Psalm 115:1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
This is an anonymous Psalm, but that certainly doesn’t mean it isn’t anointed. This initial statement/prayer expresses a vitally important attitude for all who would serve God. We tend to be glory hogs, and that is a massive hindrance to being used by the only One with infinite wisdom and power. Every part of this Psalm speaks to me. Living in a nation that is filled with physical idols – perhaps only India has more – the section from verse 2 through verse 8 really clicks. I remember with a chuckle something that happened many years ago when we were living in Sasebo. The church we were attending had a break-in and robbery (it was a US Navy guy) and the police came to investigate. A police detective was standing in the sanctuary with the pastor and said to him, “I see they stole your god.” With only a simple cross, the detective couldn’t see any “object of worship.” In a situation like that it’s easy to look down on those who worship objects, and Israel frequently fell into that. However, that attitude takes credit for God’s gracious revelation of Himself through the Bible. When God reveals Himself to someone it isn’t because that person is special, it’s because God is! We aren’t to feel intrinsically better than those who don’t worship the Creator, we are to feel more blessed, and desire to bring them along with us in the sort of worship that fulfills the purpose for which we were created. When we do that, it indeed gives God the glory, just as this first verse says.
In practical terms, Japanese today are far more likely to “worship” their smartphone than an idol in a temple, but the issue remains the same. I am not to despise or ridicule those who are blind to their Creator, but I am to pray for them and offer them the healing Word that can restore their spiritual vision. (Psalm 107:20) I am always to speak the truth, and always to do so in love. Coming across as holier-than-thou is a guaranteed way to sabotage evangelism! I must never lose my appreciation for God’s amazing grace in revealing Himself to me, but share the Gospel out of an overflow of gratitude to such a merciful Creator. My life is to be an instrument of His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all that You are doing in and around me. Thank You for the lady who will be coming this morning for help with the paperwork surrounding canceling benefits for her recently-deceased mother. I’ve never done that before myself, and I ask for Your wisdom. May my words and attitude toward her draw her to You, so that she may receive the salvation that she has only heard about from a distance, for Your glory indeed. Thank You. Hallelujah!