“I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” -Psalm 7:17
It’s interesting as we walk with the Lord to consider how He blesses us.
When we go through trials, He increases our faith.
When we’re discouraged, His courage lifts us up.
When we’re weak, His strength is multiplied through us.
When the next difficult situation comes along, we know His faithfulness will see us through.
As a result, we know how to praise Him for His faithfulness, for saving us, and for loving us.
What Does This Bible Passage Mean?
Here in Psalm 7:17 is another reason to praise the Lord. This kind of praise is, “according to His Righteousness.”
Throughout this brief psalm, David is asking for God to judge his enemies for their wickedness. Verse nine says, “Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end.”
Then David asks God to judge him according to his own righteousness.
In verse 8 it says, “The Lord shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to my integrity within me.”
That’s a bold request for any mortal. But David is saying, “God you know my heart. You know I love you. Judge me according to my heart for you.”
Although David appealed to God in this Psalm on the basis of his comparative goodness, this was not a self-righteous prayer.
David knew the difference between his relative righteousness and God’s praiseworthy perfect righteousness. (source: David Guzik commentary)
How Do We Praise the Lord According to His Righteousness?
Can we really do this? Do we have the capability of worshipping God this way?
The interesting thing is that the prophet Isaiah describes our righteousness as “filthy rags.”
In Isaiah 64:6 Isaiah writes, “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.”
So it’s not as though we can relate to God on His level.
When we’re in heaven, we’ll see God high and lifted up. We’ll see His holiness first hand. So then, in His presence, we’ll see His righteousness.
But now, in these meager states of earth-bound flesh and blood, how do we relate to a Holy, spiritual, and righteous God?
This is a lofty goal for all believers…
We do it through a Holy Savior, through the God Man, Jesus Christ. Jesus is our great mediator.
1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
He is our intercessor.
Romans 8:34 says, “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”
Through Christ, we can acknowledge a Holy God. Through Christ we have a bridge to a God that is everything we’re not — holy, righteous, perfect, and the purest definition of love.
And to help relate in a deeply personal way, He has given us His Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot relate to a Holy God.
Without the Holy Spirit, we have no desire to seek righteousness.
But with the Holy Spirit, we actually hunger and thirst for righteousness.
We hunger and thirst to be more like Jesus. And once we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, we can praise God according to His righteousness.
As we come to know Him, we learn about His righteousness. We learn to worship a righteous God.
Knowledge and understanding of His righteousness leads to singing.
What Do We Do Next?
This Psalm goes on to say, “Sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.”
We sing praise to YHWH, the one true God, the Holy One, the Alpha and Omega, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords.
It’s important to note here that we’re singing His praises, not just speaking them.
Singing is more emphatic, more heart felt, therefore it is more passionate.
Singing takes more practice and repetition than just speaking the words.
So singing our worship becomes a matter of rehearsal and concentration. And with a little bit of talent it can sound quite beautiful.
So let’s sing His praises for He is worthy to be praised.
Matthew 11:29 says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
As we learn of His love for us, His compassion, His Holiness and His righteousness then we will praise Him according to His righteousness.
Romans 3:21-26 tells us that he demonstrated His righteousness at the cross:
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.
For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Our faith in Christ and our understanding of Who He is, causes us to live a more righteous life.
To be more like Jesus and to worship Him because He is righteous becomes our identity and our focus in life.
And so we can praise Him according to His righteousness!