Wednesday 03 October 2018

Bible Book:

praise him according to his surpassing greatness! (v. 2)

Psalm 150 Wednesday 3 October 2018


We are taking a break from Job’s story today to consider the Psalm reading… and what a contrast in feeling it is from the anguish of Job 3. Here we see a pouring out of praise and a call for God to be celebrated by everyone everywhere.

Reading Psalm 150 always reminds me of being in Sunday School surrounded by a selection of musical instruments to bash loudly (and generally un-tunefully!) in praise to God. While we were encouraged to sit quietly for most of the session, this was the opportunity to dance and be as loud as we liked. In fact, trying to make the congregation hear us in the church building next door was positively encouraged! It can be somewhat easier, can’t it, to ‘let rip’ in praise as a child, but as adults – as Job was all too aware – the stresses, strains and busyness of life can push praise down our list of priorities.

Yet the unnamed author of this last Psalm also shows a childlike eagerness and enthusiasm to praise God. Each of the 13 short sentences of the Psalm contain a call to praise and, with a maximum of six words between ‘Praise’, it’s as if he can’t wait to shout it again!

While Psalm 150 closes the book of Psalms, there’s an echo here to the opening Psalm. Psalm 1 has the same number of verses, is equally memorable and, in some versions begins and ends with "Blessed" while Psalm 150 begins and ends with "Praise the Lord!" So a challenge to us all at the beginning and end of the Psalms to foremost remember our blessings and to always praise God for them. I would imagine that Job, in his situation, may well have had great difficultly shouting praise to God in the way this final Psalm suggests but, nonetheless, he held strong to his belief that God was in control (Job 19:25) and, when things started to go wrong for him, blesses the name of the Lord (Job 1:21) in spite of his circumstances.

Whatever situations we find ourselves in, Psalm 150 provides us with a clear blueprint of praise for God: Where should it be done? Everywhere (v. 1) Why? Because of God’s power and greatness (v. 2). How? With whatever you can use (v. 3-5). Who should do it? Every single one of us who has breath (v. 6).

Praise the Lord!


To Ponder

  • In the Jewish faith, Psalm 150 is often recited during Pesukei dezimra or ‘Verses of praise’, which begins daily prayer each morning. What can we do to ensure each day begins with praise, regardless of what else is going on in our lives?
  • In what situations do you, or have you, felt the enthusiasm and excitement we see here in your own praises to God?
  • What helps you to praise God? What could you do this week to ensure praise is a priority?





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