Revelation 6; Nehemiah 8:13-9:37; Psalm 101
How great is our God? A popular song uses that sentence as a statement of fact to proclaim the greatness of God. In reality though, how great is our God? What makes our God great? As the people of Israel gathered in their return from exile they read God’s word and they rejoiced and obeyed it. After they finished reading it which took many days, they worshiped. The worship began with praise. “And the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said: ‘Stand up and bless the Lord your God Forever and ever! “Blessed be Your glorious name, Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!’” (Nehemiah 9:5) As you continue reading in Nehemiah 9 you see why these leaders blessed God and praised His name. They recounted how He had led and helped the people of Israel. They talked about how He warned Israel to stay true to Him and they even recognized His righteousness in the judgment that fell upon Israel. Even moreso, they praised God for His grace in allowing His people to return to the land. How often do we worship God when we focus on the good things He has done – at least as we see them. Do we recount our difficulties that are often the result of our own sin and praise God that He allowed us to suffer the difficulties? True worship is recognizing God’s hand in all areas of our life, the good and the bad, and giving blessing and praise to God not in spite of the bad but because of the bad. If we recognize God’s guidance and leadership in our lives, we must confess that God leads us in good times and bad. We must also confess that in the bad times, sometimes God is reminding us of our failure to follow Him and He is leading us to get back on the right path. Our confession and repentance is worship when we focus on God’s leadership in our lives.
Lord, it is true that in good times or bad, You are on Your throne. You lead me and direct me. You chastise me when I go astray. Remind me that You do this to mold me and make me the man You want me to become. Give me the strength to praise and bless You through all of life no matter what the circumstances may be.