From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised. — Psalm 113:3
How is this possible? As we go about our daily lives, we have chores to do, children who need our complete attention, bosses who expect to have us devote our best efforts to the work they pay us to do, phones to answer, etc. Students have classes to attend, papers to write, and books to read. Writers need to concentrate on the words they are putting together when they write books or blog or speak to their fans. How does this fit with praising the Lord all day?
It doesn’t fit with the idea of one meaning of the word praise – to make noise. That’s usually what’s meant when praise is referred to in the context of corporate worship. The Old Testament speaks of praising God with instruments, clapping, singing, shouting, and other activities that can be noisy. Today’s Christian churches also use these methods for praising God in private or when they are gathered with other believers. Obviously, that is not what is meant when we are told to praise God during all our waking hours.
So what does it mean? I believe David is referring to another meaning here – worship as an attitude of the heart toward God. It is constantly being aware of God’s greatness, mercy, love, forgiveness, salvation, creative power, and his care and provision for all his creatures. It’s what we can’t put into words when we see the sunset and our heart is full. It is our total trust when God is the only one we can turn to. That trust is an acknowledgment that he alone has the power to help us, and that trust is a form of praise. It is praise when we step out in faith in obedience when we don’t see how a situation will turn out, because we are depending upon his wisdom and power instead of our own.
God sees the direction of our hearts. Just as a sunflower automatically turns to face the sun, so our hearts turn toward the face of God when we have an attitude of praise.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Psalm 150:6
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