Mouths

I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations
Psalm 89:1

In this opening verse of Psalm 89, the psalmist outlines two actions that he wants to perform.  First, he will sing.  And second, he will make something known.  He sings and he proclaims.  Both of these actions are related because they both involve what the psalmist does with his mouth.


We don't think about it very often, but our mouths play an amazing role in our lives every day.  Our mouths perform all kinds of functions including eating and speaking and kissing and cheering and singing.  Most everyday activities involve our mouth in some way.  When we hang out with friends, we speak in conversations.  When we shop at the supermarket, we say thanks to the cashier.  When we drive through Taco Bell at 2am, we eat our food before realizing we'll regret it later.  Even when we're alone, we might hum or sing or talk to ourselves.  What we do with our mouths has an impact on everything we do, and as the psalmist describes, what comes out of our mouths is more important than we think.


We say thousands of words every day, and a large percentage of these words have something in common.  They may be about different topics, but they have similar goals.  When you talk about Tiger Woods' domination on the golf course or when you retell the fun night at the bar over the weekend, or when you explain the thinness of the Macbook Air, what are you doing?  What do these three topics have in common?  In all of these, you're giving praise.  You're exalting Tiger Woods for his golf abilities, you're magnifying your fun experience, and you're applauding Apple's ability to make a thin computer.  Praise litters our everyday conversation.  Without even knowing it, we're giving glory to all kinds of people and gadgets and wonders. 


Why is this important?  In Matthew 15:18, Jesus teaches, "the things that process out of the mouth come from the heart".  Everything we say is an overflow of what's in our hearts.  Therefore, what we praise the most is what is on our hearts the most.  What lies on our hearts the most is what we worship.  And who or what we worship is massively important.  When a man asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is, He replied, "You shall love the Lord our God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and foremost commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38).  Further, the first commandment of the Ten Commandments is to have no other gods before God (Exodus 20:3).  Who or what we worship determines whether we're sinning against God.  God demands that we worship Him above anything else, and to worship anything else is idolatry and punishable by death and hell.  So, we should not take our praise lightly. 


For clarification, I am not saying that praising good things is always idolatry.  Good things should be acknowledged as good and received with thankfulness to God (1 Timothy 4:4).  But I am saying that we should be wary of what we praise because what we praise the most often indicates what we worship in our hearts.  And if that is true, we might start wondering why most of our praise is about Grey's Anatomy or Lebron James or Mark Driscoll or iPhones and not God.  And then we might despair.  If God demands all our heart, soul, and strength, we're certainly in a heap of trouble.  We prostitute our praise away to anything that gives us the slightest delight, all the while ignoring the Creator of all delight.  Keeping that in mind, let's go back to the psalmist's verse. 


The psalmist certainly isn't despairing.  He's singing!  And he wants to proclaim God's faithfulness to all generations!  What's he singing about?  He sings of God's steadfast love.  He's tasted God's steadfast love and faithfulness and the only response to this is worship.  When we really understand the magnitude of God's love and faithfulness and mercy and grace and patience and kindness, we sing praises to Him forever!  When we see that God became a man named Jesus to live a perfect life and die in our place for our idolatry, we see His love clearly demonstrated, and we respond with renouncing our idols and singing with praise.  Our mouths start honoring God and therefore do what they were made to do!


What will your mouth praise?  As you think about it, is this object of your worship worthy of your praise?  Does Grey's Anatomy redeem you from hell?  Did Tiger Woods create the universe?  Did the Macbook Air conquer death?  Did that drunken weekend give you everlasting joy?  This is the funny thing about idolatry.  When we place God next to our idols, our idols look pathetic.  And more importantly, when we see God for who He is, we see incomparable glory worthy of praise for all eternity.


Comments:
 
lanaia74   lanaia74 wrote
on 5/22/2008 5:47:20 AM
I admire the time and effort you put into this piece! Very well Done!

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Published Date
5/11/2008 12:00:00 AM
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