June 2022

Garments of Praise

I do not like shopping for clothes. I enjoy having new clothes, and I enjoy dressing when the result is attractive and gives me a boost of confidence. But, the work of looking, assessing and deciding is not something I enjoy. I have friends and family who are quite good at it, and I am ashamed to say that sometimes I’m envious of their skill in this area. If my monetary resources were sufficiently abundant, I’d most assuredly hire someone to attend to my sartorial needs and whims. The sweetest gifts my sister ever gave me were the times she took me shopping and made all the decisions. She has excellent taste and delightful style. I was never better dressed.

Outer garments do, of course, provide a necessary function even as they also express something about the person wearing them. There are many references in Scripture to clothing and garments and their significance or symbolism. When God gave Moses the design and function of the Tabernacle, He also gave specific directions regarding the priestly garments. In Isaiah 61:3, we see the Lord promising “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness.” And in Isaiah 61:10: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness….”

In Christ, His righteousness is our covering. Praise of Him is our ornamentation. “Praise is becoming to the upright.” (Psalm 33:1 NASB) Indeed, we are commanded to praise Him, and it is in praise and worship that we enter into His presence. (Psalm 100) This cannot be mere lip service or rote recitation. Authentic praise pours out of a grateful heart. A journey through the psalms reveals the word “praise” to be used almost 200 times. In the Hebrew language, there is an understanding in this word of looking to God as a guiding light. In order to see Him, I must look toward Him, move toward Him. In order to worship Him, I must see Him as He is. Praise attributes perfection to the Perfect One, and we are most becoming when our hearts desire His attributes and our faces reflect His glory. Praise be to God!

Until next week, beloved, be well clothed and give resounding praise to the King of Kings.

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