What It Means To Praise
Praise the Lord!
We hear that often from people of many walks of life and perhaps often say it ourselves. What exactly does it mean to "praise" the Lord.
The dictionary would tell us that 'praise' (as a verb in action) means to express warm approval or admiration of. So, it would be to express warm approval or admiration of God, right?
But exactly what about God are we approving or admiring?
Just a few thoughts about that, not intended to be an all inclusive list by any means:
God is great and powerful, and we glorify Him because of it.
God is righteous, and we give Him the glory for it.
God shows us mercy, and we approve of that.
He, through Jesus, is our savior, and we appreciate that.
He is true to His word, faithful to us, and we glorify Him for that.
He takes care of us, and we approve of that.
In simple terms, we "praise" God because of Who He is, and what He has done for us (and continues to do). But neither of those are simple when we define them. God deserves our praise. God made us and He sustains us, by His mighty power. He is righteous by His nature, and can not be anything but righteous. He has no requirements or obligation to show us mercy but He chooses to. His mercy is a free gift we certainly don't deserve. He had a plan before time began to open a path for our salvation, and He sacrificed His only Son to make that plan happen. To say we appreciate that, doesn't even begin to describe our degree of debt to Him. We owe Him everything! We never have to worry about God's place or His intent. He remains true to His word, He is faithful to us, and because of these things, He is to be praised.
“Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever” (2 Chronicles 20:21) “I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness..." (Psalm 7:17) “The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, the Rock of my salvation!” (2 Samuel 22:47) "For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised" (Psalm 96:4)
The next time you hear or say, "Praise the Lord", think about His attributes that make us say that! And consider your position before Him in light of His greatness.