Today’s Reading: Psalm 47
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises (Psalm 47:6).
Praise: verb – to express approval or admiration of; commend; extol (Dictionary.com).
Did you know the word “praise” appears in the King James version of the Bible 259 times? As children of God, we are commanded to praise him. Does this seem a little counterintuitive? Throughout history, I would tell you every leader I know of that demanded his/her followers to salute, bow, or offer some sort of praise could be categorized as a narcissist (a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves). So does it seem a little backward to you that God, who teaches his followers to be humble and to turn from self-centeredness, would require us to praise him?
It does to me. While I trust God knows what is best, a little context on why always goes a long way for me. A few thoughts on why we are commanded to praise God:
- Because he is worthy of our praise. You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being (Revelation 4:11).
- Because it is pleasant for us. Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant (Psalm 135:3).
- Because it builds our faith. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:3-5).
- Because it silences our enemies. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger (Psalm 8:2).
- Because he enjoys it. God inhabits the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3).