In “Christian-speak,” we say “praise the Lord.” We talk that we should praise the Lord. A lot. But, how do we do actually praise the Lord? The writer of Psalm 104 doesn’t just tell us to praise the Lord, he shows us with his words how he praised the Lord.
The psalmist reviewed who he thinks the Lord is, then he affirmed his belief by expressing those beliefs back to God. If a psalm is a song set to music, we would say the author rehearsed then “performed” (acting in agreement with) what he said. We praise the Lord first by what we believe about Him and then by what we say to Him. What we believe about God comes from and is verified in the Scriptures—an excellent “Praise the Lord” resource that has yet to be exhausted. What we say to God can be expressed in many forms, whether written, portrayed, or spoken. Each “praise to the Lord” can be a private or public expression, or both.
After praising God as the Creator in Psalm 104:1-23, the psalmist, in verses 24-32, then praises the Lord for one particular aspect as Creator—His powerful control over His creation.
O Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions—
This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great.
There the ships sail about;
There is that Leviathan
Which You have made to play there.
These all wait for You,
That You may give them their food in due season.
What You give them they gather in;
You open Your hand, they are filled with good.
You hide Your face, they are troubled;
You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
May the Lord rejoice in His works.
He looks on the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the hills, and they smoke.
How did the psalmist respond to the Creator’s ownership of His creation? In verses 33-35, the psalmist in essence prayed that he would be in right relationship with the Creator. The psalmist was not inconsistent when he prayed that those who are out of harmony with the Creator and His creation would “be no more.”
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the Lord.
May sinners be consumed from the earth,
And the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!
What are some of your favorite beliefs about God? Do you praise the Lord? How about your least favorite characteristics of God? Do you praise the Lord, anyway? What are your favorite ways to express praise to our Lord?