“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Psalm 107:8 (NKJ)
Our text for today’s WordBytes comes from the 107th division of the Psalms. There is nothing more gratifying to the soul than to praise the Lord during private devotions. It is the soul’s release which allows our innermost being to render tokens of gratitude and adoration to the Lord. That power is multiplied when experienced in corporate worship with other believers. The psalms found in this fifth division lend themselves to an overall liturgical purpose befitting public worship for the Jewish people of that time and for us today.
Sometimes, however, we become so entangled with the events of our lives that we forget to take time to praise. We overlook the fact that our praise and worship is not only pleasing to God, but it’s also the quickest way to access the power and provision of the Lord. Why is that true? Because the Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3). This imperative to “praise the LORD” is repeated four times (vv. 8, 15, 21, 31). In this psalm it is to impress its importance as we journey through this life.
Oh that men would praise the LORD. Men must be reminded to praise God. They become bound to personal agendas and circumstances, leaving little room or time to praise God. Praise is squandered on mortal man with his accomplishments, often forgetting that God created the universe, thrones, principalities and powers. All things were created by Him and for Him (Col. 1:16). To praise God for His greatness is to acknowledge His authority and sovereign rule. It’s interesting to observe that the angels are not commanded to praise God–they do it willingly (Rev. 5:11-14; 7:11-12).
For His goodness. To say, “God is good”, is to trivialize His true nature and character. Goodness (hesed) in Hebrew means “unfailing, loyal love.” It is often based on a prior relationship, in this case, our covenant relationship with God. As believers, we have entered into an everlasting covenant with God, through His Son and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This New Covenant promises us restoration of our relationship with God (Rom. 5:1), forgiveness of sin (Matt. 26:27-28), sonship (1 John 3:1-2), and an eternal inheritance (Heb. 9:15).
For His wonderful works to the children of men. In reading Psalm 107, God’s “wonderful works” are His acts of mercy to those whom He had entered into covenant relationship with. These wonderful works are amazing and cause us to be astounded as God intervened on behalf of mankind. After men “cried unto the LORD” (vv. 6, 13, 19, 28) and had come to “their wits’ end” (27), it was God who “led them out and brought them forth.” It was God who “healed and restored, delivered and saved.” Then men lifted their voices in worship and praise (vv. 22, 32).
As believers, we have much to praise God for each day. We should praise Him for the “works” He performs on our behalf–for protection and provision and for grace and mercy. God is worthy of our praise for His love, for salvation and for eternal life. We ought to enter into perpetual praise throughout the day, as the angels do in heaven. We have even more reason to praise God than the angels in that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
Good to the Last Byte…
God loves hearing our praise. Brother Lawrence in The Practice of the Presence of God asked this question about praise: “Who will be guilty of the folly of withholding even for a moment the reverence and the love, the service and the unceasing worship, that we owe to Him?” How do you plead? Innocent or guilty?