How Great Thou Art!
Meditating on God’s characteristics can be overwhelming. His ways are not ours (Isa. 55:10-11). How can you get to know such a transcendent being like God? The answer lies the Scriptures. The Psalms teach you more about God’s nature than any other book in the Bible. Throughout the Psalter’s chapters, his salvation (Ps. 32), mercy (Ps. 51), strength (Ps.1), and goodness (Ps. 23). are exclaimed by people who worshiped him. What can you learn about our great God from these ancient, inspired songs of Israel?
First, you learn that God’s love is steadfast. In the Psalms, word “lovingkindness” or the phrase “steadfast love” are repeated in almost every chapter. These are translated from the Hebrew word chesed which refers to a love that will never falter. In Psalm 136, every verse reminds you his steadfast love endures forever. If ever you doubted God’s love for you, read the Psalms. You will be reminded of a God whose love is perfect and enduring.
Second, you learn God is your provider. The most well-known Psalm portrays God as a shepherd who guides his sheep to pasture (Ps. 23:1-3). He is your protector when you sojourn through death’s dark valley (23:4). He is a gracious host providing an abundant feast (23:5-6). He is the God who helps you through life’s struggles (Ps. 121). His way is perfect and his word proves true. He is a shield for all those who take refuge in him (Ps. 18:30).
Third, you learn God is holy and demands righteous living. God cannot stand evil and will not tolerate it your life (Ps. 5). In Ps. 24 David asked, “Who shall ascend to the hill of the LORD? And, who shall stand in his holy place?” It is the one who has a pure heart and does not live by falsehood (24:3-4). You are led by him in “paths of righteousness.” His word keeps you from presumptuous sin (Ps. 19:13; 119:10-11). God is holy and expects his people to reflect this characteristic in your life. Psalm 73:1 says, “Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.”
There are many other characteristics revealed in the Psalms. When you get to know this book, you get to know the God who inspired it.