Power of collective praise
The Lord’s pleasure is not in the strength of a horse or in the warrior’s legs( Ps 147:10). But He delights in His strong ones..in those who fear Him, that PRAISE Him. ( Ps 148:14)
He has ordained Praise as our STRENGTH. A horn here symbolizes strength. (Psalm 148:14).
Praise strengthens the bars of the gates of Jerusalem ( Ps 147:13). The gates of the church. In other words it acts as our DEFENSIVE weapon from enemy attack.
WHOM to praise?
Of course our God. our Maker, our Redeemer, our King, our Lord.
WHO can praise Him effectively?
His faithful servants, His Chosen Israel, people close to His heart ( Ps 148:14). “We are His chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people..that we should show forth the Praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvellous light” ( 1Peter 2:9).
WHAT kind of praise?
A new song ( Psalm 149:1). Each time we gather together as His saints in collective worship, He expects a new song of praise from us. When we received a fresh touch from the Lord, we burst out in spontaneous praise. It then becomes our new song.
Praise Him with dance and music. ( Psalm 149: 3). Real praise makes it impossible for us to remain glued to our seats. We simply HAVE to get up and move around. Many churches restrain dance in worship..they term it as fleshly. But David danced and with ALL his might. A genuine dance aimed at the Lord in heartfelt, unpretended and glorious praise must not be restricted.
EFFECT of praise-
It brings us victory. Great joy.
Praise becomes our OFFENSIVE weapon against enemy attack (Psalm 149:6-8).
It inflicts punishment on them who intend to harm us. It binds their ‘ kings ’ and ‘ nobles ’ with fetters and shackles of iron. We are really in a fight against principalities and powers of darkness. So our praise limits their onslaught. When we praise God with all our might and collectively at that, we are in fact handcuffing the enemy of our souls, putting him behind bars and WE carry out the sentence written by the Lord against them. (He did it at Calvary)! Amazing!
That is how powerful our Praise is!
But to obtain this kind of victory, we need to praise Him collectively. For which we need real UNITY.
Overcoming Praise is a determined, concerted, collective effort.
That brings REAL victory.
This Psalm gives 3 reasons for which we ought to praise God. The first being that God is the Creator of all, vs 5; having established His Creation with a decree which shall not pass away, vs 6.
The second reason that is given, is that His name alone is excellent and the His glory is above the earth and heaven, vs 13. And the third reason given is that He has raised up a source of strength for His people and has made them victorious, vs 14! Now among all of His creation that is expected to praise Him from the heavens and in the heights vs 1, are included angels, heavenly hosts, vs 2; sun, moon and stars, vs 3; heavens of heavens and the waters above the heavens, vs 4.
Those from the earth that are expected to praise Him include the dragons and the deep, vs 7, together with the fire, hail; snow, vapour; and stormy winds that fulfill His Word, vs 8; and the mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars, the beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and the flying fowl, vs 9,10, and the Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth, vs 11. Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children are also included in that list, vs 12.
One would wonder how so many inanimate and lifeless objects could end up praising God! But, a deeper look into the same gives us another dimension of what praise really is!
What we can learn from these objects, is that, obeying God by just doing what they have been called to do with satisfaction and joy, brings both beauty and harmony in Creation and is counted as praise that pleases God. Without such worship, all outward forms of praise will prove ritualistic, redundant and meaningless.
So, keeping this in mind let us, like the Psalmist, exhort everything that has breath to praise our God, (whose Name is above every other name and who is indeed worthy of our praise) by their obedience and by knowing and doing exactly as He has commanded them to, and let us ensure that we do the same ourselves too by His grace. Amen.