God Causes Praise

For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Isaiah 61:11

The attributes of God are so exalted that, just by remembering them, praise will come from our lips. God is good, holy, worthy, merciful, almighty, righteous, sovereign, among many other qualities that make him worthy of all praise. But Isaiah 61:11 goes beyond all that. Praise sprouts from God himself, who places in us both the will and the work of giving praise, glory and honor to Him who lives forever.

There are other attributes and qualities of God that bring praise to the lips of those who take them into account. God is glorious, wise, great, majestic, strong, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, self-existent, protector, victor, clement, high, creator, eternal, provider and healer, among many exceptional characteristics. There are plenty of reasons to praise God.

Isaiah 61:11 points out another of God’s qualities that He brings forth together with praise, His righteousness. God is righteous and this is a great reason to praise Him. Psalms 45:6 says, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. The psalmist is praising the throne of God, which he calls the scepter of righteousness. While Psalms 71:19 says, Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?

God’s righteousness sprouts praise. In fact, Psalms 98 and 146 are entitled “Praise for the righteousness of God.” Not in vain did our Lord Jesus Christ say in Matthew 6:33, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Let’s seek the righteousness of God before any of the other things, praise the righteous and sprout praise along with His righteousness before the nations in the same way that the seed of the earth springs forth.

From Psalm 98 we learn how praise for God’s righteousness manifests itself. Psalms 98:4 says, Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. In that way we approach our righteous God, of whom Psalm 98:9 says the following: For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, and the peoples with equity.

Let our praise be as David expressed it in Psalms 35:28, And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long. Without a doubt that God’s righteousness and His praise go hand in hand. Thanks to His righteousness, we who have responded to His plan of salvation have been justified. That makes our lips full of praise for His love, for His forgiveness, for His grace and His salvation.

The final part of Paul’s prayer for believers is in Philippians 1:9-11 and it goes like this, And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Let’s fill ourselves with the fruits of justice for His praise. God bless you.

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God Does not Share His Praise with Images

I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images.

Isaiah 42:8

God is jealous and does not share His glory or His praise with sculptures or images. The Bible establishes very clearly the rejection of God towards all cult to images and sculptures. It is not necessary to be a gifted genius to understand this because everything is written in a plain language that does not require the interpretation of a scholar. The Scripture leaves no doubt that God and the images are incompatible. There are those who deceive themselves by saying that they do not worship images but admire them. By Isaiah 42:8, it is established that a simple eulogy to a sculpture is already rejected by God.

The prohibition of all kinds of worship, praise and adoration of images and sculptures is established in the second commandment of the Law of God. Exodus 20:4-6 says, You shall not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

For God all image and sculpture is an abomination. Deuteronomy 7:25-26 says about it, You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing. That means that even having images and sculptures in our house is a curse.

In Micah 5:13 we are again commanded not to bow down before the images, I will cut off your carved images and your sacred pillars from among you, so that you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. Sculptures and images are useless, as Habakkuk 2:18 says, What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it, the molded image, a teacher of lies, that the maker of its mold should trust in it, to make mute idols? And if sculptures and images do not work, why worship them?

The images produce anger and jealousy to God. Psalms 78:58 says, For they provoked Him to anger with their high places, and moved Him to jealousy with their carved images. If we really love God, why make him angry by practicing what He hates? But if that does not matter to you, look at what Leviticus 26:30 says about what will happen to the image worshipers, I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you.

Serving images is a shame, as Psalms 97:7 says, Let all be put to shame who serve carved images, who boast of idols. Worship Him, all you gods. Only before God should we prostrate ourselves and only to Him we will praise, He who does not share His praise with sculptures. Let us not be confused, according to what Isaiah 42:17 says, They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, who trust in carved images, who say to the molded images, ‘You are our gods.’ Let us not waste time keeping honor to objects that have absolutely nothing of sacred according to the Bible. God bless you.

God Dwells in the Midst of Praise

But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.

Psalms 22:3

Psalms 22:3 says verbatim: But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. And when His chosen people praise Him, God dwells with His people. Do you mean that if the Gentile peoples praise him, God does not make himself present? In no way, God will always dwell in the midst of praise, whether given by Israel, by the Gentiles who have believed in Him, by the church or by anyone with a heart willing to pay Him praise.

When our house is filled with praise, it is also filled with God. As we surround ourselves with praise, we surround ourselves with the Presence of God. I have perceived that every time I celebrated nights of praise and worship in my home when I lived in Florida, United States of America. The atmosphere of the house was transformed and the presence of God could be felt intensely.

God is present and His presence is manifested by the strong display of His power. This position is premeditated, without pretending a mystical presence, but deepening in the reality of who God really is. We are not talking about the simple praise that touches our soul and makes our skin crawl, but about the one in which God is here and His Kingdom has come. This is how God reveals Himself as He chooses to descend and dwell in His church.

The word that is translated as praise in Psalm 22:3 is tehillâh (הלָהִתְֶ, H8416), which means laudation; specifically (concretely) a hymn: praise. Tehillâh appears 57 times during all periods of the Hebrew biblical history. First, the term denotes a quality or attribute of some person or thing; it means glory or praiseworthy.

