this way: “all his precepts are trustworthy. 8 They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness. 9 He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise” (Ps. 111:7b-10).