"Sing praise to God, the highest good, the Author of creation, The God of love who understood our need for His salvation. With healing balm our souls He fills and ev'ry faithless murmur stills: To God all praise and glory!
"All who confess Christ's holy Name, give God the praise and glory. Let all who know His pow'r proclaim aloud the wondrous story. Cast ev'ry idol from its throne, for God is God, and He alone: To God all praise and glory!"
Our hymn is a statement of faith set to music, a hymn of praise to the one true God. Only those who "confess Christ's holy Name" give praise and glory to the Holy Trinity. We worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Three in One. God is the Creator, "the Author of creation," who by His Word made all things. Like our first parents, Adam and Eve, we rebel against our Creator. Daily we sin against God's commands and do not live according to His Word and ways. Yet out of love for the world He made, the true God "understood our need for His salvation" and sent His Son to be our Savior. The Holy Spirit, the Helper and Comforter, calls us to faith in Jesus our Lord. Our souls are filled with the Spirit's "healing balm" of forgiveness and peace.
Along with this confession of faith in the Holy Trinity, our hymn also gives us a lesson about the First Commandment. After reminding Israel that He had set them free from slavery in Egypt, God said, "You shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3). Our hymn echoes the commandment: "Cast ev'ry idol from its throne, for God is God, and He alone." We may not enthrone idols of silver or gold or bow down to statues of wood and stone, but we do have idols. We may put our trust in our own possessions or popularity. Our favorite idols may be our own self-centered desires, enthroned in rebellion against God's will for our lives. The penalty for our rebellion is death and eternal separation from God. But God the Son, Jesus our Lord, was born among us. He took our sinful rebellion onto Himself and suffered the death that should have been ours. He rose from death in triumph and through faith in Him we have forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. Empowered by the Spirit, we cast down our idols and with joy we worship God alone.
By faith we have come to know God's great power and majesty. With grateful praise we acknowledge all that He has done for us through Christ our Savior. We "proclaim aloud the wondrous story"-the story of our salvation. It is the story of the Triune God who acts in power and majesty to save and set people free. It is the story of the God who came to live among us and, in humility and weakness on the cross, became for us "the highest good." To God be all praise and glory!
THE PRAYER: God of love, empower me by Your Spirit to share the wondrous story of salvation in Jesus Christ. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn "Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good," which is number 819 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Does singing hymns empower your faith? How so?
2. What personal "idol(s)" have you had to cast down?
3. How do you keep those "idols" cast down and defeated, so they do not rise up again?
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