27TH JULY 2021
PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING TO GOD
Today's Psalm is a praise and thanksgiving one. Why does the author offer this thanksgiving prayer? This thanksgiving is offered due to the human ability to remember the past. Though we are normally encouraged to forget the past and move on, some past events cannot just be forgotten because they are based on experience.
And if you do not use your experience, then your past is wasted, and you are betraying yourself. What past experience makes the Psalmist to be full of gratitude?
The Psalmist says that the Lord has made his ways known to Moses and his deeds to the children of Israel. This is the past experience that makes the Psalmist to be full of gratitude. The word way in the Bible means the manner and direction and means that God avails to guide us on the path to salvation by doing God's will.
For example Isaiah 35:8 says, "And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness ; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. "
This means that a wise person who does not follow the way shall go astray.
The main reason for this thanksgiving is that God has made God's way known to Moses and when Moses was gone for sometime, the Israelites prevailed upon Aaron to fashion an image of a calf that they worshipped. Despite this act of worshipping an image, God still forgave the Israelites.
If God forgave them their sins, let us know that sin here means to miss the mark. It also means knowing what is expected of you for a particular outcome to be achieved but falling short yet God does not treat us according to our sins.
If you were to thank God now, what would be your reasons? Would it be because of a good health, a strong peaceful marriage, educated and employed children? Those reasons are good and valid but today's Psalm invites us to see that we can also have what we call spiritual or faith based or inspired thanksgiving as our reason for thanking God.
If you listen keenly to this Psalm, you won't fail to notice that it mentions how God is merciful and just, compassionate and slow to anger.
In today's Gospel passage, Jesus explains to his disciples the meaning of the parable of the weeds of the field, meaning that understanding the word of God is a spiritual or a faith based reason for being grateful to God. If you are able to go for confession, if you end your day without cheating, stealing, gossiping, if you are able not to judge and help the less fortunate, it means you have followed the way of God and these plus many other virtues can be your spiritual and faith based reasons for thanking God.
What are the contours of praise for God? How do we know if we actually engaged in it? We will know we are engaged in it by following the way of God.