Summary: What kind of praise does God expect from us?
A CRESCENDO OF PRAISE
As you know, all of my life, I have been a fan of Alabama football. Even though we have lived in several states and different parts of the country and I know that every state has an intense football rivalry, nothing I have ever seen compares to the annual Alabama and Auburn game. I have to tell you, late November was not a good time when I was growing up. You see, in my family of four, I was the only Alabama fan in my family. Around this time of the year, when Alabama and Auburn played, being the only fan for Alabama in a family is not an easy responsibility. As you know, like most loyal Alabama football fans, I always liked to brag when Alabama wins the game. However, when Alabama loses, I have learned that it was best to be no where to be found and to be quiet.
As with most college rivalries, jokes abound about the other team and other school. As with most of the jokes, you can simply substitute the name for your favorite team or college and the joke works just as well. Let me show you what I mean. It seems that a young man decided to go to the University of Alabama for college. The young man was from a very poor family. As a matter of fact, his family was so poor that he was 20 years old before he got his first pair of shoes.
Now, when he got that first pair of shoes, he was proud of them. He was so proud in fact that he decided to walk backwards so he could admire the beautiful tracks his new shoes were making. But as he walked, he lost track of how far he had walked. Before he knew it, he had walked all the way to Auburn University. Now, as the story goes, the young man never did make it back to the University of Alabama to complete his education. It was not because he enjoyed Auburn University so much. When the officials at Auburn discovered that the young man could count to 20 without taking off his shoes, they made him a professor of Advanced Mathematics.
Now, I suppose it is good to be thankful for the physical gifts of the world like that young man was. But, I guess we can be too thankful if we are not careful. However, the writer of this psalm saw no limit to the amount of praise that is due to God, our Father in heaven. Over the last few weeks, I realize I have been repeating myself. I have talked again and again about the subject of praise and thanksgiving and celebration. But if you think I have been repeating myself, just wait until we examine this psalm a little closer. The writer went verse by verse by verse in his description of his praise for God.
Now, this morning, I want us to do exactly the same thing as we look at these verses. The outline for my message is very simple today. I want us to notice the WHY of praise, the HOW of praise, and the WHERE of praise. And, all along the way, you will hear the constant theme of praise. What an appropriate word for us during this Thanksgiving weekend, a weekend that should be filled with praise and celebration for all that God has done for us.
First of all this morning, let's ask the question: WHERE IS THE LORD TO BE PRAISED? Look at verse 1 again. Psalm 150 is a festival hymn. It is a hymn full of praise and adoration for all that God had done for the writer. It was meant to be a celebration of God's goodness. Now, as you look at the psalm, you see right away that it is an extremely short psalm. As a matter of fact, Psalm 150 is the shortest psalm that we have looked at together. However, despite its brevity, the psalm is packed full of words of love for God. As you read each verse and each word, you can almost hear the volume go up and up and up. The writer started off so simple and almost quietly. But then he continued to write and to feel the love of God in him. And as he progressed, he got louder and louder and louder and before long, he was ready to shout.
Now, notice that not only is the psalm short, notice how short the verses are. The verses are so short that it seems as if the writer was in a hurry to get to the next verse. He said one thing, then without wasting any time or space, he quickly moved on to his next idea. It was almost as if he could not wait. He simply wanted to move on to the next word of praise and the next word of hallelujah. You can almost hear the writer being out of breath with enthusiasm and celebration.