Scripture reading – Psalm 150

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Our journey through the Book of the Psalms concludes today with Psalm 150. A few scattered chapters are yet to be studied, but those will be considered in our chronological reading of the Scriptures.

Psalm 150 reminds us to praise the LORD and reveals music’s central role in worship through the centuries. Twelve times, the writer of Psalm 150 called on God’s people to “Praise the Lord!” For our study, I suggest four questions about the believer’s obligation to praise the LORD. The first question is:

 

Where did believers praise the LORD? (Psalm 150:1)

Psalm 150:11Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary [holy place]: Praise him in the firmament[breadth of the heavens] of his power.

We notice first that the LORD is to be praised “in His sanctuary” (Psalm 150:1a). What was His sanctuary? The Temple, specifically the inner sanctum, also known as the holy of holies. Though the heavens and the earth could not contain Him, the LORD blessed the sanctuary amid Israel with His presence.

The LORD should not only be praised “in His sanctuary,” but we can see His power and majesty displayed in the “firmament” of heaven. Indeed, we should look to the heavens and shout Hallelujah! “Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 150:1). 

 

Secondly, we ponder:

 

Why should believers praise the LORD? (Psalm 150:2)

Psalm 150:2 – 2Praise him for his mighty acts [strength and mighty deeds]: Praise him according to his excellent[abundant] greatness [majesty].

God is worthy of our praise because of His mighty deeds and providential works. David was attributed with the same sentiment when he wrote in Psalm 145, “One generation shall praise thy works to another, And shall declare thy mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4).

When we consider the “excellent greatness” of the LORD, we should ponder that the heavens and all creation reflect His majesty (Psalm 150:2b), for “the heavens are the work of [His] hands” (Psalm 102:25).

 

The third question in our study is:

How and with what should we praise the LORD? (Psalm 150:3-5)

We are again reminded of the central role of music in worship. The psalmist exhorted the people:

Psalm 150:3-53Praise him with the sound [blast] of the trumpet [horn; shofar or ram’s horn]: Praise him with the psaltery [lute or string instrument] and harp.

4Praise him with the timbrel [a hand drum or tambourine] and dance [a whirling around, circular dance]: Praise him with stringed instruments [played by plucking strings] and organs [wind instruments; flute or reed instrument].

5Praise him upon the loud cymbals [percussion instruments]: Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

Throughout the centuries, musical instruments have been integral to congregational worship. Here, the psalmist described a virtual orchestra of instruments upon which musicians were to praise and worship the LORD. Horns, lute-like stringed instruments, harps, percussion instruments (tambourines, hand drums, cymbals), and wind instruments were all part of congregational worship. Accompanying the orchestra were those who praised the LORD in dance with its whirling motions (Psalm 150:4).

Finally, we address the question:

 

Who should praise the LORD? (Psalm 150:6)

Psalm 150:66Let every thing [all living creatures, including man] that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

Summing up the whole matter of worship and praising the LORD was a universal call to every creature to praise the LORD. Let every man and woman, beast and bird of the air, and even the fish of the waters give praise to their Creator! “Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 150:6).

Closing thoughts –

Do you consciously block out the noise and busyness of life and focus on the LORD to praise Him? We live in a noisy world. If we are not careful, the clamor of humanity will overwhelm and drown out the sweet sounds of God’s creation: the ocean’s roar, singing birds, the wind rustling the leaves on trees, or just the quiet serenity of an open meadow. Creation’s music gives us a reason to pause and Praise the Lord.

When you worship the LORD and meditate in His Word, turn off modern electronics and sincerely seek the LORD. You will find Him in the quiet and solitude of His creation and the private meditations in His Word. Seek a daily time of quiet, read the Scriptures, and meditate on the LORD.

Lastly, we must not be content with seeking the LORD in private worship. Throughout our study of the Psalms, the importance of congregational worship has been encouraged (Hebrews 10:25). If you are a musician, think of the blessing you have to play upon instruments, lift your voice to the LORD, and use your talents to encourage others to worship Him!

“Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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