One day, while reading Psalm 30, the following verses caught my attention:
Psalm 30: 8 I cried out to you, O Lord.
I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
9 “What will you gain if I die,
if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
Help me, O Lord.”
What intrigued me is the question David asked: “Can my dust praise you?” Now, what kind of question is that? Then I re-read the first part of the verse “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave?”
I thought to myself, “What can we give God that He doesn’t already have? What could He possibly want from me?” But there in the same verse is the answer! It is our praise that He desires.
But does praise come automatically? If you meet someone for the first time, only spending a few minutes with them, will you be able to tell others about what a great person they are? Of course not.
We praise God because of the good things He has done for us, the mercy He has shown us, and the lessons He teaches us. These experiences are really only appreciated after trusting in Him long enough to experience them.
How do we trust in Him?
1 Chronicles 28: 9 “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.10 So take this seriously. The Lord has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.”
To know God is to love God, to love God is to trust God.
Only when we place our trust in Him will we obey Him.
It all starts with knowing God, and the more we do that, the more we desire to worship and serve Him. Praise will then naturally follow.
John 14: 15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. (NASB)
Consider this verse from Hosea:
Hosea 6: 6 I want you to show love,
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me
more than I want burnt offerings.
One reason I like this verse is because Jesus quoted it twice (Matt. 9:13; Matt 12:7)
I think this Psalm helps illustrate this:
7 “O my people, listen as I speak.
Here are my charges against you, O Israel:
I am God, your God!
8 I have no complaint about your sacrifices
or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.
9 But I do not need the bulls from your barns
or the goats from your pens.
10 For all the animals of the forest are mine,
and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird on the mountains,
and all the animals of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for all the world is mine and everything in it.
13 Do I eat the meat of bulls?
Do I drink the blood of goats?
14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
15 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory.” …
23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.
If you keep to my path,
I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”
It makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, God created us and the world that surrounds us so He doesn’t really need anything. But think about why He created us:
Colossians 1: 16 for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
If we’re created “for him”, shouldn’t we get to know Him?
Because we are stamped “Made by God”, is He not the One we should go back to in order to live a proper life? After all, He’s the only One who would know what a “proper life” really is.
2 Chronicles 16: 9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
This is the “Heart of the matter” and is in accordance with the greatest commandment.
Doesn’t this simplify following Him? Not to say that it is easy, the Lord knows that there are so many things in life that can distract us and cause us to take our eyes off Him. But if we focus on getting to know Him and committing our hearts to Him I think we’re on the right path:
8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
Here are some other applicable verses:
Psalm 51: 16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
1 Samuel 15: 22 But Samuel replied,
“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
your burnt offerings and sacrifices
or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
So because you have rejected the command of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”
Isn’t it a good thing that it’s not about our good deeds outweighing bad deeds? Wouldn’t that drive you crazy?
Ephesians 2: 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
He is not interested in the money you tithe, but the motive behind it.
He is not interested in the good deeds you do, but why you do them.
My friends, God doesn’t want anything from you, He just wants you.
1 Peter 1:9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
Will you give Him all of your heart?
“Dear Lord, I confess that I have not always had a heart for you. In fact, at times my heart has been far from you. Please help me to focus on you. I will trust in you. Please help me to live my life in such a way that will honor you by continuously giving you thanks and singing your praises., You Lord, are my rock and my savior. You alone are my deliverer. Thank you for opening my heart and leading me on your path. In Jesus name, amen”