We can praise God by confessing our sins!
There are many ways to praise God. One of the biblical ways is to confess our sins and humble ourselves in front of God. The clearer that contrast between God’s grace and our sinfulness, the higher God is lifted up. That is what the Psalmist is doing here.
“Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord, or declare all his praise? Happy are those who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times. Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people; help me when you deliver them; that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory in your heritage. Both we and our ancestors have sinned; we have committed iniquity, have done wickedly.”
When we confess our sins, we need to describe our wrongdoings in detail.
Many times, we say sorry without saying any specific contents. That is not a genuine apology. When we say sorry, we need to be specific, saying what we are sorry for. Then the other party knows that we know what our mistakes are and we truly sorry for them. See the biblical examples.
“Our ancestors, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wonderful works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, so that he might make known his mighty power. He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry; he led them through the deep as through a desert. So he saved them from the hand of the foe, and delivered them from the hand of the enemy. The waters covered their adversaries; not one of them was left. Then they believed his words; they sang his praise.
In the Wilderness
But they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel. But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness, and put God to the test in the desert; he gave them what they asked, but sent a wasting disease among them. They were jealous of Moses in the camp, and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord. The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the faction of Abiram. Fire also broke out in their company; the flame burned up the wicked. They made a calf at Horeb and worshiped a cast image. They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass. They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. Therefore he said he would destroy them—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them. Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise. They grumbled in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord. Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them that he would make them fall in the wilderness, and would disperse their descendants among the nations, scattering them over the lands. Then they attached themselves to the Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead; they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds, and a plague broke out among them. Then Phinehas stood up and interceded, and the plague was stopped. And that has been reckoned to him as righteousness from generation to generation forever. They angered the Lord at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account; for they made his spirit bitter, and he spoke words that were rash.
Through the Idol Worship in the land of Canaan
“They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and learned to do as they did. They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they became unclean by their acts, and prostituted themselves in their doings. Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage; he gave them into the hand of the nations, so that those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their power. Many times he delivered them, but they were rebellious in their purposes, and were brought low through their iniquity.
When we confess our national sins, we should believe in God’s forgiveness and grace!
“Nevertheless he regarded their distress when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant, and showed compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. He caused them to be pitied by all who held them captive. Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. And let all the people say, ‘Amen.’ Praise the Lord!