Praise now or later

The Covington News - - Religion -

“May all the kings of the earth praise you, O Lord, when they hear the words of your mouth. May they sing of the ways of the Lord, for the glory of the Lord is great.” (Psalm 138:4-5, NIV).

Last week we looked at the first three verses of this psalm. We dis­cov­ered then that the open­ing verse spoke of David’s bold wit­ness in the face of op­po­si­tion. That even though kings of earth de­manded that wor­ship of Yah­weh be si­lenced in the ex­al­ta­tion of their false gods.

Now, we see a stark con­trast. Verse 1 refers to a state spon­sored sep­a­ra­tion of church and state pol­icy, but by verse 4 the very rulers who tried to si­lence the wor­ship of the one true God are now join­ing in wor­ship. What a turn around.

Of­ten I hear fallen men brag that if there is a God, when they get to heaven or at least stand be­fore him in judg­ment, they are go­ing to tell him a thing or two. Such is the brag­gado­cio of sin­ful men whose hearts are blinded by pride.

The New Tes­ta­ment equiv­a­lent of our text, I think, is found in Philip­pi­ans 2:9-11: “There­fore God ex­alted him to the high­est place and gave him the name that is above ev­ery name, that at the name of Je­sus ev­ery knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and un­der the earth, and ev­ery tongue con­fess that Je­sus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Fa­ther” (NIV).

No­tice some­thing in both of th­ese pas­sages. Those who once dis­par­aged God now wor­ship him. There is no sense of com­plain­ing; no sense of giv­ing him a piece of our minds; no hint of telling him a thing or two. And no­tice if you will that it is ev­ery tongue ev­ery­where that will con­fess that Je­sus is Lord to the glory of God the Fa­ther. That I be­lieve in­cludes all the demons of hell and even the devil him­self.

The point I am try­ing to make here is this: nowhere do we have a hint of any­one (even the eter­nally con­demned) com­plain­ing that their sen­tence is not fair. Far from us try­ing to “set the record straight” or tell God “we didn’t have enough ev­i­dence to de­cide for you,” we are go­ing to rec­og­nize our cul­pa­bil­ity and God’s mar­velous grace and even the most re­luc­tant is go­ing to praise God for his good­ness, even in judg­ment.

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