Psalm 147:1
Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to our God, for praise is pleasant and lovely.
Sermons
In Praise of PraiseS. Conway Psalm 147:1
The Pleasantness of PraiseR. Tuck Psalm 147:1
Worthy, Therefore, of All Praise and WorshipC. Short Psalm 147:1-6
A Praiseful SpiritPsalm 147:1-11
Genuine WorshipDavid Thomas, D. D.Psalm 147:1-11
Master Motives to PraiseW. T. Fullerton.Psalm 147:1-11
PraiseHenry Ward Beecher.Psalm 147:1-11
This psalm carries on and gloriously sustains the great Hallel of adoring gratitude and glad thanksgiving with which the Book of Psalms ends. This first verse contains a threefold laudation of the Lord's praise.

I. BECAUSE "IT IS GOOD." And this is most true.

1. In reference to God. For it ministers pleasure to him. Do not the experiences of many a parental heart bear witness to this truth? Are not we delighted with the loving utterances of our children, by which they testify their heart's affection towards us? It may be but the prattle of childish lips, or the lispings of such as are hardly more than babes, but it is delightful all the same; and our children's affection, when it has become older and more thoughtful, - what would our homes be without it? And right sure are we that our poor praise delights the Lord to whom it is rendered; he recognizes in it that response to his own love, for which all love, and emphatically his, cannot but crave. And it is good in his sight, further, because it wins him glory from men.

II. BECAUSE "IT IS PLEASANT."

III. BECAUSE "IT IS COMELY." - S.C.







Praise ye the Lord.
I. THE TRANSCENDENT EXCELLENCE of true worship (ver. 1).

1. It is good.

(1)It accords with the constitution of the human soul.

(2)It accords with the Divine command.

(3)It agrees with the genius of the universe.

2. It is pleasant. It is the grand end of our being, the paradise of our nature; worship is not a means to an end, it is the grandest end, there is nothing higher, it is heaven.

3. It is "comely." Is it not a fitting and a beautiful thing that the greatest Being in the universe should be the most earnestly thanked, that the best Being should be the most profoundly reverenced, that the kindest Being should be the most enthusiastically adored?

II. THE SUPREME OBJECT of true worship.

1. What He is in Himself. "Great."

2. In relation to His creatures.(1) To the human family.

(a)Building up useful institutions (ver. 2). Schools for the ignorant, hospitals for the diseased, asylums for the poor, etc.

(b)Uniting scattered peoples (ver. 2). By the promotion of one language, by the extension of free trade, by the abolition of political and religious difficulties, and by the advancement of one creed — Christ, and one code-His example.

(c)Healing broken hearts (ver. 3).

(d)Rectifying human conditions (ver. 6).

(e)Disregarding martial force (ver. 10).

(f)Interested in saintly men (ver. 11).(2) In relation to inanimate nature. He is at work —

(a)In the stellar universe (ver. 4).

(b)In the atmosphere (ver. 8).(3) In relation to mundane life (vers. 8, 9).

(David Thomas, D. D.)

: — The psalms of David, like Christian experience, begin with the blessing of the separated life, and they end with a torrent of praise. The final four psalms each commence and finish with Hallelujah! We may all share in Christ's coronation; none are too weak to bring their praises, none so mighty but He is mightier. The motives I would urge upon you are very simple.

I. BECAUSE OF WHAT GOD IS.

1. His character is seen in His works. His understanding is infinite, there is no limit to His power. He is in all things that He has created. The same power made a world and moulds a raindrop. The same wisdom names the stars and knows each blade of grass on the mountain-side. If our spirit be not warped we shall never lack cause for praise. A friend of mine tells me that the way to be always thankful for the weather is to keep a garden; if it is fine you can enjoy the flowers; if it is wet you can stay indoors and say how good the rain is for the garden. If our soul be like a watered garden and we recognize that the Lord cares for us, trial and sunshine will alike bring praise, and we shall ever be able to say, as an old man I know always begins his public prayers, "Lord, we thank Thee for our being and for our well-being."

2. The motive of all His works God finds in Himself. Learn more of Him. Live more with Him and you will praise Him more, until perhaps you will find language, even the language of the Psalms, too unworthy of what He has taught you of Himself, and you will sometimes just be silent and adore.

