TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Comprehensive Edition

II. Reasons to Exalt God

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Chapter 25  Part II

Reasons to Exalt God

Not only does the Bible tell us to persistently exalt God, it is bulging with good reasons for doing so. Generally speaking, these compelling reasons, or things for which to exalt God, concern what God is like and what he does.

Note that the ensuing sections and subsections, to a degree correspond to the following chapters and their major sections (and generally have been ordered accordingly): 1. God’s Being; 2. God’s Character; 6. God’s Creation; 7. God’s Sovereignty; and 19. God’s Care of His People.

Also note that as rejoicing is usually done in the context of exalting God – praising, thanking and glorifying him – verses speaking of things for which to rejoice, or rejoice in God, have been included in the following sections. These are usually amongst the other references, but they are in a separate subsection where there are a number of them regarding a particular theme.

Aspects of God’s Being

The verses in this and the following section speak of exalting both attributes of God and exalting God himself because of attributes of his. Doing the former effectively does the latter as well.

God’s glory

Ezek 3:12b  “Praise the glory of the Lord in heaven above!”  GNT

God’s eternity

1Tim 1:17  Now to the eternal king, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever! Amen.  NET

God’s greatness

Deut 32:3b  Praise God because he is great!  NCV™

Ps 150:2b  Praise him for his surpassing greatness!  NET

God’s power

Ps 21:13  Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.  ESV

Ps 150:2a  Praise him for his mighty acts!  NET

God’s wisdom and knowledge

Rom 11:33-34, 36b  Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways! 34For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?36… To him be glory forever! Amen.  NET

God’s “name”

Ps 29:2a  Give to the Lord the glory his name deserves.  GW

Note that references to God’s “name” are synonymous with God himself, inclusive of all that he is and signifies.

 Questions for Section A

Aspects of God’s Character

God’s holiness

Ps 99:9  Praise the Lord our God! Worship on his holy hill, for the Lord our God is holy!  NET

God’s holiness – in which he is set apart from all others in his purity and righteousness – should evoke awe, praise and worship.

God’s love . . .

Ps 63:3  [David, to God:] Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.  ESV

Ps 107:8  Let them give thanks to the Lord for his loyal love, and for the amazing things he has done for people!  NET

. . . along with God’s faithfulness

Ps 57:9-10  [David, to God:] I will give you thanks before the nations, O Master! I will sing praises to you before foreigners! 10For your loyal love extends beyond the sky, and your faithfulness reaches the clouds.  NET

God’s righteousness and justness

Ps 7:17  I will give thanks to the Lord for his righteousness. I will make music to praise the name of the Lord Most High.  GW

Dan 4:37  Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, for all his deeds are right and his ways are just. He is able to bring down those who live in pride.  NET

God’s mercy

Rom 15:9a  People who are not Jewish praise God for his mercy as well.  GW

2Cor 1:3  Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort.  CEV

God’s goodness

Ps 136:1  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his loyal love endures.  NET

 Questions for Section B

What God Does in the World

God’s deeds in general

Ps 72:18  The Lord God, the God of Israel, deserves praise! He alone accomplishes amazing things!  NET

Ps 86:8-10  None can compare to you among the gods, O Lord! Your exploits are incomparable! 9All the nations, whom you created, will come and worship you, O Lord. They will honor your name. 10For you are great and do amazing things. You alone are God.  NET

God’s creative work

Rev 4:11  “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, since you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created!”  NET

God’s provision of water and food

Ps 147:7-9  Offer to the Lord a song of thanks! Sing praises to our God to the accompaniment of a harp! 8He covers the sky with clouds, provides the earth with rain, and causes grass to grow on the hillsides. 9He gives food to the animals, and to the young ravens when they chirp.  NET

Mark 8:7  They [the disciples] also had a few small fish. After giving thanks for these, he [Jesus] told them to serve these as well.  NET

God’s reign

1Chr 29:11-13  [David:] O Lord, you are great, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious, and sovereign over all the sky and earth! You have dominion and exalt yourself as the ruler of all. 12You are the source of wealth and honor; you rule over all. You possess strength and might to magnify and give strength to all. 13Now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your majestic name!  NET

Rev 19:6  [John, describing a vision:] Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the All–Powerful, reigns!  NET

“Hallelujah” is a call to praise God, often used itself as an expression of praise to God.

God’s word . . .

