Psalm 150: The After Glow
There is a moment after watching a wonderful fireworks display or hearing a magnificent symphony or concert, or seeing a phenomenal performance, that you just want to sit in the afterglow of the experience and bask in the memory. After the four great Alleluia psalms we just read, especially Psalms 147 and 148 that explode on the pages like the grand finale at a fire-works display, Psalm 150 seems more like that afterglow. It’s simple, beautiful, and reminiscent of what went on before it. It doesn’t end with a bang, yet it also doesn’t end with a whimper. You want to hold onto that state of praise for as long as possible as the book of Psalms comes to a close.
Psalm 150 – Four Questions
Psalm 150 answers four questions:
- Where do we praise God? – “Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!” (1b) In other words, everywhere, not just in church, but everywhere on this earth.
- Why do we praise God?–“Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his exceeding greatness!” (2) Praise him because he is great and has done many great deeds. If we recall the history of the Jewish people, there are many examples of God’s saving action. If we look back at our own life, chances are we will see God’s hand as well.
- How do we praise God? — “Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise God with timbrel and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise God with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!” (3-5) Use everything you have to praise God. The psalmist has gathered a mighty orchestra of praise.
- Who is to praise God? – “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!” (6) Everything and everybody is to praise our God, not just the priest and religious, not just people, but all living beings, birds of the air, squirrels in trees, all animals.
Psalm 150 – A Final Doxology
Each of the books of the Psalter end with a doxology – words of praise. Here, at the conclusion of the Psalms, the doxology is expanded into a jubilant hymn of six verses.
It is a fitting conclusion as it allows us to hang on for just a little longer to those jubilant, triumphant, cascading words of praise, finally rolling to an end by saying, “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.” And so our journey through the Psalms has come to an end, only to begin again, but not just yet. Let me bask in the afterglow for a while.
Praising God Amid COVID 19
With all that is happening in the world, it may seem difficult to praise our God. But even in the midst of COVID there are reasons for praise. I praise God for this awesome earth and all those who inhabit it. I praise God for my own life and the life of those I love. And I praise God for the gift of the Psalms. All reasons for giving thanks and praise.
Alleluia! Praise the Lord!
What reasons do you have to praise God? I’d love to hear them.
If you are struggling with being thankful this Thanksgiving, try reading my article, The Thankful Mysteries: Five Reasons to Give Thanks All Year Long.
This post is part of a series of blog posts on the Psalms. Sign up to follow this blog and receive a free copy of Still Dancing, the second book in my Dancing through Life Series. click here to sign up
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