There is much to discover about God’s character by exploring the Psalms. Steph Nickel discusses how we can acknowledge and respond to God’s greatness on a daily basis.
Acknowledging God’s Greatness
The following are excerpts from Psalm 9:1-18. “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. . . . The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins; their cities you rooted out; the very memory of them has perished. But the Lord sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness. The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the Lord . . . Tell among the peoples his deeds! . . . Be gracious to me, O Lord! . . . O you who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may recount all your praises, that . . . I may rejoice in your salvation. The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. . . . the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.”
We have discussed the book of Psalms previously, but every couple of days for the next while, I’d like to delve more deeply into these amazing expressions of praise, worship, and complete openness and honesty. While I believe in the truth and accuracy of the entire Bible, there is no single book within its pages that more thoroughly explores the wide gamut of human emotions. In Psalm 9, the psalmist’s heart is full to overflowing. He acknowledges the Lord’s involvement when he is victorious over his military enemy. For him, there is no separation between his physical and his spiritual life—nor should there be for us.
The Character of God
This psalm also reveals much about God’s character and what our response should be. God performs wonderful deeds. If we take the time to look, we will see them all around us every day. Granted, for those of you going through unbelievable hurt and heartache, it will be more challenging, but I encourage you to turn your attention to God’s wonderful deeds often.
The psalmist, himself king, acknowledges that it is the Lord who sits enthroned for all eternity. We too, can be confident in God’s unchanging character and position.
God is a judge—God is the judge—but we can rest assured that His judgments are always righteous and upright. He will never hand down a wrong ruling. His favour cannot be bought. And He can never be deceived or held captive to laws He doesn’t agree with. After all, He established the laws He uses.
I just had to quote the next portion of the psalm exactly as it appears in God’s Word. “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” What encouraging and uplifting declarations and assurances! These were declarations of faith on King David’s part, ones he made even though he went through many dark times, times when his enemies had the upper hand and were closing in all around. Of course, they readily came to mind in times like these, times when he experienced military victory, but these truths sustained him at other times as well.
An Unchanging God
One of the primary reasons God lifts us up is so that we can acknowledge and declare His greatness. King David knew this and did so frequently. And here we are, many centuries later, reading his words and learning to rejoice in the same unchanging God. And when I read words like “the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever,” I can’t help but think of one of the assurances the Lord Jesus offered when messengers from the imprisoned John the Baptist came to ask Him if He was the One they had been waiting for. Among other things, the Lord said in Luke 7:22, “. . . the poor have good news preached to them.” The fact that God loves and cares for society’s outcasts is evidence that He is who He says He is.
Focusing on God
And how should we respond to these truths? Like the psalmist, may we give thanks with our whole heart. May we tell others of God’s wonderful deeds, those we read about in His Word and those we witness in our own lives.
May we offer our praise and thanksgiving to Him in a variety of ways, including lifting our voices in song.
May we put our trust in Him 100 percent, knowing He is faithful through all generations. He will never change; we have His word on it.
And how can we, as a family, respond to this and other such portions of scripture? We, too, can focus regularly on what we are learning about His nature, perhaps keeping an ever-growing list where we can refer to it often. This is a great exercise for our times of family devotions. Let’s ask ourselves this question: What did we learn about God’s character from today’s Bible reading? Further, we can ask ourselves, “How do we see this truth in the world around us and in our lives?” And why not also make it a habit to write our own psalms of praise, focussing on what the Lord is teaching us about Himself?
And, of course, we must seek to share what we’re learning with others. After all, He blesses us so we can be a blessing.
If you have enjoyed reading this post and wish to send us a comment or share a prayer request, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know.
Images courtesy of: