Praise from us should not be silent or selfish. It is not for ourselves, to be kept for our own enjoyment, or to be for our own benefit. Praising God is to be heard and acknowledge all around. It is not meant to be silent, but joyful and resounding!
The manner of worship God demands of us is simple. Sing a new song. Sing the old songs that praise God. Dance with joy. Use His Words to defend Him. Those are all forms of praise to the Maker of the universe. He is calling everyone! King, nobles, commoners, peasants, all are alike when coming before God’s throne. Only He is superior and deserving of praise.
This psalm reinforces how God in His divine nature is beyond our comprehension. God does not delight in the works of His hands. What He really wants is our repines to Him. Strength and talent does not impress God; He gave them to us. God only wants us to praise Him and use those gifts to worship Him. That is the correct response God seeks from us, not prideful but with humility.
God is God and we are not. That is the only necessary reason for us to praise and worship Him. As humans, we are under His dominion, and there needs no other persuasion for us to worship the Master of the universe. And that worship can come in different forms. Remember, whether we eat or drink, we should do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). So everything we do, can be a form of worship to God.
If we were to imagine a time of imprisonment so long we could not even remember the all the crimes we commit to deserve prison, how happy would we be when we first step out of those doors and into freedom? I know I would be simply ecstatic and jumping for joy for my freedom. But the psalmist makes a stark point when he asks that his freedom be used for God’s glory. I know I would marvel in myself and what I want to do and where I want to be. But the psalmist simply asks God to make him thankful to His name.
I often take for granted the skills and gifts I possess. Sometimes, I think it’s right to use them as best I can, whether or not they bring praise to God. The psalmist’s words really puts into perspective how barren we really are in this world. All our talent and treasures are all God’s; we have nothing apart from Him. In response, our hearts should be motivated towards using His gifts for His glory.
It is interesting to note that in this psalm, the psalmist is specifically calling the servants of the Lord, not all people which would include His enemies. And thinking about it, the heart intention, the joy and purity of worshipping and praising God must first come out of a humble servant’s heart.
God’s help is not given out of obligation, but is a conscious choice from God. It is a blessing, because it comes not for our own sake but for God’s. Ultimately, our rescue is to glorify God not our own strength, because we did nothing. We could not rescue ourselves. So God receives the final ovation.
God’s Law is our form of comfort and assurance in this world. Even when man tells us their opinions or even their laws, God’s Law overrules theirs. Ultimately, if we suffer persecution for God’s Law, we can find joy through that, to know that His Law is always the best.
This part of Psalm 119 is very reflective on a heart that truly desires to please God, even before himself. It is so urgent to think through God’s Law, so that it can teach us and refine us as followers of Him. The Law marks out our inadequacies, but gives us more hope to look to God.
Wandering away from God’s Law is equivalent to sin. Because His Law is the standard of perfect, anything below it is offensive to the righteous God. So taking the time to meditate and develop an “intimacy” of God’s Word is essential to follow after HIm.
The fact that we have God’s Word readily available to us is a gracious blessing. We have the privilege to know God’s works, His goodness, His love. And through it, we are given the opportunity to follow Him. This is incredible, because no other god in this world wants what’s best for their servants. Only God, the Master of the universe, wants us to be holy and righteous for our sake.