The When and What of Praising God (Psalm 96:1-3)
Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! ²Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. ³Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! –Psalm 96:1-3
The other day I was driving to an appointment across town and as our Lord so kindly saw fit, I drove through eight consecutive green lights. I never had to stop or even slow down! Upon arrival at my destination, I immediately texted my wife to tell her about this little sliver of grace the Lord extended to me. I’ve even told other people about it. How often does one make eight straight green lights over a five mile stretch of road?
I couldn’t help but talk about those providential green lights–how much more the glorious deeds of God extolled in Psalm 96. We should regularly be telling of God's awesomeness! We are told to sing (three times), to tell, and to declare the glory of our great God–and each of these is in the imperative, which means we are commanded to do so. This command is to be carried out “from day to day” so we are to continuously praise God. This applies to when the little things are good–like making eight green lights–just as much as when the big things are bad, like what Job experienced (Job 1:20-21; 2:10).
We are to sing, tell, and declare the glory of our great God “among the nations” and “among all the peoples.” This means His praise should be on our lips while in line at the grocery store, sitting next to our co-workers, and interacting with our spouses, children, and family members. Our praising of God should not be limited to Sunday morning or our own private prayer lives. It should flow out of us as naturally as water comes out of the ground.
The psalmist leaves no doubt about what the content of our praise should be: God’s salvation, God’s glory, and God’s marvelous works. At the time of this psalm’s writing, the ultimate act fitting this bill would have been God’s deliverance of His people from Pharaoh and into the Promised Land. But that was only a pointer to the true deliverance, the true land of rest, the true salvation in Jesus Christ.
Thus, our songs of praise, our telling of His salvation, and our declarations of His wonderful works should always culminate in extolling the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who took the Father’s wrath (Psalm 75:7-8; John 18:11), it is Jesus who paid our debt (Colossians 2:14), it is Jesus who gives us His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), and yes, it is Jesus who enabled me to make eight consecutive green lights (Proverbs 16:33). If you are a follower of Christ, He should be the subject of your continual praise, too. May we be a people of relentless praise of the one true God!
Are you a person who regularly and consistently praises God out loud and in front of others?
How have you praised God verbally in the last two days? Who heard, and thereby benefited from, your praise of God?
Identify one or two people you will “target” to be the hearers of your praise of God and determine to praise Him daily in front of those people.
Pat Dirrim has been in full time ministry since 2011. He and his wife Barbara have been married for 27 years. They have seven children, three of whom remain at home. They helped start Grace Fellowship 18 years ago and have worshipped there ever since, outside of the two years when they served as missionaries in Guatemala. They have been using Truth78 curriculum the entire time of their church’s existence and have introduced it at many other churches, as well as trained others how to use it.