What Is It About Praise?

I want to look at a few verses in two of David’s Psalms. Psalm 22:3 says, “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” The Hebrew word for ‘enthroned’ means: to sit down, to remain, to settle, or marry.

Psalm 68:1-2 says, “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those also who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.”

Verse 7-8 says, “O God, when You went out before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness, the earth shook; the heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.”

Think back to that scene. Exodus 19:18 says, “Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.” 

Verse 16 says that the children of Israel were terrified. Yet look at verse 20. It says, “…And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.” In 1997 we were in Costa Rica on a short term mission trip. Our team stood at the base of a mountain that was considered an active volcano. Though it had not erupted for years, it was rumbling. It was a defining moment for me.

The Lord demonstrated His holiness to the children of Israel. He told Moses to go down and warn the people in verse 21. Verse 24 says, “…do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest He break out against them.” 

He is Sovereign over all. Yet, when we praise Him, He enthrones our praises. The enemy cannot enter that realm. Psalm 47:1-2 says, “Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.”

What happened when the children of Israel shouted after they had marched around the walls of Jericho seven times? Joshua 6:20 says, “…And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat…”

No impossibility can stand in opposition to the Lord’s purposed pathway for His people. We see this played out in 2 Chronicles 20. King Jehoshaphat said in verse 12, “…For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

The Lord reminded them in verse 15 that the battle was His. Verse 17 says, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation  of the Lord…Do not fear or be dismayed…for the Lord is with you.”

God’s strategy through praise defeated their enemy. Verse 21-22 says, “…he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying, Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever. Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes…and they were defeated.”

The Lord is always present, yet He specifically ‘presents’ Himself when we praise Him. Psalm 146, 147, 148, 149, 150 all end the same. “…Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”

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