Wholehearted Praise

“I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works” – Psalm 9:1

As is true in many of his psalms, David opens Psalm 9 telling of his open lips of praise to God. If you were to have heard David doing so, you would have heard him singing these words of praise according to the tune of “Muth-labben”, or the “Death of the Son”, which some scholars believe refers to the death of Goliath, others think Nabal, and still others Absalom. What was David praising God for here? He praised God for His past redeeming and delivering work that gave David comfort in the present and confidence for the future. Specifically, David praised the Lord for giving him victory over his enemies and those of his country. What enemies did God support his cause and give David the victory over? David was victorious over the Philistines and other neighboring nations that rose up against him being on the throne (2 Samuel 5:6-10).

When the Lord is at work for and in His people, He often draws us to remember and recall all that He has done, along with what He promises to do. We are then energized to respond with praise and thanksgiving to Him. It’s also true that God expects and desires praise from those who He has done marvelous things for. We find this to be true in David as he tells his Lord of the praise he gives, as well as the degree with which he gives it. For David, the praise he gave God wasn’t just lip service. It didn’t flow from a heart that was only doing so because of etiquette. David didn’t merely give God a hat tip. No, this praise was from and with his whole heart, all in, with complete sincerity, no holding back in any part of him.

Notice what else is true of David’s praise. As David had open lips of worship to his God, the content of his praise is made known. David praised the Lord by telling of God’s wondrously great works. The great and mighty deeds of God’s redeeming grace became the content of David’s songs of praise. David was glad and rejoiced in the Lord, as his heart was fueled by the source – God Himself and His marvelous works for him.

Considering this should bring joy to our hearts and motive to do the same as we remember, reflect, and respond to God’s marvelous, redemptive work for us, especially that which He has accomplished for us in Christ Jesus, our Lord. It’s true that we all need God’s help to recognize and marvel at His works, as He reveals them to us in Scripture, for we can often overlook them and forget their significance in the details. We also need His help to then give Him sincere, all in, whole-hearted worship and praise as we ought. As He gives us aid in this way, our lips open wide and praise flows forth like a river. We joyfully praise our triune God for His great deeds, and they are many. We joyfully worship Him and sing to our victorious Christ, who has conquered sin and death, that we would have new life in Him and have it abundantly. As our risen and ascended Savior is seated at the right hand of the Father, where He is reigning now, putting His enemies under His feet (1 Cor 15:25-26), we like David, lift our voices in song to Him regarding our deliverance, as well as His triumph and sovereign rule.

Beloved, we know the challenge, our shortcomings, and failures well. But may we never be satisfied with anything less than wholehearted praise. It’s what God created us to give and calls us to give. It’s what He alone is 100% worthy to receive. Oh, open your lips wide, my friends, tell of His great deeds, and worship the King with joyful hearts!