Which do you praise more, the miracle or the God of the miracle? God performed a miracle when He defended Judah and defeated the King of Assyria and his army in their sleep (Isaiah 37-38 and 2 Kings 18-19). God did an amazing miracle for His people! In Psalm 76, Asaph praised the God of miracles but focused more on praising Him than the miracle itself. Sometimes we get caught up in desiring the miracle more than the Miracle Worker. Our focus can be on praising Him if and when the miracle happens instead of praising Him no matter what happens. We must be people who love, trust, honor, and obey Him even if the miracle never comes, but thank God He still does miracles!
The psalmist began by describing how great God was in Israel and Judah (v. 1). While the miracle of deliverance was incredible, Asaph said His name was great and celebrated! There is a difference between celebrating the miracle and the God of the miracle. Asaph made sure He mentioned God dwelt among His people (v. 2). They weren’t just praising God for showing up and performing a miracle. They praised God Who’s presence continually resided with them. If we only notice the presence of God when the miracle happens, we miss the true miracle of God’s sweet company in our lives. Asaph described how God defeated the Assyrian army (v. 3, 5-6) but was quick to give credit to the Lord (v. 4). When God performs the miracle, we should describe what He did to others but make sure we do not leave Him out of our testimony.
Asaph was not only describing what God did to those who read Psalm 76, he was ascribing praise to God for what He did. He says the words “You” and Your” over ten times as he is talking to God, not just about God. We should not only talk about God but to Him! We should tell others that God did the miracle, but we should also tell God that He did the miracle. If we don’t, it’s like describing a story about someone in the same room but never acknowledging they are in the room! What a conversation we have with God when talking with Him about His nature and nurture! In the last two verses (vv. 11-12), Asaph turned his attention to those who trusted the Lord during the miracle. He encouraged them to fulfill the vows they made before the miracle. It’s easy to say, “God, if You do this miracle, then I will serve You” before the miracle happens. Now that it has happened, they must follow through. Asaph also encouraged them to tell everyone to be sure and praise the Lord for what He has done. We must remind ourselves and others to praise God for Who He is and what He does!
- Do you talk about the God Who did the miracle or the miracle itself more?
- What promises have you made to God in anticipation of the miracle? Have you fulfilled them?
- Should you fulfill your pledge to the Lord before the miracle happens?
Prayer: Lord, help me love You more than the miracles You do. I should talk about the Miracle Worker at all times, not just when the miracle works out. I should go ahead and live out the pledges I make in anticipation of the miracle and not use them as a bargaining chip. You deserve praise and devotion even if the miracle does not happen. Help me tell others about You, especially when You give me grace, mercy, and compassion. In Jesu