“Praise the LORD” (Psalm 106:1 ESV)!

Have you ever known someone who was the type of person that seemed to always demand praise? I mean the type of person that seems to always want everyone to know how great he is, and always has to one up everyone. Well, the author and professor C. S. Lewis once wrote, “We all despise the man who demands continued assurance of his own virtue, intelligence or delightfulness; we despise still more the crowd of people round every dictator, every millionaire, every celebrity, who gratify that demand.”[1]Perhaps if you don’t know anyone like that, I’m sure if you think about it hard enough you can think of some one like this; perhaps a celebrity or a politician who comes off this way.

Whoever it is, typically when we come into contact with people like this we’re annoyed by them. But Lewis in his writings goes on to say that before he became a Christian, even in his early days as a Christian, he viewed God this way. He was disturbed by God’s constant demand to be praised throughout the Psalms. He viewed God as a mere egomaniac. He couldn’t comprehend why a God who needs nothing would demand the praise of His people. But then one day it clicked for him.

He said, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with. . . . The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”[2]And likewise, in commanding us to praise Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him. So praise the LORD!… for His glory and your joy…

I am nothing; Christ is all!

Pastor Nick

[1]C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms(1st ed., 1958; reprint, New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1986), 80.

[2]Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms, 97.