Psalm 115:17-18 “The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.”
Praise is often seen as those singing or shouting to God. Praise may be reflected in an upraised hand, or a bended knee. It may be viewed as a congregation worshipping together. We all have our view of what we believe praise is, yet, we need to base our beliefs on biblical truth.
Praise has an object. With God, our hearts must be prepared for such a thing as praise.
Deuteronomy 10:20-21 “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.”
Who God is, and who He is to us should cause us to fear Him. As Sovereign, Almighty, Everliving, Everlasting God; He has the rule overall. He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent. He holds the universe in the span of His hand.
Isaiah 48:12-13 “Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.”
He is Creator, Healer, Comforter, Savior, and Redeemer. He is Light, Love, and altogether lovely. He is Judge and justice. He is mercy, love, and grace. He is not just the possessor of these traits; He is the Source.
We are all called to praise Him,
Psalm 67:3 “Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.”
but not all are qualified.
I read “The dead praise not the Lord…” this morning and readily agreed. But, do the unsaved praise Him? Can those backslidden praise Him? Can those whose hearts are not right with Him, praise the Lord as He would desire or would He hear or receive their praise?
One element we find in God’s Word that begets praise is a proper fear of God. This fear is not a cowering dread of impending doom; it is a respectful bowing before One we know has all power. Seeing God for who He is will bring about the proper fear.
Unless we have a proper understanding of our place in the universe, praise will seem empty and hollow. But, I also find that unless my relationship is close, personal, and intimate with God, I find it difficult to praise Him, let alone possess the desire.
Praise cannot be forced. Though one day, all will be made to bow before the Lord. In that day, they will look upon the One they rejected, took His name in vain, cursed and swore. Praise will not come easy then.
We, for who are saved and called the children of the Living God; it should be easy for us to praise our God. When we are not in right relationship with Him; praise, thanksgiving, and even prayer become non-existent.
When we realize and understand what God has done for us to be saved, we are given an avenue in song.
Psalm 40:1-3 “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”
One reason we don’t genuinely praise God is that we do not have a proper understanding of His holiness. Those in His presence understand.
Revelation 4:8-9 “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,”
We will praise God because He is worthy of it.
Revelation 5:11-12 “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”
One of the most significant times of praise that I have experienced has come when I have first, fully confessed my sin. Then, I ask this question:
“Father, what would you have me praise you for today?”
and pause; waiting for the answer.
I have had God ask me to praise Him for my failure. I asked, “Why?” and God said;
“Because in that failure, you found your way back to your prayer closet, and back to Me.”
He said: “Praise me for your enemies.” and again, I was bewildered as to why.
He said; “Because in Me, you found that I have the power you do not possess to overcome all in your life.”
The apostle Paul sought God to remove what he felt hindered his ability to serve. God revealed that which he saw as a hindrance, was what kept him utterly dependent on God.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
When we interact with God in prayer and praise, we begin to find out more of who God is, and we draw closer in the process.
Praise can be public. A church ought to have a praise and testimony time where God’s people share just how and what He has done for them.
But praise is also personal and private in the close, personal, and intimate setting of prayer.