“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!” – Psalm 105:1-6
To call upon the Lord is to petition Him to act, to seek His blessing and presence. Often it is in times of distress, but not always.
“In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I called. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears.” – 2 Samuel 22:7
Calling upon the Lord in scripture often involves more than just the petition itself. It is combined with worship and the remembrance of God’s past works that illustrate His character and power. In remembering the deeds of the Lord we both praise Him and encourage our own faith in the present situation.
The other aspect of calling on the Lord that this portion of the psalm highlights is that through calling on the Lord and remembering His works we also declare them to the world.
“call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!” – Psalm 105:1b
Our petitions to the Lord then become a chance for worship, thanksgiving, and act as a witness to the world. We find ourselves encouraged in out present situation by remembering the past, praising the Lord for His goodness and might, and pointing others towards those same characteristics as we call upon His Name.
When we call upon the Lord we put our faith and trust in Him. In the New Testament, believers are described as those who “call upon the name of Jesus” and trust Him for salvation (Acts 2:21, 9:21, Romans 10:13, 1 Corinthians 1:2).
Therefore, as believers in Christ we find ourselves calling on the name of Jesus both for our ultimate eternal salvation and rescue, as well as our salvation and rescue in temporary moments of trouble. In both, we bring to mind His actions and put them on display. His rescuing of us brings Him glory and honor and makes His name known throughout the world.
Call upon His name for salvation. Call upon Him in the day of trouble. Make known His power and compassion to a watching world as we rejoice in the works of His hands.