"...PROVE ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST TO
THAT WHICH IS GOOD..." 1TH 5:21
'CP' denotes 'Compare Passage'
Praise of God is one of the major themes of the Bible and is highlighted through Scripture, Old Testament and New Testament alike. Praise denotes commendation, and in their rendering of praise to God as they are commanded to do in Scripture, Christians are commending Him for all the salvation benefits which He has provided for them. The first record in Scripture of God being praised is by Melchizedek, King of Salem, who praised God for giving Abraham victory over his enemies after Abraham rescued his nephew Lot who had been taken captive in the War of the Kings which is recorded in Gen 14 (CP Gen 14:18-20). The first record in Scripture of a song, is the song of praise and thanksgiving to God sung by Moses after the Israelites had crossed over the Red Sea on dry land in the Exodus from Egypt, when God delivered them from the army of Pharaoh (CP Ex 15:1-21 with Neh 9:5-11; Psa 106:7-12; 136:1-3, 10-15). Moses later commanded the Israelites to praise God for His goodness in giving them the Promised Land (CP De 8:10).
In accord with Scripture, praise and thanksgiving may be rendered unto God in a variety of ways: dancing (CP 2Sam 6:14; Psa 30:11; 149:3; 150:4). Shouting (CP Ezra 3:11-13; Psa 5:11; 32:11; 47:1; 132:9; Isa 12:6). Clapping of hands (CP Psa 47:1). The playing of musical instruments (CP Ezra 3:10; Psa 33:2; 43:4-5; 71:22; 98:6; 150:3-5). Singing – with or without musical instruments (CP Judg 5:1-9; Ezra 3:11; Psa 9:2, 11; 27:6; 30:1-4, 12; 33:1-3; 47:6-7; 57:7-11; 67:4; 68:4, 32; 71:23; 75:9; 92:1-3; 96:1-2; 98:1, 4-6; 100:1-5; 101:1; 104:33; 108:1-3; 135:3; 144:9; 146:2; 147:1, 7; 149:1-3; Isa 12:5; 42:10-12; Jer 20:13; Col 3:16). The spoken word (CP Psa 9:1-2, 14; 30:12; 56:12; 57:5; 65:1; 67:3-7; 68:19, 26, 35; 71:6, 8, 14, 24; 78:1-4; 96:3-4; 103:1-2; 104:1, 33-35; 107:1-2, 8, 15, 21-22, 31-32; 135:1-2, 19-21; 136:1-26; 146:1, 10; 147:12, 20; 148:1, 14; 149:6, 9; 150:1-2, 6; Isa 12:1-4; 25:1; Joel 2:23-26; Ro 15:9-11; Eph 1:3, 6, 12; Col 3:17). In the Spirit – tongues (CP Ro 8:26-27; 1Cor 14:14-16; Eph 5:18-20; Col 3:16). Praising God in tongues can only be rendered by New Testament Christians who are baptised in the Spirit. (See author’s study Baptism in the Spirit, in his book Foundational Truths of the Christian Faith, also his comments on Mk 16:17-18, Ac 2:1-4a, 8:14-17, 8:18-23, 19:1-2 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament).
It is incumbent upon all God’s people to praise Him; His praise must continually be in their mouth (CP Psa 34:1-3; 71:6-8; 14, 17-19, 22-24; Lu 24:52-53; He 13:15). We will examine He 13:15 more closely shortly. God has even chosen children and perfected praise in them to honour Himself, and silence His enemies and the Devil (CP Psa 8:2 with Mt 21:16 and 1Cor 1:26-31). The clear teachings of Scripture is that the whole creation – all nature – both the animate and inanimate world alike, and whether in this age or the age to come – is called to praise God (CP Psa 22:23-31; 67:3-7; 69:34; 98:7-8; 103:20-22; 147:1, 7-12; 148:1-14; 150:1-6; Isa 42:10-12; 44:23; 55:12 with 1Cor 4:5; He 2:12; Rev 4:8-11; 5:8-14; 7:10-12; 19:1-6). Alleluia in Rev 19:1-6 means “praise the Lord”,
the twenty-four Elders represent the raptured church in Heaven.
New Testament Christians are called to be the praise of God’s Glory (CP 1Pe 2:9 with Eph 1:13-14 and Php 1:11). New Testament Christians are also called to render praise to God as a self-offering (CP Ro 12:1-2). The word service here (KJV), means “worship”. This teaches that in light of God’s mercies bestowed upon New Testament Christians – their Justification, Sanctification, and future Glorification – through the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ, New Testament Christians owe God their Highest form of worship: to live holy and righteous lives in Christ (see also author’s comments on Ro 12:1 in his book A Question and Answer Study of the New Testament). However, while Scripture enjoins Christians to praise God continually, it also warns them about the quality of praise. Praise is to originate in the heart and not become mere outward show (CP Mt 15:8 also Mk 7:6). Christians’ praise must always be genuine. It must always emanate from lips that draw from the depths of the heart (CP Psa 50:14-15, 23; Hos 14:2 with Ro 15:4-11; and He 13:15). Christians’ genuine rendering of praise and thanksgiving unto God is a factor in their salvation. He 13:15 here quotes Hos 14:2. It teaches that in the genuine rendering of praise to God there is a sacrifice by Christians which pleases God. Whatever else the burden of prayer is for New Testament Christians, it must include praise (CP Php 4:4-7).
(CP Psa 40:2-3). While this is an Old Testament Psalm of David rendering praise unto God for the mercies bestowed upon him, it is synonymous with the confession of every New Testament Christian. The horrible pit and the miry clay from which God delivered David, which the Syriac and Arabic translate, “the pit of perdition and the mud of corruption”, is figurative of the state of sin and death from which God has rescued every New Testament Christian. Like He did for David, God has taken them from no footing to a firm foundation in Christ, who is the Rock on which God is building His church, and in Whom every Christians’ salvation is grounded (CP Mt 7:24-27 with 16:13-18 and Eph 2:19-22). This is the primary reason for the praise of God to also be continually in the mouth of New Testament Christians.
Praise of God may be rendered individually or collectively, in song or word, spontaneous or prearranged, originating from the emotions or from the will. It is irrelevant to God, so long as His creation praises Him and it emanates from lips that draw from the depths of the heart. Those are the praises He inhabits. Rendering praise to God will never cease. During His Millennial Reign Jesus Himself will praise God, as too will all of God’s redeemed (CP Psa 22:22-31 and 45:17 with 1Cor 4:5). While there are literally hundreds of scriptures nominating reasons to praise God in the Bible, sadly not every professing Christian knows that it is incumbent upon all Christians individually to do so. Hopefully this study will help them understand this truth.