May 14, 2019
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 14 May 2019
A Familiar Prayer - Part I
When we were children, my sister and I, were taught a short prayer prior to eating. I am certain you are, at least, familiar with the short prayer: “God is great; God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. By his hands we are all fed. Give us, Lord, our daily bread. Amen.” Have you reflected upon the wonderful theological truths that constitute this prayer?
Unfortunately, because the prayer is easy to memorize, it often can be prayed in a repetitive and rote manner. Many parents will have their children, plead the prayer, and yet not truly be reflective upon the truths that are being spoken. Indeed, there are profound truths contained within this brief child’s prayer.
God is great. Without the Lord’s greatness maintaining order throughout the universe, the galaxies would be a compost of battered planets and stars. God is sovereign over all! He is holy, just, majestic, and righteous. Many verses within the Bible attribute praise and worth to God. Psalm 48:1a reads, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.” Psalm 86:10 confesses that God alone is great, and therefore, He does “wondrous deeds.” The Lord is “a great God and a great King above all gods” (Ps 95:3). God alone is truly great, and thus his grace overflows throughout the earth and heavens. The Lord is abundantly and eternally worthy to receive praise.
God is good. When asked what is good, Jesus replied, “There is only One who is good” (Matt 19:16). Without the goodness of God to restrain every malevolent despot, the earth would be controlled by the mightiest of tyrants, who would merely regard the world as recreation for their own evil desires. God is infinitely good, and thus his entire nature is good, in addition to the entirety of his actions. God is the very definition of good; He has no impure motives or thoughts. When the Lord’s people returned from captivity to rebuild the Temple, they “sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, ‘For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.’ And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid” (Ezra 3:11).
The word halal translated “praise” is derived from a primitive Hebrew root, which means “to be boastful.” When the Lord is praised, his people boast in the good things that He has accomplished. People who praise a good God have no reason to complain or grumble. Praising God should be common behavior for those who trust in Him by grace and through faith.
The simple child’s prayer has celebrated two attributes of God: his immanence and his transcendence. The doctrine of immanence conveys the notion that God is near to his creation. The truth of God’s transcendence means that the Lord is beyond the world, and thus He is distinctly and utterly separate from creation. Whereas understanding the transcendence (greatness) of God should cause the believer to praise God humbly, comprehending the immanence (goodness) of God should uplift the Christian to know that the Lord is actively involved in and with his creation. Be encouraged by these truths and praise God for He is great and good!
Your Missionary to Our Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.