Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
In Psalm 96, we see active worship taking place. The words sing, declare, ascribe, & worship are used in this passage to call the nation of Israel (and all those who read this Scripture) to give the Lord the glory due His name. In this context, the word ascribe in the Hebrew language means, “to give”. We see this word used in the same way in Psalm 29 as well. The psalmist is exhorting us to worship the Lord and give Him the glory that He is due. There is none other who is worthy of such praise.
If we are not careful, we can miss the missional aspect of this passage. The primary reason we give the Lord praise is to worship Him, but another reason is to act as a witness to others of His greatness! By ascribing to the Lord the glory He is due, we in turn are urging those around us to see and know the Lord. By declaring His glory among the nations, we are proclaiming that we are unworthy and that He is worthy. As we sing of grace, mercy, and salvation, we call sinners (ourselves included) to look to the Lord and seek His grace and forgiveness.
Near the end of verse 8 we read “bring an offering” as you come to worship. In the Old Testament, that would be a spotless lamb (in most instances), that would be offered as a sacrifice. But under the new covenant, Christ has atoned for our sin by His death, burial, and resurrection. What then is the offering that we bring? We bring our bodies, our lives, as living sacrifices to the Lord (Rom. 12:1). This is our spiritual worship as we ascribe to the Lord His glory.
Questions for reflection:
1. Do you give the Lord praise in every area of your life? Ask the Lord to show you ways in which you might not be doing so currently.
2. Are you faithful in declaring His greatness to those around you who may not know Him?
“Father, You are worthy of all honor, glory, and praise. In my weakness I cannot praise you as you deserve, but through Jesus Christ perfect sacrifice I give you my imperfect praise. May you be glorified in my life, and in my worship of you. Amen.”