Praise him for his mighty deeds; Praise him according to his excellent greatness! Psalm 150:2 (ESV)
Ideas abound on the proper criteria in which to measure greatness. Most would agree that to be considered for greatness a person would have to contribute significantly to the welfare of society. Since 1901 the Nobel Prize Foundation has issued awards for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace. Many would consider the recipients of these awards as great people. Some might even add gifted athletes to the list of “all time greats.” Others would add those who serve in the armed forces to the list of great people.
As great as these people are, there is a limit to their greatness. One day they will die and though their great deeds will be remembered, they will have no more opportunities for greatness. It might even be as time continues on, that someone else will come along and surpass their accomplishments. However, this is not true of God. Not only will he never die, his mighty acts and excellent greatness never cease and cannot be surpassed. The New Living Translation reads, Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! (Psalm 150:2)
The Hebrew word used by the psalmist for mighty acts in Psalm 150:2 means force. It implies victory, valor, power, strength and mastery. The Hebrew word used for according means a fixed weight or measured amount. For excellent the psalmist uses a Hebrew word meaning abundance, huge, more in number, multitude and plenty. And for greatness the Hebrew word means magnitude and stoutness.
So it seems the psalmist is exhorting us to praise God for his displays of valor, power and strength. He also exhorts us to praise God for his measured amount of abundant magnitude. The word abundant means a great quantity; plentiful amount; fullness to overflowing. Magnitude means greatness in rank or position; greatness in size or extent; greatness in significance or influence. In other words God’s rank, position, size, extent, significance and influence are full to overflowing; great in quantity; there is plenty to go around.
Our call is to put this greatness on display. The psalmist uses the Hebrew word halal for praise. Halal means to be clear, to shine, to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave and to celebrate. We can put God’s greatness on display by the way we live our lives, but we also should witness to his greatness with our words; even in the face of looking foolish.
One psalmist wrote, My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. (Psalm 71:15 ESV) And King David wrote, Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! (Psalm 9:11 ESV)
Do the people with whom you come in contact everyday know of the greatness of God by how you live and the words you say? Are you ashamed to put the greatness of God on display?
Scriptures for meditation:
Psalm 145:4; 12