Praise the Lord, Everyone (Psalm 96)

Psalm 96:1–13 (NKJV)

1 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
3 Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.

4 For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.
6 Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

7 Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Give to the LORD glory and strength.
8 Give to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
9 Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.

10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns;
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved;
He shall judge the peoples righteously.”

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD.
13 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth.

The psalmist gives us an admonition to praise God by many methods in this psalm.  This first verse above instructs believers to sing to the Lord.  Music is a powerful mode of worship, combining the passion and power of music with the praises of God in a way that moves the soul.  Singing is definitely an appropriate method of praising God.

The second stanza calls for the fear of the Lord.  We are to operate with an attitude of awe toward God that recognizes His power and authority.  In that attitude, we will avoid arrogance and pride, recognizing that we are subject of the Most High God.

The third verse encourages the people to give to the Lord.  Tithing and giving are definitely forms of worship, recognizing that all we have comes from God to begin with, and belongs to Him.  Tithing is putting this knowledge into practice by returning the portion prescribed by God unto Him in worship.

The fourth verse speaks to witnessing and preaching as a form of praise or worship.  Speaking to the nations about His greatness may draw them into relationship with Him.

The fifth verse even calls the creation to praise Him.  The heavens, the earth, the seas, the filed, the trees are all called to praise Him, their Creator.  The reason for this call to praise is summed up at the end of this verse:  God is coming, and He is our judge, and He is true.  Give Him praise!

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