AN EXHORTATION TO PRAISE GOD

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    [Psalms:33:1-22].

    Lesson No.: 
    31
    Class: 
    Senior
    Memory Verse: 

    “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High" (Psalm 92:1).

    Cross References: 

    I. The Praise of God Our Duty and Privilege
    1. The worship and praise of God is the privilege as well as the duty of the righteous, [Psalms:33:1].
    2. In addition we are to praise Him with musical instruments, [Psalms:33:2]; [Psalms:150:1-6].
    3. We are also to sing praises to Him, [Psalms:33:3]; [Psalms:149:1-9]; [Ephesians:5:19-20]; [Colossians:3:16].

    II Some Reasons for Our Praise of God as Demonstrated in the Past
    1. We should praise Him for His powerful Word as manifested in the creation, [Psalms:33:4], [Psalms:33:6], [Psalms:33:8-9]; [Psalms:148:1-6].
    2. We should praise Him for the wonderful works He has performed for our benefit, [Psalms:33:4], [Psalms:33:6-7], [Psalms:33:9]; [Psalms:148:7-14], [Isaiah:12:1-6].
    3. We should praise Him for His truth, righteousness, and goodness -- eternal attributes revealed to us by His dealing with men, [Psalms:33:4-5].
    4. We should praise Him for His righteous judgments, demonstrated in His attitude toward the heathen, [Psalms:33:5], [Psalms:33:8], [Psalms:33:10]; [Romans:1:19-21].
    5. We should praise Him for His infinite wisdom and love, evidenced by His concern for the welfare of all men, [Psalms:33:4], [Psalms:33:8], [Psalms:33:10-11]; [Romans:11:33-36].

    III Some Present Reasons for Our Praise of God
    1. He is mindful of and extends His blessing to those that love and honour Him, [Psalms:33:12-15].
    2. The strength of men is only weakness, [Psalms:33:16-17]; [Psalms:20:7]; [Psalms:118:8-9].
    3. God's love is manifested by His provision for our daily spiritual and physical needs, [Psalms:33:18-19]; [Luke:12:22-31]; [John:3:16]; [Romans:8:38-39].
    4. The benediction: Our utter dependence upon God, [Psalms:33:20-22]; [Jude:1:24-25].

    Notes: 

    Our memory verse states that it is a "good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises" to the name of the most High. The text of our lesson opens with a commandment to all Christian people, that they should rejoice in the Lord and praise Him in every possible way. So we see, from these passages, that praise is not to be an irregular, haphazard, or casual thing, but should be a constant, ever-present part of our daily life, and most certainly a part of our public worship of God.

    This wonderful Psalm is so clearly written, and so thoroughly covers the subject of praise, that little needs to be written to guide the reader into its depths and riches. The Holy Spirit through the agency of the writer, is seeking to show us that the praise of God is not only the privilege of a Christian, but his duty as well, since it is expressly commanded by God Himself. Christ came to put praise in our hearts, for we read in Isaiah:61:3 that one object of His mission to earth was to give "beauty far ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" that we might be called "trees of righteousness."

    We see, in our study of this gem from the treasure-book of the Psalms, that every method known to man is to be used in our praise of God. The Bible elsewhere tells us that the forces of nature praise Him, and that the sun, moon, stars, and the heavens themselves worship and praise their Creator. The Bible opens with what is called the "Creation Hymn," and Job speaks of the morning stars singing together at the dawn of creation. We can also read an account in Revelation describing a grand chorus of ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, that sing around the throne of God. In Heaven everybody will sing!

    But we do not have to wait until we get to Heaven to enjoy this soul-inspiring experience. The Psalms were originally written to be sung, and even in their translations retain a poetic beauty that excels the rarest literary gems of secular writing. Moses taught the Children of Israel to sing; and one of their judges, Deborah, praised God in an immortal song of victory. David was an excellent musician, for he played in the court of the king; and we understand that he sang the praises of God with all his heart.

    In Bible times they had many instruments of music, not as mechanically perfect as ours today, perhaps, but nevertheless capable of producing sweet music and vibrant strains of melody. There were many varieties of stringed and brass instruments, among them being the harp, psaltery, flute, pipe, horn and trumpet; and in addition they had drums, timbrel, and cymbals, which are percussion instruments designed to be struck or beaten. The Psalmist David used all of these in his orchestra, which we are told numbered 4,000, that he might render effective praise to the Lord ([1 Chronicles:23:5]).

    Jesus quoted the Psalms freely and referred to them many times and said that many of the things written in them were about Him. Those Psalms that especially tell of Christ's coming to earth we call the Messianic Psalms. Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn after they had partaken of the Lord's Supper, before they went to the garden where Jesus was to be betrayed. Even His dying words, while on the cross, were quotations from those wonderful writings.

    After Jesus ascended we find the church still praising God in this manner. Primitive Christians, in their makeshift places of worship -- many times dens and caves secluded from the observation of the non Christians because of the intense persecution of those days -- continued to praise God in song and spoken words of praise. In his writings the Apostle Paul told the early church -- and us also -- that all Christians should speak to each other in the praise of God by the medium of "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." Then, as the worship of God became more universal, and on down through the Dark Ages -- with the error and darkness of those spiritually benighted days -- Christians have fed their faith and warmed their love with these consoling songs.

    "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High" Let us not forget the admonition of this verse or the stirring phrases of the text of our lesson which are written to show us the way to a godly life on earth and the preparation for a life in Heaven, where we shall spend all eternity in worship and praise of the One Who bought us with His own blood and redeemed us from the hand of the enemy.

    Questions: 

    1. Are we under any obligation to praise God?
    2. In what ways did the early Christians praise God?
    3. The Psalms were originally written for what purpose?
    4. For what are we to praise God?
    5. If we are faithful in our praise to God, what can we expect in return?
    6. Who wrote most of the Psalms?
    7. What is the first "hymn" in the Bible?
    8. How many people are to be in the great chorus that sings praises around the Throne of God?
    9. What name has been given to the Psalms that prophesy of Jesus?
    10. How can we praise God?