Summary: An expository explanation of why the psalmist implores us to praise and worship our God.

I Will Bless the Lord by Elder Lemichael D. Wilson

Psalm 34:1-6; I. Thessalonians 5:18

My beloved brothers and sisters, I have come to this sacred desk, dedicated to the proclamation of and about our Risen Savior, Jesus the Christ, to speak a word given to me by the Holy Spirit. With a sense of great urgency, in anticipation of inspiration, I stand before you, after being dispatched from the presence of the King holding a Word in my mouth about men and women – saved, sanctified and Holy ghost-filled men and women – who boldly proclaim they have made it up in the mind to be like the shepherd boy David and bless the Lord.

Perhaps as a point of departure, it would be good to exegetically consider for a few minutes of God-talk the lesson found in the pericope’. Lest you think me less than prepared for this preaching moment; this brief venue from which we wrestle with the ontological, wrestle with God-in-our-faces, may I suggest that we place our theological footing on our noted “Salvation History Psalm;” David’s hymn #34 and stanzas 1-6?

David, my friends, has found himself juxtaposed in a place between burden and blessing; between mountain high and valley low; among the “can God do it;” “will God do it;” and “I know God will do it” of life.

He, this Judean fellow from the rolling hills of Barrington, Arlington Heights, or even Northbrook and valley, Country-Club Hills, Calumet City, Dolton-like suburbs, hoods and ghettos of Judah finds himself in a cave owned by a foreign fellow by the name of Adullam.

He has for more than three years sought solace in pristine courts and palatial, executive suites of Philistinian King, Adraiah of Gath, after his own brother, King Saul, has placed a bounty of his head; placed a wanted “dead or alive” decree on his person; place a destructive, mind-boggling “US bank bailout” kind of threat upon his life. Upon Ashiah learning of Saul’s bounty on David’s head, he turns to the brothers, makes mind to collect, and secretly plans David’s murder-by-hire experience. But God allows the secret to get out. David learns of the plans, escapes under the curtains of night, and arrives at his pre-planned hideout – a cave.

Hiding in a cave: is a would be king; is a would be Judean “Vice Roy;” is a man on the verge of destiny; is a man wrestling with screaming demons of defeat; is a man, all man, but fighting against issues that causes boys to run and fall into their daddy’s arms; is a man who has grown accustomed to hiding when God has planned for him to be a central figure on front state; is a fellow, a fellow from the hood who is forced to deal with secret depressions, private obsessions, voiceless acts of victimization, discreet downfall, damnable dreams, and pent-up powerlessness – while standing on a public stage of machismo.

And to make matters worse, in order to escape, David has had to pretend insanity, had to blow bubbles and roll around with spittle in his beard – only to find solace in a dark, dug-out pit of life. And just when the cave was a proverbial men’s club den, David discovers his brothers and father’s entire household moved in on him, bringing along with them four hundred men who were in distress, in debt and bitter of soul and spirit; and not one of them had a penny to share in the rent or to place in the household spending account.

David, in a cave, finds himself struggling with himself; struggling with threats from his enemies; struggling with family and friends riding him like monkeys on his back; and struggling with his future. He struggles until he considers God. When he considers God, when he thinks about God, his perspective changes, and praise and worship is provoked. He, this David, when life pushed in on him, when trouble came like an uninvited guest at a dinner party; when despair and depression hung around like twin buzzards awaiting pending breakfast, David broke out in a praise; pushed until he got to the place of Worship of God.

Says he, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Now, before we suggest the implications of our lifted text, would I offend you by at least suggesting: “brothers and sisters, there is a difference between praise of God and worship of God?”

Praise engages your emotions to a point you are happy about what God is doing in your life. Worship engages your heart and on its ground a transformed life is seen. Praise, brothers and sisters, is grounds for transformed attitudes; praise is about saying “thank you” to God; saying “Ta-Ta” to Him . . .

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