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My God is…Great Psalm 96:3-5

Psalm 96:3-5 Declare his glory among the nations,young-people-clapping
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.

Declare his glory among the nations

The other day during my Bible study (I think I mentioned it in another blog post), I learned more about God’s glory. Glory is God being revealed. That is why Jesus is the fullness of God’s glory while at the same time, I can reflect God’s glory. I can, through my actions, help people to know God more fully. This was a revelation to me. Previously I had thought that giving God glory was the same as praising Him. Saying God is good, or thanking Him for what He has done, and while it does include those things, it includes them as a way to show and reveal more of God. Every song with glory in it now has a deeper, fuller meaning for me. I want to declare His glory among all the nations.

His marvelous works among all the peoples

I remember a few years back when I was reading the book Pivot, by Dr. Alan Zimmerman, there was an exercise at the end of one of the chapters that had you write down all the blessings you could think of in your life. I, who can be a relatively negative person (my husband doesn’t call me the cheerful pessimist for nothing), found too many to fill a page. It was astonishing to me all the things I had begun to take for granted. All of the things the Lord had provided me with, blessed me with and the things for which I was now responsible were written on the page. No, that’s probably not true. I probably forgot some. There were more than what I had written down. The good things the Lord had provided me with were too many for me to recount. If you have never done an exercise like this, I suggest you do. Do it now. I won’t be offended if you stop reading here. I think it’s too important to recognize all we’ve been given.

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods

great  /grāt/

Adjective – Of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average.

Noun – A great or distinguished person.

Adverb –  Excellently; very well.

Considerably above the normal or average

Our God isn’t some made up God. He is Great. He is above all gods. By the definition of great, God is considerably above the normal or average. He’s not just a little bit above, considerably above. God is God. He is great, and He deserves our praise.

For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.

Sadly we often choose to make things other than God great. We make people, relationships, addictions, greed and so much more increasingly important until they actually replace God at the top of our list. Today in my Bible Study I read in Isaiah how God felt about the false gods, and how crazy it made those that worshiped them seem. Bear with me as I share with you these verses, Isaiah 44: 6-23. Especially take not of verses 9 and 19. Those are the verses that really stuck out to me.

The Lord, Not Idols

“This is what the Lord says—
Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let them foretell what will come.
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

All who make idols are nothing,
and the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blind;
they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
which can profit nothing?
11 People who do that will be put to shame;
such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
they will be brought down to terror and shame.

12 The blacksmith takes a tool
and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
he forges it with the might of his arm.
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
he drinks no water and grows faint.
13 The carpenter measures with a line
and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,
human form in all its glory,
that it may dwell in a shrine.
14 He cut down cedars,
or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel for burning;
some of it he takes and warms himself,
he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships it;
he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
over it he prepares his meal,
he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
“Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
he bows down to it and worships.
He prays to it and says,
“Save me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;
their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;
I even baked bread over its coals,
I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”
20 Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him;
he cannot save himself, or say,
“Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”

21 “Remember these things, Jacob,
for you, Israel, are my servant.
I have made you, you are my servant;
Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.”

23 Sing for joy, you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
shout aloud, you earth beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,
you forests and all your trees,
for the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel.

What’s so great?

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2013 in My God is Great, Psalm

 

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My God is…My Help Psalm 40:16-17

Psalm 40:16-17

But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
say continually, “Great is the Lord!”
As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!

“What’s the worst that can happen?”

So many times I have found my self wound up tight. Worrying and concerned about this and that. It doesn’t really matter what it is I’m worrying about, because it’s all the same. I imagine horrible outcomes. “What’s the worst that can happen?” My mom would ask me. My mom used to try to get me to have a more realistic outlook by having me actually list the worst thing that could happen. I think she was trying to get me away from thinking vaguely about how badly something was going to end, but instead be realistic and see that I wasn’t actually going to die if something went wrong. “What’s the worst that can happen?”

I’m a bit fatalistic

I’m pretty aware of the fact that I’m a sinner and that I screw up. That has often kept me from even attempting things that may be difficult. I didn’t want them to turn out badly, so it’s better I just don’t try. What if I did try and fail. Horror of horrors! The problem with this way of thinking is that I’m relying on my own thoughts, strengths and abilities. But I have access to someone who is perfect, who can do it right and can see me through.

God has a better way

You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! When I am willing to hand over my concerns and worries, I’m always surprised (yes it takes me a while to learn things), at how much better God’s way is than my way. I think sometimes when we try to take control, we block the opportunity to see small miracles. I was reminded of that the other day with my son’s glasses. The result was so much better than I could have imagined. The insurance came through in record time, three hours. There have been times I’ve been on hold with the insurance company for that long. I couldn’t believe the Doctors and the insurance would all work so well together to get it taken care of so quickly. I do consider that a minor miracle. Others offered assistance if the insurance didn’t come through.  If I had tried to control all of that on my own, I would have ended up paying more than we could afford at the time. But in God’s way, everything worked out better than I could have expected. His ways are better.

But the Lord takes thought for me

What a wonderful blessing we have in our Lord. We have a God who takes thought of us. He thinks about you. He thinks about me. He is interested in everything about us, from the safety of our children to the trip to the grocery store. Inviting God into everything you do, through prayer, allows you to open your eyes so you can see His miraculous works.

You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God

I love this verse. It makes the Psalm writer so human. Just like us he’s impatient, asking God not to delay in being a help and deliverer. The beauty of this verse is that God doesn’t mind that we ask Him not to delay. He understands our needs and wants. I don’t know if the Psalmist was afraid he would not be able to let go of the problem if the Lord didn’t take care of it quickly, but I know I sometimes have that problem. I think it’s awesome to pray that God would not delay. He cares and wants to answer our prayers, so why not ask for all of what we need, even if part of that is to have some relief from our worry in a quick manner.

Great is the Lord

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” I find that as I let go of control over things I have no control over, I find God’s hand at work in my life. I can see more clearly how He’s in control and taking care of my needs. And remembering the way that He cared for my greatest need, being saved from my sins on the cross and rising again that I might spend eternity with Him, certainly makes me say over and over again, “Great is the Lord”.

Who is your help?

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in My God is My Help, Psalm

 

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