Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
We gather to praise the Lord together. Have you ever wondered why? Maybe it is a tradition – your parents and their parents did this. But there are better reasons than simple repetition and tradition.
This psalm says that praising the Lord is good, pleasant and fitting.
It is good in many ways. Only the ungrateful do not give thanks for a gift. We all think it good to thanks our parents, to thank a vet, to thank a neighbor who lends a hand. It is good because there is not harm in it, not sin. It is good because Praise realigns our hearts from despair or doubt – when we praise we remember what God has done.
It is pleasant. Isn’t it delightful to hear good music? Don’t you enjoy singing a great old hymn, even if you have more enthusiasm than skill? God desires that our walk with him is delightful and pleasant. We are not called to be grim, sour legalists. We are called to live in delight.
It is fitting. Sooner or later you will run into someone who says that this is all a waste of time. Why are we here praising God when we could be doing something useful? During the Civil War the army wanted to close churches and turn them into hospitals. Lincoln stopped this idea because he said that a nation has to have a place to pray, especially in times of distress and danger.