By Mike Willis
The book of Psalms exhorts saints to praise the Lord, giving many reasons for offering praise to God. Perhaps one reason some do not attend worship services as frequently as they should is because they do not consider why men should worship God. Consider these reasons for offering praise to God:
1. His attributes. “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psa. 145:8,9). Were God not compassionate, gracious, merciful, and slow to anger, each of us would have been instantly destroyed because of his sin. However, because the Lord is gracious, he has extended his unmerited favor to forgive us. Because he is slow to anger, he gives us time to repent. Because of the nature of the God whom I serve, I have the hope of salvation. I should bow before God in thanksgiving, praising his name, because of his attributes.
2. His work in creation. I should also praise God for his work in creation. The Lord “laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coverest it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. . . . He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field. . . . He watered the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth. . . .O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches” (Psa. 104).
3. His Work in Sustaining Creation. “Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry” (Psa. 147:7-9). The psalmist looked beyond the secondary causes of nature to the God who sustains this world. He recognized that God “upholds all things by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3), that “by him all things consist” (Col. 1:17). Surely we can join the twenty-four elders in praising God saying, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).
4. His Work in Redemption. The angels around the throne of God sang this chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing” (Rev. 5:12). When we consider the work of the Lord in human redemption, we should be motivated to praise him. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). His love for mankind caused him to sacrifice his only begotten Son in order that we might be redeemed from sin. “Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died; He our rock, our hope of eternal salvation; Hail Him! Hail Him. Jesus, the Crucified!”
5. His Concern For Me. The psalmist found another reason to praise God in his watching over him. “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul” (Psa. 138:3). The 107th Psalm lists several occasions when men “cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distress” (v. 6). Then he exhorted, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men” (v. 8). “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. . . ” (Psa. 107:1-2). The Lord’s awareness of me and my needs is emphasized in the statement that the very hairs of my head are numbered (Lk. 12:7). If God watches over the sparrows “and not one of them is forgotten before God,” he surely watches over me because I am “of more value than many sparrows” (Lk. 12:6,7). I thank God that he is aware of my needs; he hears me when I call.
“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me” (Psa. 56:8,9). “1 am weary with my groanings; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping” (Psa. 6:6-8).
Indeed, I lift my voice in praise to God because he cares, enough for me to hear my prayers and to answer them. My God is a God who hears my prayers (Psa. 65:2).
The Sin of Ingratitude
One of the characteristics of a godless world is that men become “unthankful” (2 Tim. 3:2). An unthankful man is one who consumes that which another provides without pausing to say, “Thank you.” A few times I have been the victim of another’s unthankfulness. I remember taking a couple to a fine restaurant and buying them dinner. They never said “thank you” or even acknowledged that they enjoyed the meal or the evening together. Even though I did not take them to lunch with the purpose of having them in my debt, I was touched by their ingratitude to the extent that I have no desire to take them out again. This is ingratitude.
The ingratitude which seems shocking in human relationships is typical of many toward God. We consume all of his blessings without pausing to acknowledge the Giver of all our gifts. Some even resent the hour(s) of worship as impositions on their time.
Because of God’s many gifts toward mankind, all men should assemble to offer homage to his name. We should lift our voices in praise to our wonderful God. Will you join me in worshiping him?
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heav’nly hosts;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
– Thom. Ken
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 22, pp. 674, 694
November 19, 1987