Rationale for Praise

The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.

 

We praise what or who we enjoy. In his book Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis makes the following conclusion about the practice of worship for the Christian:

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is it’s appointed consummation. If it were possible for a created soul fully to ‘appreciate,’ that is, to love and delight in, the worthiest object of all, and simultaneously at every moment to give this delight perfect expression, then that soul would be in supreme blessedness.”

A heart and soul and mind with every ounce of existence committed to worship experiences the highest of spiritual ecstasy. Lewis continues,

“To praise God fully we must suppose ourselves to be in perfect love with God, drowned in, dissolved by that delight which, far from remaining pent up within ourselves as incommunicable bliss, flows out from us incessantly again in effortless and perfect expression. Our joy is no more separable from the praise in which it liberates and utters itself than the brightness a mirror receives is separable from the brightness it sheds.”[1]

This is available ecstasy. When we realize ourselves as approaching God with complete purity, no distractions, undivided affections, etc., our praise of Him will be at the highest and fullest and sweetest. Ever have those moments? We don’t enjoy them often enough.

Psalm 147 gives us some rationale for how to be these types of worshippers.

Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted     and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you. He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat. He sends out his command to the earth;     his word runs swiftly. He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them;     he makes his wind blow and the waters flow. He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the Lord!”

We praise God because He heals the afflicted (vs. 1-3, 6). We praise God because He cares for creation (vs. 4-5, 7-9). We praise God because He delights in those who fear Him (vs. 10-11). We praise God because He is a provider of every need (vs. 12-20).

Everyone worships. Everyone has reasons they worship as well. For the Christian, we are without excuse. We are full of rationale for worship.

[1] Reflections on the Psalms, page unknown

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