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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Sunday Snippets: Praising Pitifully or Proportionally?

Psalm 150:2 "Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness."

As I'm sure you are aware, there are a lot of words that have changed over time. The word "conversation", for example. Today, it means a dialogue between two or more people. In the Bible, it means the way someone lives their daily life. Or something even simpler: the word "meat". It used to mean food in general, but now it refers specifically to the flesh of animals. Words continually undergo changes over time. 

In this verse, what do you think the phrase "according to" means? Most of you are probably thinking along the lines of "praise Him FOR his excellent greatness" or "because of" His excellent greatness...want to know what it actually means? (Both in this verse and throughout most of the Bible!)

In proportion to.

We are supposed to praise God in proportion to His excellent greatness. That changes the whole feel of this verse!!

An excellent example of what this means is the story of Jesus watching the offerings being given at the Temple. The rich men who went up there giving gold and jewels were merely giving in proportion to their wealth. If I walked up to you and handed you $500, that might seem like a lot. If I was a multi-billionaire, however, it wouldn't even be a drop in the bucket. I wouldn't even miss it from my pocket. And hence, it would be a lot less of a big deal. The widow who put in her two mites was giving EVERYTHING she had! She was not giving in proportion to what she had, because that WAS all she had. 

So here is the question. How big, grand, vast, amazing IS God's excellent greatness? We all know the answer to that--God is infinitely great!! His glory and majesty is eternally bigger than we can ever fathom with finite human minds. And we are to praise him in proportion to that. Do you see where I'm going with this? For us to praise God IN PROPORTION to His greatness, we would have to praise Him for ever and ever and ever and get the point. We can never praise Him enough to measure up to how great He is!

All through the Bible, we are commanded to praise and glorify God with our words, actions, and thoughts. Why? Because He deserves SO much more praise and honor than we could ever give Him in this life, or in eternity. He created us to have a relationship with Him, and to bring Him glory. When we as Christians walk around like sour old grumps with nothing good to say about the gift of life that He's given us, do you think that is pleasing to Him? I would venture to guess not. At all. 

A little bonus verse to think about: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) So my needs are going to be supplied in proportion to God's riches in glory?! He owns the cattle on a thousand hills...I think I'll be ok! ;) With The Lord as my Shepherd, I shall never want! :) 

I would challenge you to make sure that when you read God's Word, you know what the words and phrases are actually saying. We can really miss some blessings if we don't fully comprehend what God is telling us! This week, let's try to praise Him in proportion to what He's done for us. His excellent greatness is everlasting!

1 comment:

  1. I actually didn't know about that specific definition, and I just assumed it meant what you mentioned! You're right, it is very helpful to know exactly what something translates as, so I need to look that up more!


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