“Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord;
Praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time on and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
The name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations
And his glory above the heavens.”
People praise others to recognize a job well done. Good results or good effort are worthy of praise. We all know that everyone likes being appreciated. Sometimes people offer praise to encourage someone to keep up the good work, or to do even better in the future. Parents praise children in order to shape the child’s behavior. Positive feedback often does more to ensure good behavior than threats of punishment for acting out.
We have all given and received praise. Both feel wonderful. Many of us regret times we might have offered praise but didn’t; we may resent not being praised when we feel we have earned it. Yet we cherish times we received well deserved praise. It is the exact opposite of “adding insult to injury.” There is satisfaction from a job well done; being recognized for it is the icing on the cake.
But what about God? Why praise God? Is God so insecure that God needs praise to bolster the divine self-image? Nope. Not one little bit.
Do we need to praise God to shape God’s behavior in our favor? Not hardly. God longs to bless us every moment of every day.
Why then would anyone feel the need to praise God? The simple answer is that we do not praise God for God’s benefit; we praise God for our benefit. When we praise God we open our hearts to God’s strength, power, tenderness, and love. The more we praise God the more we appreciate God. The more we appreciate who God is, what God has done, and what God will do, the more we will trust in God every moment of every day. The more we trust in God, the more we will live the life of blessing and joy God longs for us to live. Praise be to God!