Praise the Lord, Continually
By Rev Tan Eng Boo
Sunset at Gallipoli, Canakkale, Turkey
When I was in Canakkale, Turkey in September I saw a beautiful sunset at the Gallipoli beach and with my camera I managed to capture this crowning sunburst. It was a spectacular shot for me. When I was processing my photos in my computer and saw this photo, the first thought which came to mind was Psalm 113.
“Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD
is to be praised!” (Ps. 113:1-3)
The Psalmist calls the servants of the LORD to praise God. Who are the “servants of the Lord”? We Christians are the servants of the Lord (Rev. 1:1). We are to give thanks to the Lord and to praise Him. I know life may be tough for some people. We live in an imperfect world. We mingle with imperfect people even in the church. There are always difficulties and struggles every day. I struggle in praising God too. I drive every day and I become upset with pedestrians and drivers. I have seen and heard Christians saying grace for the food and as soon as the food goes into the mouth, complaints about the food that they are eating come forth. We need this reminder from the Psalmist so that we too can echo
Psalm 34: 1, “I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
For the past few years I have been preaching from the Pentateuch in church and I have now started preaching the book of Numbers. In Numbers as well as in Exodus, I see the Israelites grumbling non-stop. They were a stiff-necked and stubborn people. All day long they grumbled at Moses and Aaron. They were murmuring and complaining against God constantly. These people saw the mighty power of God and yet they were not satisfied with the Lord’s provision and leading. God forbid that we should be like them, ungrateful and unthankful to God.
Notice what the Psalmist says in Ps. 113:2-3,
“Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!”
When do we praise the Lord? The Psalmist did not say, “from the setting of the sun to its rising.” How to praise the Lord when we are asleep and inactive? It is “from the rising of the sun to its setting” that we should be praising the Lord. In other words, God is to be praised all day long, at all times.
Each new day is a gift from God. Every new morning sunrise has within it a promise of fresh new blessings from the same hand that created the sun. I get up each new morning praising God for another new day He has given me. But it should not stop there. Read the text carefully again and you will see that from the moment we are awake until the last thought before we go to bed, we are to praise the Lord! That is tough. But that is what the Psalmist emphasised in his use of the Hebrew pattern of repetition. God is worthy of continual praise! The unchanging God never becomes unworthy of our praise. Can our hearts ever cease to praise the name of the Lord?
How can we praise the Lord continually? We have to be intentional in our efforts to praise the Lord. Therefore, we will have to be sensitive to His blessings no matter how small or insignificant they may be. I am always grateful to hear praise items shared by church members. Some praise items may seem to be insignificant, but I always marvel at the way the Lord blessed that brother or sister in his/her daily experience.
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” (Ps. 150:6).
Always be thankful and make sure that others know it is all because of how God has blessed us.
“Surely, goodness and mercy have brightened all the days of our lives. Each day has been so wonderful, that if we had only lived that one day, we should have had cause to praise the Lord for ever and ever.”
(C. H. Spurgeon)