Enter His gates with thanksgiving; Go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name.Psalm 100:4
PRAISE: (tᵊhillâ) act of general or public adoration. praise (demanded by qualities or deeds or attributes of God)
Going deeper, yet again, into this common Psalm encouraging us to be thankful and give praise to God.
But what does this actually mean…. to give praise?
We understand what it means to give praise to our kids for doing well or making good grades. We give praise to our puppies when they learn a trick or figure out how to use the potty outside. We give praise to a deserving colleague earning a promotion or nailing a presentation.
But praise to God is more. We aren’t talking doggy treats on this one. We are offering praise to perfection. Adoring the glory and renown of a Holy Creator.
Praise, by the Hebrew definition, is publicly offering praise because the qualities and attributes of God DEMAND IT.
Wow. That changes things up a bit.
We don’t commend God on a job well done…. we fall face down because HE IS PERFECT. WHO HE IS COMPELLS US TO PRAISE HIM.
But. If we don’t UNDERSTAND who He is, then praise doesn’t just come naturally.
This statement isn’t meant to produce shame or make you mad. I say it because it is TRUE OF ME, TOO.
Do I REALLLLLLY UNDERSTAND and REFLECT on the attributes and qualities of God?
Not fully – because I don’t understand them all myself.
But I promise you this…. I will go down trying. And guess who is coming with me?
So let’s go.
Over the next few days, we are going to study up on several attributes of God. Let’s learn more about His qualities and why they matter! THEN… I do believe that PRAISE will be our instinctive response.
As you read, take a few notes on whatever jumps off the page about Him. Be WOWED by these Truths!!!
1. God Is Infinite – He is Self-Existing, Without Origin
“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17
“Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure” Psalm 147:5
The fact that God is self-existent — that he was created by nothing and has always existed forever — is perhaps one of the hardest attributes of God for the believer to understand. In our limitedness, grasping the nature of our limit-less God is like holding onto water as it rages down a river. Indeed, Tozer writes this about the confusing, head-spinning attribute of God’s infinity:
‘To admit that there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, nor submit to our curious inquiries: this requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him.”
In his article on Christianity.com, Dr. Adrian Rogers writes about the self-existence of God: “The name Jehovah is used some 6,800 times in the Bible. It is the personal covenant name of Israel’s God. In the King James Version of the Bible, it’s translated Lord God. Not only does it speak of God’s strength, but also it speaks of the sovereignty of God and the goodness of God. The root of this name means “self-existing,” one who never came into being, and one who always will be. When Moses asked God, “Who shall I tell Pharaoh has sent me?” God said, “I AM THAT I AM.” Jehovah or Yahweh is the most intensely sacred name to Jewish scribes and many will not even pronounce the name. When possible, they use another name.”
What! Yahweh is so sacred to Jewish scribes many won’t even SAY it because …. IT. IS. SO. HOLY. That is next level, friends.
2. God Is Immutable – He Never Changes
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” Malachi 3:6
God does not change. Who he is never changes. His attributes are the same from before the beginning of time into eternity. His character never changes – he never gets “better” or “worse.” His plans do not change. His promises do not change.
Read… that…. again….. Thank you Lord.
This ought to be a source of incredible joy for believers. Sam Storms writes this about the good news of God’s unchanging nature: “What all this means, very simply, is that God is dependable! Our trust in him is therefore a confident trust, for we know that he will not, indeed cannot, change. His purposes are unfailing, his promises unassailable. It is because the God who promised us eternal life is immutable that we may rest assured that nothing, not trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword shall separate us from the love of Christ. It is because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever that neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not even powers, height, depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39)!
I am seriously clapping my hands as I read over this. In a world that has CHANGED SO DANG MUCH the past two years…. I am applauding my IMMUTABLE GOD TODAY!
3. God Is Self-Sufficient – He Has No Needs
“For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” John 5:26
As limited humans, we have incredible needs, which left unfulfilled, result in death. God, however, has never once been in need of anything. As Tim Temple writes, “God is perfectly complete within his own being.”
In a blog post on Reformation21.org, Scott Swain writes that the self-sufficiency of God means he “possesses infinite riches of being, wisdom, goodness, and power in and of himself (Gen 17:1; John 5:26; Eph 3:16). Because he possesses these unfathomable riches in the perfect knowledge and love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matt 11:25-27; John 17:24-26). God is the “blessed” or “happy” God (1 Tim 1:1; 6:15).”
Because God is self-sufficient, we can go to him to satisfy all our needs. We never have to worry about “drying up” his never-ending well of goodness, peace, mercy and grace. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… Eph 3:20”
OK – back to Psalm 100:4. Isn’t it EASIER to go into His courts with PRAISE when we know more about the object of our affection?! Mmmmmm. I am loving this week’s study already.
Spend some time RIGHT NOW giving thanks and praise for your self-existing-never-changing-God-of-endless-supply. What do these three attributes mean to YOU today? Journal this out during your quiet time and sit in wonder!
(P.S. big thanks to Crosswalk staff and BST for writing amazing material on this topic. I am learning along with you all!)