The Purpose Of Praise

Inspirational Messages - Sermon Preached At House Of Praise Home Church

Kuils River

  • What is the purpose of praise?
  • What is the purpose of worship?
  • How do we experience praise and worship?

(This sermon has 2 short parts – each on the purpose of Praise. The first part is from the book of Revelation. In the second part we’ll focus on a section from the Old Testament from the book of 2 Chronicles.)

Introduction

Recently I asked the kids at Sunday school what they understood under “Praise and Worship”. Their answers boiled down to this:
- Praise songs are those quick and fast songs with a nice beat which the children like.
- Worship songs are the slower songs which the grown-ups like. Now I’m not always certain if that is the right definition, if you look at what the Bible says and if you study the Hebrew language…

What Is Praise?

The Purpose Of Praise

There are many different explanations and ways in which people express praise and worship. The most practical for me to explain this is that deep in your heart you feel gladness – a joy! When you praise, you confess this gladness; this joy and make it known and say it to the person who had created this joy. Be it your Saviour; be it your spouse.

We can give praise to many different people. Most probably only to God we can give worship. So often the two go hand in hand. It is an inward expression. Real praise and real worship is an inward expression. It comes from the heart. You cannot think it out and say “Ah well… just praise a little here and praise a little there…”

(We’ll come to the scripture reading just now.)

Some time ago I started asking the Lord to speak to me and show me from the book of Revelation the things He would like me to know out of the book of Revelation.

I think all of us have read explanations of or Bible study books on the book of Revelation. It is amazing how many different interpretations there are of the book of Revelation.

As I was reading and studying, I was curious (you know how we human beings are) and hoping to maybe “see something in the future”. The Lord however pinpointed to me: “Worship and Praise”.

Part One – The Purpose Of Praise

The Purpose Of Praise

This is a very well-known part when Jesus spoke to John the Baptist and told him about the seven churches. Then there was the voice from heaven that spoke to John and it said, “Come up here, I will show you what must happen after this.”

…then John started telling of all the wonderful things that he saw in heaven. In chapter 4, 5, 7 and 11 we can read about the wonderful things that John describe. He speaks of the

  • living beings around the throne of God – worshipping and praising God
  • twenty four elders with wonderful crowns on their heads and they’re worshipping God and then they put their crowns at God’s feet
  • angels praising God
  • human beings – saved ones – praising God
  • all creatures in the heavens; all the creatures in the earth were praising God.

Let us read some of these scriptures.

Scripture reading: Revelation 5:11-12
“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 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!”

If we go through these scenes and look at it, we see that Jesus spoke to the seven churches. Up until chapter eleven, there are a number of things happening, but what really stands out to me is the repeated Praise and Worship.

Then from chapters twelve to nineteen we see the pouring out of the wrath of God. It was like war. I would think it’s war when a third of the world’s people die. It was terrible times that followed John’s visions that he had seen. Many people died; many tribulations hit the earth. In chapter nineteen we read, “After this I heard what sounded like a vast crowd in the heaven, shout ‘Praise the Lord!’ Salvation and Glory and Power belong to our God.”

Then after we saw the new heavens, the New Jerusalem, something wonderful that God blessed the believers with.

To return to my question: What is this all about? What am I seeing here?

The Lord started revealing certain points to me.

A Purpose

The Purpose Of Praise

There is a purpose why these angels, creatures, elders and believers are worshipping and praising God. The purpose in not only to give recognition to God, but it is very much to move the hand of God.

As the heavenly creatures were worshipping and praising God – from that flowed the outpouring of the wrath and God judging the wicked. Out of that judgement came the New Heavens, the New Jerusalem.

Part Two – The Purpose of Praise

How do all of these happenings apply to our lives?

The Purpose Of Praise

Scripture reading: 2 Chronicles 17:1-4
Here we read that Jehoshaphat became king and that he followed his father’s early years example by not worshipping the images of God.

Now we’re on to chapter twenty. After God has blessed Jehoshaphat and after he has been established, the godless Moabites and Ammonites came to battle against Jehoshaphat. They declared war and they wanted Jehoshaphat’s blessings. His messengers came to Jehoshaphat and said that Edom’s army was on its way.

Two Situations

The Purpose Of Praise

Just pause for a moment and ask yourself: can you associate yourself with Jehoshaphat?