Ps 56:10-11a  [David:] In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, 11in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.  ESV

. . . and the spreading of the gospel

Acts 21:19-20a  When Paul had greeted them, he began to explain in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20When they heard this, they praised God.  NET

God’s judgments

Rev 14:7  He [an angel] declared in a loud voice: “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has arrived, and worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water!”  NET

Rev 19:1-2a  [John:] After these things I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a vast throng in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2because his judgments are true and just.  NET

 Questions for Section C

What God Does for His People

God’s great deeds for his people

Deut 10:21  [Moses, to the Israelites:] He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen.  ESV

Joel 2:20-21, 26  [Joel:] He has done great things! 21Land, do not be afraid. Be glad and rejoice. The Lord has done great things!26You will have plenty to eat, and you will be full. You will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has performed miracles for you. My people will never be ashamed again.  GW

God’s salvation through Jesus Christ and the associated blessings . . .

Luke 1:68-69  Praise the Lord, the God of Israel! He has come to save his people. 69Our God has given us a mighty Savior from the family of David his servant.  CEV

Eph 1:3  [Paul, to believers:] Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world.  NCV™

The phrase “in the heavenly world” may be indicating that the blessings are ones that we will experience in the afterlife. Alternatively, the phrase is possibly emphasizing the heavenly and eternal dimension of spiritual blessings that we have now.

. . . in which we should rejoice

1Pet 1:8-9  [Peter, to believers:] You have not seen him, but you love him. You do not see him now but you believe in him, and so you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9because you are attaining the goal of your faith – the salvation of your souls.  NET

God’s deliverance from difficulties . . .

Ps 54:6b-7  [David:] I will thank you, Lord, because you are good. 7You have saved me from all my troubles, and I have seen my enemies defeated.  NCV™

. . . in which we should rejoice

Isa 25:9  At that time they [God’s people at the end of the age] will say, “Look, here is our God! We waited for him and he delivered us. Here is the Lord! We waited for him. Let’s rejoice and celebrate his deliverance!”  NET

God’s strength for his people

Ps 68:35  You are awe–inspiring, O God, as you emerge from your holy temple! It is the God of Israel who gives the people power and strength. God deserves praise!  NET

Further things that God does for his people

Ps 16:7  [David:] I will praise the Lord who guides me; yes, during the night I reflect and learn.  NET

Ps 103:2-5  [David:] Praise the Lord, O my soul! Do not forget all his kind deeds! 3He is the one who forgives all your sins, who heals all your diseases, 4who delivers your life from the Pit, who crowns you with his loyal love and compassion, 5who satisfies your life with good things, so your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.  NET

 Questions for Section D

Epilogue: God’s Vast Blessing of His People

The previous section spoke of some of the wonderful things that God does or has done for his people – in the context of exalting God. This section emphasizes the vastness of God’s blessing of his people. The verses in this section generally do not explicitly speak of exalting God because of his vast blessings, but obviously they are readily applicable and adaptable to doing so.

Note that references to blessings in verses from the OT often have material blessings primarily in view. In contrast NT verses primarily speak of spiritual blessings, reflecting one of the differences between the old and new covenants. The OT promises of material blessings can be applied in a spiritual sense to believers in the present life and also the afterlife.

God and Jesus Christ greatly bless their people

Mal 3:10  “Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house. So, put me to the test in this right now,” says the Lord of the Heavenly Armies, “and see if I won’t throw open the windows  of heaven for you and pour out on you blessing without measure.  ISV

Rom 10:12  For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him.  NET

God does many great things for his people

Judg 2:7  The people worshiped the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and as long as the elderly men who outlived him remained alive. These men had witnessed all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.  NET

God blesses his people in many ways

Mark 10:29-30  Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, there is no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel 30who will not receive in this age a hundred times as much – homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, fields, all with persecutions – and in the age to come, eternal life.  NET

The “houses” and “lands” promised in this present age (v. 30) are quite unlikely to be speaking of accumulated property. More likely the promises in v. 30 have in view what Christians have within the community of believers. There God’s people have many new intimate relationships and a share in all that belongs to the fellowship of believers.

God’s people lack no good thing

Ps 34:9-10  Remain loyal to the Lord, you chosen people of his, for his loyal followers lack nothing! 10Even young lions sometimes lack food and are hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  NET

God’s people lack nothing of any real consequence.

Ultimately, God gives his people all things

1Cor 3:21-23  [Paul, to the Corinthian believers:] So then, no more boasting about mere mortals! For everything belongs to you, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. Everything belongs to you, 23and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.  NET

Paul may well have in mind here that all things belong to God’s people because of their relationship with Jesus Christ (v. 23). In this relationship they share in all that belongs to Christ, to whom God has given everything. This reality will be more tangible in the life to come.

Note: God gives his people blessings that last

Rom 11:29  For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.  NET

Heb 10:34  [The writer, to believers:] For in fact you shared the sufferings of those in prison, and you accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew that you certainly had a better and lasting possession.  NET

The “better and lasting possession” presumably has primarily in view our salvation.

 Questions for Section E

Pray for persecuted Christians