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The 150th Psalm


The 150th Psalm is a psalm of “total praise” to the Sovereign God of heaven. The word ‘praise' means to express admiration, approval, or heartfelt gratitude to some- one. The theme of the last five psalms is about praise to God. All five psalms begin and end with the words “Praise the LORD.” Praise represents our commitment, dedication and devotion to Almighty God. Some of us will recall the opening lines of a popular hymn that reads, "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation. O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation"

God is most worthy of worshipful praise from His people. Psalm 147:1 clearly states, “Praise the LORD; for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is fitting.” This wonderful all-encompassing 150th Psalm is comparatively brief, having only six short verses, where praise is mentioned no less than 13 times.

Verse 1 exhorts us to “Praise God in His sanctuary.” Our praises rise and flow from worshipful hearts to our Holy God who inhabits the praises of His people in the heavenly sanctuary—the Holy Place, which is also “His mighty firmament.” This means that God’s divine power and righteousness is ever present in the heavenly sanctuary.

Verse 2 presents another reason to praise God and that is “for His mighty acts” and “according to His excellent greatness.” His mighty acts and excellent greatness go well together. In Psalm 145:3,4 David wrote, “Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” One of God’s great attributes is His “omnipotence,” meaning He has infinite power over all things and at all times. He created the universe and all things therein. Also, His greatness in love, mercy and grace that provided salvation for all humanity. We cannot praise God too much and for who He is and what He means to us.

Verse 3 states that God is to be praised “with the trumpet, lute, and harp.” Musical instruments enhance our praise to the Almighty, who gave man the ability to design and make these instruments, and others to play them. The Apostle Paul mentioned in his letter to the Thessalonians concerning the second advent of Jesus Christ, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). The trumpet, lute and harp are fine ancient musical instruments which can be played individually or as part of an orchestra.

Verse 4 mentions that “the tambourine and dance” are used in praise to God. The tambourine and dance are associated with God’s deliverance of the children of Israel from Pharaoh through the Red Sea. The Bible states, "Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing" (Exodus 15:20). This was a definite act of jubilant praise to God for His miraculous deliverance.

Verse 5 says God can be praised “with the sounding cymbals and loud clashing cymbals.” This could mean that the combined sound of the loud and clashing cymbals can render a joyful noise up into the very abode of the Holy One. We are also urged to “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth” (Psalm 100:1). Our praise to God must be accompanied by much enthusiasm and joy, thus rendering it much more glorious and acceptable.

Verse 6 concludes this beautiful psalm of adoration and praise and also the psalter itself with a most fitting statement: “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” At His creation, God put the breath of life into living beings. Therefore, living beings can also “breathe out” praises to their Creator in some way, shape, or form. The “Doxology,” which is a short hymn of praise to God and is used in various forms of christian worship reads: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above you heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

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