"Let my soul live that I may praise You, and let your ordinances help me"
Science is wonderful at answering the What and the How. As I was getting out of the shower this morning, our 4 year old son decided to come in and have a little convo. He left the door open. We live in a concrete block house. At 8,000 feet. With no heat. He asked me how our bodies make heat. Mine was currently not making enough. But I knew how to find out the answer. Science is an amazing tool that we can use! It's called Cellular Respiration (remember that Biology class you hated?) Feel free to geek out with me because it's awesome. But we can find out how that works. That too points to our Creator, but that's another post.
The same 4 year old has a favorite question: "Why?" Deep theology pours forth from that tiny mind. Sometimes I have an answer. Like when he asks why there are bad guys. Or why God is good. Sometimes I don't. Like when he asks why grandpa has cancer. Sure, I have an answer, but sometimes they answers don't seem to help. Sometimes I tell him, "I don't know. But I know that God is good and that's enough for me today." And sometimes it's time for bed and the answer is, "We'll talk about it tomorrow, sweet boy."
Why do we even have a soul? That marvelous question has a marvelous answer:
"That I may praise You."
God made us to praise Him. In what is truly a masterpiece of poetic discipline, the Psalmist gives us our purpose: Praise.
Sometimes studying the Bible really messes things up. See, here I am, comfy in my grumpiness and then I read this before I give teeth chattering answers to a wee bitty blonde boy in my bathroom. And I am forced to confront reality. Because what I want to do is yell for him to shut the door. But before my blood pressure can spike, this verse whispers into my mind and I have a choice to make.
Will I praise Him right now? Will I worship He who made my soul, then saved that soul so I could, as Tozer says, "...perform what the constitution of our natures indicates we are capable of." What will I do? Who will I be? Because reality cannot be avoided forever. God made me to praise Him. Today. Right now. The Bible could not be clearer. And I cannot yell at my child and praise the Lord at the same time.
I cannot ___________ and praise the Lord at the same time.
With what else could will fill that blank?
I bet my list is longer than yours.
Wonderfully, the verse continues, "and let Your ordinances help me." That word means a judicial decision, a verdict, a judgement, that sets precedent. The Lord didn't give us rules to limit our freedom. He gave us His word so we could have true freedom, because sin and lies bind us. Did Satan make good on his promise to Eve? Do we become like God when we sin, or when we praise Him?
Its no secret that we humans need help. And help we have. Right there in the Bible. Help to answer questions whispered from mouths full of not-too-well-brushed teeth. Little mouths that pull out a thumb and are unafraid to whisper, "Why, daddy?"
Let us be unafraid to wonder. Unafraid to whisper, "Why?" Unafraid to praise Him and receive the help He has given us. It's why we're here.