Something I came to despise in school were group projects. One of major pitfalls of these group projects was an unequal distribution of the work. Within a group, you would find both the diligent and the lazy. However, at the end of the day, every person in the group, regardless of their participation, received the same credit.
When God blesses and procures spiritually victory in our lives, who gets the credit? Is it not the case that we so often jump forward to receive the trophy for our spiritual accomplishments, when in reality, it is God who ought to receive the accolades? In Ezra chapter 6, we find the description of the completion of the temple in Jerusalem. Much work had gone into this project before it was finally completed and ready for dedication. A great feat such as this called for a great celebration among the Jewish people. However, the Jewish people were very wise to realize that this great feat was accomplished, not because of themselves, but because of God. Therefore, this dedication was not focused on self-directed congratulations, but was, rather, focused on giving God due praise. This was seen in verse 17 which says that the Jews “offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs…” This was truly a celebration of joy (v. 16), but the Jews realized where credit was due. This was seen in the Jews’ observance of God’s law, giving of sacrificial offerings, installment of religious leaders, the keeping of the Passover, and in separating themselves “from the filthiness of the land” (v. 21). At the end of the day, God received the credit, honor, and glory! When God is recognized for who He is and what He has done, it will bear the fruit of joy, obedience, and true worship.
In Psalm 44, the Psalmist recounts how the previous generation had recounted to him the great acts of God on their behalf- “How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out” (v. 2). The writer of this Psalm realized that the Israelites did not get the land in possession “by their own sword”, nor by “their own arm”, but by God’s “right hand, and…arm” (v. 3). This God-directed confidence that the Psalmist received from hearing about the feats of God’s intervention in the past, had a profound impact up his own life. This can be seen in the Psalmist’s words in verse 6-8a: “For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies…In God we boast all the day long…” At the end of the day, God received all the credit!
In God’s service, there is no misappropriation of credit. It is God that gets the credit for the great things He has done!