Psalm 48 and 49 … Consider Him Who is Greatly to Be Praised

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
In the city of our God, His holy mountain,
(48:1).

“The city of God, His holy mountain” are symbolic of God’s Great Presence. God’s Greatness is beyond description but definitely demands a response, a Great one at that.

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
Great: “1419. גָּדוֹל gāḏôl,  גָּדֹל gāḏōl,  הַגְּדוֹלִים haggeḏôliym: An adjective meaning great. The word emphasizes the importance, size, and significance of something or someone.”
Greatly (Highly): “3966. מְאֹד meʾōḏ: A substantive, adverb, or adjective in function, very, greatly, great, abundance; might, power.”
Praise: “1984. הָלַל hālal: A verb meaning to praise, to commend, to boast, to shine. The root meaning may be to shine but could also be to shout. The word most often means praise… The word hallelujah is a command to praise Yah (the Lord), derived from the word hālal.”

Because He is significantly more important than all others, we are to Praise Him Greatly, highly, and even loudly. Because of His Greatness, we are to give Him Great Praise; Praise in abundance with all our might and power.

The truth is, all of creation sings the praises of Him Who is Greatly to Be Praised.

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all stars of light!
Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created,
(Psalm 148:1-5).

And if man is silent, His creation will not be.

“For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands,
(Isaiah 55:12).

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19:39-40).

Consider Him Who is Greatly to Be Praised

  • He has made Himself known; He is Greatly to Be Praised.
    • God, in her palaces,
      Has made Himself known as a stronghold,
      (48:3).
  • He has made Himself known as our stronghold; He is Greatly to Be Praised.
    • Has made Himself known as a stronghold, (48:3).
  • He has displayed His lovingkindness; He is Greatly to Be Praised.
    • We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God,
      In the midst of Your temple,
      (48:9).
  • His Name is above all names; He is Greatly to Be Praised.
    • As is Your name, O God,
      So is Your praise to the ends of the earth…
      (48:10).
  • He rules by His strength and power, love and compassion; He is Greatly to Be Praised.
    • …Your right hand is full of righteousness, (48:10).
  • He is eternal; He is Greatly to Be Praised.
    • For such is God,
      Our God forever and ever…
      (48:14).
  • He will guide us until death; He is Greatly to Be Praised.
    • …He will guide us until death. (48:14).
  • He has paid the costly ransom for our redemption; He is Greatly to Be Praised.
    • No man can by any means redeem his brother
      Or give to God a ransom for him—
      For the redemption of his soul is costly,
      And he should cease trying forever—
      (49:7-8).
  • He will redeem our soul from the power of death; He is Greatly to Be Praised.
    • But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol… (49:15).
  • He has promised to receive us where He is; He is Greatly to Be Praised.
    • …For He will receive me, (49:15).

How do we respond to Him Who is Greatly to Be Praised?

If we are in Christ, if we have placed our faith in Him for salvation, we have become His new creation, formed in Him to declare His praise.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“The people whom I formed for Myself
Will declare My praise,”
(Isaiah 43:12).

Let us respond in giving Him Great Praise that is in keeping with His Name. The Name of God signifies His Person, His Nature, His Character; all the Greatness of God is revealed in His Name. And the psalmist writes that our Praise should emulate His Name. Tall order, but worthy of our pursuit.

As is Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness.
(48:10).

In these two Psalms, we are provided with some Dos and Don’ts that provide encouragement towards Great Praise.

Dos:

  • Let us listen and watch in faith and expectation, that we would Greatly Praise Him.
    • As we have heard, so have we seen
      In the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God;
      God will establish her forever. Selah,
      (48:8).
  • Let us think on His Lovingkindness, that we would Greatly Praise Him.
    • We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God,
      In the midst of Your temple,
      (48:9).
  • Let us contemplate His magnificent Presence, that we would Greatly Praise Him.
    • Walk about Zion and go around her;
      Count her towers;
      13 Consider her ramparts;
      Go through her palaces…
      (48:12-13).
  • Let us tell others about Him, that we would Greatly Praise Him.
    • …That you may tell it to the next generation.
      14 For such is God,
      Our God forever and ever;
      He will guide us until death.
      (48:13-14).

Don’ts:

  • May we never fear those who seem to have more power, that we would Greatly Praise Him.
    • Why should I fear in days of adversity,
      When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,
      Even those who trust in their wealth
      And boast in the abundance of their riches?
      (49:5).
  • May we never be in awe of the world’s wealth over God’s true riches and glory, that we would Greatly Praise Him.
    • Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich,
      When the glory of his house is increased;
      17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away;
      His glory will not descend after him,
      (49:16-17).
  • May we never give in to seeking the praise of man, that we would Greatly Praise Him.
    • Though while he lives he congratulates himself—
      And though men praise you when you do well for yourself—
      (49:18).
  • May we never forget the end of those who don’t know Him, that we would Greatly Praise Him.
    • He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
      They will never see the light.
      20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding,
      Is like the beasts that perish,
      (49:19-20).

Let us choose to Praise Him every day as long as we have breath. May we seize the opportunity each day affords to sing the Praises of Him Who is Greatly to Be Praised.

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being,
(Psalm 146:1-2).

And let us do more than merely sing. Oh, that we would listen and watch in faith and expectation, think on His lovingkindness, contemplate His magnificent Presence and be moved to tell others. May we let go of our fears, our hunt for riches and man’s praise, always remembering our eternal destiny we have in Him, that we would offer Him our very lives as living sacrifices in praise and worship. Let us submit all that we are to Him, that we would daily declare the Praises of Him Who is Greatly to Be Praised.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).

Let’s Grow Together!

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