Give Praise to God -Psalm 105:1-4

The Lord God Almighty Is Worthy Of All Praise

1 Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
2 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4 Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.

Profoundly Praise

The heart of this Psalm is praising the Lord for what He has done.  The author immediately begins with a command to praise God: not just in private; but to announce to the world what He has done.  As image-bearers of God, we are to loudly proclaim, as the works of His hands, the glory of the One who created everything and even now directs the paths we take.

It brings great glory to God when His people, who are called by His name, proclaim what God has done.  Not only what God has done in the past (as recorded in the Bible), but also what God is doing right now.  After the fall of man through Adam, God hasn’t rested.  He has constantly been at work in the lives of everyone and in the order, motion, and the progression of all things that are occurring.

We would do well to remember that God’s name, YHWH, means “I am He who exists and is dynamically involved in your life.”  We are to publicly praise God for who He is and what He has done.  The Psalmist next describes three ways to do this.

Symphony of Song

The first way that we can praise God is through singing.  When you have time (OK, you can stop laughing now…), search through the Bible for the words sing, singing, sang, and sung.  Throughout the Bible, the only times that these words are used are when human beings are using their voices in song.  Nowhere does it say that angels, who are mightier than humans, express their praise to God in song.  The angels proclaim the glory of God, but they don’t sing of it (at least the Bible doesn’t record that anywhere).  But we are told to make music and sing to God as part of our praise and worship of Him.

Singing God’s praise may be a function that is given only to humans, in that singing evokes an emotional response that resonates within us.  The angels will never know of the glorious and inexpressible joy that we have from our release of the bondage of sin and invitation and acceptance into the household of God.  We have been given the great opportunity to make a joyful noise to the Lord in gratitude for all that He has done.  Even if you sing out of key, or can barely make a sound, use all of your might to express your joy to the Lord as best you can in song, for it is not only for the benefit of man that we sing praise about the Lord, but it is to extol and recount the glory of the Lord and His mighty works.  And when we make every effort to glorify God in song that expresses the deepest desires and emotional state of our hearts, it pleases God to hear us express it in this manner.

Revel and Rejoice

As part of our praise experience, we are to glory in His name and rejoice in our hearts as we contemplate all that God has done for us and through us.  Our hearts are to be tuned to praise God rather than ourselves or others.  Nehemiah said that the joy of the Lord is our strength.  We should have the attitude of gratitude when it comes to the Lord.  As we remember how the Lord has helped us and brought us through deep waters (our most difficult trials), our hearts will be tuned to rejoice in the One who has done all of these things.

See and Seek

And, as part of our praise, we should always look to the Lord and His strength, and seek His face always.  We are to constantly desire to be in the presence of the Lord God Almighty.  We are most protected and strengthened when we are in the will and the presence of the Lord.  When we make it our heart’s desire to seek the Lord in all things, our very lives pour themselves out to Him in a continual song of adoration and praise.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Do I have the attitude of gratitude?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, my heart rejoices in You.  May I ever seek Your face, and desire to be in Your presence.  When I sin, I am appalled at what I have done.  But when I repent, You are faithful to forgive and help me to draw close to You again.  Give me the strength to get back up when I have fallen.  Help me to recount all that You have done, that men may know of Your mighty works and deeds, and know Your heart that is filled with love for Your creation.  Give me a new song to sing, that my praise would be ever vibrant and changing, not a mere repetition of words to music, but a continual outpouring of praise and adoration towards You that is impossible to stop.  May all praise, honor, glory, power strength, and dominion be Yours forever and ever, Amen.

Want more? Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Blessing of God – Psalm 5:11-12

The Lord Is A Shield About The Righteous

11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Royal Refuge

God desires us to seek refuge in Him.  We are to go to God for all of our wants and desires.  It is God who is able to provide us with refuge from all things.  We can seek refuge from God in three ways:

Singing Songs

David was one of the most prolific song writers that we know of in the Bible.  Many of the Psalms were written by him.  David provided us with an example of joyful singing before God in praise and worship.  The Lord enjoys it when we worship Him in song.

Even for those who have not been blessed by God with a voice to sing, we are given a command to make a joyful noise to the Lord.  The Hebrew word eriou is a command and is literally translated “[raise a] shout you!”  Let your heart give praise to God in a shout for all He has done!

