I will praise Him!
Reading: Psalm 96
Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness (NIV).
When I think of the word, ascribe, I immediately picture a long, grey-bearded man with a quill pen in his hand scratching words onto a scroll. That’s a scribe. I suppose this scribe could be busy ascribing. I wonder just what he could be ascribing? Well, according to the author of Psalm 96 my imaginary scribe could be ascribing glory and strength to the LORD.
In all seriousness ascribing means crediting or attributing certain character qualities to a person. The LORD certainly is strong and glorious. Along with those attributes, we could also add the words loving, faithful, merciful, just and holy. The LORD is all those things and more. For all these character qualities the LORD is worthy of praise.
Sometimes I don’t see something until it smacks me in the face. I can be blind to that missing shirt hanging in the closet or across the back of a chair. It takes someone else, usually my wife, to point out what should be plainly obvious. In the same way I can be blind to the kind gestures of a friend or colleague. It takes someone else to point them out—to ascribe them—by drawing my attention to them.
Are you missing something? Have you become blind to the beautiful character qualities of your spouse, your children or your workmates? Maybe you need to do some ascribing? Before it’s too late, let them know the good qualities you see in their lives. You won’t regret speaking words of affirmation to the ones you love. As for the LORD, He will be honored if we carry through with the words of the psalmist: Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
Response: LORD God, I want to see your glory and strength. I acknowledge your attributes. You are magnificent, holy, merciful and just. Thank you for your judgments. They are righteous. Amen.
Your Turn: Is there someone whose good character you need to ascribe or affirm?
Reading: Psalm 93
The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty;
the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
Your throne was established long ago;
you are from all eternity.
The seas have lifted up, LORD,
the seas have lifted up their voice;
the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea—
the LORD on high is mighty.
Your statutes, LORD, stand firm;
holiness adorns your house
for endless days (NIV).
What things in this world are majestic? As I write this post, I’m looking out across my front lawn where a squirrel is cavorting about. Are squirrels majestic? Certainly not in my opinion. In the animal kingdom perhaps lions or stallions are majestic in their bearing. Snow-covered mountain peaks may be majestic, but squirrels not so much.
Here in Psalm 93 the psalmist is trying to capture in words the might and majesty of the LORD. Surely, this is an impossible task, but the psalmist makes a valiant effort. His thoughts turn to the vast power of the sea. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the LORD on high is mighty.
Of course the might of the LORD is incomparable. How can the power of the sea be compared to the power of the One who created the sea? The comparison breaks down; it is not valid. We grasp at straws when we try to capture the majesty and glory of the LORD.
According to the psalmist two things stand firm and secure, the world and the statutes of the LORD. How firm are the laws of the LORD established in your mind? In a world where moral relativism rules the day, absolutes are shunned. What may be deemed right and good today may be judged as unacceptable or reprehensible tomorrow. In our society it seems the opinion of the fickle masses determines what is good. God’s opinion—His statutes matter little.
But in reality—in this thing called eternity—there are things that never change. There are absolutes. On the day we die, ready or not, we will know and experience the absolutes of God. The unchanging God has not thrown out His moral law with yesterday’s garbage. The psalmist declares, “Your statutes, LORD, stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days.”
Response: LORD God, I want your holiness to adorn my house and my heart. Help me to conform to your will and your ways, rather than the other way around. You are my Lord. Reign on sovereign LORD. Reign in glorious majesty. Amen.
Your Turn: What does God’s majesty mean to you?
actor, answered prayer, author, David, Gath, glory, God, Jesus Christ, justice, King Achish, King David, king of Gath, King Saul, leader, madmen, Messiah, musician, Philistine, poet, praise, prophet, Psalms, skills, talents, warrior, wisdom
Reading: Psalm 34
When he pretended to be insane before Abimelek, who drove him away, and he left.(Verses 1-7)
I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them (NIV).
David was a man of many talents. He was a gifted musician and a poet—the author of many of the psalms. He was a battle-hardened warrior and a leader of men. After many years of struggle he became the king of all Israel, and in that role he governed an unruly people with wisdom, justice and demonstrable success. David was also a prophet. Many of his psalms are infused with prophetic significance as they point to the coming Messiah—Jesus Christ.
In addition to this long list of David’s skills and accomplishments, we should also add actor. In an early episode in David’s flight from King Saul, he escaped to the Philistine city of Gath. But he was recognized by some of the people who said, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?” (1 Samuel 21:11).
To escape certain death, David pretended to be stark raving mad. He must have been a convincing actor because the king of Gath released him saying, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?” (1 Samuel 21:14-15).
In response to his release from King Achish, David composed Psalm 34—one of the most joyous of all the psalms. Nothing inspires praise like answered prayer when your life is on the line. David did not take the credit for his skill as an actor. Neither did he take credit for conceiving the idea for this clever deception. He gave all the glory to God and he invites us to join in his celebration of praise. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Along with David we have good reason to rejoice; we have a God who saves us. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
Response: Those who look to him are radiant. LORD, we look to you. Today let me shine for you. Amen.
Your Turn: What talents can you thank God for? How has he answered your prayers?