Do me a favor and please read Psalm 135.
Our psalm today begins and ends with praise and then all the stuff in-between? Praise. Praise him because we are servants of the Lord. Praise him because He is good. Praise him because he has chosen, selected, and redeemed. Praise him because he is above all gods. Praise him for he controls all things seen and unseen. Praise him because when his people have been in need he provided. Praise him because he endures forever. When it’s all said and done? Praise God.
The other day I was part of a conversation about God, predestination, election, and just the general work that God does and I brought up the fact that the struggle WE have is that our answers to many questions have to do with what we know and perceive. So the answers and questions we seek and ask are based off of our own feelings and understandings. For the longest time we didn’t know the earth was round or anything having to do with gravity. It wasn’t until really smart people began asking questions, experimenting, and building machines that answers to big life questions began to fall into place. But before that, when those questions were asked, the answers came with personal perception and thought. So it’s safe to say that we learn and grow by what we observe and feel. So when we start talking about why God would do __________ our answers are going to, more often than not, come by what we feel. The problem is that God doesn’t work that way. God works in HIS way and not mine.
So where am I going with this? Here it is: BECAUSE God works in his way and not mine/ours: praise him. God is so far outside of our realm of understanding and spectrum that we SHOULD praise him. I don’t get a lot of things in this world but simply because I don’t know things, or why God does what he does doesn’t mean I don’t worship and praise him. I’m glad the Lord does whatever pleases him (vs 6) because I know that all he does is for the good of him and his people. We may not like that God struck down many nations and killed many kings (vs 10) but he did it to save his people, hold to his covenant, and remove sin, chaos, and destruction (the very things those kings and nations lived by). God is God and because he is, because of his love, knowledge, work, and sacrifice – we praise him.
Another challenge that we have is that sometimes we don’t WANT to praise him. Sometimes we go through things in life that bring all sorts of questions about God and his love. Sometimes the things we experience, in our eyes and lives, make us feel things that are outside of our comprehension of God. The untimely death of a loved one. The loss of a beloved job. Hardships of all sorts. All of these things, in one way or another, make us wonder just how good God is or how much he loves, cares, and watches over us. Because why would God allow me to lose that job? Why would God take my loved one from me? And while these are understandable questions, while these are questions we should ask (God can handle our questions), in the end we should still come to praise.
We need to come to a reality that I simply cannot fathom the ways of God (read the end of Job for that one). And I guess for me personally there is so much pain and suffering that happens in this world that, if I allow it to, it would consume me. And in the end the peace I have is knowing that regardless of what I know or don’t know – God does. It’s not outside of God’s spectrum, knowledge, work, or redemption. So I praise him. Regardless of how I feel about things God is in control. So I praise him. Regardless of what I think is bad or tragic what I do know is that God is still good. So I praise him.
And ultimately if I declare God is whole, perfect, holy, and good then all that he does must fit into that understanding – even when I don’t get why he does what he does. A loving and holy God holds to his word, his covenant, his love. And so I praise him. A loving and holy God seeks his people, his children, when they constantly run from him. And so I praise him. And in the end, a loving and holy God, one who sacrifices himself for me (insert Christ here), deserves every ounce of my praise and worship.
So praise him, all you people. Praise him.