“Let the faithful rejoice in this honor. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds. Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands – to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains, to execute the judgement written against them. This is the glory of his faithful ones. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 149:5-9)
Yes, it is an honor to be able to praise God. Are we not His faithful ones, the ones He has given salvation, the ones He delights in? He calls us to ‘sing for joy as we lie on our beds.’ He call us to ‘let the praises of God be in our mouths’. Can’t you see? He calls us to praise Him where ever we are. To honor Him through praise in everything we do. Even when it seems the least necessary, like laying down on your bed.
Why is this so important? We know the purpose is to Glorify God, but let’s look at how he is glorified. God describes ‘His praises’ like ‘a sharp sword in your hands’. Later on in scripture it says, ‘for the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.’ God is glorified through the people that are impacted by the praises of God. The praises of God exposes the listeners to what is really there. So then, let us look at three people of importance.
The first is you. Praising God not only honors Him immediately but strengthens your relationship with Him. This brings even greater Glory to Him. God calls us as individuals to praise Him so that He becomes a continual part of our thoughts. He becomes our lives. You cannot hope to show others His Glory if the relationship you have with Him is not of praise. Being called as a child of God means becoming consumed with everything that He is. Praising God builds you up, step by step, to the place where you are totally consumed.
The second is your brothers and sisters in Christ. Praising God encourages those who worship Him to do the same. It builds each of us up in the Lord. It also enables us to be one, to Glorify God as a church. Do you realize that every time you pray to God you are praising Him? Just by trusting Him in prayer, you honor Him. How much more honor will He receive when it is done by the body as a whole? When it is done as one and as His Church. This is the way He intended it to be.
The third is those people who do not know Christ. Praising God reflects His Glory to those who need to see. It puts a marker between the world and God. We make it known that we stand on the side of God, no matter what the circumstances. When people see the joy that Christ gives us, then God can work in their hearts to search for the same joy. That is why God continues to describe further with words like, to ‘execute vengeance on the nations’ and ‘bind their leaders with iron chains’.
He knows, that to reject the Praises of God will only lead to death and destruction. That is what awaits those who are not His faithful ones, those who do not know the Praises of God. Should we not yearn to have the Praises of God be in our mouths for people to see?
‘With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name.’ The impact it has is far more than we can imagine. Let us also remember that praising Him is only possible through His Spirit which brings sincerity and humility in every way. The
‘Praises of God’ is the description not the praises of men or ourselves. Thank you Lord that it is always so. Amen.