How many times a day do you praise our risen Savior? Seventy times seven doesn’t seem enough when we think of all He’s worthy of.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
I’ve always been fascinated with numbers. As a kid I counted everything, but silently so others wouldn’t think me weird. I counted the steps to our second floor, the bites I took of an apple and the cracks in the sidewalk. I still count things. Habits can cling like static electricity.
Numbers are important in the Christian faith, too. The number seven has special symbolic significance and means completion or perfection, as in God creating the universe in seven days. He also instituted seven feasts. He instructed Abraham to make a candlestick—the Menorah—of seven branches as a symbol of the light of His Word. He sent seven plagues upon Egypt which led to the freedom of the Israelites, God’s chosen people. The number itself and references to it are mentioned many hundreds of times in the Bible. A person would find it enlightening to study the number seven.
Because the number seven has great meaning to God, it has for us, too. It did for King David, who wrote, “Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments.” (Psalm 119:64) Whether he literally praised God seven times a day is not the issue. We do know he made it a priority to praise God. Not only during religious services or before meals, but throughout the day. Every day. Although David’s psalms often express remorse, fear, sorrow, hopelessness and other negative emotions, they always end with praise to God.
One of the best-known lessons about the number seven is about forgiveness. Jesus taught that we should have no offenses. “If your brother sins against you … seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4) The act of forgiving brings complete freedom from anger and hatred.
We can develop a “praying heart” like David, where prayer and praise became a permanent part of our life in spite of wrongdoing of others toward him. Having a God-consciousness of praise and thanksgiving, rather than a self-consciousness, will bring great reward. Our God-thoughts alone, about His goodness, can bring peace in the midst of turmoil, as they did for David.
Praise to God includes more than words about His attributes. It encompasses words and thoughts about His “righteous judgments,” His teachings. We’d have no life if not for His Word.
Lord, we give You praise. May we praise You not seven times seven, but at all times. Thank You for Your Word that tells us You alone are worthy of our praise. In Jesus’ name, amen.