Friday, 7 March 2014

"NOT TO US. O LORD"

“NOT TO US O LORD”

     Our Psalm 115 reading starts, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory …”  Human nature is such that all glorying – that is, praising, worshipping and adulation, reflects back, at least in some measure, on themselves, there is enjoyment in doing it – television reports repeatedly illustrate this.
     The Psalmist is conscious of this human tendency – and his Psalm should be seen as a prayer about ‘escaping’ from the inclination to do this.   He proceeds to observe that “those who make them (idols) become like them, so do all who trust in them.”[v.8]  And so the spirit of human adulation operates in a reflective way – back to the worshippers.  But “not to us O LORD” – our worship, our prayers, ascend to heaven, to the throne of grace – let us make sure they are said in a genuine ‘Christ-like’ spirit.
     Paul makes a vital point in today’s 9th chapter of 2nd Corinthians.  He writes about how believers, when necessary, should help each other in a “material” way making the point, “each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” [v.7]  He then adds, “and God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.  As it is written, ‘He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever” [v.8,9]  
     Spiritually – we see all giving as giving to the Lord – and all receiving – as receiving from the Lord.  This is an attitude which human nature can undermine, but our daily reading and reflection on God’s word is a ‘cure’ that prevents this so that, as a result, we truly feel in our hearts, “Not to us O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory”