A Man’s Praise

A Man’s Praise

A Lesson in Praise by Elder Richard Barnes

There’s a saying I remember, “Sunday School is the greatest school on earth”. In Sunday School, you have the ability to apply the word of God directly to your life.  In Sunday School you have a chance to pause the lesson and ask questions which you just can’t do in a preached word. You will witness God’s Word cut and pierce your very mind and spirit as God speaks directly to you through His Word,  every lesson, every time.  This message is taken from a Sunday School lesson that taught me a lesson about praise.  My journey started as I studied the lesson from the NKJV

2 Samuel 6:12-16

Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” mSo David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. 13 And so it was, when nthose bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed ooxen and fatted sheep. 14 Then David pdanced 7before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing qa linen ephod. 15 rSo David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.

16 Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, sMichal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.

That last verse (16) spawned these questions in my heart;

  1. What causes a God fearing man to hold back praise?
  2. Is David a good role model for men when it comes to praise?

16 Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, sMichal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; …

In a Pentecostal church vs 16 would probably go unnoticed except to see the error of Michal (Mi-kawl), but I guess since my roots are Baptist and I’m an old school man, I saw something a little unusual.  As a matter of fact I thought to myself “that was awkward” and then I laughed.   You see men use visuals to grasp things, and the more I tried to imagine King David “leaping and whirling” in the streets, the more unmanly it seemed as a praise.  So the next question I raised was “Is David’s dance a good role model for me as a man”?

Check his Man Card

To answer this question we have to assess the character of David  from a man’s point of view.  How do we do this? Like every other man does, we check his man card.  The man card, in the brotherhood, is certified proof of manhood.  It is required to become a respected member of the male community.  Although it is an imaginary card, men can sense if you have one, and will revoke it mentally if one is seen doing non manly things (like screaming because you saw a bug. Young men don’t do that, suck it up and walk away if you have too.)

Most of the points accumulated to get a man card come from the attributes of Strength, how strong you are.  Luckily an earlier Sunday school lesson talked about David’s strength.

Strength – 1 Samuel 17:34-37, David kills a bear and a lion that attempt to take a sheep from the flock he is tending.  The lion, at least, David kills with his bare hands as he grabs the lion by the beard (mane) and beats it to death.  That takes strength.

Another well pointed attribute is Bravery.  This well-known Sunday School lesson tells us how brave David was.

Bravery – 1 Samuel 17:1-11, when the entire camp of Israel becomes afraid because of Goliaths challenge to fight to the death, David is the only one who accepts the challenge and goes out to fight him with no protection even though Goliath wore armor.  That takes bravery

Points are also gathered for honesty. Another lesson focuses on the honesty of David when he keeps his word.

Honesty – 1 Sam 20:15, 42 David honors the covenant he made with his best friend Jonathon who was killed, by caring for Jonathon’s son Mephibosheth and restoring to him all that he had lost.  David is a man of his word.

Lastly you’ve got to be a ladies man

Sauvé – 2 Samuel 3:2-5, 5:13-15, David had at least 8 wives and 10 concubines. That’s all I’m saying about that. Check and Point.

Check his Spirit man card

Now that I have gathered respect for David as a man I can examine his spirit man and find out what God thinks of David.  Another well-known Sunday School lesson tells us how God viewed David.

1 Sam 13:13-14 God called David a man after his own heart, a man who will do his will.  It’s important for us to understand that although David made some really horrible mistakes and may not have been the best of fathers, His love for God was so great, that when he saw his error he made every attempt to repent and ask God’s forgiveness.  It’s good to know that we have an advocate with the Father through Jesus Christ, that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 2:1-9

David loved the word of God Ps 119:97

David loved to pray Ps 116:1-2

David loved to praise God Ps 119:64, Ps 95:1-7

What is praise?

So I’m cool with David, I only had one question left, what is praise?  Our word praise comes from the Latin word “value” or “price”. Thus giving praise to God is to proclaim His merit or worth.  There are many modes of praise, including the offering of sacrifices (Leviticus 7:13 ), physical movement (2 Samuel 6:14 ), silence and meditation (Psalm 77:11-12 ), testimony (Psalm 66:16 ), prayer (Philippians 4:6 ), and a holy life (1 Peter 1:3-9 ). However, praise is almost always tied to verbal (which includes singing) and musical expression (Psalm 150:3-5 ).

God is the creator, and all creation is commanded to praise Him Revelation 4:11, Isaiah 43:7, Romans 12:1 Hebrews 13:15. From as high as the angels of heaven (Ps 103:20; Rev 5:11) to those lower things that are unconscious or even inanimate (Ps 19:1-4; 148:1-10; Rev 5:13).  The psalmist says that the sky and nature sing an inaudible praise because they are a testament to his work.  Thus we were not only created to praise, but that our very existence is praise.  Look at yourself in the mirror and say “look at God”.  Every time I look at my wife, I think to myself there must be a God somewhere.  Every time you breathe you are a testament to his power.  Every time you move you are evidence of his glory.  A man may proclaim “I will not praise him” but as soon as he blinks, he just gave God glory because God did that!  God made that possible and without Him there is no you.  It’s no wonder the enemy wants to completely destroy you, every time he looks at you he sees praise.

The whole world watched as Michael Phelps became the greatest athlete of all time while he collected more medals than anyone in the history of the Olympics.  The commentators soon tried to explain why Michael Phelps was such a great swimmer.  They said he had an ergonomic advantage over everyone else in the pool.  At 6’4” and an armspan of 6’7” he had incredible pulling power.  He has the torso of a man 6’8” that aides in his reach.  His torso is also hydrodynamic, being long, thin and triangular.  Legs of a 6’ tall man gives him a powerful kick.  His hands are large and can grab a lot of water.  His feet are even larger (size 14) and act like flippers.  Since he’s double jointed he has a greater range of motion in his arms and legs than other swimmers.  Their conclusion was that Michael Phelps was designed to swim.  Don’t believe the hype Mr. Phelps, you were designed for praise, and are a gifted swimmer.

The Hebrew word for used in the 16th verse is karar (kaw-rar), it means to whirl.  The thinking centered around Michael Phelps’ success, is the reason why men (like me) would struggle with a karar (kaw-rar) praise.  Men believe they are made for the talent, when the talent is an accessory, his purpose is praise.  This type of thinking causes confusion between the natural man and the spirit man. Once the spirit man is brought alive by the father he desires to give God praise. It is the nature of the spirit man, but the natural man does not understand the ways of the spirit nor does he understand his own existence.  This is why we spend billions of dollars sending remote controlled cars to Mars, in search for the source and purpose of life.  The natural man believes he is made for the game when he is actually created for Gods pleasure. The natural man believes he is the “stuff”, the “shiz-nik”, when he is actually dust and ashes, clay for the potter’s use.  He believes he is a sex machine, when he is a vessel of praise.

When we submit to Gods purpose, praise in any form will come easy. So how does a man praise God? by forgetting about himself, and giving God all the glory and all the honor, and not be ashamed, however it looks.

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