Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, April 9, 2015
Based Upon: Psalms 138:1-2
Not all roads lead to heaven. You may have heard it said, that it does not matter what you call God; it is all the same. King David resisted that idea when he said, “I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psalms 138:1-2). He lived during a time when there were so many gods it was impossible to count them. The children of Israel were plagued with the disease of idolatry and the Lord had to correct them regularly. He even showed by means of miracles that He was the only true God in the universe.
In David’s praise, we see a stark opposition to the idea that just any god will do. He praised the God of heaven as superior. He said that he would praise His name among the many gods. David knew of the times when Jehovah had to prove that He was superior to Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Dagon, Moloch, Baal, and others. Those who worshipped these inferior gods were always disappointed. When God’s people were obedient, those in the surrounding heathen nations took note. They recognized that the God of Israel had no match in the entire universe.
David said that he would worship toward the temple. The sanctuary was a monument to the creative and sustaining power of God. Through its services, He taught Israel the gospel of Jesus Christ. As they faithfully continued to honor the ceremonies, the picture of the coming Messiah became clearer. The signal of God’s presence was the Ark of the Covenant located in the holy of holies. The ark was situated in the west. The heathen nations usually worshipped the rising sun, which was in the eastern direction. This means that even their physical posture in worship was opposite of their enemies.
At this time in earth’s history, the true and correct worship of God through Jesus Christ is relevant and important to maintain. It is important to resist the idea that just any god will do. The Creator of us all is the only one worthy of our worship, and it is our privilege to honor Him in that way. “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”