Good music is good, no matter how old it is. I like contemporary songs that sing of God’s goodness, I like classic songs that have been sung for centuries, and I like those songs that are somewhere in between. One of those “in between” songs is a hymn that’s considered a classic of the faith, though it is only a few years older than I am. Perhaps you know it:
Great is the Lord, He is holy and just; by His power we trust in His love.
Great is the Lord, He is faithful and true; by His mercy He proves He is love.
Great is the Lord and worthy of glory! Great is the Lord and worthy of praise.
Great is the Lord; now lift up your voice, Now lift up your voice:
Great is the Lord! Great is the Lord
I couldn’t help but sing that wonderful hymn as I studied today’s Scripture. Perhaps now it will be in your head also as you read. Please read Psalm 40:16-17.
These two verses conclude Psalm 40. In the penultimate verse, David passionately prays for all those who seek after God. This is the same prayer that we should make on behalf of all those who do not yet know the Lord: may they find God!
When someone comes to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, it is a time for celebration! One cannot come to God and be sorrowful at the same time. You may sorrow over you sin; you may even cry. But, ultimately, you will rejoice that, in Christ, your sins are wiped away and God has given you new life!
All those who find Jesus will rejoice and be glad, and ever believer who hears of someone finding Jesus will rejoice and be glad. Someone coming to Christ is the greatest cause of celebration that we have! It makes us all want to say continually “Great is the Lord!”
God is worthy of all praise when a sinner comes to Christ. As sinners who have been converted into saints, every aspect of our being now cries out “Great is the Lord!” He is great because of His character, as the hymn declares, and He is great because of His good gifts to us, as David has spoken earlier in this psalm. For innumerable reasons, we may sing, “Great is the Lord!”
Yet, this intercessory prayer for others is not the close of the psalm. David ultimately closes with a personal declaration. He hopes that everyone will come to know God and praise Him, but he has decided that, no matter what others may do, “As for me… You are my help and my deliverer.” Similar to Joshua standing outside of the promise land, David prays, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Others may do whatever they please, but I have decided to follow Jesus.
I hope every Christian has the same resolve: I will pray passionately for everyone to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, for everyone to rejoice in the goodness of God; but no matter what anyone else may do, I will declare, “Great is the Lord!”
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