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Reading:                                          Psalm 96

Verses 7-13

Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the L
ORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the L
ORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the L
ORD in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, “The L
ORD reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

 Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness
(NIV).

Reflection

When I think of the word, ascribe, I immediately picture a long, grey-bearded man with a quill pen in his hand scratching words onto a scroll. That’s a scribe. I suppose this scribe could be busy ascribing. I wonder just what he could be ascribing? Well, according to the author of Psalm 96 my imaginary scribe could be ascribing glory and strength to the LORD.

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Wooded path near Jeanne D’Arc, Orleans, ON — photo by David Kitz

In all seriousness ascribing means crediting or attributing certain character qualities to a person. The LORD certainly is strong and glorious. Along with those attributes, we could also add the words loving, faithful, merciful, just and holy. The LORD is all those things and more. For all these character qualities the LORD is worthy of praise.

Sometimes I don’t see something until it smacks me in the face. I can be blind to that missing shirt hanging in the closet or across the back of a chair. It takes someone else, usually my wife, to point out what should be plainly obvious. In the same way I can be blind to the kind gestures of a friend or colleague. It takes someone else to point them out—to ascribe them—by drawing my attention to them.

Are you missing something? Have you become blind to the beautiful character qualities of your spouse, your children or your workmates? Maybe you need to do some ascribing? Before it’s too late, let them know the good qualities you see in their lives. You won’t regret speaking words of affirmation to the ones you love. As for the LORD, He will be honored if we carry through with the words of the psalmist: Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”

Response: LORD God, I want to see your glory and strength. I acknowledge your attributes. You are magnificent, holy, merciful and just. Thank you for your judgments. They are righteous. Amen.

Your Turn: Is there someone whose good character you need to ascribe or affirm?