Pause to Praise
June 6, 2023
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” Psalm 150:6
The book of Psalms is one of the most well-known and well read books of the Bible. By definition, a psalm is a sacred song, or poem meant to be used as a part of worship. So it is no wonder that psalms are often used in songs and seen on signs. Even in Jesus’ time the psalms were popular. In fact, the book of Psalms is quoted more than any other book in the New Testament.
Among the 150 psalms in the Bible there are a variety of types. Some focus on praise or thanksgiving, while others stress wisdom or lament. No matter the topic, the book of Psalms provides honest and emotional expressions of faith. From it we learn to boldly express both our joys and sorrows to our Heavenly Father. So, over the next month our devotionals will look at different types of psalms, beginning with psalms of praise.
There are many psalms of praise. In fact, the last five chapters of the book are considered psalms of praise, each one beginning and ending with “Praise the Lord.” The intent is to bring glory to God for who he is and what he has done. Psalm 150, the last psalm in the Bible, is no different.
Psalm 150 begins with praising God in his sanctuary (verse 1). In the Old Testament, the sanctuary was where God dwelt, so it was a fitting place to extol his praise. Because of Jesus, we know that God also dwells with us. 1 Corinthians 6:19 declares that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. With this knowledge, we can praise God not only in a physical sanctuary, but also in our hearts, with all of who we are.
The psalmist goes on describing other areas and reasons for praise, from the wide expanse of the heavens to God’s mighty deeds in all creation. But beyond praising him for his deeds, we are reminded to praise God for who he is. Our Lord is worthy of our praise because of “his surpassing greatness”. He is our Heavenly Father, our creator who is above all, and in all.
The attention shifts in verses 3-5 to expressions of praise. From trumpets and lutes, to lyres and cymbals, each description points to a symphony of praise. The list of instruments is not restrictive or comprehensive, it gives just a taste of the ways we can praise God.
In a final declaration verse 6 states “Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” A fitting conclusion not only to the psalm, but to the entire book. Every living thing should give its praise to the one that gave it life, for every breath is a gift.
So take a moment to read the entirety of Psalm 150. Once you do, I invite you to reflect. Consider how you praise God beyond Sunday worship. Perhaps it is with music, or maybe it is through silent prayer and recognition. Whatever the way, take time this week to pause and praise God. Praise him for what he has done, but also for who he is.
Heavenly Father, With the psalmist we bring you praise. We praise you for giving us life and creating a beautiful world for us to live in. We glorify you for your love and mercy and for your justice. We bring you glory because we know that you alone are worthy of our praise. As we go through our week, may we pause and bring you the praise you are due. We pray this in your son’s name, Amen.
Blessings in your week,
Spiritual Care Coordinator
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