Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness and delight;Come before His presence with joyful singing. Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God;It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His].We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with a song of thanksgivingAnd His courts with praise.Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name. For the Lord is good;His mercy and lovingkindness are everlasting,His faithfulness [endures] to all generations.
In our advanced scientific and technological age, people have made amazing discoveries in every field. Medicine, telecommunications, and computers are only a few areas in which we’ve seen astounding progress in a short span of years. Our advancement has been so startling that it’s easy for us to think that we are the creators and sustainers of the universe. This perception, though, is out of focus and, in the end, dangerous.
Even our ability to think, dream, and invent comes from God. Our God-given capacity to earn a living puts food on the table and provides money to pay the mortgage for the roof over our heads. In fact, everything good comes from the hand of God.
When we focus our attention too much on human abilities, we praise ourselves and forget God. From time to time, we need a refresher course, and this psalm is a good tutor. All we have, all we can do, and every creative thought ultimately originates in God. Without Him, nothing exists at all. When we realize that all the blessings we enjoy- including our amazing abilities to create, invent, and discover- come from a loving God, we respond like the psalmist shouting for joy, singing about God’s blessings, thanking Him, praising Him, and committing ourselves to live only and always for Him.
It seemed to me fit and proper that the gifts of God should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
No matter how developed we feel we have become or how much we’ve invented or discovered, we must remember that it was God who created the universe and all that is within it. We have not created worlds nor life nor living things. Indeed at best, we have stumbled on the secrets that God created and were hid from human understanding. Most inventions happened almost by accident. In Colossians, Paul makes known to us the understanding that everything that exists was created not by humans but by Christ Himself:
“For He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption [because of His sacrifice, resulting in] the forgiveness of our sins [and the cancellation of sins’ penalty]. He is the exact living image [the essential manifestation] of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible], the firstborn [the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator] of all creation. For by Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, [things] visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [that is, by His activity] and for Him. And He Himself existed and is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [His is the controlling, cohesive force of the universe.] He is also the head [the life-source and leader] of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will occupy the first place [He will stand supreme and be preeminent] in everything. For it pleased the Father for all the fullness [of deity—the sum total of His essence, all His perfection, powers, and attributes] to dwell [permanently] in Him (the Son), and through [the intervention of] the Son to reconcile all things to Himself, making peace [with believers] through the blood of His cross; through Him, [I say,] whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
Colossians 1: 13-20
James chimes in with this revelation:
“ Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights [the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens], in whom there is no variation [no rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [for He is perfect and never changes]. It was of His own will that He gave us birth [as His children] by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits of His creatures [a prime example of what He created to be set apart to Himself—sanctified, made holy for His divine purposes].”
James 1: 17-18
Wise people recognize that all wisdom, abilities, and creativity are gifts from God and given to each as He sovereignly chooses. Those who understand that are the most grateful and choose to give to God all the credit, praise and thanksgiving. Once we grasp the truth that all things come from God as gifts from a loving Father, it’s easy to give Him praise and adoration. It also releases us from the stress of responsibility of trying to manage life and the universe. It is such liberty to let such matters rest in the control of a Sovereign God. It also keeps us humble. It’s difficult to be arrogant when you know the credit for your success isn’t the result of your ability but has been given to you by God. It also keeps you from being envious of others when they succeed because you know that theirs like yours has been given by God. In any case with grateful hearts, we give God the praise and glory for all He allows us to accomplish through His mighty power at work within us. The psalmist says that the works of God praises His name. We, then, who are the ultimate work of God and everything we may have done or will do glorifies Him.
And the more you give honor and praise to God for, the more He gives you to give Him honor and praise for.
Dr. John Thompson