Sometimes I praise God for who He is. This Psalm tells me to praise Him for what He’s done. Usually, that means I start listing the blessings He’s poured out on me and my family. I remember the times He faithfully kept His promises. I can pray with Daniel:
“O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.” Daniel 9:4
It also means singing His praises:
“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation,
Oh my soul praise Him for He is thy health and salvation.
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near.
Praise Him in glad adoration.” (Joachim Neander)
But when I read the entire Psalm, it gives me a new perspective on remembering what God has done. I’ll explain in a minute, but why don’t you go ahead and read the whole Psalm now. I’ll wait.
Did it sound like a Sunday School lesson? Do you remember Joseph and his coat of many colors? How about Jacob and the ladder with angels walking up and down it? Can you still name all ten plagues? What about the time Moses hit the rock and water came pouring out?
God’s miracles aren’t always personal. God’s miracles aren’t always about me. But they are, of course, still worthy of praise. When the Psalmist says to tell everyone about His wonderful deeds, I have a much bigger story to tell than just what I’ve experienced.
God looked at the fallen world in pity and chose a man to start His plan to save us from our destruction. Through Abraham He created a whole race and gave them their own land. He protected them from enemy kings and prepared a place in Egypt to save them from famine. He brought them out of slavery loaded with silver and gold. He gave them water in the wilderness and then gave them the crops of pagan nations.
As members of the New Covenant, we know that all God’s actions in the Old Covenant were intended to prepare the way for Jesus. But I tend to read it as history, and often forget that God always acted with that purpose in mind. I forget that it’s all part of God’s plan of salvation.
This time, when I respond to the call to praise God, I’m going to praise Him for what He did for Israel. The old Sunday School stories are reminders to praise God. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Ruth, Esther and Isaiah. They’re not just people in stories. They’re people who experienced God’s love and miracles. They’re all part of the plan of salvation.
They are evidence that He is indeed worthy of praise.