Scripture reading – Psalm 148; Psalm 149

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We are nearing the end of our chronological study of the Book of Psalms. Today’s Scripture reading consists of two Psalms (Psalm 148 and 149). Both psalms follow the format we have seen throughout our study: A call to worship, followed by a cause or reason for Praising the LORD.

 

Psalm 148

Let the Heavens Praise the LORD (Psalm 148:1-6)

Consider Psalm 148 in two sections. The first (Psalm 148:1-6) began with a call for the heavens to praise the LORD (Psalm 148:1). The angels and the hosts of heaven were called upon to offer praise to the LORD (148:2). The heavenly bodies (sun, moon, stars) and the clouds in the heavens were all to praise their Creator (Psalm148:3-5). For the LORD is not only the Creator, but He sustains all He has created, and not a word of His decrees will fail (Psalm 148:6).

Let All Creatures Praise the LORD (Psalm 148:7-14)

 

The second section (Psalm 148:7-14) calls for all that inhabit the earth to praise the LORD. The extraordinary creatures of the sea (i.e., “ye dragons”) and the wonders of nature (fire, hail, snow, vapor, storms, and wind) all reflect the glory of their Creator (Psalm 148:8-9). The earth’s vegetation, the beasts of the fields, the birds of the air, and every creeping thing are to praise the LORD (Psalm 148:10). All men and women, young and old, have cause to praise the LORD (Psalm 148:11-12).

Indeed, let all that has breath “praise the name of the LORD: For His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven” (Psalm 148:13). We are “His people” and our strength and prosperity (i.e., “horn”) are from Him. The LORD alone is worthy of praise (Psalm 148:14).

 

Psalm 149

Continuing our theme of Praise, I invite you to consider Psalm 149 in two sections. The first is a call to rejoicing in congregational worship (Psalm 149:1-5). The latter is a prayer that the LORD will execute judgment on the enemies of Israel (Psalm 149:6-9).

The Distinctive Songs of Congregational Worship (Psalm 149:1-5)

Notice that the praise and worship of believers is to be distinctive in both words and music. The psalmist wrote: “1Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, And his praise in the congregation of saints” (Psalm 149:1).

 

The words of the “new song” (i.e., renewed song) were focused on the LORD and referred to the psalms that would have been sung by the priests in the Tabernacle and the Temple. King David, who was a poet and musician, wrote the same in Psalm 40: “[The LORD] hath put a new [fresh; renew] song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see [perceive; observe; discern] it, and fear [reverence], and shall trust in the LORD” (Psalm 40:3).

 

In the prophetic Book of Revelations, the apostle John described the singing of the elders in heaven, writing, “9And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

 

The exhortation recorded in verse 5 particularly interests me: “Let the saints be joyful in glory: Let them sing aloud upon their beds” (Psalm 149:5). When sleepless nights come upon us, and we wrestle with burdens and sorrows, may we, the saints of the LORD, turn our thoughts to singing and praising the LORD!

 

A Call for Deliverance and Judgment (Psalm 149:6-9)

 

So much more could be written, especially on the psalmist’s appeal to the LORD to execute judgment upon the enemies of His people (Psalm 149:6-9). Though the wicked often appear to triumph, let the saints of God not forget it is our call and honor to be custodians of His Word, Law, and Commandments (Deuteronomy 7:1-2; 32:41-43). Our LORD is a God of Law, Judgment, and Justice.

 

Closing thoughts –

 

Why should believers praise and worship the LORD? Not only because He is worthy of our praise but because He takes pleasure in His people offering Him praises in music and song (Psalm 149:5). When you have an attitude of gratitude for the LORD, you can go to bed happy and sing aloud upon your bed (Psalm 149:5).

 

Let all who have breath sing and Praise the LORD!

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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