Monday, August 27, 2007

The Uniqueness of God

There is none like you among the gods, o Lord, nor are there any works like yours. (Psalm 86:8, ESV)

A few things stick out to me when I read this verse.

1. God didn't apparently expect his chosen people to think in purely monotheistic (i.e., there is only one God) terms at all points during their road to maturity. Either that, or they were too dumb to get it, and he put up with their ignorance without making a big deal about it. (If not, how could he ever allow us to ever consider him as just the greatest among many in one of the worship songs recorded in the Bible?)

2. Even if his chosen people didn't get it then, they at least understood enough to know that even if there were other gods out there, Yahweh stood alone and unique and the most and best among them. There was something special and real about God that set him apart from all the Baals and sun gods and fertility goddesses and harvest gods that all the people around them served and worshipped and lived in fear of.

3. There were proofs, works, that people could go back to and draw a line in the sand to say, "God did this, period." And those works were different enough to stand out.

What I can gleam from that as a worshipper is that even when I don't get all the picture that is the majesty and worthiness and holiness of my Lord, if I don't miss the main point -- that he is holy and great and worthy of my praise -- then at least I'm on a decent footing from which to begin. And like he did with the Jewish people, he will continue to bring me along to a more full understanding and appreciation of his glory as he continues to work in me. Even when I'm wrong. Even when I'm confused. Even when my stupidity gets in the way.

I think the idea of the works of God is a good place for worshippers to begin and continue. We see it in lots of the praise songs and hymns. We frequently see topics like:

* Jesus' death on the cross
* Jesus' resurrection from the dead
* Jesus loving us
* Jesus teaching us
* God creating the world and nature
* Etc.

Even contemporary songs from the past few hundred years get this apparently. They're filled with pointing people toward the working proofs that God loves us and is worth following and worshipping.

Our job as a worship team, to a large degree I believe, it to help people get those first steps down. Even if they aren't mature believers, even if they aren't sure if they want to be believers at all, even if they worship in ignorance of God's truth, even if they are clearly wrong about theological fine points as argued by scripture, we are to help them get a picture of the mightiness and grace and awesomeness of God. We are to help them see the uniqueness of the God who can take care of all the rest of that as they draw closer to him and he draws closer to them.

And if we can lift Jesus up in song and point people to even just a few of the things God has done for us, then maybe that will help some small seed take root in someone's life as God does the work of drawing men and women unto himself.

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