A God Worthy of Praise
Who is this God? What praiseworthy things has he done?
HAVE you observed that people react differently to the marvelous works of creation? Some persons, for instance, will look into the heavens and see the stars scattered above like sparkling diamonds, and, although recognizing them as very beautiful, will not be moved to give praise to their Designer. While, on the other hand, this same sight may cause another person to feel humble and insignificant before the mighty Maker of these heavenly wonders. Because of appreciation for what God has made, a feeling of gratitude wells up within his heart and words of praise spring from his lips.
Certainly the Maker of these marvels of creation in both heaven and earth is worthy of praise! Yet, due to lack of knowledge and understanding, millions of persons fail to give him the praise due his name. This indeed seems strange when one considers that a painter who can capture the colors of a sunset or a sculptor who can reproduce the form of man and animals is held in high esteem even long after he has died. Should not the One who made the originals after which the imperfect copies are patterned receive greater praise?
If one would stop to reason he would be forced to agree that He should. God does not desire to remain anonymous and have praise go to some impersonal force, which is what happens when people praise the wondrous works of ‘Mother Nature.’ Therefore, to make expressions of praise that are pleasing to God, understanding as to who he is and what his purposes are is necessary.
A faithful old king that had such knowledge and understanding was David, who, in his younger years, killed the giant Goliath. For our benefit today there is recorded in First Chronicles, chapter twenty-nine, the heartfelt prayer that he made on the occasion when he turned the kingship of Israel over to his son Solomon. Consider David’s beautiful expressions of praise and see whether you also do not have reason for making similar expressions.
NAME AND EXALTED POSITION
David opened his prayer with the words: “Blessed may you be, O Jehovah the God of Israel our father, from time indefinite even to time indefinite. Yours, O Jehovah, are the greatness and the mightiness and the beauty and the excellency and the dignity; for everything in the heavens and in the earth is yours.”—1 Chron. 29:10, 11.
Notice that David addressed God by the personal name Jehovah. He did not think that God was some impersonal force of nature, but recognized him as the father of his people. It was to this mighty and excellent One that David attributed all the marvelous works of creation, observing that ‘everything in the heavens and in the earth belongs to him.’ Is this great Creator your God? Do you address him by his name Jehovah, giving him praise for all his beautiful works?
Although they claim to worship David’s God, some persons identify Jehovah as a national God of the Jews, and therefore feel that it is no longer necessary for Christians to call him by his name. However, David prayed for the name of Jehovah to be blessed, not for just a short time by the Jews, but “even to time indefinite.” It should be noted that David already had nearly one-third of the inspired Scriptures and was therefore acquainted with God’s purpose to be known by his personal name.
For example, he was familiar with the following account in the second book of these Holy Writings: “Then God said once more to Moses: ‘This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, “Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation.’”—Ex. 3:15.
Clearly, it is God’s purpose that he should be known forever by the name Jehovah. One Levitical composer of David’s day even ended his song with the request: “That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” All the writings that have been added to the inspired Scriptures since that time confirm that God desires to be identified by his name Jehovah.—Ps. 83:18.
People today identify beautiful masterpieces of art with such names as Rembrandt, Da Vinci and Michelangelo, and they speak in glowing terms of these gifted men. How much more so should the name of JEHOVAH be praised, the Creator of far surpassing masterpieces! Is that how you feel when examining the marvels of creation? That was how David felt, and from the bottom of his heart he endeavored to heap words of praise upon Jehovah, speaking of his “greatness,” “mightiness,” “beauty,” “excellency” and “dignity.” Indeed, words seem inadequate to praise Jehovah’s greatness.—1 Chron. 29:11.
There are so many things around us for which to praise Jehovah. Look at the heavens. “The heavens are declaring the glory of God,” David said. Even without the aid of modern telescopes, so that his view was limited to only a few thousand stars, David saw enough to recognize that a Master Craftsman was responsible. Today we know that there are countless billions of stars and that law and order govern their movements. Do we not have even greater reason to praise Jehovah? How happy we should be to know his name!—Ps. 19:1, 2; 8:3, 4.
RULERSHIP AND SUPREMACY
David also appreciated that Jehovah is a mighty ruler who dealt in a wonderful way with his people, and, so, continued his prayer: “Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah, the One also lifting yourself up as head over all. The riches and the glory are on account of you, and you are dominating everything; and in your hand there are power and mightiness, and in your hand is ability to make great and to give strength to all. And now, O our God, we are thanking you and praising your beauteous name.”—1 Chron. 29:11-13.
Many persons today may feel inclined to praise Jehovah for his marvelous creative works, but what about praising him for his promised Kingdom and the way he exercises his power in behalf of his people? Are you aware of such reasons for praising God? David’s beautiful prayer shows that not only was he acquainted with Jehovah’s dealings with his people in his own day, but by means of the inspired Scriptures he also knew what God had done in behalf of his people before his time.
The second book of those Holy Writings described how Jehovah had delivered the entire Israelite nation from bondage in Egypt. How mighty and powerful Jehovah proved to be in holding back the Red Sea! What a wonderful Provider he was in the wilderness! How he strengthened his people for their conquest of the Promised Land! What a marvelous law he gave Moses to govern His people! But not only did Jehovah provide the law; later he raised up judges, and then kings.
David was acquainted with these things. He remembered how the prophet Samuel had been sent to anoint him as king when he was a shepherd lad tending his father’s flocks. He therefore appreciated that it was Jehovah’s throne upon which he sat, as the chronicler later wrote: “And Solomon began to sit upon Jehovah’s throne as king in place of David his father.” Because of knowing these things David acknowledged that the kingdom belonged to Jehovah, and his heart was full of praise for the wonderful way He ruled his people.—1 Chron. 29:23.
Do you have the same appreciation for Jehovah’s kingdom and the way he cares for his people? Actually, today we have reason for even greater appreciation. Why so? Because that Israelite kingdom was only typical of the everlasting kingdom to be established in the hands of the promised Messiah, the seed of David. Concerning this rule God promised: “Once I have sworn in my holiness, to David I will not tell lies. His seed itself will prove to be even to time indefinite, and his throne as the sun in front of me. As the moon it will be firmly established for time indefinite.”—Ps. 89:35-37.
Jesus Christ proved to be the seed of David in whose hands Jehovah promised to establish a kingdom as permanent as the sun and moon. When Jesus was upon the earth he taught his followers to pray for this kingdom. You remember how he said: “You must pray, then, this way: Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.”—Matt. 6:9, 10.
Notice that in this prayer to his Father Jesus said, “Your kingdom.” Yes, the kingdom is Jehovah’s, even as David prayed: “Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah.” Fulfilled Bible prophecy indicates that this superhuman government is now at hand. Soon Jehovah will again show that in his “hand there are power and mightiness.” He will destroy the wicked of this old world just as he buried Pharaoh and his hosts in the Red Sea. And even as he protected his people at that time, so he will again, leading them into his promised new world to enjoy the everlasting blessings of his kingdom.
When one considers all the marvelous works of Jehovah, what he has done in times past, and what he promises to do in the near future, is there not every reason to give him our praise? Happy are we if we follow David’s example, when he prayed: “And now, O our God, we are thanking you and praising your beauteous name.”—1 Chron. 29:13.