When God does a great work in our life, who gets the credit? When we have some great spiritual victory, do we step forward to receive the credit or do we bow our heads in gratitude to the One who really deserves the credit?
In Ezra chapter 6, we find the description of the completion of the Temple in Jerusalem. Much work had gone into this project before it was finally completed and ready for dedication. A great feat such as this called for a great celebration amongst the Jewish people. However, the Jewish people were very wise to realize that this great feat was accomplished, not because of themselves, but because of God. God is the One who had given them strength and supplies to construct the Temple. The Jews recognized this and focused their celebration, not on themselves, but on the Lord. Verse 17 which says that the Jews “offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs…” This was truly a celebration of gratitude for the blessings of God! Their gratitude to God led them to a deeper level of dedication and worship to the Lord. This was seen in the Jews’ observance of God’s law, giving of sacrificial offerings, installment of religious leaders, the keeping of the Passover, and in separating themselves “from the filthiness of the land” (v. 21). At the end of the day, God received the credit, honor, and glory! When God is recognized for who He is and what He has done, it will bear the fruit of joy, dedication, and true worship.
In Psalm 44, the Psalmist recounted how the previous generation had relayed to him the great acts of God on their behalf- “How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out” (v. 2). The writer of this Psalm realized that the Israelites did not possess the Promised Land “by their own sword”, nor by “their own arm”, but by God’s “right hand, and…arm” (v. 3). This God-directed confidence that the Psalmist received from hearing about the feats of God’s intervention in the past, had a profound impact up his own life. This can be seen in the Psalmist’s words in verse 6-8a: “For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies…In God we boast all the day long…”.
In God’s service, there must not be a misappropriation of credit. It is God that gets the credit for the great things He has done! Are we praising God for our victories? Are we passing on the reality of God’s working in our lives to the next generation so that they too will give God the credit and glory He alone deserves? As we reflect on past victories and look forward to future victories, may we boast in the Lord all the day long!
~Pastor Aaron Francis