1 Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
There are some basic questions which effective writing will seek to answer. Kipling made it easy for us to remember them: “I keep six honest serving-men; (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When; And How and Where and Who. In six punchy praise-filled verses, our Psalmist packs in the answers to most of these questions.
The ‘where’ of praise is located for us in verse 1. The Lord is to be praised in his “sanctuary” – his chosen meeting place on earth. He is also to be praised in the “heavens”.
The ‘why’ of praise is given in verse 2. The Lord is to be praised for his “acts of power” and for his “surpassing greatness”.
The ‘how’ of praise is explored in verses 3-5. Trumpets, harps, lyres, timbrels and dancing, strings and pipe, resounding cymbals: it’s a vivid and comprehensive picture of how The Lord is to be praised.
The ‘who’ of praise is where the Psalm – and the book of 150 Psalms finishes. The “who” as the receiver of praise, already identified in the Psalm’s opening three words, is again identified in its last three words: “Praise the Lord”. The “who” as the giver of praise is also identified: “everything that has breath”. We might expect the word “everyone” rather than “everything”, but the Psalms regularly invite all creation to join with people in praise of their Creator.
We could say that the answer to the “when” question has an implied answer: “at all times”. Yet the praise of Psalm 150 – of all the Psalms – will find their ultimate destiny at the cross of Jesus – the new sanctuary, the new meeting place with God. This is God’s greatest “act of power” where he shows in the most remarkable way his “surpassing greatness”. Praise the Lord! Praise Lord Jesus! Praise King Jesus!
Head: What have you learnt about Jesus from Psalm 150? What have you learnt about yourself?
Heart: How does it make you feel that you are invited to join with everything that has breath in praise of our Creator God? How does it make you feel that the centre of this praise is the death of your king for you?
Hands: You may not have a trumpet but you have a voice. How will you use it today in praise of your King?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, by your Spirit, please lift my heart and lift my voice in praise of the one who was lifted up on the cross to show me your surpassing greatness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.