One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. – Psalm 145:4-7 ESV
Commend. Declare. Speak. Pour forth. Sing aloud.
Silence may be golden, but it has no place in the life of the believer when it comes to God. We are to be blatantly verbal and vociferous about Him. According to David, the only time we should be silent about God is in order to meditate on the splendor of His majesty and on His wondrous works. But the meditation is simply intended to provide us with food for thought and then words of testimony and praise. When we think about God and His greatness, we will be motivated to turn those thoughts into verbal expressions. God is due our praise and if we are silent, we demonstrate either our ignorance of His greatness or our indifference. It is interesting to note that when Jesus was entering Jerusalem on the back of a donkey’s foal, the crowds were cheering wildly, exclaiming “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:38 ESV). When the Pharisees witnessed this scene, they demanded that Jesus silence the crowd. But His response was simply, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (Luke 19:40 ESV).
God deserves praise. And as the only members of His creation with the capacity for speech, we are intended to use our voices to verbally acknowledge who He is and all that He has done. We are to commend, declare, speak, pour forth and sing aloud. And of all people, believers should have the most to say about God. There is something normal and natural about talking about that for which we are grateful or by which we have been amazed. When we see a beautiful sunrise, we feel the urge to tell someone. When we take a memorable vacation, we can’t help talking about it. When we are proud of our children, no one will be able to stop us from bragging about them. We tend to praise that which we appreciate. We talk about what interests us. We unashamedly testify to others about what we find meaningful in our lives. It could be a delicious meal at a local restaurant, a good book, a movie, a newly discovered musical group, a recent Facebook post, a personal achievement or any of a number of other things. But how often do we declare the greatness of God? How many times do we commend God to others? How frequently do praises concerning God come from our lips and to the ears of those we meet? Are we prone to sing God’s praises out loud and outside the context of a Sunday morning worship service?
David so eloquently wrote, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world” (Psalm 19:1-4 NLT). The heavens declare the glory of God. We can see it in a sunrise or sunset, a cloud formation, a night sky filled with stars or the gentle breeze on a warm summer night. God’s creation constantly praises Him. The angels in heaven never cease to offer Him verbal praise and adoration. But as human beings, the pinnacle of His creative energies, far too often we remain silent. Rather than commend God to others, we complain. Instead of declaring the mighty acts He has already done, we demand that He do more. We speak, but do the words that come out of our mouths concern God? Do words of praise, thanksgiving and honor for God pour forth from our lips? Do we sing aloud of His righteousness?
Our silence condemns us. But it has even far greater implications. Our failure to speak up concerning God’s glory and greatness puts the next generation at a distinct disadvantage. They run the risk of growing up having never heard of who He is. And it is not that they are living in a verbal void. They are surrounded by voices of all kinds shouting messages of every type imaginable. Their ears are being bombarded by false messages and deceitful words that leave God out or attempt to diminish His significance. So we must speak up. We must commend, declare, speak, pour forth and sing aloud. What the next generation will know about God will only come from what we tell them about God. Paul would have us consider “And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14 NLT). God deserves our praise. The next generation depends upon it.
The words of the chorus, “My Lips Will Praise You” say it all.