The word "praise" is used about 100 times in the book of Psalms. There are several original Hebrew words that are so translated in English but, basically, they all have the same meaning with slight variations. Usually the word is used to indicate some kind of worship, exaltation, adulation, great confidence in or giving of thanks. However it is being used, it is much more than just uttering the empty, hollow phrase with a loud voice, "Praise the Lord!"

David said in Psalm 119:164: "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." I don't know just which way David was using the word, whether he was saying, "I thank God seven times in the day" or "Seven times in the day I exalt in a special way his holy name." But however he was using it, he devoted an allotted time seven times in the day to do it.

Wherever the word is used it can be thanksgiving or exaltation. I would be hesitant to dogmatically say it has to be one way or the other. But whenever it is used by the Psalmist it indicates a loving devotion to He who is responsible for all the blessings mankind receives. The word gives credit to the Creator and thanksgiving for all these good things.

In the 107th Psalm he uses this phrase four times: "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" Here, it seems, he is undoubtedly using the word to express thanksgiving.

In this Psalm it seems as though he is using it or can be using it in the two ways: thanksgiving and exaltation. "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving" (Psalm 69:30).

However the word was used, it was to be a continuing thing, not just every once in a while. "I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints" (Psalm 52:9).

And the last application of our word indicates great trust: "In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me" (Psalm 56:4).

All the ways the Psalmist used the word becomes a lesson for his saints today.

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