Theme: Who Is to Praise the LORD
In this week’s lessons, we learn how this last psalm teaches and exhorts everyone, everywhere to praise the LORD.
Scripture: Psalm 150:1-6
The final answer that Psalm 150 gives to the questions you or I might have about worship is to tell us who should praise God. The answer is as comprehensive as those that have been given to each of the other questions we might have been asking. First question: Where should we praise God? Answer: Everywhere, in heaven and on earth. Second question: Why should we praise God? Answer: Because of everything God is and for all he has done. Third question: How should we praise God? Answer: With everything we’ve got.
Now at last, question four: Who should praise God? Answer: Everything and everybody. “Everything that has breath,” says the psalmist.
This is exactly what will happen according to the Bible. One day “every knee [will] bow,” whether willingly or not (Phil. 2:10). As far as the saints are concerned, the apostle John wrote of them in Revelation, “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever’” (Rev. 5:13)! What a great privilege. It will be ours if we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who has indeed taken away the sin of those who trust him.
At Tenth Presbyterian Church, where I have preached through the psalms on Sunday mornings for the better part of six years, it is our custom to read through the psalms consecutively. When we get to the end we just go back and start again. There is a sense in which we should be doing that now. If we have actually come to the place where we have echoed the praise of that great heavenly choir that sings “to him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb,” and if we are repeating the final words of the Psalter which cry, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD,” we will want to go back to where we started out and seek ever more intently the blessing that comes from meditating upon and delighting in God’s Word: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1, 2).
We cannot praise God without doing that. For we will only praise God as we come to know him, and the only way we will come to know him is through his self-disclosure of himself in the Bible and by our meditating on it.
But it works the other way, too. For we cannot miss seeing that the book we have been studying begins with Bible study and ends with endless praise. Clements suggests that our hymnbooks probably have it all wrong. Most of them begin with hymns that praise God but end with songs about marriage, the home, national holidays and patriotic tunes. The Psalter doesn’t even end with a doxology, though it could. It does not end with an “Amen.” It ends with a call to praise God, which is itself our great doxology to which we add our own sincere and loud “Amen.”
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.”
Who should praise God? When will this happen?
How is Psalm 1 related to Psalm 150?
Describe the order of content in the psalms and what this can teach us.
Reflection: Are there areas in your life for which you offer praise to the Lord less often than you ought? Thank him even for difficult times because they, too, are meant to deepen your trust in him and to increase your praise.
For Further Study: Download for free and listen to Philip Ryken’s message, “Giving Praise to God.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)