Oh That Men Would Praise the Lord
“Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.” — Psalm 107:21-22
The Call To Praise
The Psalmist calls upon all men to lift the praises of the Lord. Without debate, God is worthy to be praised. The God I speak of is the Creator of heaven and earth, sea and sky, and all that is in them. He has given life to every living creature on this planet. He has breathed the breath of life into all humanity. Nothing exists without Him and everything owes its ability to live or thrive successfully to Him. He upholds the law of creation and consistency in His hands and all things exist and consist due to His will and by His power. He is worthy to be praised simply because He alone is God. There are not multiple “Gods” in this world; there is only one. He is the magnificent, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God of the Bible. And the Psalmist tells us that He is worthy to be praised. When humanity is thankful for life and acknowledges the God of creation, God is well pleased and will continually draw that man toward an intimate relationship with Him. For those who refuse to be thankful or who even refuse to acknowledge His existence, the wrath of God will abide upon their lives. Every man should hear and answer the call to praise the living God.
The Reasons For Praise
“Why should I praise the Lord?” a man may ask. The Psalmist declares that God is a good God! This same God saw the need of man’s redemption and sacrificed His own Son in order to provide forgiveness and freedom from both the penalty and power of sin—for all those who would believe. It is God’s will that every man should participate in the salvation afforded by Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:9). Whosoever will may come and drink of the water of life that He offers freely! His wonderful salvation exhibited toward and offered to mankind makes Him worthy of our praise. And for those who have come into covenant relationship with Him through faith in Christ, His goodness and His covenant benefits abound. These benefits can be realized in our present and will produce beneficial consequences for all eternity. His graciousness toward believers is amazingly and outstandingly marvelous. Just when we need Him, He appears on the scene with the exact provision required. We are to praise Him for His expressed goodness toward us and the wonderful work of salvation which He has made available to all.
The Sacrifice Of Praise
The Psalmist also declares that those who are in covenant relationship with the Lord should prepare themselves to sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving. What does this mean? It means there will be times in the lives of believers when circumstances will be very difficult and seemingly impossible to lift our voices and praise the Lord. Thanksgiving and praise will seem conflicting to our present surroundings. It will make no sense that we should glorify and thank Him for all that He does for us. Situations will surely arise that will threaten our faith and call us to doubt the goodness of God and even the reality of God. Powers of darkness will sit on our shoulders and speak to us the lies of the enemy. They will tell us that God is not real. They will speak to us that God does not care. They will try to tell us that God is busy somewhere other than where we are. But the lies of our spiritual enemies must not stop us from being willing to praise God. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.
Faith admits the presence of adversity, it does not deny it. Faith does not try to confess untoward situations away or ignore the fact of their existence. Faith acknowledges the attacks of the enemy but does not fail to turn its eyes toward God in a time of great difficulty or heartache. In these times, praise becomes a sacrifice. We do not feel like praising the Lord. We wonder even if we should. But God’s Word declares that He is forever worthy of praise. It is our responsibility to express heartfelt thanksgiving at all times. So with a face wet with tears, we lift our eyes to the heavens and declare that our God is faithful. We continue to believe that He is loving, full of goodness, and interested in our situation. We put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We give to Him all glory, despite what we are going through. Our faith declares that He is always worthy and is greatly to be praised. We will offer to Him the sacrifice of praise!
The problem with Christians occurs when they fail to understand that they truly are complete in Christ. Christ has totally fulfilled the law on our behalf. By being united with Him God declares and views us as righteous. This is true in respect to our initial justification, but what many believers fail to see is that this also is true in respect to our progressive sanctification. No laws of men, rules of religion, or attempts to keep selected portions of the Mosaic law are necessary. In fact, they are a great hindrance and hurt to the believer. For the believer is actually attempting to be married to both law (any law) as well as to Christ. We have been freed from the law so that we might be married singularly, exclusively, marvelously, to Christ alone. In Him is our freedom, our joy, our peace, and our blessings (both physical and spiritual). We were freed from the law that we might be joined to Christ. There can be nothing better!
The Witness Of Praise
The believer is also instructed to declare the works of God accompanied with rejoicing. This reveals a grateful heart. A person who has been the beneficiary of God’s supernatural supply and prominent provision should openly declare that his God has done what no one else could ever do. If God has been good to you, then let the world know it. Declare publicly whenever and to whomever you can how wonderful God is. Declare how magnificently He has kept His promises and worked His wonders on your behalf. The world does not need to know about another ritualistic religious relationship with an uncaring God. They need to know about the relationship that we have with the living God who comes to our defense; who meets our every need. The one who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think. Our God is worthy to receive thanksgiving and praise!
Oh that men would praise the Lord!