“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 150:6).
From a biblical perspective, what is the primary purpose of humankind? Some might say it’s to serve God. Others say it’s to enjoy God, and still others that it’s to obey God. These are all true statements, drawn directly from Scripture. But all of these point towards one ultimate goal: to praise God.
People fall into trouble when they turn their focus from God and settle it on other things. Adam and Eve in the very beginning plunged the whole world into chaos because they chose to elevate themselves above God. People fell into idolatry because they worshiped the works of their own hands instead of the God who had created their hands. Rulers found themselves ruined when they exalted their own power instead of the God whose power would always triumph over theirs. All of these point to the same thing: failure to praise God.
Psalm 150, the final psalm, is devoted entirely to exhortations to praise the LORD. After the emotional rollercoaster that is the rest of the book, it concludes with this simple message. The psalmist urges everything that has breath to join in praise to the great Creator. And why? Because He is worthy of it. He created all things to praise Him. Our one purpose on this earth is to give glory to Him.
So often, we think it’s our works that will bring the most glory to God. We pour ourselves into all the great things we’re doing for God, hoping that these will somehow earn us more favor with Him, that this will be the thing that glorifies Him the most. But while we are absolutely called to honor God with the things we do, what God wants most of all is our praise. He wants a heart that is so in love with Him it cannot help but give thanks to Him day after day. He is not interested in what we can do for Him so much as how we relate to Him.