“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion...the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness...that he [God] might be glorified.”
I think most of us do not realize just how important praise is in the life of a Christian. It is not sufficient it play a little part in our lives; it is to play a “big” part! It is what we will do throughout eternity, therefore, wise is the man or woman who is familiarizing themselves in the practice of it prior to entering the City of our God. As C.S. Lewis writes, “If we cannot praise God on the lowest plane, how can we praise Him on the highest plane?”
We are told the Jewish people had different garments and ornaments for various festivities and events. Those for rejoicing and for mourning, much like our weddings and funerals. The prophet Isaiah tells us the Lord was going to give His people a change of garments. He was going to replace those which represented mourning and a heavy spirit with a garment of praise. And the reason for this? That He might be praised. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me,” saith the Lord.
It has been said, “A gloomy believer is surely an anomaly in Christ’s Kingdom.” And Matthew Henry states, “Zion’s mourners weep in secret.” It is not those who complain about the dark hours, but those, who like Paul and Silas, praise God at midnight, that bring about a shaking and an awaking. It was not their preaching, but their praying and praising at the dark hour that had such a strong influence on those bound in chains.
Another writer penned, “There is something in each one’s experience that another cannot borrow.” This is why God made us all different and deals with us accordingly. Each of His children can praise Him in a particular and peculiar way that another brother or sister can’t. This is why it is imperative for each to praise God in his or her own way. If we do not, something will be missing. The praise songs of heaven are written in different parts.
“Christ had a delight in praise, possibly because it was a kind of echo from heaven. It reminded Him of the scenes He had left.”
(Andrew A. Bonar)