Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
A few years ago, the BBC commissioned a survey to find who people believed to be the greatest Briton of all time. The winner of this particular poll was the Prime Minister who saw the country through the war, Sir Winston Churchill. Similar polls have been conducted in other countries, most notably Russia. In the Russian poll, Alexander Nevsky and Pyotr Stolypin narrowly beat Josef Stalin, the wartime leader who was responsible for killing over 20 million of his own people.
Polls such as these are fraught with difficulties, and are highly subjective. A hero in one person’s eyes might equally be a villain in the eyes of another. Stalin is a case in point; he may have been a mass murderer, but he also led Russia through a period of great success in the international arena and oversaw some highly effective economic reforms. Even Churchill, who is more generally regarded as a hero is not without his controversies; he was, after all, responsible for the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War, in which there were nearly half a million casualties.
That’s the thing about ordinary people: positive attributes are balanced by negative attributes. It’s equally possible to see someone as a hero and a villain, depending on one’s perspective.
Unlike ordinary people, God, and by extension Jesus, “who, being in very nature God,” (Philippians 2:6), are wholly good. Jesus, who was free from sin (1 John 3:5), was unaffected by the Fall, which is responsible for the negative aspects found within our characters. God, therefore, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is truly good; there is nothing whatsoever within God’s character that is bad, negative or nasty. He loves unconditionally, provides for all people, and took the incredible step of sending his son to die so that we might be saved from our sin.
The Psalmist has seen for himself God’s tremendous love for all people, and it is for this reason that he is able to proclaim, “Great is the Lord!” Unlike Churchill or any other earthly hero that we might admire, God is truly great, and worthy of praise. He is so great that the Psalmist states that “his greatness no one can fathom.” God is so great that his greatness is beyond the scope of the human mind. It is beyond comprehension.
Reflect today on how you have seen God’s greatness in your life. Perhaps you’ve recognised God’s greatness in creation all around you. Maybe you’re amazed by God’s greatness in sending Jesus to die for you. Perhaps you’ve seen God’s greatness in your own life as you’ve felt the power of the Holy Spirit working in you, or known his guidance, or experienced his healing.
Let’s join together today in our praise of God’s greatness!