"Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name" — Psalm 96:8
“Thanks for pointing that out, Captain Obvious.”
Pointing out what is plain to see is annoying, yet gospel truth and the worship it inspires is different. Gospel truth is only obvious to believers because the scales have been removed from our eyes. We see what once was obvious in the Garden of Eden – that our God is glorious.
We see this in many ways. God is omnipotent. There is no limit to His power. No one can compare to His might. God is omniscient. Not only is His knowledge unlimited, He is the fountainhead of all knowledge. God is creator. He breathed out galaxies as He spoke them into existence. He is infinitely, intrinsically, within Himself glorious. Glory comes from Him because of who He is and what he has done.
When we worship in song, we are recognizing what is already true about God. We are saying: Look at our God, behold our Savior – He is worthy of our praise! We don’t make God glorious with our praise; rather, we praise Him because He is glorious. This is why daily Scripture intake; reading gospel-oriented books; being in gospel community; being on mission; and walking in the rhythms of the gospel are so important. In these rhythms, we discover, rediscover, and dive deeper into the realities and truths of a generous, loving, merciful, glorious, pursuing, and amazing King.
Ultimately, this glory is seen in the gospel. We see the wrath of God and the mercy of God colliding at Calvary, and we say with John “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” This is the pinnacle for us as believers as to why there is glory from and in God. We are experiencing the very thing in which the angels long to look. We deserve God’s wrath and we get God’s love. We deserve hell and we get God’s mercy. We deserve punishment and death, and we are given access to the One in whom there are pleasures forevermore and at whose right hand there is fullness of joy. We get God!
This stirs in us recognition of the praiseworthiness of God, and the passion stirred from this recognition needs an outlet. So we gather. We sing. We worship the God who already embodies the very qualities that we are praising through song back to Him. We are stating the obvious, and it is a beautiful thing.