Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5, NKJV, emphasis added)
We should praise God for His truth and we experience this through waiting on Him.
I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above Your name. (Psalm 138:1-2, NKJV)
David praises the Lord God for His lovingkindness and truth. As the person who is developing Christian character by waiting upon God gains understanding when he is led by the Lord’s truth he will naturally express himself in the attitude, life, words, and songs of praise.
I will praise You with my whole heart. No half-hearted praise came from David’s lips as he truly had an understanding of the truth of God (1 Samuel 12:24; Psalm 9:1; 111:1; 119:2, 10, 34, 58, 69 and 145; and Jeremiah 24:7). David’s life was a life of waiting upon the Lord, always with great hope. We can only imagine the still moments that the man who penned Psalm 23 had waiting upon God as he tended the family’s flock of sheep. Waiting brings the heart to the worshiper of the LORD Almighty.
Before the gods I will I will sing praises to You. Biblical scholars are split over the use of the world for gods in this verse. I will not choose sides in the argument because the point can be made that we are to praise the one true God in either use of the word. If the word gods in this passage refer to idols we can clearly see that idols are false gods and we praise the real God in the face of, or before the false gods (Psalm 97:7; 1 Corinthians 10:20-21; Isaiah 2:8, 20; Revelation 9:20; and 1 Timothy 4:1). If gods used here represent the heavenly host of angels, then we praise the Lord before the angels’ presence, who themselves praise the Lord God (Psalm 103:20 and 148:2; and Hebrews 1:6). In either case our worship belongs to YAHWEH and to Him alone (Exodus 22:20; 1 Samuel 7:3-4; and 2 Chronicles 33:17).
I will worship toward Your holy temple. In the time of David the presence of God was symbolically between the cherubim on the mercy seat (the lid of the Ark of the Covenant; Exodus 25:17-22 and 30:6; Leviticus 16:2; and Numbers 7:89) that was in the tabernacle (the temple was built by David’s son Solomon after David’s death). Currently, of course, the believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and the disciple worships in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). We can worship God all the time because we have His Spirit indwelling us at all times. Our lives should be an act of continuous worship.
Praise Your name. In Hebrew culture the name of people and places had great significance. The name of God includes all His attributes (Exodus 3:13-14 and 15:3; Psalm 111:9), one being truth as we have been learning. To praise the LORD (YAHWEH) was to praise all that He stands for and is by His Being (1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 29:2; 34:3; 66:2; 68:4; 96:8; 100:4; 105:1; 135:3; and 148:13; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 47:4; 48:2; 51:15: and 54:5; Jeremiah 10:16; 23:6; 31:35; 33:2; 50:34; and 51:19; Amos 4:13 and 9:6; Zechariah 14:9; and Matthew 1:21-25). In essence we praise God because of His character by which He relates to fallen man through the redemption provided on the cross and administered to us through His Holy Spirit.
You have magnified Your word above Your name. This is one of the most astounding sentences in all of Scripture. Do you really want to know what God thinks about His word (you can spend days doing a search of word in the Bible and do a study that would pay dividends in your understanding of the word of the Lord)? The Lord Himself puts His word above all that He is. Why? I personally believe that this observation is from David’s perspective, and that perspective is God keeps His word (or is faithful to His word; or faithfulness in general) and His word is truth (as we have been studying). David was relying upon the promise that the Messiah, or Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, would come from his seed. David stood on this promise as God’s crowning achievement – and why should he not? The coming Messiah and the plan that brought it about is pure genius on God’s part and is magnified above His name. The Divine Person, God the Son, has caused a revolution that is unparalleled in the history of the world (Acts 17:6; Matthew 28:18-20; and Mark 16:15-20). Magnified indeed! The Revelation of Jesus Christ excels His creation in so many ways. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the word of God will remain forever (Psalm 119:89 and 160; Isaiah 40:8; and 1 Peter 1:23-25).
Make your life a continuous act of praise. Prayerfully consider what was discussed in this lesson concerning praise. David shows us the why we wait upon God – to praise the Lord and give Him the glory due His name.