Great Is the Lord

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“For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” (1 Chronicles 16:25-26)

This testimony is in the heart of a great hymn of thanksgiving (1 Chronicles 16:7-36) composed by David when the Ark of the Lord was brought back to Jerusalem. It is a testimony of the unique greatness of the God of Israel, with recurring expressions of gratitude for His deliverances and blessings.

This God of Israel was no mere tribal-god or nature-god, such as Dagon, the fish-god of the Philistines from whose hands the Ark had been delivered. All such “gods” of the peoples of the earth—whether wooden images in a shrine, astrological emblems in the heavens, or mental constructs of evolutionary humanistic philosophers—are nothing but idols (that is, literally, “good for nothing,” “vanities”).

It is Jehovah God who is not only in the heavens but who made the heavens! It is their Creator who one day will “let the sea roar” and “the fields rejoice,” when “the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth” (vv. 32-33).

As Creator and Savior, all His people are exhorted also to “shew forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations” (vv. 23-24). Because of His power, the world itself “shall be stable [that is, ‘permanently established’], that it be not moved” (v. 30). This “God of our salvation” (v. 35), and the wonderful heavens and earth He created, will be forever. The psalm ends with the exhortation: “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. . . . Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever” (vv. 34-36).

Now, if Israel needed such an exhortation, our modern science-worshiping world needs it still more urgently. HMM