June 15, 2014

Category | Guest Speaker

Passage | Psalms 117:1-2

Speaker | Chris Baker

 (Psalm 117)


ILL: When I was in college I frequently got the opportunity to fill the pulpit of area churches….b/c I was willing, and not b/c I was good.


TRANS: They taught me more than I ever taught them. One thing they taught me was what it looked like the Praise the Lord.


Read Psalm 117


1. The Call to Praise (v. 1)…


Praise (Hallel) – from which we get our transliterated hallelujah, to praise, to glorify, to commend, to boast.           


Extol (Shevah) – Conveys the idea that God should be praised with a voice loud enough for everyone to hear.


ILL: C. S. Lewis before becoming a Christian, and for sometime after becoming a Christian struggled with this type of talk. He thought it made God look like a “vain woman” in want of compliments.


This was because he misunderstood praise. He later wrote, “But the most obvious fact about praise, whether of God or anything – strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless…shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought into check.”


Do you ever find yourself doing something, and feel as if you just have to tell someone? (Book, restaurant, etc.) à This is praise.


When the Psalmist tells us to “Praise the Lord,” He’s telling us that we declare (with our mouths) the greatness of Jesus in all of life.

TRANS: If I were to ask you, “Do you pray?” – I imagine that you’d quickly tell me, “of course I do.”


If I then asked you, “Do you pray every day?” – You’d probably without hesitation say, “Yes, I pray multiple times a day. I could not live without prayer.”


But what if I asked you this question, “Do you praise?” – Is praise a certain and constant practice of yours?


Praise should not be second-class business. See that we are called to praise.


Read v. 2


2. The Cause of Praise (v. 2)…

a) Praise Him…For what He has done.


“Steadfast love toward us.”


Psalms 113-118 are a part of what’s called the Egyptian Hallel. They’re a series of Psalms which were used in the Jewish Passover (113-114 before meal and 115-118 after meal).


ILL: A meal in which they remembered the Exodus – tell story.


Over and over again Scripture tells this story – supremely revealed in Jesus (Romans 5:8)  


ILL: James Simpson – discovered chloroform, allowed people to sleep through operations and in turn opened the door to operations which were before impossible.

He was a Christian, and was once interviewed by a newspaper reporter who asked, “Sir, What do you consider your greatest discovery.”


He replied, “My greatest discovery was when I discovered I was a sinner in the sight of God.”


The reporter, unsatisfied with this answer, tried again, asking, “Would you now tell me your second greatest discovery?”


“Simpson replied, “By all means, my second greatest discovery was when I discovered that Jesus died for a sinner like me.”


b) Praise Him…For who He is.


The gospel runs contrary to the ideologies of the world.


The Christian life begins by faith and continues by faith. This remains good news because he does not change.


He is faithful forever – the passage literally reads, “the amen (faithfulness, truth, reliability) of the LORD endures forever.”


TRANS: Because He is faithful…Because His steadfast love toward us is great…Let us praise Him now.


Do you realize that even if you’re world falls apart tomorrow, because of the gospel and because of who He is, you still have ample reason to praise Him.


We have cause for praise. We have a call to praise. So let us be a people who praise Him.


But one other thing before we close.  


3. The Responsibility of Praise (1).


Notice that the call in v. 1 is not limited to the people of God.


It calls for all nations and all peoples to praise God. This is a command for the whole world.


Paul uses this passage to support his mission to the Gentiles (Romans 15:11).


Because praising God is a global responsibility, you and I should make it our aim to advance the gospel everywhere people are not praising Him.


As one contemporary author has said “Missions exists, because worship doesn’t (Piper).”



1. See that we are called to praise God.


2. Know that we have cause for praising God.


3. Remember that you are responsible for others praising God.