“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.” Ps 50:23
Although the entire bible is the Word of God, it is really cool to read the words that God has literally spoken. When we read His words it helps us to understand His personality. We understand, straight from His mouth, what He likes and dislikes. We hear His solemn promises.
In this passage we hear from Him two things that He really likes: praise and righteousness. And these two things need to go together. Praising God without righteous living is an insult to God. Many people insult God in this way. And living right without praise is self-righteousness. It’s not really righteousness at all, it’s pride and arrogance. Both of these things need to go together, and when they do go together, God loves it. He says this: “Offering praise glorifies me, and when you order your conduct aright, I’m pumped and ready to pour out salvation in every area of your life.”
I don’t think we realize how pleased God is when we do these things. For example, look at what Jesus does when Stephen is about to suffer as a martyr (Acts 7:55-60). Stephen’s life was an example of praise towards God and righteousness, and when it came to that moment when he was about to be stoned, he looked up to heaven and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. This is the only time in the bible where we see Jesus standing. All the other passages talk about Him sitting at the right hand of God. But to show the world how pleased He was with the life and death of His servant Stephen, He stands up, thus signaling the honor that God bestows on those that He is pleased with.
God loves praise, just like we like praise. We like it when people tell us that we have done a good job with this or that. God loves it when we tell Him how good of a job He’s done with creation. He loves it when we tell Him how great His plan of salvation is, and how awesome His Son was when He laid down His life for us. And it’s not egotistical that God tells us to praise Him. He is simply making it easy for our stupid heads to understand what He likes. And besides that, praise is for our benefit, as well. When we praise God we are getting our mind off of our problems and on to the Solution. Praising God helps us to put life into perspective. It gets our minds out of selfishness and on to appreciation.
And then He also loves it when we order our ways in righteousness. That means that we take the tools that He has given us (the blood of Jesus, the help of the Holy Spirit, and the instruction of the Word of God) and use them to order our steps in what is right. It means that we make every effort to live a life that is blameless and perfect for He says, “you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect (Mat 5:48).” And we can be perfect in God’s eyes, His blood washes away all unrighteousness. Perfection is achieved when you accept His righteousness and then choose to walk, by the Spirit, in His righteousness. This means that every action of yours is done in the spirit of pleasing Him, of doing what is right, and of doing things unselfishly. It means that, when you mess up, you repent and, if possible, make right what was done wrong.
Let us be those who seek to please God and not man. If we live that way, God will show us His salvation in this life and honor in the next.