“You take approximately 23,000 breaths every day, but when was the last time you thanked God for one of them? The process of inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide is a complicated respiratory task that requires physiological precision. We tend to thank God for the things that take our breath away. And that’s fine. But maybe we should thank him for every other breath too!” – Mark Batterson, All In (Zondervan, 2013), page 119
The songbook of the Bible is the Book of Psalms. Psalm 150 summarizes what God wants us to know about praise and worship.
The Christian faith is a singing and praising faith. The Salvation Army’s heritage is that of music – praise music. No other religion has praise and singing such as we have, because we have the song of the Lord in our hearts. The psalmist answers some important questions about praise in this psalm.
WHO?“Praise the Lord” (v. 1)—
Do not praise the church. Do not praise the preacher, but praise the Lord.
Our problem is that we often don’t see the Lord. We look at gifts or lack of gifts from God. We say, “Why didn’t the Lord do this, or why wasn’t it done differently?” We don’t see Him. He is the WHO beyond the gifts we receive. He is the WHO behind the blessings that shower upon us. The WHO is the Lord, Almighty.
WHERE?“Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty firmament” (v. 1).
We are to praise Who? We are to praise God in His sanctuary. In His temple. What an interesting combination. When we praise God in church, it’s just like the praise of the angels in heaven. In the sanctuary or wherever we are, let’s praise Him.Come into the house of the Lord with praise. Don’t go to Vegas to celebrate. Come praise God with the saints. Come sing praises with the church.
WHY? “Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness!” (v. 2).
We praise Him for what He is and for what He does. Who here has seen God do something? Praise Him for it. I do not know about you, but I have so much to praise God for. Salvation, so free and fair. Family, food, shelter, clothes, freedom, work, friends. I praise Him for what He has done, and for what He will do.
HOW? With the sound of the trumpet, with the band, the harp, the timbrel, the dance, the stringed instruments, guitars and the loud cymbals.
The psalmist is saying, “Get the whole orchestra together. Find every instrument you can, and let’s praise the Lord.” Some people don’t like that kind of praise, but we are commanded here to praise Him and to make a loud song to His glory.
- Wake up every morning, read a Psalm.
- Praise God for his provisions.
- Praise God for guidance, for the day, for everything.
- Name God’s attributes, and praise Him for them.
- Write a prayer journal, start keeping track of your prayers and the answers to the prayers. You will see you have so much to praise God for.
- Put on some Christian music and worship God wherever you are. Whether it is in your bedroom or your car, or on a walk, God will bless you for glorifying his name.
WHAT? “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (150:6).
The most striking feature of this psalm is the fact that in six short verses we are commanded to praise God no less than 13 times! The fact that God can command us to praise Him means that praise is not just a feeling based upon your mood or circumstances.
Praise is in part a feeling, but it is not at its heart a feeling. If you are breathing, praising God is not an option; it is your responsibility. Let’s be praise machines. Praise God without ceasing. The message of the psalms, and especially of Psalm 150, is God’s people must habitually praise Him.