“Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD;
Praise [Him], O you servants of the LORD!”
Psalms 135:1 NKJV
As people, we all like praise. We want to be recognized for our accomplishments. We also love it when others join in the celebration with us. We want the light to shine on us. We want to boast and brag when we do something commendable.
We see this acted out over and over in our lifetimes. From the little kid that shows everyone how he can ride a bike, to the girl who gets straight A’s on her report card, we crave praise. We brag about our degrees, our first jobs, our promotions, our careers, and eventually our kids and grand kids.
Every industry has a reward season. From Oscars and Grammy's to salesmen of the year plaques, we want to be recognized and valued.
As people, we also want to give praise to others. This month, we will honor and praise our mothers. We will also honor our graduates. And next month we will honor dad. We display our trophies and hang our plaques proudly.
We even like to vicariously accept praise for others as well. When our sports teams win, we brag like we were on the team. However, when someone we mentored does well, we feel like we had something to do with their success. That is why grandparents are so proud of their grandchildren’s accomplishments.
When it comes to what we do at RoS on Sundays, there is only One person we should Praise. That Person is Jesus Christ our Lord. The psalmist makes it clear. We are to “Praise the Lord!” He and He alone is worthy of our praise.
The Hebrew word for praise is halal. It is a shortened form of hallelujah. It literally means to “flash forth light”. It can also mean “to make a show.” In other words, the spotlight is God’s and God’s alone when it comes to worship.
The psalmist also tells us to “Praise the name of the Lord”. This aspect of the word praise means “to boast, glory, commend or to be worthy of praise”. As believers in Christ, our boast is not in ourselves, but in Him and in His name. The New Testament is very clear that all our boasting is in the name that is above all names, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The final statement about praise from the psalmist is a direct command to believers: “Praise [Him], O you servants of the Lord!” The last definition is “to celebrate”. As servants, we come together to celebrate Him. This implies a relationship in order to celebrate. Although we can worship God as individuals, for praise to have its complete and full meaning, it must be done with others who celebrate the same Person as you.
One interesting thing to note about praise is found further into the Strong’s definition. If we are not careful, our praise can be turn negative. The word used to describe it is: “to stultify”. The Google definition of stultify is “cause to lose enthusiasm and initiative, especially as a result of a tedious or restrictive routine.
The synonyms include: hamper, impede, obstruct, thwart, frustrate, suppress, and repress. Our praise, if we are not careful, can become a dull, repressive, routine.
It is my prayer that when we enter the worship center each week at RoS that we truly come and praise Him. Let us be known as a church that celebrates the Savior together each and every week.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.