It begins and ends with identical sentences. The word praise reoccurs in each of its six verses. In fact, praise is used thirteen times in this brief exhortation. Described as the “final great hallelujah,” Psalm 150 is considered by many to be a manual on praise. It answers the questions of…
- where to praise (in God’s sanctuary and mighty heavens—verse 1)
- why to praise (for his acts of power and surpassing greatness—verse 2)
- how to praise (with trumpets, harps, lyres, tambourines, strings, flutes, cymbals and dancing—verses 4-5)
- who is to praise (everything that has breath—verse 6)
But something I’d never thought of before struck me as I read this passage from my NIV Bible…the absence of exclamation points. Wouldn’t you think that verses extolling the worthiness of praising the great and mighty God would be replete with punctuation that highlights excitement and command? But no, all we see is the lowly period. “Praise the Lord” [period]. “Praise the Lord” [period]. Perhaps the psalmist is sending us a subtle message.
Maybe praising God is not supposed to be an extraordinary happening. Maybe it should simply be matter of fact. Rather than being confined to Sunday morning hymnals, perhaps our souls—and voices—ought to be overflowing with praises for all kinds of reasons in all kinds of places.
The call to everyday praise abounds in the words of poets and songwriters. The Doxology, penned in 1674, exhorts us to recognize that since every good gift comes from the Father’s hand we should praise him for everything …Praise God from whom all blessings flow/ Praise Him all creatures here below. Contemporary artists like Matt Redman remind us that no matter what stage of life we might be going through, the Lord is worthy of praise…Praise you in the morning/ Praise you in the evening/ Praise you every season of the soul. Andy Park challenges us to yet praise God when life crumbles and we can’t understand why …I will praise you Lord my God/ Even in my brokenness I will praise you Lord.
Power is released when we praise God. It may even turn our circumstances around, but if it doesn’t alter our situation, it will definitely adjust our perspective. It will change us.
So wherever you are right now, and in whatever condition, join in the chorus. Let your breath praise our wonderful, omniscient, faithful, loving God. He is worthy of your…