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PRAISE, PART 2

During a visit to Grandma and Grandpa's, two young daughters watched from the breakfast table as a man came to the back door. When the visitor left, Grandpa explained he was an appraiser. "What's an appraiser?" the younger child asked. Before Grandpa could speak, the older sister quickly cleared up the matter: "He's a praiser. He goes to church every Sunday."' That is what we Christians are: praisers! (Psa. 9:11; 33:2; 67:3; Heb. 13:15).

WHAT IS WORSHIP? PRAISE.

How should we praise God? God should be praised wholeheartedly (Psa. 138:1). We should show enthusiasm, though not disorder (I Cor. 14:40). The Jew's word for "praise' (halal) literally means, "to shout." The Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, "stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high" (2 Chron. 20:19; cf. Ezra 3:1 lb; Lk. 19:37). The righteous are "to triumph in thy praise" (Psa. 106:47), which literally means, "to address in a loud tone."3 Since we should praise God by singing ("I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel," Jd. 5:3; cf Ex. 15: 1; 32:18; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), what does this say about the person who is so afraid another will hear that she sings only in a whisper? Donald Hustad remarked, "Somehow, about forty percent of churchgoers seem to have picked up the idea that 'singing in church is for singers.'  The truth is that  'singing is  for  believers! 

The relevant question is not, 'Do you have a voice?' but 'Do you
have a song?    (Psa. 9: 1; Jas. 5:13; Psa. 8 1: 1). We may be like 3 year old, Katherine, who was jumping and singing around the house, as her mommy listened. She was singing, "I love you, Lord, and I lift my noise!"-' If it is from the heart, it sounds good to God (Psa. 28:2; Isa. 40:9; 58: 1). Let's say with the Psalmist: "I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude" (109:30). 

Why should we praise God? It is our job. God adopted us for the purpose of praising Him ("the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself .. to the praise of the glory of his grace," Eph. 1:5,6; cf. Jer. 13:11). The very purpose of life might be summed: "...to show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light" (I Pet. 2:9; cf. Isa. 43:2 1). Jan Van Ruysbroeck remarked that it may be that "He who does not praise God while here on earth shall in eternity be dumb." As Christians, we are commanded to think  on" praise (Phil. 4:8), which includes giving thought to reasons for praising God. Luci Shaw prayed, "Make of our hearts a field to raise your praise." We should not simply use the same tired phrases in our prayers. There are so many reasons to praise God that we can easily vary praise from prayer to prayer.

It is our joy. When we come to know God, we naturally praise Him for who He is. It is as normal to be in awe of God as it is to be in awe of a breathtaking mountain view or a powerful summer
storm - only  less sensory and more cerebral. Those who have learned of Jehovah agree: "For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods" (I Chron. 16:25). A favorite verse of many young people goes: "I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised. so shall I be saved from mine enemies" (2 Samuel 22:4). A wise man wondered, "Who is like unto thee, 0 LORD, among the gods? who is Re thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?" (Ex. 15:11). To ask is to answer. We praise God for His power (Psa. 21:13); we praise God for the beauty of His holiness (2 Chron. 20:2 1); we praise God for His goodness and mercy (Ezra 3:11; Jer. 33:11).

When we come to God, we naturally praise Him for what He has done. "Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness" (Psa. 150:2). He made us: "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well" (Psa. 139:14). God has made each of us a living musical instrument, so to speak, capable of showing forth His praise. Each of us is like a harp of a thousand strings on which the most varied and beautiful music may be played.

He delivered us (Ex- 15:11; 2 Sam. 22:50; Jer. 20:13). When Israel'schildren learned that  God had heard  their cry and  wassending a deliverer (Moses), they "bowed their heads and worshipped" (Ex. 4:3 1). When Moses learned that God kept "...mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin..." he "made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped" (Ex. 34:7,8). Worship, distilled, is thanksgiving for salvation (Psa. 69:30-32; 71:8,14; 86:5,15; 92:1-8; 95:1-7; 100:4; 150:6).

He gave us His Truth (Psa. 138:2). "In God I will praise his word..." (Psa. 56:4). "1 will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth" (Isa. 25: 1 b).

He blesses us. When we attempt to number our innumerable blessings (Jas. 1: 17), it puts us in a worshipful mood. It is an unthankful heart that shuns worship. When the eldest servant of Abraham's house played matchmaker for young Isaac, he devised a plan to determine which girl the Lord approved. When the sign was given, with a thankful heart he "bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD"  (Gen. 24:26,48,52)."

He answers our prayers (Psa. 118:2 1).

A rural brother, considered old-fashioned,  visited a great city congregation. As the eloquent minister drove home some great truth, the country brother shouted, "Praise the Lord!" An usher quickly touched him on the arm and whispered, "Be quiet. You can't 'praise the Lord' in this church." While we may not express our praise in this manner, may we never go through a service where the Lord is not praised.

Actually, these are additional reasons to be in awe of Him, since they are His handiwork (Psa. 19: 1). 'This is only the second time the word worship in used in the Bible.