I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty — and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works — and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
– Psalm 145 (Emphasis my own)
“The dictionary says to admire is ‘to regard with wondering esteem accompanied by pleasure and delight; to look at or upon with an elevated feeling of pleasure.’ According to the definition, God has few admirers among Christians today.
“Many are they who are grateful for His goodness in providing salvation. At Thanksgiving time the churches ring with songs of gratitude that ‘all is safely gathered in.’ Testimony meetings are mostly devoted to recitations of incidents where someone got into trouble and got out again in answer to prayer. To decry this would be uncharitable and unscriptural, for there is much of the same thing in the Book of Psalms. It is good and right to render unto God thanksgiving for all His mercies to us. But God’s admirers, where are they?
“The simple truth is that worship is elementary until it begins to take on the quality of admiration. Just as long as the worshiper is engrossed with himself and his good fortune, he is a babe. We begin to grow up when our worship passes from thanksgiving to admiration. As our hearts rise to God in lofty esteem for that which He is (‘I AM THAT I AM.’ Exodus 3:14), we begin to share a little of the selfless pleasure which is the portion of the blessed in heaven.”
– A. W. Tozer, That Incredible Christian
How big is King David’s God? In Psalm 145, David exalts God. He praises God for being ‘Great’, ‘Gracious’, ‘Compassionate’, ‘Trustworthy’, ‘Faithful’, and ‘Righteous’. In this psalm, King David has grown beyond an amused thankfulness that God has saved him.
It sounds like the Scout Law. “A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.” If scouts could actually live up to the law. God does. I had a friend that would always slip ‘sneaky’ into the Scout Law, but that wasn’t part of the law, and it is not part of God either.
I think that Psalm 145 is a good way to organize how we feel about our God. We can move beyond thankfulness and into adoration and admiration if we could list the attributes of God and then write next to each how that attribute affects us in our daily walk with Jesus.
Yet, do we even give thanks anymore? Are we somehow less than the ‘babe’ in the Tozer quote. Tozer mentions Thanksgiving time, but isn’t it a bit sad that the government has to set a day aside as a reminder to be thankful? Then again, does anyone spend much time in thanksgiving between the parades to mark the official opening of Christmas shopping, the football games, and the huge turkey dinner? In many areas, it is the start or near the start of deer season. There was a time when my mother’s big dinner was moved from the traditional noon meal to a meal around dusk. Otherwise, the deer hunters in the family would be absent. Of course, if one of them shot a deer that day, they would not arrive for the meal anyway – too busy getting the meat to the butcher and the trophy to the taxidermist.
I have been guilty, too. I have bowed my head to bless the food, and my mind goes blank. Am I truly not thankful? Has God done nothing for me that day? Or is the Devil just messing with me? Of course, it is that last one. I have so many things to be thankful for that if my mind goes blank, it is because I am thinking, ‘Where do I start?’ God has done so many things for me each second of each day. There is never a time that He does nothing. Yet, we sometimes draw a blank. Maybe that is why blessing the food becomes something rote.
For our worship (in church and personally on a daily basis) to move from thankfulness to admiration, we have to recognize God for who He is and how He affects everything in our lives. If that does not leave you dumbstruck with awe, then you may need to spend more time studying the world around you, that is, the world God created, and God’s Holy Word, the Bible.
Soli Deo Gloria. Glory to God Alone.