Praise ye the Lord

Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. Ps. 147:1

Praise is comely, in this setting, when it is fitting (cf. ESV). In other words, there are two things that describe the worship of God by the saints: that it is both their duty and their desire, that it is pleasant and fitting. We don't normally connect these two things; often what is our duty is not our desire. There are many times where we do something because we have to, not because we want to.

But worship only honors God when we see his glory in such a way that we see that it is fundamentally an absolute right to give praise unto God, that to withhold worship would be an incalculable wrong. We need to feel the weight of the reality that to withhold from God the honor due his name would be an outrage of infinite proportions. Do we feel that? The word "glory" in Hebrew carries the connotation of weightiness. To speak or think of God is not to speak of light and airy nothings. It is to contemplate the one who comes to us as I AM THAT I AM (Exod. 3:14). To glorify God therefore is to feel the weight of this. It springs from a proper view of God as Creator and Sovereign over all, as holy and incomparably awesome.

However, we stop short if we do not feel a corresponding reality: that it is not only a matter of right but a matter of rejoicing to worship God. To see God rightly is to see and taste that he is good, that those who trust in him are truly blessed (Ps. 34:8). We praise the Lord out of a heart that is not only tempered by a proper fear but that has personally tasted the grace and goodness of God.

How can we come to see God's glory in this way? The answer is above all, in his Son. The apostle John wrote this: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (Jn. 1:14). To see his glory is to know that it is right to give him worship. But since this is glory that is "full of grace and truth," this is a glory that, seen through the eyes of faith in the work of Christ for us, leads to eternal and never-ending and ever-increasing joy.

By: Jeremiah Bass