PSALM 150:1-6: “Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!”
OBSERVATION: Praise the Lord! The last Psalm calls us to give praise to the Lord with everything we have and everything we are. The Hebrew word translated “praise” is – “halal”. “Halal” means to “shine forth”, to “make a boast”, hence – to “praise”. We are called both to shine forth with the glory of God and make our boast of Him, proclaiming His excellent greatness. Praise is a proclamation of both our life and our lips.
The easiest element of praise is to make our boast of His excellent greatness. It is a good thing to give “halal” to the Lord! We are called to praise Him with the sound of the trumpet, the lute and the harp, the timbrel and dance, with stringed instruments and flutes, with loud cymbals and clashing cymbals. Music is a gift from the Lord and one of the key ways we express our “proclamation” of praise. Music was paramount in the worship of the Temple. David instituted a 24/7 Levitical staff of worshippers who proclaimed His excellent greatness before the tent of meeting, and it continued when the Temple was dedicated. We should not be timid in our singing of praises, but we should lift our voices loudly with joy and enthusiasm. The cheering of a crowd at a sporting event should not even hold a candle to the celebration of God’s people as they proclaim His praises! What a wonderful privilege and call it is to “Praise the Lord”!
The second element of praise is not as easy. It is the call to make our actions match our words. The Lord proclaimed concerning Israel – “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Jesus warned against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who on the outside looked like white washed tombs, but inside they were filled with dead bones. In other words, they had the expression of “praise” down – but did not validate their words with the life that they lived. Jesus calls us to let our light shine before men through good works. Again, one of the key meanings of “halal” is to “shine forth”. Our praise to the Lord is not complete unless we also “shine forth” with a life that matches our words. This is not a call to perfection, but it is a call to integrity. Without integrity in our lives the praise from our lips has no power or meaning.
Lord, help me to give You praise for all of Your excellent works! Let me not be timid in my praise. Let me lift up my voice boldly and unashamed. Let me shout to the Lord with a joyful noise and give Him praise! And most of all, let my life reflect Your glory. Let my life “shine forth” with Your love, Your grace, Your truth. May my actions be with integrity and consistent with the words of my lips. Let everything within me – “Praise the Lord!” In Jesus Name!