Ascribe

“Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord, glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.”
– Psalm 29:1-2

(The rest of the psalm talks about the voice of the Lord being like thunder and lightning, shaking the foundations, and so on. Might make a good song.)

But back to the word “ascribe”. I always assumed it meant something like “give”. Give God glory and strength. Give Him the glory due His name. That made sense to me. But it turns out that’s not actually what it means. Merriam-Webster defines “ascribe” as “to refer to a supposed cause, source, or author.” In other words, “to attribute to“. That really changes the idea of ascribing glory to God in our worship. We are not giving God glory or strength; we are searching and finding glory and strength and recognizing that it belongs to God. We discover an example of strength and realize that its source is God’s. We are not asked to give God the glory due His name. What glory do we have that we can offer Him? We are supposed to study and come to new and deeper understandings of His name, and then recognize the glory in that and attribute it to God.

Which leads me to the idea that…, worship doesn’t start on Sunday morning. Every moment of every day we are seeking the strength, the person, the glory of God in the scripture, in the world, and in our lives. On Sundays, we merely get the joy and blessing of joining together to ascribe the glory we’ve seen during the week to our Savior, Redeemer, Creator, and Friend. Tomorrow, let us look throughout our day for strength. Let us look for glory. Let us find His names, Healer, Provider, the One Who Sees, Almighty, Comforter, Love, and recognize when He is being those things for us. Every time is an opportunity to worship, to ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name.

Todd

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  • http://www.LinnetteMullin.com Linnette

    Great insight, Todd! Love this post! It’s so needed. Thanks for sharing your heart on the matter. I’ll pass it on. :D

  • http://benjiesmith.com Benjie Smith

    Irony is reading this blog while listening to “On a Corner in Memphis”.

    That really changes my understanding of that particular passage. It’s no longer incumbent upon us to give something to God that we never had, but that we find His glory in everything, and recognize the Source of it all – and our natural reaction is then to praise Him for being all in all.

  • adam strayer

    I have always wondered the same thing when we say we “give God all the power and glory and honor.” It’s all his to begin with. Thanks for sharing your findings with us and God bless.
    Adam

  • Helen

    Todd, I realize this doesn’t go with this post,but ever since you asked about songs for worship it has been going over in my head. It seems so many of the new songs are VERY wordy, but don’t really seem to say a whole lot. We are singing a lot about what we are doing or what we should do instead of just giving praise to God. I miss the theme of singing straight to God with a heart filled with praise, thanks, and adoration. Usually, those songs come out of very trying personal experiences, and I don’t wish that on you, but I pray that God grants you the anointing to help write songs of true praise. Excellent thought on this blog btw, to “God be the Glory”

  • http://brokenpeople.org Brenda Branson

    Todd, I love the clarification of the word “ascribe.” It makes the whole passage so much more meaningful. Wouldn’t our lives be richer if we looked for God’s beauty and creativity all around us every day? One of my favorite “older” songs is “Ascribe To The Lord.” The lyrics are from Psalm 29. If all the glory God received was our puny worship, He certainly would be lacking. It’s great to know that we are simply responsible for acknowledging His glory and offering our worship in response to that.

  • Randy Reiss

    I love the fact that you use the word “together” to describe like God “bonus” time.. a time when we can all charge our lanterns as a singular body of Christ.. but there are 313 other days in the year when we need to focus on the task of being His through our thoughts words and deeds.. and thats the hard part, for me at least.. its the togetherness that makes me strong in my faith and my humanness that makes me doubt when I’m weak… what would I be like if church was only once a month??

  • Jana

    Looking forward to worshiping with you tomorrow night at our church in Friendswood. Thank you for the epiphany of “ascribe”. Like you, I assumed “give”. How much easier to “attribute” the things He has blessed us with. thank you. Jana