The Christian Hedonist’s Playbook (Part 6)

It’s been a while since we visited this series on the book of Psalms. I didn’t mean to take such a long break. Here’s the next installment…

Much of the content of the Psalms is praise, whether the writers are praising God themselves or calling others to praise Him. In fact, the word “praise” appears more in Psalms than in any other book in the Bible—a total of 152 times to be exact (in the NJKV). This is amazing when considered with the word’s use in the rest of Scripture. “Praise” appears only 28 times in the rest of the Old Testament, and only 23 times in the New Testament.

So, the word “praise” appears 152 times in the book of Psalms alone, and only 51 times in the rest of the Bible! Claiming that Psalms is THE book of praise is no exaggeration. Therefore, Psalms is an indispensable tool in helping us know what it means to be a Christian hedonist.

After all, at its root the oft-repeated call to praise the Lord is really a call to prize the Lord—to consider Him as the ultimate treasure. As John Piper puts it in his book Future Grace, “prizing is the authenticating essence of praising. You can’t praise what you don’t prize. Or, to put it another way, God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him” (page 3). So, in a very real sense, we could describe Psalms as the Christian’s instruction manual on how to prize the Lord above all else. (Hence the title of this series.)

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