Praise the LORD
Today’s lesson focuses on living a life of praise.
Handout: Praise the LORD
1. The word praise occurs 248 times in 216 verses in the King James Version of the Bible. Why do you think that is? GOD created you and I to praise Him. He delights in our praise.
Psalm 102:18 “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.”
Psalm 150:6 “Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.”
Hebrews 13:15 “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”
Ask yourself, when do I praise the Lord? Do you only praise Him when something good comes your way? We as children of the Most High must learn to praise Him continually. We can have continual praise to the Father on or hearts and we should have. We praise Him not only in the good times, but in the hard times as well. We need to surrender to a life of praise to God.
It’s easy to praise the LORD in good times, when things are going our way. However, sometimes in life things can happen and we just don’t know what to do. We see the enemy on every side and we are being attacked, but we do not know what steps to take to fight back. This is when we turn our praise into a weapon against the enemy. God wants us to praise him in battle. Let us turn to 2 Chronicles chapter 20. We find here that a vast army has come against the children of Israel. Jehoshaphat is king at this time. Let’s read:
2 Chronicles 20:1 “ It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. 2. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.”
2. Imagine how he must have felt. Here he is, King and responsible for his people and they are all looking to him to know what to do, and he is at a loss. He knows this attack is coming, yet he does not know what to do.
2 Chronicles 20:3 “And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”
All Judah begin to seek the LORD, they know they are in trouble if God does not move on their behalf and show them what to do. We see Jehoshaphat begin to pray and remind God of all the mighty things He has done for them in the past, reminding Him that he is all powerful and that He can do all things. He calls upon the LORD realizing they are helpless without HIM.
Chronicles 20:12 “O our God, wilt thou not judge them? For we have not might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.”
Turning to the LORD first was the thing for them to do. A lot of people sadly try to use God and prayer as a last resort. He should be our first move. In life when things happen, no matter how great or small, no matter how happy or sad, we should seek the counsel of The Almighty to know what to do because HE sees far beyond what we can see. He knows the outcome. Reading on in verse 15 we see the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, a prophet there.
2 Chronicles 20:15 “And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehosaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude: for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
Praise the Lord…that is true comfort isn’t it. When times get to hard for us, when the battle is raging and the enemy is surrounding us and we don’t know what to do. We can stand firm and confident in our Father, because the battle is not ours but HIS. HE will fight our battles for us hallelujah! If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 28:31) None, No not one! The battle is the LORDS strong and mighty. The LORD is a warrior…a mighty warrior!
Psalm 24:8 “Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.”
That fact does not give us permission to stay home and do nothing, notice God expects us to obey him and go into the battlefield. The LORD instructs so in verse 16. 2 Chronicles 20:16 “Tomorrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz: and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel
17. “Ye shall not need to fight this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”
3. This next verses are key. 2 Chronicles chapter 20
2 Chronicles 20:19 “And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.”
So here King Jehoshaphat has ordered the praise and worship team to go out to battle, leading their army. Look back up at verse 19. They praised the LORD with a LOUD VOICE…true praise from the heart. Hallelujah sometimes we need to cry out with a loud voice and praise the LORD declaring war against the enemy, trusting the LORD to fight the battle.
2 Chronicles 20:22 “ And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah, and they were smitten. 23. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy another.” 24. “ And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.”
When it seems like hope is gone, we must trust our Father. He is ever faithful. We do not have to fear. We can praise our way to victory. I’m talking about true praise from the heart, not just from the lips. We must humble ourselves before God as little children. When we do that in battle, we force the enemy to be still, to cease. They must be silent as we praise our Father who is all worthy…Praise HIM!!!
Psalm 8:1 “ O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Psalm 8:2 “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.”
Hallelujah, Praise is an honor, a joy. It is a blessing to sincerely praise the LORD, and yet it is the greatest weapon we have against the enemy. Thank God for pure praise. Glory to God for He is worthy!
4. Remember to live to serve others in love and humility this week!
Discussion: Discuss different ways that we can sincerely live a life of praise no matter what we may be going through.
How worthy You are to be praised. There is no other like You nor will there ever be. We worship You Father. We come to You today in the name of Jesus. We thank You and we worship you. Help us to surrender to a life of praise no matter what we come against. Father we know that you are our strong tower and that you are faithful. We thank you for your promises. We thank you and praise you that we can trust you always no matter what. Help us to ever keep a song of praise on our hearts and help us to lift our voices and hearts sincerely in honor to you and for your glory. We love you Dear GOD, Thank you for your many blessings and for your love. We ask you to help us this week to remember to praise you because your love and mercy lasts forever. In the beautiful name of JESUS we pray…AMEN!
September 10, 2017