The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 43

"So I will sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows' - Psalm 61:8

As we read the Psalms that David wrote, it is clear that he had made a vow that he would always praise the Lord. Every day of his life David was committed to praise, and it is obvious that this exercise had built an incredible faith in him.

David's confrontation with Goliath even as a teenage boy was a demonstration of that faith (read the story in 1 Samuel 17). The Philistines were at war with Israel, the armies being encamped opposite each other. David had been sent to take some food to his brothers (who were enlisted in the army), and saw and heard Goliath challenge the men of Israel. Goliath stood in the valley, at a height of nine feet nine inches! All the men of Israel were afraid when they saw Goliath. But David's reaction was immediate and simple. He said, " who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" When Goliath cursed and despised David as he saw the boy coming towards him David said "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head…." (Verses 45,46). This kind of faith had grown out of David's praise. It was the key to his power over Goliath.

Someone once said that "prayer asks, but praise takes. Prayer talks about the problem, but praise takes the answer from God". But supplication, praise and thanksgiving are all essential components of prayer, which is 'the lifting up of our minds and hearts to God'. We should remember to praise God when the pressures are the greatest. Yet it is often at these times that we are not inclined to praise Him, and so our prayers do not rise above being merely requests!

Praise is often a celebration of triumph, where we thank God for the completed work of Calvary, even before we see in someone's life the demonstration of that work. Or we may need healing, and we praise God for the fact of the healing being accomplished, even before we have seen the physical results or manifestations in our own life. We must however be careful that we do not use praise as a means of manipulating God for the things we desire. Praise is not a cosmic vending machine.

In Psalm 34 David says "I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." He wrote this at a time when he was running from the anger of King Saul and was actually living in the Philistine City of Gath as an exile.

Praising God was not an optional extra for David. Neither should it be for us.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues