Monday, June 30, 2008

What is the chief end of man?

What is the chief end of man?

“Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”
– question 1 from the Winchester Shorter Catechism (1647)

Psalm 30 shows our true value to God – as worshippers.

Psalm 30 (New Living Translation)
A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the Temple.

1 I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health.
3 You brought me up from the grave, O Lord. You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
4 Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name.

5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
6 When I was prosperous, I said, “Nothing can stop me now!”
7 Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain. Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.
8 I cried out to you, O Lord. I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
9 “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me. Help me, O Lord.”
11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,

12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust.

Thinking more about verse 9: If we are destroyed or cast into a pit, what gain is there to God? Can the dust praise God or proclaim his faithfulness? The psalmist bargains, pleads with God concerning his intrinsic value to God – not as preacher, teacher, breadwinner, or any other marketable skill. His main value to God is that of worshiper.

Does this tell us that our main value to God is that we praise Him, and he heals/restores us, giving us joy, so that we can praise Him, sing to Him and thank Him forever?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Read further about the author of the Doxology, which is actually the final stanza of a song for morning praise.

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