My family loves basketball! Whether it is watching a game, playing in the den on a mini goal, or watching them play in school games; it is a family affair for us. One of the most exciting times that we experienced together was a few years back; we were playing in a travel ball game against a team from Tennessee. The game had been tight the whole time and was coming down to the wire. As time expires, my son put up a shot that goes in to send us into overtime. I was beaming with pride; slapping high fives and shouting as I watched my son and his team celebrate his accomplishment. The overtime was no different; it was still close with seconds left. Then in a last-ditch effort my son shoots another shot as time expires to win the game as the buzzer sounds! It was so exciting. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs “That’s my boy!” as I high fived anyone that would allow me the opportunity. I could not control my excitement of how proud I was of my son and his play that day. We still talk about it and anytime I get the opportunity to tell others about it and relive those moments again, I do. Let me come back to this later.
Do you praise God daily? We all do on Sundays when we worship together, but how often do you praise God in your daily setting? In Psalms 111-118, the phrase “Praise the Lord” is used several different times by David. Some people erroneously think that we only praise God during our times of worship. Although praising God is done in our worship, it is by no means limited to it. Let’s take a moment to define what it really means to praise God, and look at some of the reasons that David does so many times in these eight psalms. The word “praise” that is used in the Hebrew by David according to Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary, is one that means “ to be clear (originally of sound, but usually of color); to shine ; hence to make a show ; to boast ; to rave ; causatively to celebrate ”. Those words and expressions remind me of my reaction to my son’s game winning shot. I was clear in my excitement and the reason why I was excited, I was colorful in my reactions, my face was shining, I was making a show, boasting to my peers and had great reason to celebrate. Within the pages of these psalms that David expresses his reasons to praise the Lord, we see him being clear, colorfully describing the attributes of God, boasting to the reader of God’s ability and clearly seeing God give us a reason to celebrate. Take a few moments to notice the reasons why David expresses this praise: His great power and works (Psalm 111), The blessings that come from God when we obey His commandments (Psalm 112), His uniqueness (Psalm 113), The fact that He is real and our God (Psalm 115), The God of creation listens to me when I call on Him (Psalm 116) and His love (Psalm 117). Those things, brethren, should keep us busy in praising God more during our day. How do we do that? Just like David did. Be clear, be colorful, be verbal and share with anyone who will listen to you. Praise the LORD!