It is so good and easy to thank and praise God for what he has done his love, forgiveness, grace and mercy, miracles, healing power, his creation, giving us his word, giving us Jesus. All these acts point to God, they are the result of what he has done for us his children.
But I wonder if I praise God just because he is worthy, beyond what he has done for me? He has indeed done so much, gosh I sin every minute of every day. And yes, I am thankful for his grace and mercy and this leads me to praise. But do I just praise God for who he is? Purely for his inherent goodness, his nature, his identity?
It’s hard to separate qualities and works from identity, because his works are a manifestation of his character and who he is. It is how we understand him.
But beyond that I sense that God has an identity, a goodness and nature beyond our comprehension, and this “otherworldliness” leads to praise since that is all I can do in response.
Jesus seems to address this concept in Matt 23: 16, 17: “You say, ‘if anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath’. You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that make the gold sacred?” Wouldn’t you agree that he is saying that the gifts, the temple items, are indeed holy, but don’t focus on the items and lose sight over the one who makes them holy?
I really get into praise songs that just focus on praise alone, on God’s inherent goodness, and worthiness, apart from what he has done. Someone once told me that because they could not fully understand and grasp God and his goodness they were driven to praise him, and this person told me they in fact they didn’t want to praise a god they could fully comprehend.
Maybe it is summed up in Jeremiah 10:7 “Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Your due! For among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You.” Or Psalm 147:1 “ Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God: For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.”
God is most worthy of praise solely for who he is, beyond the tangible items that he has done for us. Amen!