Foundations of Praise

Psalm 100 is one of the most loved psalms—“Make a joyful noise to the Lord!” It really is the Bible’s protocol for worshiping God: Shout with joy and express your gratitude! Ascribe honor and acknowledge his greatness.

And two reasons are suggested for why the Lord is worthy of worship.

First, he is the Creator. By right he deserves praise because all things derive from him, including us. Second, God’s moral character is worthy of highest praise: “For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures to all generations.”

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God is Good. God is morally pure and righteously fair; he is completely happy and fully loving. He is for us and desires our total wellbeing. Hasn’t he been good to you?

People refute God on grounds of the many evils that persist in the world. But do we ever wonder why goodness remains? Evils seems to only mar, powerless to efface good. God is the guarantor of all good and deserves praise for it.

God is Merciful. Mercy is God’s kindness not to impose a deserved penalty. God is righteously just and some people downplay this about him, preferring his love. But God’s justice doesn’t negate his love; in fact, he’s not fully loving without being just.

Others have too stern an image of him. But who could stand a justice-only God? We would not be safe for the simple fact that we are his offenders.

I mentioned the skeptics who protest evil in the world. They’ve apparently forgotten their own evil. Most of us have not been villains or mass murderers, but what’s the difference in God’s eyes? Sin condemns us all. And what is it that rescues us from warranted justice? It is God’s own kindness.

God is True. Or his faithfulness goes from one generation to the next. He will never stop supporting us or loving the human race, provoking us to virtue, even when we reject him. That boggles my mind sometimes, but we get the sense that even the angels are constantly struck by the holiness and greatness of God.

Some versions use the term truth here. Although truth is not the context of the verse, I’d like to insert that point.

What God has expressed about himself is indisputable. That comforts me. I can know that the script won’t flip when I die. I will behold God himself with incredible joy and be sure that his character will always be true to me.

Furthermore, if there be other worlds and races somewhere in the universe, the Creator’s truth is the same for them, affirming his great holiness and righteousness and earning him praise.

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