“I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”
Psalm 9: 1-2 (NKJV)
These two simple, yet complex, verses hold a great deal of truth and instruction to us as believers. David is using himself to show those living at that time, and to the many believers who would come later, instruction on how to serve and praise God. David had many highs and lows in his life. He could walk on the mountain tops when he followed and obeyed the Lord, but he also walked in the valley many times in his long life. Yet, we often see him giving thanks and praising God.
Let’s look at these verses more closely. “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart.” God is not looking for part time soldiers. He is not looking for praise on Sunday morning and then a “ho hum” attitude the rest of the week. Not a high on the mountain experience on Sunday that does not follow us into our everyday walk during the week. He expects and demands our full allegiance to Him at all times. What would our employer say if we were full of hard work and allegiance to the company on Monday and then the rest of the week we half-heartedly did our jobs. I imagine we would soon be scanning the help wanted ads. Our Lord wants us to willingly give Him praise and love at all times. Being only human, I am sure He knows we will fail at this task from time to time; as did His servants in Bible times. However, we do see that those many times when His servants did the right thing, they were empowered to do great things and their praises filled the air.
“I will tell of all Your marvelous works.” This verse requires action. We should verbally acknowledge all the areas where we have been blessed. One of the greatest places to do this is in our family. Our children should know and understand the great blessings we have as believers. We should point out all the goodness that God has done for us. At some point we have all let our children see our disappointment with circumstances in our life, but more often they should see our praise. They should see how we trust in the Lord no matter what may happen. This life is a place where we’re only passing through and our real home, where believers will always be rejoicing, is in Heaven. In general, people around us need to see joy and contentment in our life. We may be their only idea of what a Christian should be like. Do we show them the great gift and love that God has given to our life or do we turn them off by having the same “gripes” that they have?
“I will be glad and rejoice in You.” We aren’t always on the mountain top and everything in our life a “bed of roses”. God allows pain and suffering to come into our life. He allows a child to be taken home early, a loved one to die of MS or some other sickness, financial problems, a spouse taken home at a young age or many other things. When Jesus left this earth He sent the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 tells us “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” God gives us a way to rejoice in the worst of times. It’s not an easy thing because of our old nature, but never the less He does provide us a way to be glad and rejoice.
“I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” God has given us many reasons to sing His praise. He looks down on us, a hopeless race with the penalty of death for our sin. A people that have no intention, on our own, to love or care for Him. A people that only love doing wrong and having their own way no matter the outcome.
Yet, He loves us. He loves His creation with all our faults. He looks pass the dirty rags that we are and our unlovable nature. He took His only Son who knew only good and perfection and sent Him here; to a dying world to give life. He made possible a way for us to be clean and acceptable for Heaven. Yes, He gives us much to praise Him for.
The things in Psalm 9: 1-2 are not easy tasks for us to do. I struggle daily to be the person that the Lord wants and demands. Just as I think, “hey I am doing pretty good this week,” pride, envy, stubbornness or some other thing shows me how short I fall to God’s desire for my life. Yet because I have accepted Christ as my Savior, I know I have a God who will pick me up, dust me off and send me out to sing His praises to all that will listen.
Pastoral Shepherding Assistant