God is and should be our main reason for praise. When everyone looks at what God has done for us, words of praise can only come from our lips for Him. Israel is the glory of God when it exists in a state of exaltation and divine blessing. The exaltation of God is praise, it is recognizing who He is, His attributes and His wonderful works for His people. When Israel exalts their God, the presence of the Most High is felt and the place where He is exalted is filled with His glory.

A few years ago I attended a service where an African pastor preached. I was struck by something he said about the way they praise in African churches. This pastor told us that in Africa many of the parishioners must walk up to 3 hours to get to the temple and, therefore, they would not be satisfied just by listening to four or five songs. In this regard, he said that the time of praising God was not limited and could last several hours. During that time people remained ecstatic looking for the presence of God.

The African pastor said that at the end of the praise time, it usually continued with a long line of people giving testimony of the healing and miracles that happened in their lives while praising. No doubt that God makes room among this African people in the midst of its praise. And He will do it wherever He is praised without limits. If we really want Him to live among us, let us praise Him with all our heart. God bless you.

Praise before Him

Give honor and praise to the Lord, whose power and beauty fill His holy temple.

1 Chronicles 16:27

To arrive at the presence of God and not to pay praise to Him is like arriving at a banquet with a lot of hunger and not tasting anything. Just to reach the presence of the Most High and see His greatness, is more than sufficient reason for our lips to overflow in praise to Him. It is impossible to present ourselves before God and not admire His attributes and praise Him for them. If the earthly wonders amaze us and lead us to utter words of admiration, how much more will it make us praise the Most High God when we come before Him!

What 1 Chronicles 16:27 says is similar to what we read in Psalms 96:6: Give honor and praise to the Lord, whose power and beauty fill His holy temple. The word that is translated as praise in both biblical texts is Hôd (הוֹד, H1935), grandeur (that is, an imposing form and appearance): beauty, comeliness, excellency, glorious, glory, goodly, honor, majesty. Hôd is one of the nine words used in the Old Testament that are translated as praise.

The greatness and majesty of God are more than enough reasons to praise Him continuously. No one, no human being, no beast, no spirit, no celestial star could reach the immense stature of our God, Lord and King forever. The appearance of God is awesome, incomparable. Only to imagine the extension of the universe, which is impossible to measure, and to know that His Creator is much greater than that, should impel us to not stop praising him any day of our life.

But the meaning of the original Hebrew text of 1 Chronicles 16:27 and Psalms 96: 6 implies, in addition to greatness and majesty, other attributes of God. He is worthy of all praise, all honor and all reverence. Whoever believes can see the glory of God according to the Scripture, He is glorious! And along with His praise, we can see the magnificence before Him. God is noble in every sense of the word. He is noble because he acts in good faith, without any malice or double intention. He is also noble by His majesty and royalty.

Hôd also refers to another quality of God, His power. Psalms 89:13 says: You have a mighty arm; strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand. And also Psalms 140:7 says the following: O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. The potency of God is insurmountable and leads us to victory when He fights battles for His children and for His people. Our powerful savior deserves to be praised all the time, day by day and in every moment.

But God is much more than powerful, He is Omnipotent! In Exodus 6:3 God says to Moses: I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord[a] I was not known to them. The word that translates as Almighty is Shadday (שׁדּי; H7706) which means Almighty. One of the best-known passages of the Psalms also uses this word, Psalms 91:1 says: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Who will not give praise when he is before Shadday, the Almighty, the Most High, the great, the worthy, who is full of glory? His is the honor, His is the honor forever. We praise His greatness, His majesty, His magnificence and His nobility. God bless you.

Reaching His Presence with Praise

Come to worship him with thankful hearts and songs of praise.

Psalms 95:2

If we seek the favor of someone and come before that person with a demand, would he be willing to help us? Probably she would not do it and would rather feel annoyed and offended. On the other hand, if we use pleasant words that sound like praise, the possibilities of achieving the favor we seek increase considerably. With God it happens in the same way. If we come before His presence with a list of demands, He would see it with less pleasure than if we were praised.

Highlighting the attributes of God through praise is the best way to come before His presence. In Psalms 95:2 we read the following: Come to worship him with thankful hearts and songs of praise. God is waiting for us to approach Him praising Him and not as we often do, with a long list of requests. Search the Scriptures to learn to praise God in His way.

It is not in the way that seems best to us, but as God Himself has established it. The best of all is that God Himself was responsible for giving us the correct instructions embodied in a beautiful written document that we know as the Bible. Only in it, we will find the correct revelation that will lead us to accept God’s deepest longing to praise Him. God’s response, when we do things in His way, will always bring us the blessing.

The second thing that Psalm 95:2 says is: and songs of praise. Undoubtedly, music can be used in praise of God. Christians have often heard the words praise and worship and regularly associate them with music and songs. In general, many Christians associate praise with lively and joyful songs, while praising those slower songs as worship The biblical reality is quite another and if we want to know in depth about praise, we should go to the Bible.

