“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness,
and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.”
What does is really mean to praise the name of the Lord? In order to praise Him in Spirit and in truth, we must have some knowledge about Who He is. In other words, we must know the truth about God to some extent in order to be able to offer genuine praise that flows from a heart of gratittude. In the scripture verse above, the Psalmist acknowledges the righteousness of God, His Lordship, and the fact that He is the Most High God, Lord over all. The thankful heart of the Psalmist results from knowing that God is good. He is righteous. He is the Most High. As a result of this knowledge and relationship, the Psalmist feels that he has an obligation to respond appropriately to God’s goodness and supremacy. The Psalmist gives thanks to the Lord and sings praise to His Name based upon revealed truth and what that truth means to him.
Similarly, a child reaches a point when he has grown up enough to recognize the sacrifices his parents are making and have made on him behalf, resulting in his desire to thank his parents and to be good to them in turn. We are part of our biological or adopted family, the children of our earthly parents. We carry their name and their hopes and dreams, as well as their investment into our lives, for the remainder of our years. With maturity comes the acknowledgement that everything about the way the we live impacts all of those around us. We praise our parents and others who have had an impact on our lives not just for what they have done on our behalf but for who they are and the fact that they truly love us and have our best interests at heart. Our lives bear the fruit and the image of their sacrifice.
In thinking about our lives in relationship to God, the fact that He desires relationship with us is amazing! The fact that He is good and acts on our behalf is fantastic! The fact that He would give Himself for us is miraculously magnificent! What should be our response ot such an awesome, loving, and merciful God? Consider the worship quote below.
“Worship is discovering and declaring the magnificence of God, not just by our image-bearing and not just in sacramental acts, but the way we breathe every breath, take in every sight, hear every sound, and move as image-bearers through every day.”
( The quote above is from http://marshill.com/2011/04/17/what-worship-is )
The term “image bearers” in the worship quote above is a reminder to me of the true meaning of one of the Ten Commandments. When preparing to teach a Sunday School lesson several years ago, I learned that the definition of the word that has been translated as “take” in the commandment, “Thou shalt not take thename of the Lord thy God in vain.” is “to bear or to carry.” This expanded my understanding of what God was telling us to do and not to do in a way that is more profound than the very true teaching that we must have reverence for God’s name and only use His name in a way that is honorable. In addition, we are the carriers of His name. We take, or bear, or carry, the name of God with us wherever we are as Christians. So, the commandment is telling us to be very aware of our witness and testimony, making sure that we do not bring shame or reproach to the name of God through our actions, words, or attitudes. To do so would be to carry His name in vain because of the fact that all of our efforts for the Kingdom (and God’s infinite investment of love and mercy in our lives) would not bear fruit as it should in the lives of others. ff we have compromised our testimony to such a great extent that our efforts are in vain, this is a very serious situation; but I believe that it does not have to be a permanent one. God’s forgiveness and mercy are always there for us. Every day is a new beginning. Today, with God’s help, may we carrry His name and the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in such a way that we bring Him glory. That is worship, dear friends.