Psalm 150

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 30, 2019 2 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150)

As we bring 2019 to a close, I’m also bringing to a close my study on the Psalms. As I started with Psalm 1 at the beginning of January, I’m ending with the last psalm here at the end of the year.

It is fitting for this marvelous and majestic book to end with a psalm that is totally and completely made up of praising God! I kept the psalm in the format I did above so you can see how basically every phrase starts with the word “praise.” It’s the same in the original Hebrew text; each phrase begins with a form of the verb for praise. Many begin with halleluhu which specifically means “praise him.”

We can break down the structure of this psalm further than just being praise. It starts with telling us who we should praise, then why we should praise Him, then how we should praise Him, then who should do the praising.

We find out who we are commanded to praise in verse 1: we are to praise God. Even though He is in His mighty heavens and we are on earth, we are to praise Him. There is no one else even remotely worthy of the praise that God deserves.

Why should we praise God? Verse 2 tells us that He has done mighty acts, and He is amazingly great. The Bible is full of stories of what God has done for His people throughout history, and even today we still see God doing amazing things in our lives and the lives of those around us. God is still working in the entire world today. He is the epitome of greatness; we don’t even have the words to describe Him. He is ever-deserving of all our praise!

How should we praise God? Verses 3-5 of this psalm gives us lots of ways. You may notice that the ways listed are musical in nature - playing instruments and dancing. Thankfully, we don’t have to be musically skilled to praise God. We can enjoy others using these skills and praise God along with them, or we can make a joyful noise to God even if it may not sound great in others’ ears! God knows our hearts, and any method that we use to praise Him with a right heart is good in His sight.

Who should do the praising of God? We see in verse 6 that it’s not limited to those who are musically skilled. The psalm calls for “everything that has breath” to praise God! That doesn’t even limit it to just humans. All living things were created by God, so all living things should praise God with the breath that He has given us.

As we look back on 2019, this journey through the psalms has gone through times of praise, times of lament, times of joy, and times of sorrow. The psalms are full of all of these emotions and more. Some of them have been a struggle for me to write, but overall it has been a journey led by God. God has given us emotions and free will so that we can better praise Him. He has given us language to express these emotions, whether it was a psalmist writing in Hebrew a few thousand years ago or a blogger writing in 2019.

The whole purpose of this book of psalms is to praise God, just as Psalm 150 tells us. What is the purpose of your life? Does your life line up with God’s Word and praising Him as He calls us to do? Maybe 2019 was a spectacular year for you, or maybe you’re happy it’s finally over. Either way, every day God gives us a new chance to praise Him and follow Him with our lives. Every day we can make the choice to praise God with our lives, whether we’re in a season of joy or a season of lament. I pray that all of us would make the choice to praise God today, and all throughout the upcoming year!

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Chad Koons said...

Praise the Lord indeed! Thank you, Katie. Looking forward to what comes next!

Katie said...

Thanks, Chad! :) Stay tuned for the book of Ecclesiastes, beginning on Monday!