In Psalm 8:2, we read this statement which Jesus quoted once in the Temple when the little children were shouting and praising God. As we read in Matthew 21: 15-16, they held palm branches and lay down their clothes on the road for Jesus to ride on a donkey into Jerusalem. At that time when Jesus came into the Temple, the children there were yelling and shouting, 'Hallelujah', 'Hosanna to the Son of David'. And the Chief Priests, who did not like a lot of noise and all that, believed that the only way to worship God was quietly and seriously as though a funeral was going on. Now there are people who think that even today, that the only proper way to praise God is quietly and solemnly as though you were sitting in a funeral. Now I believe with all my heart that there is a way of praising God in silence but there is also praise that is acceptable to God that comes forth with shouts of joy. The Bible says, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord."
We worship God with shouts of praise and also in solemn silence. It's not just always one or always the other but here it was absolutely proper for the children to be excited and to praise God. Have you ever seen how people praise those who have just won a cricket match? For example say India Vs. Pakistan and the cricket match is going on and India has won. Can you picture how that stadium erupts in excitement. Now, why is that Christians don't seem to be excited about the fact that Jesus has forgiven their sins, that Jesus has defeated the devil, that Jesus overcame everything on the Cross, that Christ is returning in glory and He is going to set up His kingdom on the Earth. People sit with long faces in God's presence. Jesus was thrilled to hear the noise of praise and so when the Chief priest criticized those little children praising God, Jesus quoted Psalm 8:2. He said "Haven't you read that it says in the Bible, from the mouth of infants and nursing babes, thou has established strength. Because of thine adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease". So what do we read there? That praise is the means by which God shuts the mouth of the enemy. That's very important for us to understand. It's through praising God that the mouth of the devil is shut and very often you can't shut the mouth of the devil in your life or your home because you don't praise God.
The devil hates praise, I'll tell you that. He hates praise in a home, he hates praise in a life, he hates praise in a Church and that's why he makes people so grumpy and long-faced and grumbling and complaining most of the time because then he can rule in their lives and in their homes. Satan cannot stand the sincere shouts of praise to God, that's why he can't stay in heaven because in heaven every angel is yelling and shouting praises to God. How can the devil stand around there? And he can't stand around in any Church where everybody is praising and shouting and thanking God, I'll tell you that, he can't. He can't be in a home where people are praising God. He can't sit in a life or in a heart where people are praising God. Jesus was so excited when He saw those little children praising God because that reminded Him of His home, Heaven. Jesus was used to living in heaven for eternity where He heard the angels praising God with a voice like loud thunders and then when Jesus came to earth and lived in Nazareth and He saw so many people grumbling, complaining, long-faced. Well, He felt sad but now and then, He would see a situation like this where children are shouting and praising God, and it reminded Him of His heavenly home. But those religious people just couldn't understand that. They couldn't stand that type of praise. What does that actually prove? They were actually in fellowship with the devil. The devil hated that praise and those religious people hated that praise. How is it in your life? Did you give room to the devil by that spirit of complaining and grumbling.
What do we read in Psalm 8 through that expression of praise that came from the mouth of infants, it established strength to make the enemy shut his mouth and to make the revengeful person cease. And there when we look around at Christians today, we can see how Satan has succeeded everywhere. In most places, he does it in 2 ways, either he will stop the shouts of praise altogether and that's what he has done in many homes, many churches, many lives. There is no shout of praise and if he doesn't succeed there, then he has got another technique, that is, where people are praising God, he will make them insincere, that means that they will say it with their mouths but it's not true in their hearts and it's not true in their lives. So, both ways he succeeds. So you have some Churches where they don't praise God at all and some other churches where it's only a ritual and is not something which is true in their life all the time but just praise God on Sunday morning. And then the devil succeeds in both these Churches but, what is God looking for? He is looking for churches, homes, individuals like you who are determined to drive the devil right out of your life, your home and your church by sincere praise.
Why does Satan hate sincere praise to God? Because, as we saw in Psalm 8, that is how he is going to lose his power over you. Now empty shouts of praise that don't come from a Holy life, that don't come from a sincere heart, they don't have any power. No, but if it comes from a heart that is really committed to God, it has tremendous power in it. You know when the Israelites worshipped the golden calf and they called it Jehovah and they shouted to that 'Jehovah' or what they called Jehovah. Moses and Joshua heard it at such a long distance away but that wasn't real praise. It was empty, it was hollow. There was immorality in the midst of that praise and that can happen today. People can praise God with a loud voice and there can be immorality in the midst of all the praise to Jesus but where it comes from sincerity, there you can be absolutely certain, it's powerful to drive the devil right out. Why don't you practice it from today?
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon