Reading: Psalm 135
Praise the LORD.
Praise the name of the LORD;
praise him, you servants of the LORD,
you who minister in the house of the LORD,
in the courts of the house of our God.
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
For the LORD has chosen Jacob to be his own,
Israel to be his treasured possession.
I know that the LORD is great,
that our Lord is greater than all gods.
The LORD does whatever pleases him,
in the heavens and on the earth,
in the seas and all their depths.
He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;
he sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses (NIV).
Like many of the psalms, Psalm 135 begins by calling us to worship. Specifically, this is a call to praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
So what is the difference between praise and worship? Worship is a broad term that expresses itself in a variety of ways. The Encarta Dictionary defines worship as “the adoration, devotion, and respect given to a deity.”
We can show devotion, adoration and respect for God in wide range of ways. We can use our bodies to express worship by bowing, kneeling, falling prostrate, or lifting our hands and faces heavenward. We read that both David and Miriam danced before the LORD as an act of worship. See 2 Samuel 6:13-15 and Exodus 15:20-21.
Praise and thanksgiving are verbal forms of worship that reflect a heart of adoration. But why do the Psalms call on us to praise God so frequently? Is the LORD a grand, heavenly egomaniac who demands our worship to satisfy His desire for recognition and importance? Hardly.
Actually, just the opposite is true. God does not need our worship. We are the egomaniacs. Praise and worship counteracts the selfishness that is at the root of our sinful nature. We desperately need to get our eyes off ourselves and onto the One who is worthy of all praise. So here to counter what ales us is a simple but powerful prescription from your heavenly Father: Praise the LORD.
Response: Father God, I worship you. Thank you for sending Jesus to be my Savior. Holy Spirit, infuse my praise and worship with joy. You are so very good—so very kind to me. Let praise in all its varied forms flow from me to you. Amen.
Your Turn: What forms or expressions of worship are most meaningful to you?