Psalm 150:6 AMP
Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)
Revelation 5:13 ESV
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
So this begs the obvious question, will my dog or cat “out praise” me?
If all things with breath, if every creature, will be praising the Lord, what an experience that must be!
I believe that we have simplified the spiritual eternity to the common perceptions of “heaven and hell” that are easy for us to grasp and comprehend. But I truly believe that it is so drastically different than this physical realm that it’s impossible to describe properly within the limits of our words and languages.
I mean, really. Think about the picture of every creature, with all that is in them, crying out praises to God. Romans 8 tells us that the whole creation is groaning and eagerly awaiting the revealing of His chosen children:
Romans 8:19-24 ESV
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
Yes, it sounds like something hard to wrap or minds around – but what would you expect from an Almighty God whose ways are above our ways?
Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
We try to understand God within the safe confines of our own minds, building ourselves a nice little box of “God does this, He doesn’t do that”, etc. But as I seek Him deeply in study, I find that He escapes simple definition. I have no point of reference to compare God to within my life experience. Outside of scripture and the example of Jesus Christ demonstrating His nature fully revealed, I can catch a shadow of His glory in a beautiful sky, song, or experience – but even that is a dim shadow that would look like darkness beside the fullness of God’s glory.
And isn’t this why we call Him the great “I Am”? What else could we compare God to without it being such an insufficient and unworthy substitute?
Can you imagine all created things singing the praises of God? It’s pretty amazing to try to imagine, and however we picture it is I fear so infantile and so inadequate, and falls so short of what it will really be like.
And I don’t know if this exercise in imagination brings me more joy, or hope, our confusion, or concern. Because I start to wonder – will the lowly ant’s praise humble me? Will the praise of a wild raccoon that lived off of trash be far greater than my own praise?
How many breaths of this life of mine are praise and honor to God? Have I allowed Him to equip me and use me for His will and purpose, or has it all been me struggling on my own, wrestling against the wind?
So today, do I think of myself more highly than I should? Do the birds rebel against God’s will, or is it only fallen man like me who burdens ourselves chasing in the footsteps of the enemy of God following our sinful nature?
Will those same animals that I kill and eat for food prove themselves to praise the Lord with their breath greater than I do?
It isn’t meant to be a comedy act question. I’m asking the question in full sincerity.
How humble or how proud will we be proven when the veil is lifted and we see and understand things as they truly are?
If the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, this picture begins to strike the wisdom of God into my heart.
I fear that my song may be one of the weakest of all, but I’m learning to sing stronger.
Help me to value each breath and how it can be lived as a living sacrifice and a praise to God.
Have mercy on me, Lord. I fall so short of your glory. You call me your child, and at times I feel just like that, a babe humble at you feet, in awe of my heavenly Father. Keep me there in my humility, otherwise I will fall into pride when I have nothing to be proud of but you, Lord.
Let me hear the song of the birds each morning and be humbled by the breath of their praise – and let me be reminded to praise you with my breath, my life, my actions, and even my words.