Bathed in Blessing

God blesses the righteous, and with the blood of Christ we are declared righteous before Him.  Oh, the many blessings of God!  We are blessed in that we are blessed!  If you ever want to see a short list of some of the most important blessings of God, read Ephesians chapters 1-3.

Sovereign Shield

God is a shield about us and the lifter of our heads.  He desires to gather us like chicks under His wings.  He is our refugeGod is our shieldNo one can snatch us out of His hand.  God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.  Even when we are in the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us.  He shields us from the second death.

There is nothing that God cannot sovereignly shield his people.  Yet we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.  God may use you as a witness to the unbelieving.  If this is the case, do not fear the tribulation that God has appointed you to bear.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question: Am I praising God as I seek refuge in Him?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are glorious and beautiful beyond description.  You shield us from so much more than we can possibly imagine.  Thank You for your vast and encompassing protection.  Help me, Father, to not forget all that You do in my life.  May my life be a blessing to You.  May Your praise be on my heart and my lips even as I suffer in this life, knowing that You will remove all pain and all tears in Your time.  Help me to endure and to faithful until You call me home.  This I ask and pray in the name of Your Perfect and Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

Perspective of God – Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
    declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

This is a form of Hebraic poetry.  It takes the form:

    B   –   B
  /               \
A                   A

Ellis Scolfield writes, “Hebrew poetry is parallel in nature. A Hebrew poet would say something one way and then repeat the same idea later on in different words. These repeats could be a sentence, a paragraph, or even several chapters long. So how can we identify repetitive prophecies when we see them? By recognizing the Hebrew poetic style in which it was written.  [Textual scholars call this type of repetition the bifidic form.]12  (Brackets added for quote reference clarification)

Isaiah reveals to us something that we should already know – God’s thoughts and ways are beyond ours.  We are so bound by time, that we generally don’t have an eternal perspective.  But there are other instances where this is apparent.  Isaiah shows us something unusual in Isaiah 57:1-2:

1 The righteous perish,
    and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
    and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
    to be spared from evil.
Those who walk uprightly
    enter into peace;
    they find rest as they lie in death.

We generally think that it is a great tragedy when someone is taken home to be with the Lord, especially if they are young.  But communicating with us through Isaiah the prophet, God says this is a blessing; that the righteous and devout are taken away to be spared from evil.  Oh, how we long for the influence of evil to finally end!  The pain and suffering it causes; its ripple effects sweeping people into chaos like a tsunami rushing inland.  It leaves destruction and loss everywhere it touches.  Rather than having to resist that force, and pick up the broken pieces, they are taken away, where they are with the Lord now and for eternity.

Our perspective is focused on the loss of their companionship, wisdom, fellowship, giftedness, relationship, and other factors in which we are immediately affected.  From God’s perspective, it is for their benefit that they are now with God, and no longer subject to the trials and temptations that afflict us until the glorious second coming of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  In this, we can see our selfishness at our perceived loss rather than their great gain.  And in our grief, sorrow, and mourning, we can all too soon forget that God’s sovereignty and perfect plan are in action, and that we will, in the lens of Eternity, see them again soon enough.

If you are mourning and grieving, your pain is real;  Let God comfort you through it.  And when you emerge on the other side, rejoice!  For He has done a wonderful thing and has blessed your loved one with the privilege of being in His presence and in final rest and peace from the evils of this world, soon to be reunited with you in glory!

 A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, my heart grieves the temporary loss of my friend and loved one.  Help me to work through the pain of loss.  Although I know that I will see them again when Your Beloved Son comes triumphantly in the sky, or possibly even sooner should You bless me with the opportunity to be in Your Presence before that great and terrible day, I am still in shock.  I am numb as I try to process this.  Please comfort me in my pain.  Uphold me, and restore normalcy to my daily routine.  Surround me with Your love as a mother hen gathers her chicks close to her under her wings.  Oh God, how it hurts!  Remember me this day, Lord, and give me the ability to just breathe.  This I ask and pray in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

[This post is dedicated to T. G., who recently lost his wife]

1 Packer-Tenny-White, The Bible Almanac, 1980, p349.

2 Ellis Scolfield, Bifids and Chiasms, [Unknown], p1.