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shepherdleader
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Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 7:57 pm    Post subject: Speechless Reply with quote

While reading Psalm 145 recently I couldn't help but notice how often the psalmist was talking about talking. The talking is about God's glory and majesty. The typical statements of praise are peppered with comments about how everyone and everything God made will give Him praise. "One generation will commend your works to another, they will tell of your mighty acts, they will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty...They will tell... They will sing...All you have made will praise you." The psalm is bookended with a personal vow: "I will praise you...My mouth will speak in praise." And the final line calls everything into the chorus: "Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever."

Some people wonder if God somehow "needs" to be praised. We don't like that idea but in one sense it is true. Majesty unnoticed is lacking something. God's glory and power are on display but if the stadium is empty, the silence is a problem. The standing ovation, the call for an encore, the take-your-breath-away gasp - these responses “complete” the honor. In a mysterious way praise is antiphonal: God reveals himself somehow and we simply have to say something to someone. We met a non-religious man recently who, facing a serious illness, had a surprisingly profound encounter with God. He said, “I just feel like I need to tell someone… anyone. I won’t give up another opportunity to speak up for him.”

The other important question is if we need to praise God. I know of a Bible scholar who lost his faith. He confided in a friend, "Although I can't believe in a creator anymore, I still don't know what to do when I see a breath-taking sunrise at the lake. The colors, the mist, the grandeur. I have no place to go with that emotionally." If we don't somehow reckon with the incredible works of God in nature and history and in our own experience, we lose something. Praise keeps our perspective aligned with the reality of God around us. Talking about God's wonders keeps our faith vibrant. When he does something that leaves us "speechless," it’s time to start talking!
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