Throughout the Bible, God’s people are urged to worship God, but we are also repeatedly offered reasons for doing so. We are told to worship Him because of who He is, what He has done, and because of His many attributes. Among these are His goodness, justice, and mercy. When we are reminded of what God is like, what He has done for us (especially in the cross of Christ), and what He promises to do, none of us should ever be without reason to worship and praise God.
Read Deuteronomy 10:17-22, Psalm 101:1, Psalm 146:5-10, Isaiah 5:16, Isaiah 61:11. What are the motivations for worship and praising God given in these verses?
Such reasons for worship were not new to God’s people. Some of the most enthusiastic times of worship of the newly-freed Israelites happened in response to the obvious intervention of God on their behalf. For example, after being brought out of Egypt and crossing the Red Sea, Moses and Miriam led the people in singing praise to God for what they had just seen and been rescued from (see Exodus 15).
God’s justice and mercy, as revealed in such events, were not to be forgotten. As the people kept these stories alive by retelling them regularly, the acts and justice of God continued to be an inspiration for their worship years later and in following generations. One example of this re-telling and worship is recorded in Deuteronomy 10:17-22.
God’s justice is, first, simply part of who He is, a core component of His essential character. “It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice” (Job 34:12, NIV). God is just and is concerned with justice—and that is a reason to worship and praise Him.
Second, God’s justice is seen in His just and righteous acts on behalf of His people and on behalf of all who are poor and oppressed. His justice is never merely a description of His character. Rather, the Bible portrays a God who “heard the cry of the needy” (Job 34:28, NIV) and is active and anxious to right the wrongs that are so obvious in our world. Ultimately, this will be fully realized in God’s final judgment and His re-creation of the world.
|If ancient Israel had reason to praise the Lord, how much more so do we, after the Cross, have reasons to praise Him?|