November 11, 2015
Revelation 7:11, 12
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
You cannot read through the Psalms without being struck by either all the praise given to God, or by the multiple injunctions for His people to praise Him! Here are just a few examples:
• Psalm 7:17 – “I will praise the LORD according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.”
• Psalm 33:1 – “Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.”
• Psalm 50:23 – “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”
• Psalm 111:1 – “Praise the LORD! I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.”
• Psalm 135:1-3 – “Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD; praise Him, O you servants of the LORD! You who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant.”
And it is not just the Psalms where praise is featured. But in this one book of 150 chapters, in 158 verses the word praise or its derivatives are found 189 times!
From experience with my own prayers, and hearing the prayers and prayer requests of others, most of our prayers tend to be in some form of “Bless me, and mine – us four and no more!” How do we learn to praise God as we should? I can’t think of a better textbook than the book of Revelation! In chapters 4 through 7 of Revelation there are increasing examples of praise!
• Revelation 4:8 – “…the four living creatures…rest not day or night, saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!’ ”
• Revelation 4:10, 11 – “…the twenty-four elders…worship Him…saying, ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.’ ”
• Revelation 5:8-10 – “…the twenty-four elders…sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on earth.’ ”
And, while in Revelation praise does not end in the opening chapters, praise to God seems to reach its height in two more examples – Revelation chapters 5 and 7, verses 11 and 12 in each:
• Revelation 5:11, 12 – “…I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders…saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!’ ”
• Revelation 7:11, 12 – “And all the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne, and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’ ”
Why do I say these examples are the epitome of praise? Each passage has seven areas of praise to God. And seven is the number of perfection in Biblical numerology! Aside from numerology, these two passages seem to cover just about all the areas in which God is worthy to be praised – power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, blessing, thanksgiving and might ! Nine areas in which to praise God!
I imagine you might think of more as you begin to regularly praise God in your prayer time. He surely deserves such praise – and a lot more! But these nine areas are a good place to start! So if you are in the habit of NOT praising God as you kneel before Him, then you cannot do better than to follow the scriptural examples found in the book of Revelation!