The first mention of a certain matter in the Bible sets the principle of that matter for the whole Bible. The first major mentioning of praising the Lord in the Bible is in Exo. 15:1-18 where the people of Israel, after crossing the Red Sea and seeing Pharaoh and his armies being swallowed by the sea, sang a song of praise to the Lord.
This very same song – the song of Moses – is sung in Rev. 15:2-4 by the overcomers standing on the sea of glass. The overcomers sing! The overcomers praise the Lord! They praise the Lord for what He gives, for what He does, for what He is, and even that He is! Praise the Lord!
praising resulting in the house and the city
In Exodus 15 the people of Israel praised God with a song of praise for His salvation and His victory, and this song concludes by mentioning God’s habitation and His kingdom. God saved His people from Egypt – they praised Him for His salvation. God gave them victory over their enemies – they praised Him for His victory.
On the one hand, God saves us from anything negative, He saves us from the world, from sin, etc, but on the other hand as He is saving us He is also defeating His enemy and our enemy! And this results in God’s habitation, His house, and consummates in the city, God’s kingdom! Praise the Lord!
Even though at the time when the people of Israel crossed the sea to enter into the wilderness there was no temple or Zion, Exodus 15:17-18 says, “You will bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, O Jehovah, which You have made for Your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established. Jehovah shall reign forever and ever.”
The principle of praise is that praising God results in God’s house, His dwelling place, and God’s city, His kingdom! God saves us and delivers us from the enemy for the house and for the city, so that His kingdom would come in and He would be expressed!
the four levels of praise
Our praise to the Lord is being continually perfected. We may praise Him when “we feel like it”, when we’re in the mood, but as we grow in life and as we get to experience and enjoy the Lord more we praise Him spontaneously and continually. There are at least four dimensions of praise, four levels of praise, all of which are very necessary in our experience. Our praising the Lord is higher and higher as the Lord does things for us, as He is being unveiled to us as what He is, and as we realize that HE IS means everything to us.
- Praise the Lord for what He gives – He may give us something spiritual, He is caring for us, He is shepherding us, etc., therefore we praise Him! Also, we praise the Lord for our spouse, for the way we came together, for the gift He gave us. We need to be saved from this thankless generation by praising the Lord and thanking Him!
- Praise the Lord for what He does – Even though we may not see it, He is working behind the scenes to arrange things and prepare people, and He does it in a hidden way. When things become manifest, when we see what He is doing, we just praise the Lord – He deserves our praise! Even at the cost of others, He is doing many things for us. O, Praise the Lord!
- Praise the Lord for what He is – everything that God does is based on what He is. The Lord wants us to realize what HE IS and treasure what He is in His being above of what He does. If you are ill and He heals you – you praise Him and thank Him; but what if He doesn’t heal you but He is health to you? Will this draw out your praise? We need to overcome that part of our self which wants things done for us, and learn to appreciate and praise what Christ is to us!
- Praise the Lord THAT HE IS – the highest level of praise is not only praising the Lord for what He is, but simply THAT HE IS. We all know some people whose very being with us is a blessing – they don’t need to say or do too much; they just need to be there. The “Hallelujah Psalms” speak of Jehovah, the I AM, praising Him as the self-existing, ever-existing God!
being perfected in our praise
We need to grow in life and be perfected in our praising the Lord. The more we go on with the Lord, the more we will value and develop our praising the Lord for what He is and even that He is. All these four dimensions / levels or praise are necessary. The Lord gives things to us: praise Him! The Lord does so many things for us – Praise the Lord!
He is so much to us – He’s our life, our spiritual drink and food, our Shepherd, our Healer, etc – Praise the Lord! Even more, God simply IS – we praise Him! He’s ever-existing, never changing, self-existing, and He just is! Praise the Lord for what He gives, what He does, for His being, and that He is!
Lord, perfect us in our praise. Uplift our appreciation of what You give us, what You do for us, and even for Your being! May we praise You not only for the things You give us and do for us, but also for what You are to us! What You are meets our every need! O, Lord, obtain the highest praise from us, the praise that You Are! We praise You for Your unchanging and self-existing nature! We just praise You that You Are!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from the Life-study of Exodus (msg. 29, by Witness Lee), and the message given by brother Ron Kangas, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on the Crystallization-Study of Psalms (2), week 24 - become a fan on Facebook for more updates;
- Recommended reading: offering the consummate praise to God for the recovery of Christ, the house, the city, and the earth;
- Buy the Morning Revival on Psalms (Crystallization-Study, part 2, vol 4);
- Hymns on this topic:
# I love Him for all the things He’s done for me. / I love Him for all that He is, all that He is to me.
# Now we’re overcomers on the sea of glass; / This final crossing will forever last. / Sing the song of Moses, make the praise complete.
# Dear Lord, Thou art so much to us, / Thou art our all in all; / What Thou art fully meets our needs, / Though they be great or small.
- Picture source: mountains and lake in Spain.