All men on earth that live,
To God all glory give;
Praise ye the Lord;
His loving kindness bless
His constant faithfulness
and changeless truth confess
Praise ye the Lord.
That is a very comprehensive call. "All men on earth'' excludes no one. The psalmist in Psalm 117 puts it this way, "O praise the Lord, all ye nations; praise Him all ye peoples. For His merciful kindness is great toward us; and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise ye the Lord " And although the reason for that praise is listed as the merciful kindness of God toward His church, that call comes to unbelievers as well.
The idea is not that only those who tasted that mercy are to praise Him for it. Nor does it mean that believers alone in every nation and people are called to praise God for His mercy. All men means all that live on this earth. Every living person must praise God for His mercy that is limited to His people.
Rightly understood, God's mercy is all concentrated and displayed in Christ. And no man is excused from praising God for sending Him to save us from our sins. And when He returns, all people in all nations will praise Him for His merciful kindness in Christ. From that day onward all finding fault with God by the unbeliever will be brought to an end. Then all shall confess Him to be God — which is an act of praising God — but also confess that He was mercifully kind to those whom He chose in Christ. Did not the rich man in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus by implication do so, when he asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers so that they could be taught that merciful kindness of God?
Here is an added reason, for those who tasted this mercy, to praise God. He has formed individuals and families to be the host that enjoys this loving kindness which He revealed and pours out through His Son.
All men must praise God for all His works. Do you do that, with gladness in your soul, for what He has done for you in His only begotten Son? Every knee shall bow and confess that He is Lord. Have you done so today?
Devotions on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #25
Why not sing along?
Quote for Reflection:
"The fashion now is to tolerate anything lest we gain a reputation of being intolerant. The tender-minded saints cannot bear to see Agag slain (see I Samuel 15), so they choose rather to sacrifice the health of the Church for years to come by sparing error and evil; and this they do in the name of Christian love. We are under obligation to disturb all seats of wickedness, and where this is done out of a sincere love for God and men, great good is bound to follow. No true work of God will suffer from the prayerful examination of Spirit-filled men. Timidity masquerading as love has allowed useless forms and unscriptural practices to persist in many a church till they have slowly smothered the life out of it and brought it to desolation ... We must not be afraid to inquire. The difficulty, of course, is to do this in a Christian spirit. It is hard to find fault without being a fault-finder or to criticize without being censorious." --Anonymous
- Date: 16-February