25 January 2023
Worthy to be praised
Let us … extol him with music and song. Psalm 95: 2
Benjie, aged three, struggled hard to regain his toy, wedged under the piano. Finally, I bent down to help and, with some effort, retrieved it. Looking into my face, eyes full of grateful admiration, he exclaimed, ‘Well done!’ – and I felt ten feet tall. Praise warms the heart. Reflecting Benjie’s pleasure reminded me how important it is to show appreciation for the efforts of others. Some express criticism more readily than praise, but an occasional complimentary comment, as well as regular expressions of thanks, can do wonders for the morale of sweepers and superintendents alike.
Benjie’s delight over my small achievement was also a reminder of a much more important response, owed by us all, for the greatest act of kindness ever done for humanity. Someone came right down to our level, and went through great pain, to regain that which we had lost, our loverelationship with God. The heartfelt gratitude of one small boy provides only a tiny image of the outpouring of our own hearts
which is due to our dear Lord Jesus, who laid down his life for us. As we look up into his face, praise and adoration should take priority over any requests we want to make.
Lastly, just as the child’s response affected me, so we are told that our praise brings pleasure to God. (Psalm 69: 30–31) The Bible very often associates praise with making music to the Lord. (Judges 5: 2–3; Psalms 27: 6; 57: 7–10) As we rejoice in him, how wonderful to read that he responds in the same way, for: ‘… he will rejoice over you with singing.’ (Zephaniah 3: 17)
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My dear Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!
Charles Wesley (1707–88)
Read: Psalm 150; Ephesians 1: 3–14.