Question about lyrics

Today we sang “Only a God Like You” in our worship service. I don’t understand the first two lines:

“For the praises of man I will never ever stand”.

Does it mean I will never stand in order to gain the praises of men? That fits the context, but doesn’t make lots of sense. What does standing have to do with it? Does it mean I can’t bear to be praised? That if I am praised, I won’t stand up to receive it?

I think it probably means that I will never stand in order to give praise to any mere man. That also fits the context, but seems silly. Does this mean I am promising never to give a standing ovation to a performer? Never to stand in respect as a judge enters the room? I had to stop singing during that line of the song each time it came around, because I didn’t want to promise something I didn’t mean!

Later the song says,

“Only a God like You
Could be worthy of my praise
And all my hope and faith
To only a King of all kings
Do I bow my knee and sing”

I guess the composer must be using “praise” to mean worship. In that case he means, “while I may stand in honor of a man, I will never stand as an expression of worshipful praise to Him; I will never give any mere human the kind of praise that only God deserves.” If that’s what it means, then I suppose I can sing the entire song next time. 🙂

Am I missing something else more obvious?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “Question about lyrics

  1. Could it be using the term “stand” as in “I won’t stand for that.” meaning the praise of men is something I won’t put up with?

  2. I’m not really sure what that first line means either… maybe we should ask the worship leader. I’d say that either of your guesses are appropriate interpretations. But it is a strange lyric.

    The chorus makes more sense to me. Although I would say it is scriptural to give honor and praise where it is due, there is a sense in which only God is worthy of our praise. Consider the remainder of the chorus:

    “…and give my everything.
    To only my Maker my Father my Savior
    Redeemer Restorer Rebuilder Rewarder
    To only a God like You
    Do I give my praise”

    God is the only person, god or man, that is deserving of our praise. Compare these lyrics with the song “You are worthy of my praise.” It’s a popular worship song that has a similar message. I wouldn’t say that these songs mean that you can never give a standing ovation, or honor someone who deserves it. It means that in all we do we must praise God above all else.

    For example, I would never sing “Only a President like you” or something like that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *