*MacNeil Jordan was born in Barbados on Christmas Day in 1902. On his 100th birthday, he recited numerous pages of scripture and poetry. He could tell you the name of the ship that brought him to Ellis Island, the street where he got his first job as a garment worker, and the name of the cafeteria where he ate 70 years ago.
*A month before MacNeil’s 100th birthday, his family made a CD containing everything he wanted to say to his family, which included 8 children, 23 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-children. MacNeil’s recipe for long life is as follows: “I eat well. I sleep well. I walk quite a bit. And every week there’s church, where ‘I praise my God.’” MacNeil said that’s what is most important: “Give God praise every day. That’s all. That’s my life.”
Description of Praise
Praising God is a central theme in Scripture. We see this as the word “praise” is listed over 330 times in the Bible. It comes from the Latin word meaning to “value”. Therefore, when we praise God, we are proclaiming His greatness and His goodness. The book of Psalms means “Praises”, and comes from the same Hebrew root word as “hallelujah” which means “Praise the Lord.”
Expression of Praise
The believing community is both a fitting and frequently mentioned context for praise.
The author of Hebrews puts it this way: “In the midst of the assembly I will praise you” ( Heb 2:12 ).
The audience is enlarged beyond church when the worshiper announces, “I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations” ( Psalm 57:9 ), and more enlarged still, “In the presence of angels I will sing my praise” ( Psalm 138:1 ; nab ). We are not called to express praise to God only in our quiet time with Him. It is intrinsic that praise be publicly expressed. David appointed Levites to ensure the public praise of Israel ( 1 Chron 16:4 ; 1 Chronicles 23:41 Chronicles 23:30 ).
The Scriptures offer a language of praise and give instructions on expressions of praise.
Nehemiah leads in praise by saying, “Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord” ( Neh 9:5-6a).
Asaph followed David’s cue: “Sing praise to him; tell of his wonderful Acts” ( 1 Chron 16:9 ).
Declaration of Praise
The New Testament reveals that the name of the Lord is Jesus, so we are to Praise Jesus! This truth is declared over and over in the Scriptures and is one of the main reasons each one of us has been created. The name of the Lord is to be praised and God’s creations are created to declare praise to God! No one is excluded from praising God. When we praise, we are being obedient to God. Psalm 150:2 says, “Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.”
Further Study: Psalm 63:3-4 (NKJV), Psalm 113:1-3, Isaiah 43:21 and 150:6, songs Psalm 98:4, Psalm 146:2 ) instruments ( 1 Chron 25:3 ; 2 Chron 7:6 ; Psalm 144:9 ; 150:1-5 ), and dancing ( Psalm 149:3 ), Matt 21:1-11, Psalm 51:15 ) Psalm 9:1