Sunday, September 11, 2005

I Would Declare and Speak

Many, O LORD, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And You thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
(Psalm 40:5)
“I would declare and speak of them.” The “if” is set in italics, provided by translators as an aid to understanding, but I think it just gets in the way here.

The works of the LORD are many and full of wonder. His thoughts toward us (yes, we’ve been on His mind) are without number. They are so numerous that we cannot even classify or arrange them all — an infinite number, each in a category of one.

And yet, the psalm writer has a great passion to declare and speak them all. What a terrific idea. Why should we speak of anything else when God has an endless supply of thoughts — all of them good toward us — to dwell on and proclaim.

The Hebrew for “declare” is nagad and means to stand boldly to proclaim and manifest. The word for “speak” is dabar and means to arrange, subdue, appoint, bid, command, pronounce, or name.

When God saw darkness on the face of the earth in Genesis 1, He had a thought. It was not a thought of darkness, but of light, and He pronounced it, calling it forth: “Light, be!” And there was light.

God has many wonderful thoughts toward you and me. They are not like the thoughts you and I have toward ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of my own thoughts — they are completely inadequate. That is why wisdom advises us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

Our minds were not made to think our own thoughts but to think God’s thoughts. The creative force of our speech was not made to call forth our own ideas, but to call forth God’s. By His own breath, He created us as “speaking spirits,” to be His likeness on the earth and to give voice to His heart.

God has an infinite number of thoughts toward us, and I would declare and speak of them all. I intend on spending the rest of my earthly life calling forth the promises of God onto the earth. To boldly proclaim His heart and arrange, subdue, appoint, bid, command, pronounce and name the earth according to His thoughts. This is our true calling.