Read: Psalm 150:1-6
Consider: Psalm 150 is a very short psalm of only 6 verses, yet it contains encouragement for us to praise God in ways we too easily forget. If I was to ask you when you praise God, you might reply that this is what you do when attending church on a Sunday. For the Christian public worship, when we praise God, is very important, but it is not the only time we should be praising him.
Reading through Psalm 150 you might notice that the psalm splits into three sections, with a final encouragement to praise. In this psalm we are told to:
Praise him in … (v1)
Praise him for … (v2)
Praise him with … (v3-5).
In verse 1 the psalmist tells us to praise God ‘… in his sanctuary’. For us this equates to times when we are engaged in worship in church. Additionally we are told to praise God ‘… in his mighty heavens’. This means that at all other times, when away from the sanctuary, we are able to praise God. Many Christians rely on the time they spend in church as the time they spend praising God, yet forget that God wants their praise when they are going about their everyday lives.
In verse 2 the psalmist says that we should praise God ‘… for his mights acts’ and ‘… for his surpassing greatness’. Our praise for God should be based on who he is, as well as on what he does. In our prayers, we need to remember to include thanks for who God is, as well as thanking him for what he has and is doing in our lives.
The majority of the psalm (verses 2-5) is taken up with telling us to praise God in various ways:
with the trumpet,
harp and lyre,
tambourine and dancing,
strings and pipe,
clash of cymbals, and
If we are honest this is hardly a description of how most of us, particularly in the west, tend to praise God. Rather than it being a list of essential things to use in praise, it refers to the exuberance that should characterise praise. Unfortunately exuberant praise is not a defining characteristic of western society. In this we have much to learn from other cultures where praise is much freer and more spontaneous.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD (Psalm 150:6).
Pray: Father, may our praise be truly genuine and based on your greatness, as well as your deeds. Help us to praise you in all aspects of our daily lives. Amen