Randy Aly tells the story of an elderly sister who dearly loved the Lord and often her cup of joy overflowed. Her favorite expression was, “Praise the Lord!”
Sometimes in worship services during the sermon, she would just shout out, “Praise the Lord!” This display of emotion disturbed the preacher’s train of thought and bothered him. So, he thought how he might kindly discourage her outbursts.
The woman was very poor, and therefore the minister had an idea. He offered her a parcel of groceries every month only if she would only refrain from saying, “Praise the Lord!” during his sermons.
Since she greatly needed the groceries, she did her best to earn them on the minister’s terms. For many Sundays, she kept perfectly quiet during the sermon.
One day, however, the minister preached on forgiveness of sin, with its attendant blessings and joys. And as he preached, the old woman thought less and less of the groceries, and more and more of the joys of salvation. Finally, she could stand it no longer. To everyone’s surprise, she cried out: “Groceries or NO groceries – PRAISE THE LORD!”
This sister’s attitude was exactly like the great man of God, David, in the Old Testament. Regardless of the circumstance, situation or challenge David had a heart for praising God. 39 times in the Psalms we read the expression “praise the Lord.”
This is our second post from Psalm 34:1-3 which contains five words that glorify God.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
Friday we discussed the expression “Bless the Lord.” Today, we want to consider what it means to have the Lord’s praise continually in our mouth.
The word “praise’ denotes the quality or attribute of a thing or a person. There are several Hebrew words for praise, including halal, from which we get the word Hallelujah. This word, Tehillah, which is used 57 times in the Old Testament can be used to represent a song of praise, laud God’s glory, or speak of His praiseworthy deeds.
David was the recipient of God’s gracious and wonderful works. Whether David was experiencing good times or difficulties he could always see God’s goodness and focused on praise instead of problems.
David praised the Lord in the congregation of His people (Ps 111:1) The assembly was not just a place to go, but an opportunity to offer praise to the Lord. It was a heartfelt expression of David’s love for the Lord and his daily walk with Him.
Moses reminded Israel before entering the promised land of the wonderful works of God and how He was worthy of their praise, “He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes” (Deut. 10:21)
Likewise, David’s praise was not restricted to one day of worship, but a daily recognition of God’s praiseworthiness. In the Psalms we read of special ways in which the Lord’s praise was on his lips.
He praised the Lord for his wonderful works of creation. The sun, moon and stars sings the praise of God. Their beauty is a constant reminder that the Lord has been good to mankind.
He acknowledged and thanked God for making man in His image and crowning him with glory and honor. Indeed, we have been given a spark of the divine nature. We are made just a little lower than the angels and higher than the animal kingdom.
David praised the Lord for His providence. For his protection. For his provisions. The Psalmist acknowledged God’s daily presence in His life. He knew that God was near. That God cared. And that God hear His prayers.
He praised God for the relationships that He has given to us. Friends, family, and brethren who share our faith make life enjoyable, provide fulfillment and offer help through life’s trials.
Take time to read the Psalms. Practically every page is filled with praise. Indeed the Lord has been mindful of mankind. Praise the Lord!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman