How To Glorify God
Psalm 50:14-15 says, “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
We glorify God by depending on God. Consider these thoughts from the ESV Devotional Psalter.
Deep within the human heart resides the desire to buy God off. We know we fall short. We know we do not measure up. We know, deep within, that God exists and that we have offended his holiness. And bubbling up from within, desperately hoping to make amends, are our unspoken hopes of leveling things out. Surely there is something we can do to make things right.
The entire sacrificial system of the Old Testament was God’s way of driving home to his people the horror of sin and the need for it to be punished – if not by the guilty one, then by an animal bearing that guilt. Yet the story of the Old Testament is a story of Israel’s misusing the sacrificial system, using it to attempt to buy God off in a coldly transactional way rather than allowing it to move them to deeper contrition and trust in him.
The burden of this psalm is that the sacrifices that are misused to appease God are already God’s. We can never benefit God – he can only benefit us. God does not want empty ritual – he wants our hearts. God does not ask us to give him gifts – he asks us to give him ourselves. God does not want the aroma of burnt animals – he wants the aroma of heartfelt thanksgiving.
Most of all, he wants us to honor him simply by crying out for help: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
We glorify God by being delivered by him – which reminds us of the deepest reason for the sacrificial system. All of the sacrifices were anticipating a final sacrifice that would truly take away sins. Every priest was preparing for a final priest who would never die. All of the offerings were fulfilled in a final offering put forth once and for all. We dare not buy God off. God has taken care of everything himself, in his own Son.
So, give glory to God today by giving him thanks and by crying out to him for help.
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