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Praising God Properly ...

Psalm 135:1-12 is addressed to those who “minister in the house of the LORD” (verse 2). Five times, this Psalm calls God’s people to “praise” God. We have an ordinary obligation to praise God for the simple reason that He has created us. But we are also obligated to praise Him because He alone is “good, great, and does great things; He does whatever pleases Him,” and He does what He does wherever He chooses (verses 3-12). The Psalmist contends that God’s previous deeds confirm this truth (verses 8-12). No man or other “god” can do what God does, for which reason we should “praise” Him because He is worthy to receive all praise. But God also created us - He gave us life - another reason why we owe Him our praise. However, to be genuine, our praise of Him should arise not only from our duty or obligation, but also from our hearts – motivated by love and freely given.

In 2 Peter 1, Peter agrees with the author of this Psalm and “reminds” us (verse 12) to add to our faith increasing measures of a variety of virtues - including and especially love. In light of Christ’s “majesty, honor, and glory” (all additional reasons to praise Him), these virtues will “keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of Christ” (verse 8). In other words, these virtues are aids to enable us to praise God properly.

In Daniel 2:24 - 3:12, we see Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of “things to come” (2:29). Daniel’s testimony to Nebuchadnezzar is that “there is a God in heaven Who [graciously] reveals mysteries” (2:28). By God’s gracious revelation, Daniel explains the meaning of the king’s dream. People need to understand that God is under no obligation to reveal anything to mankind, but by His grace, He does reveal things to us. He is the God Who shows us in His Word “what is going to happen” (2:29). This revelation is incredible because it spans ages of time, and it informs us of Christ’s coming future kingdom - “a kingdom that will never be destroyed” (2:44). In Daniel 3:1-12, we see the rock-solid, exemplary, and challenging faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo. In these two chapters, we see plenty of reasonable evidence for doing exactly what the Psalmist calls us to do - to praise our God!

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