Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Psalm 92: Why should we praise God?

"It is good to praise the Lord
    and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
    and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
    and the melody of the harp."
Psalm 92:1-3

Praising God. People do this by singing, talking about God's goodness, giving thanks to him, etc.

Why should we do it?

Well, a partial answer to this question is that it helps us emotionally connect with God. Music is good for that. And talking about good things God has done helps us focus on good things and feel better.

And does it have other effects besides helping us feel good and thankful and closer to God? Like, does it affect how God feels? Does it make him happy? Hmm. I'm not sure, but I hope it does.

The other half of "why should we praise God?" is the question of what exactly we are praising him for. And this is where it gets tricky for me. Because if we thank and praise God for good things that happen, what about bad things?

Praising and thanking God only makes sense if we believe God caused those good things to happen. Okay then, what about the bad things? Did God cause those? See it just doesn't make sense to me that we should credit God with everything good and just not mention the bad things.

The only way I can make sense of it is to say God made the whole world, and there are good things and bad things, so let's focus on the good things and thank God for those. But they must be viewed as parts woven into the rest of the world and how everything is connected- rather than individual events directly caused by God.

For example, God made a world that contains kitties, and I love kitties! (I happen to live with the best kitty in the world, by the way.) So I can say, wow God is so great, giving us a world with kitties in it! But I won't say God destined me to meet and care for this one particular furry creature, as part of his divine plan for my life. Right? Because why is God spending his time and energy assigning me a specific cat? I can think of a thousand more important things he should be doing.

And God made us a world that has things like love and friendship, and good food and pineapple juice (you guys, I bought pineapple juice at Walmart today- come to China and have some!) and light and sound and beauty and quantum physics. So cool! Yes, I can totally get on board with thanking and praising God for all that. ^_^

Image source.

I'd still like to believe he's involved in my own individual life... but I'm not sure how that would work.


This post is part of a link-up on the topic of Psalm 92. To read other people's posts, click here: Wired for Praise.

1 comment:

  1. I am in a season where I am sensing anew my desire to praise God not because of the things he has given me, but because of the presence he has given me. I have known for a long time that He is "with me," but I am learning what a life-changing and important concept that is. And it makes words about his greatness and wonderfulness suddenly feel more intimate to me than they did before.

    I am reminded of some things C.S. Lewis has said about faith. He talks about how we can know that food is necessary for our bodies and good for us without knowing the details of how our body systems work and what happens to each particular kind of food as we digest it. We can simply work with the knowledge we have and eat. I wonder if on some level, praise is like that. We don't have to understand the whys and the whats as much as we have to know that God is good, and take time to let our souls feast on that.