II. BECAUSE OF WHAT PRAISE IS.

1. It is good.(1) If we praise God as we ought we shall be kept from praising ourselves. Surely that is good. I have heard that most self-made men are very apt to praise their maker; indeed we are all liable to sing the praises of self. The sure way of escaping this danger is to fill your heart and mouth with praise to God.(2) Praise leads us to value truly what we receive. The goodness becomes great when the memory of it is abundantly uttered. Praise is the plural of pray.

2. It is pleasant. A Puritan writer says there are some things good and not pleasant, and there are some things pleasant and not good, but there is one thing both good and pleasant, and that is for brethren to dwell together in unity. To which I would only add they should unite in praise. Praise is the instinct of the regenerate soul. What is natural is always pleasant. If your joys abound, praise God. It will shed a glow on the mountain, put a bloom on the grape, add moss to your rose. If sorrow is your portion, praise; however ill your lot you can find something to evoke thanksgiving.

3. It is comely. What can we do but praise? Gifts are bountifully given to us, and we have nothing to offer in return but thanks. We can only give Christ our sins and our praises, if He take the one shall we withhold the other? Nay, let Him have all. We shall see that praise on our part is comely if we lay hold of the marvellous truth that by and by God will praise us (1 Corinthians 4:5).

(W. T. Fullerton.)

: —

I. WHAT IS PRAISING? As applied to men, it has a limited use, differing in degree, rather than in kind, from that which is employed in devotion. It is the expression of pleasure, of approval, of gratification in an action, in a course of action, or in the contemplation of one's disposition. All men are limited by manifold imperfections, and therefore it is that praise, as applied to men, must always be partial, and must be but occasional. Applied to God, praise is the experience and the utterance of the soul's admiration and joy in view of the Divine character, or its exhibitions in His moral government, in His providence, and in His grace. Praise always implies admiration and joy, and a disposition to make them known. What dispositions are implied, then, in the act of praising God? It implies, first, a knowledge of Divine manifestations. That is, praise is not merely the utterance of a feeling of pleasure or of gladness that wells up in the heart. Praise is something that is excited in our mind by the knowledge, or the supposed knowledge, of God. The act of praising implies, also, a moral taste that feels and enjoys the noble attributes of God, and the development of them. That is, it implies a moral sensibility to Divine element. It implies, likewise, gratitude, love, joy in the Lord. It is not an act of mere reason, nor of mere will, although both reason and wilt may be implicated in it. It is an overflow of feeling. It may take place consciously. It may take place with preparation through thought and instruction. But the highest forms of praise are spontaneous, irresistible, full of interjections. Such is the praise of the heavenly host. It is that utterance of the soul in its rarer moments, when before it passes, in sublime order, the Divine character, the Divine nature, the Divine government, and the soul is kindled with the prospect, and it gives forth, in language, or with feeling manifested, its own gladness and admiration. The Christian exercise of praising implies a degree of continuity. It is a disposition. It springs from a soul that is always seeing, more or less, the admirableness of God's nature and government, in grace and in providence. Moreover, the act of praising implies faith. That is, those who come to God with praise, as with prayer, must believe that He is. It is impossible to kindle the soul and to pour it forth toward a shadow; toward any being that stands in doubt in our convictions. Besides, the act of praising implies enthusiasm, soul-glow. But it is lyrical. It may dwell in the thoughts, but it is very apt to overflow the rim of thought, and to spill out in words and expressions.

II. IN WHAT IS IT TO BE DISTINGUISHED FROM PRAYER? Why sometimes it is prayer. Prayer is the generic of which praise is only a specific element. Every address made consciously to God, whether of supplication, of confession, of simple communion, or of ecstatic praise, is prayer. Prayer, comprehensively, is the soul's communion with God. Praising, then, as one of the elements of prayer, and as distinguished from the other forms of prayer, is not supplication: it is asking nothing. It is not confession: it is not pouring out what we are. It is the soul's expression of admiration in view of the Divine excellence. It is gladness expressed; it is gratitude expressed; it is joy expressed — and all with reference to the manifestations of God Himself.

(Henry Ward Beecher.)

: — It is related that Beethoven had his piano carried to the middle of a beautiful field, and there, sunbeams and cloud shadows playing together on the grass, and birds performing their impromptu oratorios, he composed some of his great pieces. We are to come beneath the broad canopy of God's love, and, encompassed by innumerable mercies, we are to make music — the music of thankfulness for tokens of Divine goodness abounding in our lives.

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