Who Are We?
by Ray Harmer
Albeit short, Psalm 117 is a powerhouse! It starts and ends by praising the Lord. Praise is a common word in the Bible and we learn all praise should be directed to God. What is the difference, among the obvious, between God and ourselves? Why can’t we demand praise likewise? There are many of us that do. How many dictators, Hollywoodites, athletes, bosses and the like have elevated themselves above God’s opinion of them?
Too many have an exagerrated opinion of themselves. It gets worse as the generations progress. We are a more independent people today. Mankind believes it can handle anything. To this I say, watch the news, read the paper or be out in public. Our society has become cut throat and full of those worried about themselves and seeking attention. My generation was no better. As a matter of fact, it was the start of what we are seeing today. Styles and trends are not about being “cool” and “hip”. It is who can draw the most attention to themselves: bottom line! The Biblesomebody John 12:43, “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” Our world would be a better place if we cared more for others than ourselves.
God only is deserving of praise and rightfully requires it. Theologian Barnes says, “The idea is that God has a claim to universal worship, and that all the nations of the earth are under obligations to adore him as the true God. He is not the God of the Hebrew people only, but of all people; his praise should be celebrated not merely by one nation, but by all.” You see God knows who He is. Scripture declares it based upon His Holy attributes. After all, He is the One who created the universe. We on the other hand are nothing and the sooner we grasp that we can see God for who He is. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) and, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (Re. 4:11).”
In contrast Scripture reveals who we are. “…there is none righteous, no, not one” (Rm. 3:10), “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rm. 3:23), and “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” (Is. 64:6). If we are honest with ourselves, we can see we are nothing apart from God. And if nothing in His eyes, does any other eyes matter? The human race is not praise-worthy; only God is worthy (Rev. 5:12). If we think ourselves a nobody, God will make sure we are somebody.