Meditation for Monday

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. Psalm 150:6

Everything that hath breath – does this verse tell us that all of the animals in the world should praise the Lord? I recall what one of our elementary school teachers told us as we watched some small birds drinking from a fresh rain puddle. The birds would dip their beaks into the water and then tip their heads back to allow the water to flow down their tiny throats. The teacher suggested that when the bird tipped its head back, with its beak to the sky, that it was thanking the Creator for giving the water. That is a lovely sentiment that should shame a thankless human race. But there is no evidence in the Scriptures or in nature that animals have any awareness of their Creator, even though they obey the instincts that He has given them. No, the breath referred to in our text is that which we find in Genesis 2:7 where God breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. As members of Adam’s race, we are to praise the Lord. Some of us do.

Praising the Lord is important. This declaration – Praise ye the Lord – that is found in our text, which is the last verse in the Book of the Psalms, is frequently repeated throughout the book. Note that it is the opening and closing statement in each of the last five Psalms. God does not repeat things unnecessarily. I can think of at least two good reasons why we should praise the Lord; maybe you can think of more. 

Reason one for praising God is a right acknowledgment of God: He deserves to be praised. Our Bible is filled with titles and descriptions of a God Who is worthy of our highest praise. We praise Him in acknowledgment of Who He is: the omnipotent, almighty, omniscient God of eternity. We praise Him in acknowledgment of what He has done, in creation, in His design and provision of a plan of salvation for fallen sinners, and in the mercy and grace that includes us in His eternal purposes.

Reason two for praising God is a right acknowledgment of ourselves. Mankind’s greatest sin, like that of Lucifer, is pride. A heart that will not acknowledge our sinfulness and God’s rightful lordship is a heart that is lifted up in pride. The person who fails to recognize God’s existence, deity, and lordship is also a fool, according to Psalm 14:1. To praise the Lord is both wisdom and proper humility on our part.

It is a good thing to praise the Lord. All the time. -Jim MacIntosh

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