My passage this week is another one from Psalms. The song from Seeds Family Worship’s Seeds of Praise is called “Praise Him,” and the Scripture selection is Psalm 148:1-5. Seeds used the 1984 NIV translation for their verses, but since that version is no longer included on the popular Bible sites I’m sharing the ESV.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!
3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
I’ve found myself in need of experiencing God’s love lately. I have been filling my mind with Scripture, which has led to greater understanding, obedience, and sharing with others, but I want to know God’s love for me in my heart in a deeper way. I think one way I can do this is to (as this Psalm says) praise the Lord!
I looked up the definition of praise and found it helpful:
-the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something.
-the expression of respect and gratitude as an act of worship.
I also found some word history for praise; the Middle English and French uses of the word give a sense of setting a price on or attaching value to something.
So to praise God’s name (which we know includes the scope of his character) is to express approval, admiration, respect, and gratitude. To praise God’s name is to acknowledge his value. When I do that, I must humble myself. Because if he is the one whose command created the heavens and the earth and ME, that means he is worthy and my place before him is to be one of humility. But even in my humble place in comparison to his majesty, he provides for my salvation (which is alluded to later in Psalm 148:14).
This provision of salvation is because of God’s great love for us.
So we give praise to God because of the natural order of things and just who he is (God’s being greater than we are in every way), but we also give praise out of thankfulness for what he has done for us (provided a way to redemption). And what he has done for us was done out of love. So praise is an opportunity to accept the love God has for us and love him back.
I know there is more to praise than just what I have thought through above, but this is where I’m at right now as I reflect on Psalm 148.
My prayer is that the Spirit will lead me to praise, and as I ascribe to God what is due him, I will understand my relationship with him, which is only possible because of his love for me. I do not earn it, I cannot change it, but I can accept it and join all of creation in giving praise to our Creator God.
Here is a fun image for Psalm 148:1-5 from Bible Story Printables. They have materials for the entire Seeds of Praise album for anyone who might be interested.