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Verse 14 (where the psalmist calls God awesome and says he needs to fall down to the ground in adoration of God) is often misunderstood, though. There is a scene in a very cynical, satirical movie that applies to the world’s misunderstanding of praise. It is a scene from a Python film called "The Meaning of Life," a scene where the headmaster of a private school in England leads the boys in prayer. The prayer begins saying that God is very big. It goes on to say that we are mightily impressed with how big God is. God is sooooooo big! God is super! And it ends by talking about how prayer is “toadying” to God. In case you don’t know that term, it’s British English for kissing up to a person or being sycophantic. In short, the satire suggests that God has such low self-esteem that God requires us to praise Him to reassure Him of His superiority over other claims to faith.

That ISN’T why we praise God as an awesome God. We praise God as an awesome God to remind ourselves that we have nothing to fear, nothing so problematic that God cannot handle it, and nothing that is beyond God’s capacity. God doesn’t require our praise to reassure Him. God requires our praise to encourage and inspire us.

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