We call on the Lord to help us, but how often do we truly praise Him? “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” (Ps 18:2-3)
The other day we asked what is acceptable in God’s sight to our question are “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart…acceptable in [God’s] sight” ? Praise is mentioned in the Bible 248 times, in 216 verses. The book of Psalms is the praise book of the Bible, and it gives us hundreds of reasons why praise is important, as well as examples of how to give praise to God. In examining those reasons and examples, one thing becomes clear: “It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” (Ps 92:1).
Praise is a good thing. That means it is pleasant, valuable, and morally excellent. “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.” (Ps 147:1) When we consider the reasons why we should praise God, we find a list of His attributes:
- He is full of glory (Psalm 138:5),
- He is great (Psalm 145:3),
- He is wise and powerful (Daniel 2:20),
- He is good (Psalm 107:8),
- He is merciful and faithful (Psalm 89:1), just to name a few.
This list of attributes is complemented by a list of His wonderful works. He is the One Who:
- Saves us (Psalm 18:46),
- Keeps His promises (1 Kings 8:56),
- Pardons sin (Psalm 103:1-3), and
- Gives us our daily food (Psalm 136:25).
To try to list all the things God has done is impossible, but it is a wonderful exercise because it turns our hearts back to Him, keeping us mindful of how much we owe to Him. All of creation is commanded to give praise to God (Ps 148:1-10).
When Jesus was entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, great crowds gathered and offered Him their praises. The Pharisees wanted Him to rebuke the people, but Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19:40). Though there are many people who choose not to praise God, but instead they sow seeds of hate and division. However, there is coming a day “that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10-11).
Some will joyfully give those praises because of the salvation they have received, while some will give those praises as conquered enemies headed for eternal punishment for their rejection of God. Praise is a vital part of a life surrendered to God, and it gives credit where credit is due. “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!” (Ps 107:8).
“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.” (Ps 27:4-6)