GREAT IS THE LORD!
Sunday, 6 January 2019
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.” -Psalm 145:3
Although David was one of the most powerful kings in his day, he did not hesitate to bow before God as his King. In a day when great kings lived in splendor and often demanded that their subjects revere them as gods, it is significant that David proclaims, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised!”- in effect saying “I am not God; I am nothing compared to the true and living God. He alone is great; He alone is worthy of praise!”
Verse 1 says, “I will extol You, my God, O King.” You cannot praise God unless He is your God. It is not enough if He is your parents’ God or your spouse’s God; He must be your God -a declaration that brings in a true sense of belongingness. For Him to be your God, you must come as a needy sinner to the cross, where God paid the penalty of your sin through the death of His Son, whom He raised on the third day. Thus you trust Jesus as your Savior and Lord. The realization that through the cross, Christ has restored the glory, authority and son-ship (which mankind lost in the Garden of Eden) awakens in you His praise. Hence to join in this psalm of praise, you must have put your faith in the Lord Jesus, knowing Him as your Lord and your God.
David is compelled to praise God because of His majesty (v.3): “Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.” As David goes on to say, “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works.” he is exuberant in his words describing God’s greatness! But as the word “unsearchable” shows, God is far greater than all of the great words that we can think of combined! The apostle Paul uses similar language when he talks about “the unfathomable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3:8); or when he exclaims “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Romans 11:33)
Where do you suppose David got his understanding of the unsearchable greatness of God? Though Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel had stunning visions of God in His glory, there is no record of David ever having a vision. Twice the Lord appeared to David’s son, Solomon (1 Kings 11:9), but David never had such an experience. So where did he get his understanding of God’s greatness?
Through Psalm 19, we understand that he had two sources: God’s creation and God’s revealed word which David must have grasped from the five books of Moses. The glory of God was revealed to David through His creation: He spoke the universe and all of life into existence by the word of His power (Ps. 33:6,9). By meditating on God’s Word, David realized that God’s greatness is unsearchable!
Louis XIV of France who called himself, “Louis the Great” died in 1715. To dramatize his greatness, he planned a spectacular funeral: his body was to be put in a golden coffin; the cathedral to be dimly lit, with only a special candle set on the coffin. As thousands waited in hushed silence, Bishop Massilon began to speak; slowly reaching down, he snuffed out the candle and said, “Only God is great!” David would have shouted, “Amen!” to that.
Why we do exalt God? The answer: God is “great”, “unfathomable”, “awesome”, “splendid” and “majestic”. This cannot be taught – it must be caught. This means each of us need to respond personally to the opportunity God gives us to know Him and to see him as HE is. We can do this by meditating on the Person and Work of God.
“It is not great men who change the world, but weak men in the hands of a great God.”― Brother Yun, The Heavenly Man
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