PSALM 150=PRAISE THE LORD!
Bible Background: Psalm 150 caps the fifth ‘book’ in the psalms. (The psalms are listed in 5 ‘collections’, all of which end with a psalm of Praise.) It also is a fitting finish to the entire book of Psalms. The call to praise the Lord starts getting louder in Psalm 146, then 147, 148, and 149, until it explodes in Psalm 150: “Let everything that breathes, praise the Lord!”
Digging Deeper: 1. Every verse of this Psalm includes the Hebrew word haleluyah (English is ‘hallelujah’ or ‘alleluia’.) It means “Praise Yahweh!”
2. There are 13 imperative or ‘command’ statements in this short psalm. These summon every person-and even every creature-to praise the Lord!
3. When we think of the musical instruments available in those days, it seems that every single one of them is employed in making music to the Lord! And the addition of each one makes the praise louder and stronger. Nothing is held back! Does this help us appreciate a wide-variety of instruments and music in our worship?
4. Notice that ‘dance’ is included as a way of praising God! Have you ever witnessed ‘liturgical dance’ in a worship service, where the dancers, in flowing movements, use their bodies to praise God? This is not a new thing. When done well, it is a lovely expression of worship!
5. “To praise God is to live; to live is to praise God!” Psalm 150 really does invite us to figure out how to praise God every day! The other 149 psalms have supplied the reasons to praise God, so that we learn to praise God when the days are easy and when the days are hard.
6. There is no shortage of hymns and Christian music inspired by Psalm 150: All Creatures of our God and King; 10,000 Reasons to Praise the Lord; Let All Things Now Living; Praise the Lord Ye Heavens; Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. Think of the “Alleluia Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah!” What is your favorite song of praise to God? Can you sing it, hum it, or play it throughout the day?
For the next 4 weeks, we’ll get to know the letter to the Ephesians. Read ahead!