Perpetual Praise

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Is it just me, or did you ever think—Somewhere there must be a limit to the number of books and songs that can be written and sung? Creative writing and singing by people in billions of combinations of words and notes are mind-boggling. Every piece of music ever written, played or sung is based on only 7 notes with 12 tones and about 120 pitches. Every single song since creation has been bound by these parameters—from Beethoven to Bill Gaither—from the Beatles to Brandon Heath—all their music is based on the same 7 notes!

Not only that, but, every word spoken and every book written is based on different combinations of the same words. Words are the product of the alphabet, which, in English, totals 26 letters. Think about it—every book or article that has ever been written or translated into English—is the product of combinations of only 26 letters of the alphabet. Whether Homer’s “Odyssey,” Melville’s “Moby Dick,” Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” or the current Best Seller on the New York Times’ list—they all come down to various combinations of familiar words made of only 26 letters. There is a best seller on your keyboard—and all you have to do is figure out how to put them together! The King James Bible alone contains 783,137 words made of over 3 million letters. And every verse, statement, promise, command and hope, is unique!

This kind of amazing creativity reaches its zenith when words or music are employed to express, sing or speak God’s praise and His message. David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, was on such an exalted plane when he, by inspiration, penned Psalm 108:1-5. Listen to the majesty of these words: “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul. Awake, harp and lyre; I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens, and Your truth reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth.”

Perpetual praise to God was so important that one of the constant duties of Levites and priests was to, “stand every morning to thank and to praise the LORD, and likewise at evening” (1 Chronicles 23:30). So, “the priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the instruments of music to the LORD, which King David had made for giving praise to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (2 Chron. 7:6). God’s praise from His children is also meant to be perpetual, as the psalmist wrote, “My soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Psalm 30:12). We are to “declare Your righteousness and Your praise all day long” (Psalm 35:28), and “In God we have boasted all day long. And we will give praise to Your name forever” (Psalm 44:8). We are to praise Him forever—because His love is forever.

This praise worship of God must have been glorious to hear, for Ezra recorded that “when the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD” (Ezra 3:10). The book of Psalms fittingly closes with a magnificent praise hymn to God. Following the admonition to “Praise the LORD” (Psalm 150:1), the psalmist encourages praise music “with trumpet sound…with harp and lyre…with timbrel and dancing…with stringed instruments and pipe…with loud cymbals” and “with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD, Praise the LORD!” (verses 3-6).

Why is praising God so important? Because, “He who offers praise honors Me” (Psalm 50:23). God longs to hear His redeemed people thank and praise Him. We can understand this because we never tire of people who say “Thank you,” for what we have done.

Only our perfect God could design the crown of His creation with limitless ability to create repeatedly changing combinations of words and music. Though based on the same musical notes and simple words, they are continually re-combined to uniquely speak to people’s hearts. In 2012, Christian musician, Phil Wickam, wrote these lyrics of his powerful song, “This is Amazing Grace’”

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness

Whose love is mighty and so much stronger

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder

And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

Who brings our chaos back into order

Who makes the orphan a son and daughter

The King of Glory, the King of Glory

Who rules the nations with truth and justice

Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance

The King of Glory, the King above all kings

[Chorus:]

This is amazing grace, This is unfailing love

That You would take my place, That You would bear my cross

You lay down Your life, That I would be set free

Oh, Jesus, I sing for All that You’ve done for me

Phil Wickam ends his song by reminding hearers of the One who is worthy of our highest worship and deepest devotion—the Lord Jesus Christ. God made people in such a way that they can creatively praise and exalt Him—or as the song goes: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain…Worthy is the King who conquered the grave…Worthy, worthy, worthy.” Amen! Let us keep on with perpetual praise for only He is worthy!

 

 

 

Author: Larry E. Clements

Follower of Christ, fortunate to be husband to Pat, father of 5, grandfather of 12, writer, associate pastor of Pauline Baptist Church

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