Beliefnet
Mark D. Roberts

 

Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise!
     He is to be feared above all gods.


There
are many reasons to praise the Lord. Scripture repeatedly calls us to
do it, so we praise God out of obedience (for example, Psalm 96).
Praising the Lord often impacts our own souls. We might begin to praise
God with heavy hearts, for example, but as we praise, we experience a
lightening of our burdens and the joy of the Lord. We can choose to
praise the Lord, therefore, because of the benefit it brings to us. We
might also praise God because it builds Christian community. When the
people of God gather, focusing their minds and hearts on the Lord,
using their bodies to honor him, they are bound together in a
Spirit-created unity. So, a good reason for praising God is that it
fosters the community of God’s people.

Psalm 96:4 gives
another reason for praising the Lord, a bedrock reason based on his own
nature: “Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise!” This
translation captures the essence of this thought, though missing the
poetic balance of the classic King James Version: “For the LORD is
great, and greatly to be praised.” The Hebrew of this verse could be
translated literally, “For great [is] the Lord and very much to be
praised.”

Psalm 96:4 explains why we should “publish [the
LORD’s] glorious deeds among the nations” and “tell everyone about the
amazing things he does” (96:3). We should praise him, proclaiming his
wonders to all people, because the Lord is great. Praise is a response
to his superlative character, which is expressed in wondrous works.
Even as a brilliant sunset calls forth praise, so it is with God, many
times over.

The more we reflect on God’s greatness, the more
we will be impelled to praise him. Moreover, we will find that our
praise, however inadequate it might be, will increasingly reflect God’s
nature. Because he is great, so our praise will be great. It makes no
sense to be stingy in honoring one who is utterly worthy of all honor
and praise.

Practically speaking, as you prepare to worship the
Lord, remember his greatness. Remember his awesome deeds. Remember his
matchless mercy. Let your praise be a reflection of and response to
God’s greatness.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
What helps you to praise God? How does the greatness of God impact your
worship? How might Psalm 96:4 impact our corporate and private worship?

PRAYER: O Lord, how great you are! How worthy of praise!

I see your greatness in the astounding majesty of your creation. How great you are!

I see your greatness in the history of your salvation. How great you are!

I see your greatness in the amazing narrative of Scripture, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation. How great you are!

I see your greatness in the ways you have made yourself known to me throughout my lifetime. How great you are!

I see your greatness in your tenderness and patience, in your grace and mercy, in your forgiveness and love. How great you are!

I
see your greatness most of all in Jesus Christ, who humbled himself and
gave himself for me . . . and for the redemption of all creation. How
great you are!

All praise, glory, and honor be to you, O Lord, for you are great, and worthy of all praise. Amen.

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This devotional comes from The High Calling of Our Daily Work (www.thehighcalling.org), a wonderful website about work and God. You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace.

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