The Power of Doxologies


Doxologies serve as models to us of how to call out to God in praise, briefly but powerfully, in all sorts of circumstances.

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore! Amen. (Jude vv. 24-25)

Scattered throughout the Scriptures are lots of "doxologies." The word comes from two Greek words: doxa (meaning ‘glory’) and logos (meaning ‘word or speech’). A doxology, therefore, is an exclamation of praise that glorifies God. Such prayers have often been used liturgically; but perhaps more importantly they serve as models to us of how to call out to God in praise, briefly but powerfully, in all sorts of circumstances.

In the Bible we see doxologies not just in "religious" or worship settings, but in the ordinary routine of everyday life. For example, the birth of a new baby is always a cause for joy; but in the Bible, it is a cause for joy before God. So, when the sad story of Naomi and Ruth comes to its happy conclusion as Ruth marries Boaz and gives birth to a son (the grandfather of the future King David), the women folk of the town spontaneously exclaim, "Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer" (Ruth 4:14). When Elizabeth gives birth to her long-awaited child, then her husband Zechariah, seeing the fulfillment of God’s word to him, exclaims, "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people" (Luke 1:68).

But it was not just in speech, but also in writing that doxologies could also be found. For example, Paul concludes his testimony to Timothy with the words, "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen" (1 Timothy 1:17). Peter ends his second letter with the words, "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever! Amen" (2 Peter 3:18).

Whether through spoken or written words, God’s people in the Bible were not afraid to let their spontaneous praise to God be known. What about us?

To our God and  Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:20)

© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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