In reality, the style of music does not label what is praise or what is known as worship. If we analyzed the songs that we hear every Sunday in most Christian churches according to the biblical parameters of praise and worship, perhaps many of them would be disqualified and would not go beyond being beautiful songs that impress the human soul; but they do not minister to God. The praise that pleases God focuses on His person, not on the human being.

Our intention with these messages is to bring light to the church about the praise that God is expecting from His people. To know that desire of God, the correct guidance will be found in His Word and in the revelation of it that gives us His Holy Spirit. And the best source for learning about praise is the book of Psalms. The Hebrew name for the book of Psalms is simply the equivalent of the word praises. It has a more appropriate meaning than Psalms, which comes from the Greek and has to do with songs accompanied by a string instrument.

Let’s show God that we seek Him because we love Him, not because of His blessings. Let’s come to His presence with genuine praise. God bless you.

Enter His Courts with Praise

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

Psalms 100:4

Many times we come before the presence of God in the wrong way. Psalms 100:4 gives us the perfect formula to approach Him: Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. This biblical verse indicates the three things we must take into account when approaching God: thanksgiving, praise and blessing His name. Any other way to reach His presence other than this would not be to His predilection.

God will be more willing to listen to us if we thank Him for what He has already given us, we praise Him for who He is and we bless His holy name. There are many people in the world, including some who call themselves Christians, who get up every day without thanking God, but rather complaining about everything. If we do not appreciate the infinite mercy of God towards us, we do little to praise Him. The same thanksgiving is another way of praising and recognizing His work of love towards us.

When we visit someone’s house, we usually do not knock on the door to make demands on the owner of the house when he opens us, but first we salute and usually praise what we see upon entering. In the same way we must do with God and praise must begin from the moment we step on His courts. Every prayer and every meeting in which the name of God will be invoked will be more pleasing to Him if we initiate it with praise.

If we want to learn to do the things of God in a way that is pleasing to Him, we should scrutinize in Scripture what that form is. Says Ruth Ward Heflin: “The church has long tried to do God’s work with the methods of the world. We have tried to do God’s work with the methods of man. We have tried to do God’s work with our own understanding. But, when we do God’s work in God’s way, we get the results of God.”

Let us learn the lesson that Psalms 100:4 brings us: Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. And starting today, let’s start each of our prayers thanking God for everything He has given us, for what He has done for us and for what He will do. Let us be thankful for salvation and remember the holiness, the majesty, the dignity of God, among many other things, to render praise to Him.

His name is holy, and He must be blessed every time we come before Him. The model prayer that our Lord Jesus Christ taught us begins as it says Matthew 6:9: Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. This model of prayer goes according to Psalms 100:4 because it blesses the name of the Lord, which is also, like thanksgiving, another way of praising Him.

Let’s make praise of God a way of life and not merely a Sunday preamble to the sermon we are going to hear. The presence of our Heavenly Father will manifest gloriously when we enter His courts with praise. In this way we are demonstrating that we seek Him for who He is, not for what He can give us. God bless you.

Confidence toward God

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

1 John 3:21-22

In this life there is no more reliable being than our Heavenly Father. God will never fail us and all His promises are true and faithful. When we pray with faith, He has promised to grant our requests. But in addition to faith, there is another requirement to achieve such requests, our obedience. Just as a father or mother will not be motivated to please the requests of a disobedient son, let us not think that God, our Father, would do the opposite.

These two verses of the first letter of the apostle John have a lot of cloth to cut. The first thing is to meditate on this conditional: if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. How would our heart condemn us? Here John is not referring with the word heart to the organ that pumps blood but to our conscience. In that sense, if our conscience condemns us is because it is making us see that we do not act in the right way. When it comes to our relationship with God, our conscience tells us that we are failing.

Failure to God, disobedience to Him, diminishes our confidence in Him. And it is not because God is going to fail to fulfill His promises, but because we are aware that our acts are not pleasing to Him and, therefore, we may be unable to receive what we asked for. Will the character of God change due to our infidelity? In no way, the character of God is immutable and He will always be faithful. Our attitude is not to run from God when we realize that we fail, but to reconcile with Him confessing our sins.

God will never betray the trust we place in Him. And, like our loving Father, His desire is not to see us sad or in need, but to supply us with whatever we need. But we must understand that if we do not receive what we expect, before we become angry with God, it is better for us to review our conduct before Him and compare truthfully if we are as John tells us, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And again, if we are wrong, let us not justify ourselves, but let us acknowledge our guilt.

Now, it is possible that our conscience tells us that we are on the right path and yet we are not receiving what we ask of God in prayer. That should not undermine our trust in Him. The English preacher Matthew Henry (1662-1714) said, “Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the test of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.” The silence of God can be motivated because we are being tested.

Our trust in God must remain unalterable, just as His faithfulness is unalterable. It does not matter if our petition is delayed for our sin or because of the trial. In each case, let’s do the right thing. If we have been disobedient, it is time to humble ourselves repentant before God and ask for forgiveness for our sins. If we are under trial, let us continue to pray in faith, trusting in Him, praising Him, worshiping Him, and giving thanks at all times. He is faithful and good all the time. He will never fail His promises. God bless you.