Just Thinking

The first question of the Westminster Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?”  The answer, “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  The apostle Paul calls on the believers in Corinth to glorify God in all that they do.  Repeatedly, in the Scripture, we are called upon to give praise, glory and honor to our God.  This is at the heart of worship.  Worship is our natural response to the greatness of our God.  When we see God for who he is, we worship.  We don’t have to be dragged into it.  We do not have to be “baited” our hearts explode in worship.  It’s the way we are made.  I’m one of those reserved types.  Rheadon gets really frustrated with me at ball games.  I don’t jump up and down.  I don’t shout and cheer.  I stubbornly refuse to do what cheerleaders tell me to do.  But when something exciting happens on the floor, someone makes a great shot or a great defensive play, I can’t help myself, I give a great big, “Yes!”  Greatness must be praised.  That is why when confronted by the religious leaders about all the shouting and carrying on, Jesus said, “If they do not praise me – the very rocks would cry out.”  Jesus was saying, “I will be praised because of who I am.”

That is why Isaac Watts wrote in the second stanza of Marching to Zion, “Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God, but children of the heavenly King…may speak their joys abroad!”  Our faith is a singing faith, and it always has been.  God’s people are a singing people.  And we have ample reason to sing, as we will discover in Psalm 66.

The psalmist begins, Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give him glorious praise!  Take some time today to read Psalm 66.  You will find there is movement through the psalm from “all the earth” to “our,” “we,” “us” and finally “I.”  The whole earth should praise him, the people of God should praise him, and I should praise him.  Something interesting happens at the end of the psalm.  Boice points out there is a syllogism.  A syllogism has three parts.  There is proposition a; proposition b; then a conclusion:

All men are mortal.
Socrates was a man.
Therefore, Socrates was mortal.

That’s not exactly what we find.  David says:
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. (18)
But God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. (19)
We are expecting, I have not cherished sin in my heart.

But David said, Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love form me!
David rejoices s in God’s marvelous, abundant grace.  Even the act of hearing the prayer was an act of grace.  As if there was not sufficient reason to praise him already, the believer is driven to praise by the experience of God’s grace.  Are you feeling down?  Find it difficult to pray?  Just don’t feel like praising?  Turn your thoughts toward God’s character and his wondrous acts.  You won’t be able to help yourself.  Praise will come.  He is worthy.

I’ll see you Sunday.  Have a great week!