To the choirmaster: according to Muth-labben. A Psalm of David.
1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
3 When my enemies turn back,
they stumble and perish before your presence.
4 For you have maintained my just cause;
you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment.
5 You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
6 The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins;
their cities you rooted out;
the very memory of them has perished.
7 But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
he has established his throne for justice,
8 and he judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with uprightness.
9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
11 Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion!
Tell among the peoples his deeds!
12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
13 Be gracious to me, O Lord!
See my affliction from those who hate me,
O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may recount all your praises,
that in the gates of the daughter of Zion
I may rejoice in your salvation.
15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught.
16 The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment;
the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah
17 The wicked shall return to Sheol,
all the nations that forget God.
18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.
19 Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail;
let the nations be judged before you!
20 Put them in fear, O Lord!
Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah
As I read through this Psalms, I’m struck by David’s words in verses 1 and 2. He will praise God with his whole heart. He will recount all of God’s wonderful deeds. He will be glad and exult in Him. I was curious what these good deeds were. What was David praising God for. I read it again to try and figure it out, but I could not. I only saw David’s praise for God.
David sets an example for us. Though his enemies were strong and after his life (vs. 13-14), he still praised God for being a righteous and just King. For delivering the oppressed and the needy who seek Him (vs. 7, 9, 18-19) . His praise is only on the character of God, not on what God did for him.
How many times do I find myself praising what God has done, instead of God? Almost always, if I’m being honest.
What David gives us in this Psalm is an example of true praise. We should rejoice in our blessings, recounting God’s good deeds. But yet, our praise should be on the Giver, not the gift. As I read verses 9 and 10, I realize if I am praising God for what He’s done for me, I don’t trust in His name. I trust in what I will get from Him.
If I want to have the kind of praise David had, I must go deeper. I must continue to seek after God, learning about His nature and character. I must begin to direct my praise to the Giver, not the gift.
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