November 17, 2022

Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.


Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.


Praise the Lord.


Psalm 150


Psalm 150 is the bookend to the entire psalter. Psalm 1 opens with six verses of wisdom and Psalm 150 closes with six verses of worship. The theologian Walter Brueggemann calls this psalm a full-throated praise, offered in the presence of God — a call to worship, and a stunning doxological conclusion to the entire collection of psalms. 


This psalm encourages the accompaniment of wonderfully orchestrated instruments. And yes, we too are God’s stunning accompanying instruments to His perfect plan, the restoration of all things. With our breath we breathe praise and restoration. 


As the theologian James Mays posits, “No other use of breath could be more right and true to life than praise of the Lord. No other sound could better speak the gratitude of life then praise of the Lord.” God calls us to be resilient in praise and abundantly present, thanking God in all our circumstances, delighting to do God’s will.


What is the sound of this Psalm? We have a choice of instruments, a variety of instruments, beckoning us to the throne God. There are moments for serial solos featured here: harp, lute, trumpet (v. 3); flutes, strings, dancers (Note: with the orchestration, choreography; think The Nutcracker), and timbrel (v. 4); cymbals (v. 5). And then, finally, the choir in a prime unison (v. 6). 


It is by faith, which comes by hearing, that many composers have set this text. The combination of artistry points to the all-surpassing greatness of God. Now, what does this mean for us?


We are to sing our praise to God. Praise calls for every voice to be lifted in song, every instrument to make a joyful noise, the art of each and of all, celebrating the glory of God together.

For Reflection

Why does God want us to sing?  

Singing is one aspect by which we worship God, publicly proclaiming His glory and holiness and our gratitude to Him for who He is and for the gift of Son for our salvation.  “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29).


What does God want us to sing? 

Scripture-focused songs: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).


Why does God want us to dance? 

We dance to give God praise: “Praise him with … dance.” As we move from seeking God’s wisdom to rendering unto Him our worship, we do it through our human singing. We praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6). “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:4).


Holy Father, While I have my breath, let me sing. While I have the activity of my limbs, let me dance to your greatness and power! I Praise YOU LORD! HALLELU! Amen.

Practical Application

Don’t just sit there and read this psalm! Get up! 


Sing, and dance!


Enjoy, my sisters and brothers! God is good for it!

Dr. Stephen Newby
Minister of Worship