Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Praise The Lord!

Have you ever wondered why there are repeated admonitions in the Psalms and other scriptures encouraging us to praise God? Why does He need our praise? He created the earth and everything in it--surely He knows He is great. So why would any words of praise that we might offer matter to Him?

Today's passages, Psalm 134, 146, 147, 148 and 149 are filled with reminders of God's worthiness to receive our praise, but still, the question remains, why? What difference do our words and songs of praise make to our Maker?

C.S.Lewis struggled at one time with why God requires the praise of man. In his Reflections on the Psalms, Lewis writes:

We all despise the man who demands continued assurance of his own virtue, intelligence or delightfulness; we despise still more the crowd of people round every dictator, every millionaire, every celebrity, who gratify that demand. Thus a picture, at once ludicrous and horrible, both of God and His worshippers, threatened to appear in my mind. The Psalms were especially troublesome in this way – ‘Praise the Lord,' 'O praise the Lord with me,' 'Praise Him.' . . .

Lewis writes that he eventually reconciled this struggle when he realized that praise is the spontaneous response to whatever is praise-worthy:

...the most obvious fact about praise – whether of God or anything – strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honour. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise...

What a beautiful, simple, obvious truth. When we come to know Him, His greatness and goodness, His magnificence and majesty, it is impossible NOT to praise Him! The result of knowing The Lord is enjoyment of a precious relationship that is life altering and praise producing. It's inevitable, inescapable and unavoidable.

Simply put,
Praise erupts
It can't be contained
when by God's Son, Christ,
a heart has been changed.

And so I will with the Psalmist sing:

1 Praise the Lord!
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath. Psalm 146

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