Worship Notes

"The Cry of Praise"

In Psalm 8:2, the psalmist writes, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger."  What exactly is this verse of Scripture referring to?

Jesus quoted this same verse in Matthew 21.  But it was translated a little differently when He said it.  He said that "Out of the mouth of babes thou hast perfected praise."  What did he mean by this?

What is it that comes out of a baby's mouth?  A cry!  I know this well, as my daughter turned one month old a couple of days ago.  What comes out of a baby's mouth is a cry.  So how is a cry related to or compared to perfected praise?

Let's dig into this verse a little.  The word "ordained" in Psalm 8:2 is translated from a Hebrew word that means "established as a reflex".  Praise should be a reflex act in much the same way as a baby's cry is out of reflex.  Praise is an act of faith.  It is thanking God and acknowledging Him for His acts and His greatness despite our circumstances.  When a baby has a need, it doesn't think about the need, or contemplate the problem while searching for a solution.  They simply cry as a reflex, knowing that their help is going to come from a source bigger than themselves.

That's how our praise should be.  Whenever we have a need we should not contemplate the problem, or try to search for a solution on our own.  We should, as a reflex, cry out to God in praise, thanking Him for the answer that He has already provided.  This is where praise becomes an act of faith.  This is where we can begin to thank God for the evidence of things not seen.

What is your typical reaction when trouble comes your way?  Do you begin to fear or worry?  Or do you begin to thank God that He already provided your answer?  Psalm 8:2 tells us we should do the latter.  But not only do it...do it until it becomes so second nature to us that it is a reflex act.  Just as that baby doesn't think about its problem but simply cries out, so should we simply cry out to God in praise when we have a need.

Is it easy?  Not always.  But it does confuse the enemy.  Satan does not expect you to praise God in the midst of troubling circumstances.  He expects you to waver and fear.  He does not expect you to dance before the Lord after the doctor gives you a bad report, or after you get that unexpected bill.  But that kind of praise is an act of faith that God honors.

The verse goes on to say that when we cry unto God in praise, He will still the avenger.  The word "still" comes from a Hebrew military term that means, "Calls to attention".  God will snap the enemy to attention just like a drill sergeant does to a trainee in boot camp.  He will stop the enemy in his tracks instantly.  Remember, there's only one reason that a drill sergeant calls his men to attention...to give them orders!  God will call Satan to attention so that you can give him orders that he is not to mess with you.  All you have to do is cry out to Him.

Let's look at the verse now with a better understanding of the terms:

"Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have established as a reflex a cry that is likened to our perfected praise.  Just as a baby's need is instantly met when it cries out, so will You instantly call the enemy to attention to give him orders when we cry out to You in praise."  Psalm 8:2

Encourage your congregation with this...Praise stills the avenger; it confuses the enemy; it destroys depression; it invites God's Presence.  What do you think Satan will do when he realizes that every time he tries to attack your life, out of reflex you just give God more praise?  Jesus called that "perfected" praise!