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Psalm 150:1-6 Reasons to Praise God

Psalm 150:1-6 Reasons to Praise God November 16, 2015

Psalm 150:1-6 Reasons to Praise God

A man was trying to teach his horse to obey and to stop and start on command. The man was a very religious man, so he came up with a couple of religious statements to use in training his horse. He trained the horse to go on the command words, “Praise the Lord!” He trained the horse to stop on the command word, “Hallelujah!”

One day he was riding the horse and it took off. He lost control of the horse and he forgot his words. The horse had been trained to only respond to the key words. Up ahead was a cliff, and the horse was headed there full speed. The man tried thinking of every religious word he’d ever heard of. “Amen! Jesus saves! Worthy! Holy!” Nothing worked.

Just as the horse approached the precipice, the man shouted out, “Hallelujah!” The horse stopped right there on the edge. The man wiped his head and said, “Whew, Praise the Lord!”

Praising the Lord is not some kind of casual meaningless activity. There is power in praise.1

Psalm 150:1-6 shares the reasons and ways to praise God. It is the last psalm in the entire book and it ends this book on the right note (no pun intended). If the Book of Psalms is about worship, then Psalm 150 reveals to us that in the end of time, we will be praising God.

Psalm 150 ends the Psalter with a call to praise. The word praise is repeated thirteen times in six verses. This psalm is a little introduction to and summary of what real worship is: expressing joyful de light in the presence of God.2

This psalm gives us five reasons to praise God.

FIVE REASONS TO PRAISE GOD

1. Praise God because of Who He is (Psalm 150:1).

Hallelujah! Praise God in His sanctuary. Praise Him in His mighty heavens.” (Psalm 150:1, HCSB)

This is the who of praise.

The psalm challenges the worshipper to praise God in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is a place of worship and holiness. God is holy because He is unique and because of Who He is, we spend time worshiping Him. The purpose of worshiping Him in the sanctuary is to declare that God is worth our worship. God is God and we are called to worship Him because He is Who He is. Man is not meant to be worshiped, but God is because He is unique above us.

How do we know this?

2. Praise God because of where He is (Psalm 150:1).

Hallelujah! Praise God in His sanctuary. Praise Him in His mighty heavens.” (Psalm 150:1, HCSB)

This is the where of praise.

God is in Heaven. We are on Earth. Because of God’s location, we are called to praise Him. Heaven is not just up. Heaven is bigger and more than Earth. We live in a universe of God’s making. But God lives beyond the universe. He lives beyond. As a result, He knows more and is more powerful than we are. That is another reason to praise God.

3. Praise God because He acts in history (Psalm 150:2).

Praise Him for His powerful acts; praise Him for His abundant greatness.” (Psalm 150:2, HCSB)

This is the why of praise.

God has acted in history. He created the world. He acts in history for His people. He has done things that man could not do. Even in an age of technology, God still does miracles.

4. Praise God because of how He acts (Psalm 150:2).

Praise Him for His powerful acts; praise Him for His abundant greatness.” (Psalm 150:2, HCSB)

God is powerful and uses all kinds of power at His disposal. He uses miracles of nature and miracles of circumstance to show His power. He moves waters, He stops storms. God doesn’t just act in simple ways. He acts in very powerful ways.

5. Praise God because He made us His instruments of worship (Psalm 150:3-6).

Praise Him with trumpet blast; praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with flute and strings. Praise Him with resounding cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals.” (Psalm 150:3–5, HCSB)

This is the how of praise.

We are designed to worship God. It is in our DNA. The psalmist challenges us to praise God with musical instruments. Music and worship go together in a creative process. Just as God created us, He put in us the creative thinking to praise back at Him. That is why we sing with worship songs. People put praise to music and we sing it back to God. God inhabits the praises of His people because we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works – such as praise God.3

Today we could legitimately add our own musical instruments to the list. There has been some controversy over introducing more than the organ into public worship, or even—in some cases—introducing the organ itself. This, however, is a matter of culture and taste rather than spirituality. Everything that evokes praise or expresses praise is a legitimate instrument of praise and therefore relevant for the culture and the people using it. An important step today in bringing the next generation into the church has been the introduction of guitars, electronic instruments, and drums into current praise. The issue is not what instruments we use; the issue is why we use them and how we use them.4

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Hallelujah!” (Psalm 150:6, HCSB)

A person will worship something…. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON5

Through such worship we participate in the worship of heaven. We join the angels (as well as Christians across the world) around the throne of God as we worship and participate here and now in what we will experience fully when Christ returns. So let us worship God with our whole lives and gather together to pour out our love to Him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength.6

1 Tony Evans, Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations: Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes from More than 30 Years of Preaching and Public Speaking (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009), 229–230.

2 Donald Williams and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Psalms 73–150, vol. 14, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 530.

3 “Five Reasons to Praise God,” Psalm 150:1-6, 22 April 22, 2015, Lectionary Reflections Year B (2014-2015), found at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jimerwin/2015/04/22/five-reasons-to-praise-god/

4 Donald Williams and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Psalms 73–150, vol. 14, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 532.

5 Chris Hodges and Craig Groeschel, Fresh Air: What Happens When You Discover the Powerful Secrets of a God-Breathed Life (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2012).

6 Lex Buckley, Rise up and Sing (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2010).


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