Thursday, October 25, 2018

What Is Praise?

Psalm 111: 1 & 9
1 Hallelujah! I will praise the Lord with all my heart in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.
9 He has sent redemption to His people. He has ordained His covenant forever. His name is holy and awe-inspiring.

What is praise?  Why do we do it?  What do we even have to praise God for?  Praise isn’t something that is limited to just the good times when we like what God is doing. It is even more powerful when we praise Him in the dark times. Those times when we may not understand what is going on but we trust Him fully and believe in His will.

That is why we praise Him not just at Christmas or at Easter for the biggest miracles of all but everyday, even during the smallest intervention or darkest moments. Every day we should be thankful for what God has done and we should praise Him not only for what He has done but for who He is.

We hear the phrase Praise the Lord so many times that it has become common, a throw away. So common in fact we abbreviate it to just PTL because, you know “Praise The Lord” is just too long to say in our busy schedule. We throw the term around so much without any actual praise attached to it that I wonder if we really understand why we praise God or even what praise is.

The Christians author CS Lewis described praise this way: “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.”

In other words, we do not praise God because he needs to hear the praise, we praise God because doing so completes the love, the desire that we have for him. According to the Holman Bible Dictionary, our word praise comes from a Latin word meaning “value” or “price.” Thus, to give praise to God is to proclaim His merit or worth. It is one of humanity’s many responses to God’s revelation of Himself.

Many of the Old Testament praises we are familiar with were written by David and many of them were written in dark times when he was on the run, betrayed or had made a foolish choice. Yet David still praised God.  David praises God for many things he had - protection, blessings, etc, but he also praised God for things he had not yet received but trusted God for.  In verse nine he praises Him for His redemption.  We too live in a world that is often harsh and unforgiving and we too have received many gifts from God.  There is one gift that He has freely given to all if we will only accept it, redemption through His Son Jesus Christ.  The very redemption David and the other Old Testament writers were praising God in anticipation of we can praise Him for receiving today.

What more reason do we need to praise God! God sent his son to die for us! Jesus chose to come to earth and take upon himself the punishment that we deserved so that we could have a close, personal relationship with God yet again.

Whenever you read all of the beautiful praise of the Old Testament, all of David's glorious Psalms just remember we have what they were longing for! We have what that knew God would provide and were shouting in anticipation of – we have Jesus Christ!  That is why we praise.

To discover more, visit Oak Grove Baptist Church

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