A person I knew asked me once if I agreed that it was selfish of God to expect humans to praise him. I’m not sure how well I answered him at the time, but if I could answer him now, I might say something like this…
God made us. We are His creation, as is everything around us. His power and intelligence are immeasurably beyond anything we can imagine. We are, as Scripture says, “fearfully and wonderfully made”. So much so, that researchers, as clever as they have become, still haven’t and probably never will understand all there is about the human body, brain and mind. His abilities are beyond anything we will ever understand. We praise football players, artists, actors and musicians, who wouldn’t even exist if God had not made us.
God deserves our praise because He sustains us, and gives us mercy. He keeps that star we call the sun in our sky shining, preserving life on the planet. He is incredible in every way. He is fantastic, tremendous, stupendous, awesome, in the fullest sense of all these words, and of many many more. He is actually beyond any word we can utter.
God knows that He is incredible, beautiful, and holy. This isn’t a big-headed sort of knowledge, it’s a recognition of fact. It’s also a recognition that He sustains all things. He wants to share His beauty and holiness with those of us who choose to do so, because it’s the best thing which could happen to Him, and to us. He finds pleasure and joy in our finding pleasure and joy in Him. It’s like the most perfect marriage you could imagine, and then some. In fact, it is the perfect marriage.
Praise, among other things, is an expression of love. If we really love God, we cannot fail to praise Him. Praise serves to put all of our existence into its proper perspective. It’s an acknowledgement that He is far above us, and that we only live and enjoy the blessings we have because He allows it all. It puts our hearts into a right relationship with the One who not only brought us into being, but holds our eternity in His hands.
Praise instils in us a sense of reverence and awe, and yes, fear, of the One who is able to bless us or curse us-to give life or take it away. When we know we have our hearts straight with Him, it gives us an incredible sense of oneness with Him-the most amazing, beautiful being there is or ever will be.
Praise fills us with joy and the sense that all in the universe is well after all. God is in control; there is far more to life than our problems or just what we can see; there is meaning to life, and there is a purpose. There is a future for us. There is such a thing as good, as well as justice…and God is It.
God is Great, and worthy of our praise, for ever.