Saturday, 4th July 2020
Title: A Lesson in Praise
Author: Pastor Soong Kok Kee
1 Praise the LORD.[a]
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.
How often do we praise God? Even as a Pastor, I confess that I pray to ask God for things rather than to praise Him. This last Psalm in the book of Psalms tells us where to praise, why we’re to praise, how we’re to praise, and who should offer praise.
Where do we praise?: In God’s “sanctuary” and “mighty heavens” (v.1). Many Christians have been calling their churches to find out when can they gather together again in church to praise and worship God. True, many churches have worship services on Zoom or through Youtube these past three months because of the MCO, but it’s not the same as getting together physically to praise and worship God in His sanctuary. We all missed that very much indeed!
Praise the Lord, as Pantai Baptist Church will be having its first service on 12th July 2020 but under strict SOP. We welcome all of you to join us, those who can of course.
Also, we are to praise God in the “mighty heavens”, which we are to wait until our time comes. But our brothers and sisters who have gone before us are doing that right now along with all the heavenly hosts. Praise the Lord!
Why do we praise?: First, because of what God does. He performs “acts of power.” Matthew Henry says “for all the instances of his might, the power of his providence, the power of his grace, what he has done in the creation, government, and redemption of the world, for the children of men in general, for his own church and children in particular”.
Second, because of who God is. The psalmist praised Him for “his surpassing greatness” (v.2). The all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient) and all-present (omnipresent) creator God of the whole universe. Who else can we praise but Him?
How should we praise?: With all kinds of instruments used in the temple-service – trumpet, harp, lyre, tambourine, strings, flute and cymbals. Loudly. Softly. Soothingly. Enthusiastically. Rhythmically. Boldly. Unexpectedly. Fearlessly.
In other words, we praise God in many and various ways and on many occasions (vv. 3-5), and with dancing too. Remember King David “danced before the Lord with all his might” (2 Sam 6:14). Let us not be too critical the next time we see brothers and sisters dance as they worship the Lord.
Who should praise?: “Everything that has breath” (v.6). Young and old. Rich and poor. Weak and strong. Every living creature. God’s will is for everyone He gave the breath of life to use that breath to acknowledge His power and greatness. All of His creation: The singing of the birds, the rushing sound of the gentle wind that breezes through the leaves, the falling rain, the ocean waves and even stones which have no breath when our Lord said in Luke 19:40 “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” (NLT).
Yes, we all who has breath need to praise the Lord and here in this Psalm no less than thirteen times saying Praise the Lord or Hallelujah. Can we do less?
PRAYER: Thank you Lord for reminding us to praise you for who you are and what you have done in the universe and in our lives. Please forgive us for always asking you for things and for doing things for us. You have already given us breath, life and provided all our needs and, above all, your one and only son Jesus Christ to die for us on the cross so we may have forgiveness of sin and eternal life. We can never thank and praise you enough for all that you have so graciously blessed us with. In Jesus precious name we pray, AMEN.
我们在哪里赞美？在上帝的 “圣所 ”及在他 “显能力的穹苍”(第1节)。许多基督徒打电话给他们的教会，想知道什么时候能聚集在教堂里赞美和敬拜上帝。诚然，过去三个月里，由于行动管制令，很多教堂都在线上进行崇拜聚会。但这和在圣所聚在一起赞美和敬拜上帝并不一样。我们确实都非常怀念在圣所崇拜！
我们为何赞美？首先，因着上帝的所作所为。他有“大能的作为”。 马太·亨利（Matthew Henry）说： “这关乎他的全能，他的旨意和恩典所彰显的能力；他在创造、体制和拯救世界各个方面所做的事，为了普世的男女老少，特别是为他自己的教会及儿女所做的一切。”
第二，因着上帝是谁。 诗人赞美他“大能的作为”（2节）。 全能的、无所不知、无所不在、全宇宙的创造者。 除了他，我们还能赞美谁呢？
我们应该如何赞美？在圣殿敬拜中使用各种乐器 ，如角、鼓瑟、琴、鼓、丝弦的乐器、箫、长笛和钹。 高声地、轻轻的、舒缓地、踊跃地、 有节奏地、大胆地、出乎预料地、无所畏惧地。
换句话说，我们用许多不同的方式在各种场合赞美上帝（第3-5节），并跳舞。记得大卫王” 在耶和华面前极力跳舞”（撒母耳记下6:14）。 如果我们看到弟兄姐妹们在敬拜主时跳舞，让我们不要过于批评。
谁应该赞美？”凡有气息的”(第6节)。老少、贫富、 弱者和强者、每个生物 。上帝的旨意是让每个他给了生命气息的人，用这气息来承认他的能力和伟大。 他所有的创作：鸟儿的歌唱，轻风吹过树叶的冲击声、落下的雨水、海浪、甚至没有气息的石头。我们的主在路加福音19:40说： “若是他们闭口不说 ，这些石头必要呼叫起来.”
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