Summary: Written for the ladies day of prayer; examining praise and the psalms around psalm 150

Ladies Day of Prayer

JCC 05.03.10

Psalm 150

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

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