Going Global (Psalm 96)

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens (PSALM 96:4-5 ESV).

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One basic doctrine threads through the entire Bible’s sixty-six books: There is only one God. The people God called out for himself first the nation of Israel and later the Christians—were marked by a belief in one God…

The psalmist says that all of these other so-called gods are idols. The Hebrew word for idols literally means “nothings.” It is not just that any other god except the God of the Bible is ineffective, or not quite as powerful, or of a lesser quality; it is that they are nonexistent. If you worship anything or anyone else, you worship nothing.

Something you never hear about in our culture is idolatry. The Bible is not concerned so much with atheism as it is idolatry. It was everywhere, and now we live in a culture that increasingly worships gods of our own design. You hear it all the time. “My god is okay with how I live.” “My god would never allow someone to go to hell.” “My god would never say there is only one way to him.” To which both the psalmist and the entire witness of Scripture say, “There is only one real God.” This is why we must go global. We must share the only God who is real.

52 Weeks Through the Psalms

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False ideas about who God is are dangerous. They allow unbelievers to affirm their skepticism of Christianity. When the one true God is rejected because of these false ideas, the ground is fertile for the acceptance of idols to fill the void. Idols—which are really “nothings”- can be fashioned by the hand of man, or they can be ideas that enslave the one who believes them. Even self can become an idol.

In opposition to all these idols and more stands our one God, the true God worthy of our worship. He is the one we tell others about. He is the one who delivers us from our fears and foes. He is the one who is eternal. He is the one who is the very opposite of”nothing.” He is everything.

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James Merritt. 52 Weeks Through The Psalms Devotional. Harvest House Publishers. Eugene, Oregon, 2018.