Do WE have any REASON to PRAISE GOD?
December 19 Bible Reading: 1 Peter Chapters 1-3
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
Many years ago an unnamed psalmist has declared a very important truth regarding praising God: “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful” (Ps. 147:1). Quite similar to this is another expression in this context: “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (Ps. 146:1-2).
Many times when we are searching for a reason to praise God, we should realize that we should praise God for two reasons: for who He is, and for what He has done (see Ps. 117:1-2). In the Old Testament, we see many instances of people praising God for what God has done, for e.g. Moses and Miriam praising God for their deliverance from the Egyptian army (Exo. 15:1-21), or, for who God is, for e.g. King David dancing in the street before the Ark of the Lord and praising God unashamedly (2 Sam. 6:14).
When Apostle Peter wrote his first epistle to the born-again pilgrims scattered in different parts of the world (1:1), he wanted to let them understand that they have many reasons to praise God. In fact, Apostle Peter elaborates on seven reasons for us to praise God, which are as follows:
- We are a chosen generation. We have been chosen before the foundation of the world to belong to Christ (Eph. 1:4), elected by God according to His foreknowledge and born again to a living hope in Christ (1:2–5). God had called us out of the world from the clutches of sin to be part of His redeemed people.
- We are a royal priesthood. We are the actualization of God’s plan to prepare a kingdom of priests for Himself (see Exo. 19:6; Isa. 61:6; Rev. 1:6). We are to worship God by presenting our own bodies as living sacrifices to do His will and live for His purpose (Rom. 12:1).
- We are a holy nation. We have been called by God to be separate for Himself (Isa. 52:11; Ezek. 20:34, 41; 2 Cor. 6:17-18) as the holy people of God (1:16; Exo. 19:6). We are to reflect the very character of God by our lifestyle.
- We are a special people. We have been called to an intimate and unique relationship with God and to one another as a community of faith. We are His special people (Exo. 19:5) whom He has redeemed with His own precious blood (1:18-19), with having unique and immediate access to His very presence (Eph. 2:18).
- We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light. God has delivered us from darkness out of the clutches of Satan, and “has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6; Isa. 9:1).
- We have been made the people of God. Just like the Israelites in the Old Testament (Hos. 1:9; 2:23; Rom. 9:25), we have been made the people of God, and we are left on this earth to work towards building God’s Kingdom here on earth (Matt. 6:10).
- We have obtained mercy from Him. Just like in Christ, we have become God’s new people; in Christ, we have also obtained mercy from God (Ps. 86:5; 145:9; Eph. 2:4). Even today, God’s mercy extends to all undeserving Jews and Gentiles alike.