waikiki_march12_2004_dg.jpgExcerpt from Praise More Powerful: 

Let’s imagine that we’re “flying over” and looking down at praise. As we do, we realize that praise, like land and water seen from an airplane, stretches as far as the mind can perceive in all directions. It is universal; praise to the Lord is everywhere you look.  As we scan the “plains of praise,” we can see many “landmarks” that give us a clear picture of just how universal and far-reaching praise to God really is. Let’s look at a few of these now:

1. God’s people have always praised Him. In Psalm 33, the opening words of the call to worship include: “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him.” (Verse 1 – NIV) Throughout Israel’s history, their most shining (pleasing to God) moments were when they lifted Him up in praise. In fact, David said of God, “You are the praise of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3 – NIV) We already know from what we read last week that “all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.” Some Levites even praised God “with loud voices”. (See 2 Chronicles 20:18-19) Whether they were kneeling quietly or being loud and joyful, they never considered what they were doing as “weird” or “inappropriate” (even before a God they could not see!) Rather, it was every believer’s most natural response to God’s power and grace.

2. Throughout God’s Word we can find praise being lifted up to Him. The word “praise” can be found well over two hundred times in the Bible. When we include related words such as “worship,” “sing,” “shout,” and “bow down,” that number climbs to close to five hundred!

3. For all eternity God will be praised. Jude 1:25 says, “All glory to him, who alone is God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes, glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to him, in the beginning, now, and forevermore. Amen.” (NLT)Did you notice how long, according to the last words of verse 25, will “glory, majesty, power and authority” be to the only wise God? Always and forever! Praise in heaven is on-going, both in the present and in the never-ending future!

4. Throughout all creation God will be praised.

**Read Revelation 5:11-14. How many different creatures are listed and what are they doing?

All heavenly beings including angels, living creatures and elders will praise Him! Every created being including people, animals, fish, and all nature will sing to Him! According to Philippians 2:9-11, even the demons will have to bow and confess that He is Lord! Praise is obviously both pleasing to God and natural for His creation.

5. At this very moment in heaven God is being praised! This may be the most eye-catching landmark of all. According to Revelation 4:8  the four living creatures “never stop saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty…’”  Praise to our holy God is so important that heaven itself never stops doing it! Even if no one around you seems interested in praising God, be encouraged! There is a loud roar of praise to God in heaven at the exact moment you are praising Him. (So sing and play really loudly!)

Praise is inevitable. While God desires praise from His people, He demands it from His creation. One way or the other, God is going to be praised. David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” (Psalm 19:1 – KJV) That means every day of every year of every century, God’s creation up there in the sky is proclaiming His greatness and His worth. Do you remember Jesus’ words to the Pharisees when they told Him to quiet His noisy disciples at the Triumphal Entry? “‘I tell you,’ Jesus replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.'” (Luke 19:40 – NIV) I’m sure I speak for both of us when I say I don’t want any rocks to take my place! But if we don’t praise Him, they will – because God is going to get the praise He deserves… period.