Psalm 150 - Praise the LORD!

INTRODUCTION: This very brief concluding Psalm in the book of Psalms brings our attention clearly to our need to consistently praise the LORD, our God and Savior. The application of this Psalm for worship and praise expresses what had been appropriate for centuries even before it was written, and it continues to serve that purpose to our present day.

NOTE: Scripture passages are from the American King James Bible.


A - PRAISE GOD IN HIS SANCTUARY AND IN THE FIRMAMENT OF HIS POWER

Psalm 150 "1 Praise you the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power."

COMMENTS: The first physical sanctuary was prepared by Israel while in the wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land. The LORD provided the design to be followed for his sanctuary, and required that it be reverenced when completed. Leviticus "26:2 You shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD." Centuries later, near the end of king David's life he gave instruction to his son Solomon to build the sanctuary of the LORD at Jerusalem. 1 Chronicles "28:9 And you, Solomon my son, know you the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever. 10 Take heed now; for the LORD has chosen you to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it."

The house of the LORD remained in Jerusalem for centuries after Solomon's reign, until it was destroyed by the Babylonians. It was in desolation for a period of about seventy years before rebuilding began when Jewish captives returned from Babylon. Some time after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ the temple was again destroyed, but as Jesus had said, John "2:19 Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and will you raise it up in three days? 21 But he spoke of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this to them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said." Even though the LORD had given the pattern for the tabernacle in the wilderness, and for the temple that Solomon built, all worship must actually be directed to the LORD. Isaiah "66:1 Thus said the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build to me? and where is the place of my rest? 2 For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have been, said the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word." We now must look directly to that sanctuary which is in heaven. Hebrews "8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man."


B - MIGHTY ACTS AND EXCELLENT GREATNESS

Psalm 150 "2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness."

COMMENTS: Moses reminded the children of Israel of the greatness of the acts of their God as they were poised to cross the Jordan river to take the remainder of the promised land. Deuteronomy "11:1 Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always. 2 And know you this day: for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm, 3 And his miracles, and his acts, which he did in the middle of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and to all his land; 4 And what he did to the army of Egypt, to their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD has destroyed them to this day; 5 And what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came into this place; 6 And what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben: how the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession, in the middle of all Israel: 7 But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the LORD which he did."

When Israel had been in the land for many centuries and fell to foreign domination because they abandoned the LORD, the prophet wrote that God is still all powerful and a just God. Jeremiah "32:18 You show loving kindness to thousands, and recompense the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name," Even a pagan king became vividly aware of the power and majesty of the LORD while he held Jews captive. Daniel "4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied to you. 2 I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God has worked toward me. 3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation."

Luke "19:37 And when he was come near, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said to him, Master, rebuke your disciples. 40 And he answered and said to them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." With the added revelation from the New Testament, may those who love the LORD never allow our lack of praise to cause the stones to cry out!


C - PRAISE THE LORD WITH MUSIC AND DANCE

Psalm 150 "3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the tambourine and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him on the loud cymbals: praise him on the high sounding cymbals."

COMMENTS: After Israel was brought out of Egypt by the LORD, the Egyptians were cut off from their pursuit, and praise with rejoicing followed. Exodus "15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them, Sing you to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea." Open celebration with music and dance was dramatically demonstrated when king David brought the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. 2 Samuel "6:14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet." King David also established music as a routine part of worship at the house of the LORD. 1 Chronicles "15:16 And David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brothers to be the singers with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy."


D - LET EVERYTHING WITH BREATH PRAISE THE LORD

Psalm 150 "6 Let every thing that has breath praise the LORD. Praise you the LORD."

COMMENTS: This final verse is a very fitting conclusion to the book of Psalms. The excerpts from the first and the fourth Psalms that follow reinforce the fact that praise will come from "all the earth" and that "All your works shall praise you." The middle two Psalms resound that praise to the LORD will come from all "lands, nations, and people." Psalm "98:4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Psalm "100:1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all you lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing." Psalm "117:1 O praise the LORD, all you nations: praise him, all you people." Psalm "145:10 All your works shall praise you, O LORD; and your saints shall bless you."

We have evidence in the Old Testament that a time is coming when all will worship the LORD. Psalm "66:4 All the earth shall worship you, and shall sing to you; they shall sing to your name. Selah." Isaiah "66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, said the LORD." Paul wrote that Jesus is the reason for both Jew and Gentile to sing and rejoice as they glorify God. Romans "15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers: 9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name. 10 And again he said, Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; and laud him, all you people. 12 And again, Esaias said, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust." The way has been clearly open for all people to place their trust in the Lord God since the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

The phrase "praise you the LORD" occurs 24 times in the Old Testament, with only 2 not in the Psalms. Judges "5:2 Praise you the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves." Jeremiah "20:13 Sing to the LORD, praise you the LORD: for he has delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers." The phrase "praise you the LORD" opens and closes in each of Psalms 106, 113, 135, and each of 146 thru 150. The book of Psalms contains history, prophecy, praise of many attributes of the LORD, and a wide variety of expressions of personal highs and lows in life. But with this reminder so often recorded, and the phrase used of the Holy Spirit to close the Psalms, Everyone who knows the Lord should certainly take to heart this reminder to "praise you the LORD!"


--- Reflections in prayer ---

Lord Jesus, I want to look to that perpetual sanctuary in the firmament of the heavens where the Lord pitched the true tabernacle not made by the hand of man. I want to have a contrite spirit that reflects the awe I have for your Word, which teaches me of your mighty acts for those that you love. And because you have shown love to me through your excellent greatness, I want to respond in love by keeping your commandments and judgments as I praise you with my whole heart. May my praise be open and bold for your mighty works, my King and Savior, so I won't be shamed by having the stones cry out in my place. Thank you Lord for music and dance that praises you, as it can lift my spirit even as I join in that process by enjoying the talents that you have given to others by your gifts. I look forward to the time when everything, without exception, will give joyful and abundant praise to the Lord of heaven and earth. Amen.

Published 28 November 2012