Summary: Written for the ladies day of prayer; examining praise and the psalms around psalm 150
Ladies Day of Prayer
Each of the last 5 Psalms begins with, “Praise the Lord,” and each Psalm increases in praise and joy until we come to the last one Psalm 150
For the psalmist, “praise the Lord” was definitely not a cliché but an ecstatic expression of uncontrollable joy!
In six short verses, we hear the phrase 13 times
Every sentence starts off with “Hallelujah” (which is the Hebrew way to say, “Praise the Lord”) and is very short ¬
It’s as if he can’t wait to get to the next opportunity to say, “Praise the Lord” again.
The word, “praise” is derived from a Latin word which means to prize.
When we praise, we are expressing our approval by valuing something or someone who has worth or merit
The word also means to “shine” or “make a show by raving and celebrating.” To praise the Lord is to prize Him and rave about Him as the only one worthy of glory and honour
The people of Cameroon have little to praise the Lord for in comparison to us here in the UK
We are a people who live in a country with good education, health care and living conditions
Yet what do we do?
We complain about the weather, the government and the younger generation
Yet the people of Cameroon, praise the Lord as if they have all the riches at their disposal
Act 16: The early disciples when thrown in prison for the name of Jesus didn’t sit about feeling sorry for themselves, but they praised the Lord despite their circumstances.
And what was the psalmist teaching us?
Where are we to praise God
Verse 1 begins with a bang: “Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens.”
The word used here for “Lord” is “Jehovah,” which means, “the self-existent and eternal one.”
The psalmist than shifts his focus to another name and calls him, “God” or “El” in Hebrew, which means, “Strong and mighty.”
We are to praise the eternal, strong and mighty God in “His sanctuary,” which is a reference to the temple, where God used to dwell
Since Jesus died and rose again, God now “lives” within His people, choosing not to live in a building
The call to praise also extends to the “mighty heavens.”
The psalmist is calling the firmament, and everything above it, to break out into a celebration of praise
Verse 1 is really saying, “Praise God in heaven and on earth.”
And so, verse 1 answers the question, “Where are we to praise Him?”
We’re to do it everywhere
Verse 2 gives us the answer to the question, “Why are we to praise Him?”
Why We Praise
We’re called to be enthusiastic about God for at least two reasons
First, we praise Him for what He does
We see this in the first part of verse 2: “Praise Him for His acts of power.”
This is the theme of many of the psalms
The phrase, “acts of power” carries with it the idea of God as a champion because of the victory He has won
His acts of power are displayed in creation and in our own lives as we enjoy the benefits of His grace, forgiveness, and salvation
Some of you may have great reason to praise the Lord for some recent way in which He has demonstrated His acts of power in your life
You’ve seen Him restore a relationship, give you victory over a sin, renew your health, or answer a specific prayer request
You’re praising Him today for what He’s done in your life ¬ and so you should
But, we’re also to praise Him for who He is in the second part of verse 2: “Praise Him for His surpassing greatness.”
This is especially evident in the last group of praise psalms. Psalm 145:3 says, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” Psalm 147:5: “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit.”
When we praise God for who He is, we are recognizing his surpassing greatness, or as the Hebrew indicates, for His “greatness and abundant magnitude.”
This is a good reminder for us
When we praise Him, we should do it for what He’s done in our lives and we should praise Him simply for who He is
How should we Praise?
As we move to the next section in verses 3-5, we learn How to Praise God. Many of us would be a bit unsettled if we worshipped the way the Israelites did or the Cameroons
Their music is loud and boisterous
Psalm 150 describes an incredible praise band, one I’d love to see more in the Uk!
For us to throw out our inhibitions