Situation one:
He was living a God-fearing life. Can you say, “I’ve tried my best to live a God-fearing life”? I think many of us have found ourselves in this situation.

Situation two:
A vast army of godless people stood up and said, “You have what we want! We want to come and take that away from you.”

In situation two we’ll have a look at Jehoshaphat’s response which include fear and prayer.

Jehoshaphat’s Response

2 Chronicles 20:3

Fear

The Purpose Of Praise

  • Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news.
  • He begged God for guidance.
  • He ordered every one in Judah to begin a fast.

Haven’t you also felt terrified at times in the past? Have you felt like you did not know the way forward?

- Your health
- Your circumstances
- Your relationship
- Your work
- Your business

You are in a tough situation and you are terrified… That is exactly what king Jehoshaphat felt.

Prayer

The Purpose Of Praise

Then king Jehoshaphat prayed a long prayer to give honor and glory to God. He asked God to stop the army that’s coming against him. He declared that he was powerless against that mighty army. He declared his helplessness and begged God for help.

Have you felt like this?

Here we have a situation that is so practical to life.

  • Sometimes we sit in a den of lions.
  • Sometimes as we are worshipping God, somebody gets jealous and wants to throw us into a fire.

We now have seen from Jehoshaphat’s reaction that he feared, and then he prayed. What happened next?

God sends a prophet

The Purpose Of Praise

2 Chronicles 20:16

And the prophet said to him (Jehoshaphat), “Do not be afraid nor dismayed, because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down…”
Verse 17: “You will not need to fight in this battle.”

Here comes the important part. What does it mean when the prophet says, “Tomorrow march out against them…”?

  • It means that they had to put on their armor.
  • They had to get themselves ready and they had to prepare for the fight – not their fight, but God’s battle.

“Take up your positions, then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory.”

Just note: the prophet did not say, “Well guys, you can relax now… God is going to win for you…”

No – they still had to put on their armor and prepare and then go and stand still to watch God’s victory.

Worshipping God

The Purpose Of Praise

Then Jehoshaphat and the whole of Judah bowed down to worship God. The clan was relieved and with a loud shout they praised God. They were thankful that somebody G-R-E-A-T was on their side.

An Interesting Part

The Purpose Of Praise

2 Chronicles 20:20-23

20 “So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper>”
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
“Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever.”
22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mound Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

(end of scripture reading)

After consulting with the Lord, the king appointed the worship team. Just for one moment get this picture in your mid: On the one side is this huge army of fearful fighters. People that are really out there and waiting to come and kill you. This is what the situation was… On the other side is the Israelite army… And right in the middle is your church’s worship team.

This is what God showed me while preparing for this sermon on the purpose of praise: When we start praising and worshipping God, the wheels of heaven are set in motion. Fasting remains important – king Jehoshaphat called out a fast. Praying remains important – he prayed. Living a Godly life remains important – the Bible says that he was living a Godly life.

Conclusion

It is so important that we understand it is all about our lifestyle. When Jehoshaphat and his men started to praise and worship God, … - you see, they had a reason to praise and worship God; they were looking at their enemies and realizing that they could be killed by them! But when God sent them the message through the prophet, their prayers had a purpose.

We saw what happened in heaven – When those heavenly choruses started to sing, the wrath of God was poured out, but out of that flowed the New Jerusalem and the New Heaven and the New Earth.

It is the same with our prayers. When we are on our knees with our situations and we praise God and we worship God, then we can stand still and say, “Lord, it is because of You that I’m saved. I’m standing here; I praise You!” In miraculous ways God set in motion the wheels that are in heaven.

Our challenges (Application)

Sometimes here on earth we are challenged. The question is: In those challenges, do we take up our praise and worship? Are we honoring God? Are we saying, “Lord I worship You, Father we Praise You, Father we Glorify You! We know that you are Almighty and that You will give us the victory.”?

1 Tess 5:18 says, “Be thankful in all circumstances”
Eph 5:20 says, “Be thankful for all circumstances”

The same person wrote theses two verses.

This is powerful: Now we can start declaring and thanking God.

“Thank you , God even for this persecution, because I know that I will get out stronger on the other side.”

This is what we express through our praise. It is so important that, when we worship and praise, that we should express our faith in the Lord Our God.

There’s also a scripture saying, “Without faith we cannot please God.”

By worshipping, by praising – we also put our trust in God.

Amen

You may also be interested in our Short Sermon On Praise And Worship.

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