By now, you probably know the drill. If you are new, this series, as you may have deciphered, is an outline of the entire Bible, book by good ol’ book. Click the image below to read previous sections.
You know the feeling of understanding and realization and possibly revelation that you get when looking at a situation in hindsight? It’s always a joy to realize the complexity of what happened and/or a challenge to realize opportunities lost. The Psalms are a daunting collection of chapters that is hard to summarize, but as I was reading through, I realized that the final handful of chapters shed light on the purpose of the book as a whole. So, I thought we would flip things around this time and begin at the end!
BEFORE READING MORE – It would be ideal if you read the chapters to be discussed prior to looking through the outline! This week we are covering the book of Psalms, chapters 146-150.
PSALMS – SUMMARY
The Psalms are a powerful collection of prayer, prophesy, and praise in the form of poetry by many authors; most notably, King David, but also Asaph, Korah, Solomon, and even Moses! Traditionally, as documented in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Psalms were hymns meant to be sung with music and divided into 5 parts.
The most powerful part of
the Psalms are their relevancy.
The chapters document very real historical circumstances and how the authors responded to God in those circumstances. To this day, we face many of the same questions, doubts, and prayers, which ultimately lead to praise and worship, and as a result, the Psalms are a tool that be can be a lamp to powerfully guide our feet!
PSALMS 146 – 150
Here are the first and last verses from each of the last 5 Psalms in the book. Read through each one and you will easily notice the theme. It is unmistakable and it is the unified conclusion…the only possible outcome of 150 chapters of Psalms.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!Psalm 146:1
The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!Psalm 146:10
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.Psalm 147:1
He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the Lord!Psalm 147:20
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!Psalm 148:1
He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the Lord!Psalm 148:14
Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!Psalm 149:1
To execute on them the judgment written!Psalm 149:9
This is honor for all his godly ones.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!Psalm 150:1
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!Psalm 150:6
There is no other response to God but praise!
There is one thing very clear in these verses (and in ALL of the Word). There is no other outcome, no other response, to God than to “praise the Lord!”
It is the sum of a life constrained
by His love. It is the epitome of
thought. It is one of the greatest
actions that can be done by man!
And, fittingly, it is riddled throughout the closing thoughts of the book of Psalms. The book used by the congregation to engage with the Lord so vividly exclaims that despite any circumstance or trial or blessing, all is for the glory of the Lord. All, rightfully, leads to His praise!
The wonderful thing is that the praise due His name is not limited to mankind. All that has breath is called to praise the Lord. Man, beast, and—some might argue, even plants—breathe! In chapter 148 (my favorite psalm of ALL!) we see that angels, heavenly hosts, sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, fire, hail, snow, rain, wind, mountains, hills, trees, beasts, birds, kings, youth, and elders are all called to praise the name of the Lord. Can you imagine the song of praise being sung by all of creation at any given moment? It is demanded and must be oh so wonderful!
Some might ask, how could a loving God DEMAND that we praise him? Is that real love? The answer is simple: the demand or constraint is not like that of a tyrant, but it is the only possible response to holiness. It is like looking at the sun and your eyes being forced shut! The sun demands it and you oblige. You could choose not to so, but that would have devastating results.
The character of God
and all that He has done,
is doing, and will ever do
demand our praise.
The Psalms are an avenue to help us understand and express true praise and worship for our Maker.
At the end of the day,
I want my life to start
and end with, “Praise the
Lord. Praise the Lord.”