“I will praise you seven times a day
because all your regulations are just.“
Psalm 119:164 NLT
The Psalmist says he is going to praise God seven times a day. Why seven? Why not six or eight? What’s so special about seven? In Scripture, the number seven refers to completeness, perfection even, so the use of this number by the Psalmist is particularly significant. In essence, he was saying that he was going to praise God continually and totally. Why? All because he attributes justice to God’s ways.
To someone today this might appear to be archaic, unnecessary, unachievable or even just plain wrong. But nothing could be further from the truth. Superficially, we probably associate praising God with singing a hymn on a Sunday morning in church. Perhaps, “Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven..”. Or if we’re really bold we might praise Him every day in our “Quiet Times”. And our praise merges into thankfulness for things God has done for us. But when was the last time we praised God for the justice of His ways? Either this Psalmist was on a different planet to us, or there is more to praising God than we might think.
When we become a Christian we embark on a journey aligning our lives to God’s ways. And as we do so, the Holy Spirit works in our lives producing fruit, the fruit of the Spirit that we read about in Galatians 5:22, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,”. (We have that number again, with seven different flavours of fruit.) We praise God with our lives as we get closer to Him, following His ways more closely. As we remain in contact with Him. As we respond to Him in obedience.
We are on a pilgrimage of praise. We praise God when we are faithful to Him. We praise God when we refuse to get angry with the bad driver in front of us. We praise God when we love those around us. We praise God when we wait patiently in the queue for our Covid jag or the supermarket checkout. We praise God when we offer a kind word to someone we meet in the street – sometimes just saying “Good Morning” might cheer someone up – who knows – they might not have heard a kind word for days. The list of praising opportunities are endless. And don’t forget, we praise God because of who He is – our wonderful and amazing Creator, our Heavenly Father. Let’s look around for even more opportunities to praise Him today.