The focus of praise


Here is Part 2 from a commentary on Psalm 148-150 by Sam Storms of Enjoying God Ministries:

Second, the focus of such adoration is always and ever God alone for who he is and what he’s done. We do not worship the world or revere the reflection. We fix our hearts on the Original, the Source, the First Cause of all subsequent causes (see Ps. 148:5-6, 13-14).

We are to “praise him for his mighty deeds” and “according to his excellent greatness” (Ps. 150:2). There is a limit to praise only if there is a limit to God. Ah, but there is an infinite plenitude to his greatness that our worship could never exhaust.

Third, worship is an exhilarating experience, both for God and us! We are to “be glad” in our Maker and to “rejoice” in our King (Ps. 149:2). We are to “exult in glory” and “sing for joy” (Ps. 149:5a), even while on our “beds” (Ps. 149:5b). Whether as we go to bed, or perhaps during seasons of sleeplessness, or as we rise up in the morning, or even when laid prostrate from affliction, let praise fill our hearts and mouths.

Why is worship so pleasing and satisfying? Because, as C. S. Lewis noted,

“all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless . . . shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. . . . Except where intolerably adverse circumstances interfere, praise almost seems to be inner health made audible” (94).

I think we delight to praise what we enjoy, said Lewis,

“because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed” (95).

In worship we see and God is seen, and in both is unrivaled pleasure, ours and his! We enjoy him who is eternally enjoyable and he enjoys being exalted in our enjoyment!

God commands that we “praise his name with dancing” and make “melody to him with tambourine and lyre” (149:3) because he “takes pleasure” in his people when they do (149:4a).

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