Written by: Tim Wood
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.
What a great way to end the Psalms. There are 150 Psalms and they end with praising the Lord. The last five Psalms all begin with “Praise the Lord”. The Hebrew word for praise the Lord is “hallelujah”. This word is in the imperative form, which means that praising God is not a suggestion or an invitation, but a command to every one of us. This Psalm makes it clear that our faith in the Lord should result in energetic praise through singing, dancing and playing of all kinds of instruments. Because of who God is and what God has done, we have a song of joy in our hearts. The psalmist answers some important questions about praise in this psalm.
Who is it that we praise? "Praise the Lord" (v. 1), We don’t praise the preacher or the church, but the Lord. The Lord deserves the praise. We praise the One who blesses. We praise the One who gives. Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord” (Phil 4:4). Our praise and joy is directed toward Him!
Where do we praise Him? "Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens" (v. 1). What an interesting combination. Praise God on earth as the angels in heaven are praising him. The idea is that God is to be praised everywhere. Derek Kidner writes, “God’s glory fills the universe and His praise must do no less.”
Why do we praise Him? "Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for his surpassing greatness!” (v. 2). His acts of power can be seen in many of the Psalms – miraculously providing and guiding the people of God. His surpassing greatness is his character. He is the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the wise God. He alone is worthy to receive glory and honor.
How do we praise Him? With all kinds of instruments. With celebratory dancing. With loud voices. The psalmist is saying, "Put a full orchestra together and praise the Lord. Get a full choir together and sing to the Lord.” Some people don't like that kind of praise, but we are commanded here to praise Him in this fashion.
Who should be praising the Lord? “Everything that has breath” (v.6). Are you breathing? Then you qualify to praise the Lord. In these short six verses we are commanded to praise the Lord 13 times. This tells us that praising God is not based on our feelings or our mood or our circumstances. Praise is a matter of obedience to our great God. If you’re breathing, praising God is not an option; it’s your responsibility.
Praising the Lord is good for our soul, our mind, our life! Join the chorus of people through the ages of time and shout your “hallelujah” to our mighty God!