David begins the book of the Psalms with the rich baritone voice, which warms our very souls when he sang, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD and in HIS law doth he meditate day and night." (Ps. 1: 1, 2) He touches us deeply one third of the way through the book with the somber bass notes of "Have mercy on me O GOD---Cast me not away from THY presence; and take not THY HOLY GHOST from me. Restore unto me the joy of THY salvation." (Ps. 51: 1, 11, 12) Then again about a third of the way farther into this great book he blesses us with the melody, which rings within our hearts when he sang "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before HIS presence with singing. For the LORD is good, HIS mercy is everlasting, and HIS truth endureth to all generations" (Ps. 100: 1,2,5) He ends this great treasure trove of wisdom with the highest of notes as he sings with the tenor voice "Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD" (Ps. 150:60)
Notice that he speaks to those who have breath; meaning those who are alive. He said in Psalms 115:17, the dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down in silence." Genesis 2:7 says "And the LORD GOD formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." So while GOD made the stones, the plants, and the animals that roam the face of the earth: and while it is true that they shall bring glory to HIS name, it is to humankind who was made in HIS image the decree is made.
WHO SHOULD PRAISE THE LORD? Everybody who is alive should praise HIM! It is an incumbent duty of every man, woman, boy, or girl who is alive on planet earth to praise HIM. No one is excused. While it is the duty of everyone to praise the LORD, it is the great privilege of the redeemed to do so. It is their delight, "for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright." (Ps. 33:1)
WHY SHOULD WE PRAISE THE LORD? Because HE is worthy to be praised! The very fact that HE is the CREATOR gives HIM the right to be exalted by HIS creation. The redeemed are even more indebted to praise HIM because of the great mercies, which HE has extended to us. "Because THY loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise THEE. (Ps. 63:3) "I will praise THEE, O LORD my GOD, with all my heart: and I will glorify THY name for evermore." (Ps. 86:"12)
WHEN SHOULD WE PRAISE THE LORD? Whenever the opportunity presents itself! David said "I will bless the LORD at all times: HIS praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Ps. 34:1) The redeemed should live with a constant attitude of praise. Complaining and whining will always be eliminated when we begin to praise the LORD. Unthankfulness will flee away when our heart is se to praise the name of the Living GOD.
When should we praise HIM? When our soul is bowed down with sadness and there is none to comfort us. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in GOD for I shall yet praise HIM!" (Ps. 43:5) When we remember HIS goodness. "Oh that men would praise the LORD for HIS goodness" (Ps. 107:15) When we study and hear HIS word. "My lips shall utter praise, when THOU hast taught me THY statutes." (Ps. 119:171) While we are to praise HIM continually, night and day, as we go about our varied activities; there are times that we should set aside to give ourselves totally to the activity of praise. We are to praise the LORD while carrying out our business, yet we must set a time to devote ourselves to the business of praise! "I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation." (Ps. 111:1) Praise in private is a good thing but it cannot replace the necessity of praising GOD in the midst of the LORD'S people. "I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise Him among the multitude." (Ps. 109:30) The LORD manifests HIMSELF when HIS people praise HIS name together. "But THOU are holy, O THOU that inhabits the praises of ISRAEL" (Ps. 22:3) When should we praise HIM? For Ever! HE is fitting us to spend eternity in HIS presence. "So we THY people and sheep of THY pasture will give THEE thanks for ever: we will show forth THY praise to all generations." (Ps. 79:13)
HOW SHOULD WE PRAISE THE LORD? With our whole heart! The LORD is not impressed with man's ability nor with his supposed righteousness. However HE seeketh men to worship HIM in spirit and truth. Worship and praise are closely related; yet they are not synonymous. While worship is primarily the cessation of all activity in reverence and obeisance, i.e. falling down prostrate at HIS feet: praise is primarily an activity wherein man gives himself to the LORD. The scripture tells us to bring the "sacrifice of praise" (Jer. 33:11, Heb. 13:15) A sacrifice by its very definition involves the paying of a price. That which costs us nothing cannot be a sacrifice. So praise requires us to be more that a spectator. It requires more than a pious demeanor (whatever that is). It is a hands on (or up) activity! How shall we praise the LORD? By singing aloud with our mouth. (Ps. 21:13, 28:7) By giving thanks and testimony (Ps.35:18, 42:4) By playing musical instruments. (Ps. 150:3-5) Perhaps you feel an inability to sing or play an instrument, you can lift up your hands, clap your hands, shout or dance. (Ps.149:3, 134:2,47:1,132:9) The whole concept of praise is that in the midst of our poverty, weakness, sinfulness, and inability: GOD has allowed and enabled us to bring something of value to lay before HIM. Will you keep back part of the price? Is it not your own to do with as seemeth good in your sight? Let us give HIM the sacrifice of praise and say with David of old, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD." (Ps.122:1). mam