Not to Us (Psalm 115:1)

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
But to Your name give glory
Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.

Psalm 115:1

There are times when we receive glory. Perhaps we have done something amazing or have completed some arduous task. Perhaps we’ve done nothing more than behave in the manner which God prescribes. Regardless of what we may have done, God is worthy of praise and glory at all times, and the psalmist starts off his song with that thought.

Two things jump out at me here.

One, the psalmist begins his song with the request that God’s Name receive the glory. I’ve encountered some truly phenomenal musicians over the years and there has always been one part of their skill that is challenging: How can they efface themselves and put God in the fore? It is not a thing to which I have an answer, I only notice when it is not being done. And that is one of the hallmarks of a praise leader successfully leading God’s people into praising God: we don’t notice the leader’s skill (or lack thereof). I do not lead praise in a church — I am in the lack of skill camp — but I am, sometimes, given opportunity to teach. And the same request uttered by the psalmist is uttered by me: not to me, but to Your Name be the glory. As John the Baptist said: He must increase and I must decrease.

Second, the psalmist gives just a couple reasons God is worthy of receiving glory: lovingkindness and truth. These words could be rendered mercy and faithfulness, respectively, and still be true to the original words used. God’s lovingkindness — His mercy is without peer or equal. No other alleged mercy comes anywhere near the mercy of God. As for truth, Jesus says in John 14 that He is the Truth. No one is more truthful than Truth Himself. And these are just a couple of the attributes of God that are worthy of my praise; worthy of receiving glory.

Let me, with a right heart, glorify God for Who and what He is and as He is magnified, I will dwindle into obscurity before Him. Which is exactly as it should be. To everyone else, only God need be visible. To God, I will remain as visible and precious to Him as I have always been. Let me magnify God, that everyone else looks at Him and let me seek to have only His eyes on me.

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