Praise to the Lord is the recognition that God deserves praise from everyone, and the way to do that is to bow, yield, and submit to him. “Praise the Lord” is the Hebrew word “hallelujah.” Hallelujah literally means “to raise the hands.”
We are told ten times in fourteen verses of Psalm 148 to praise the Lord, to raise our hands. It is a symbol of submission and joy. To have open hands lifted toward heaven is to convey to God that we will obey him and live for him in everything. Praising the Lord, lifting the hands, is not only to occur in church; praising the Lord is to happen everywhere. We are to lift our arms in reverent submission at our workplaces when we land a client or have a good day, as well as when we are overwhelmed and cranky people demean us. It is always open season on praising the Lord, and it is not limited to a certain set of good circumstances.
We are to raise our hands and praise the Lord when our neighbors care about us and look out for us, as well as when they make noise and irritate us with their less than kept up yards and houses. Yielding to God’s purposes for our lives is not dependent upon whether we have good neighbors or not. We are to praise the Lord and raise our hands when our marriages are life-giving and thriving, as well as when our relationship with our spouse is dry, dull, and going nowhere. It is always open season on praising the Lord and reflecting his image through love. We are to praise the Lord over our kids, not only when they do what is right but we are to raise our hands with hallelujah when they are complete stinkers and drive us nuts. We are to use our hands to praise and enact obedience, not refuse to praise and use them for violence through finger pointing, fist pumping, and even hitting. Let both our mouths and hands work in concert together to praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! Praise Father, Son, and Spirit! Today I join with all creation to praise the name of Jesus. His name alone is exalted. He has raised me to new life. Thank you, gracious Lord Jesus. May you be lifted high today in and through my life. Amen.