Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.(Ps. 150:1-6 NIV)
Psalm 150 serves as a doxology for the whole of the Psalter. Psalm 1 introduced the Psalter describing the blessed life as the wise way to live, encouraging us to meditate upon the law of the Lord day and night. Psalm 150 is an appropriate conclusion to the Psalter as it states the outcome of a life lived according to God’s word. Such a life leads to praise of God. The objective of coming into the sanctuary having meditated upon God’s word is not just obedience but adoration. The main lesson of the Psalter is to encourage us to come into the sanctuary and bring with us the account of our circumstance whether that is faith or doubt, fear or courage, or joy or sadness.
The Psalm ends as it begins, ‘Praise the Lord.’ The whole of creation is summoned to praise the Lord. The angels are called to praise the Lord in the mighty heavens. Praise is to be given for what God has done and for who He is. Each instrument of the orchestra is enlisted to boost the praise of the Lord. They danced for joy. The Psalmist is stretching his heart and mind to think of who else he could enlist in this mighty choir. Perhaps, running out of further groups, he just shouts out, ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.’
I remember being at a conference, where only ministers (men only) were permitted to attend. We all wore grey or navy suits. There was no music and we only sung the Scottish metrical Psalms. There was solid biblical teaching, and it was a very conservative group of men present. In one of the afternoon sessions a missionary gave such an encouraging report of what God was doing that as soon as he stopped his report the whole conference broke into spontaneous handclapping. Some older men said that since the conference started in the 1950s they had never seen that happen, but it felt wholly appropriate as every heart had been moved by the account of the grace and mercy of God. The Psalmist perhaps not as restrained but still spontaneously bursts out as shouts, ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.’
This brings to a conclusion our meditation on the Psalms. In church life it is unusual to have a complete series of preaching through the Psalms. Normally selected Psalms are preached upon so it was good to have taken this opportunity to go through all of the Psalms and look at some of the Psalms that are inclined to be overlooked.
Lord our God we thank You for the lessons that we have learned about prayer from this OT book of prayers. Help us to be more willing to bring all our concerns and joys into Your presence. The conclusion of all our consideration is expressed so clearly by the Psalmist, ‘let everything that has breath praise the Lord.’ We offer our praise and thanksgiving in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.