Psalm 150:3-5 - Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe! Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals!
These verses of exuberant praise have no doubt been used at various times to debate the merits of different styles of church music and worship. Should we praise the Lord with strings and use guitars? Should we praise Him with pipes and use a pipe organ? Such arguments may continue within many congregations. While it is of course important to turn to God's Word in the decisions that we make about our worship and music, such quarrels make poor use of this psalm.
Head over heels in love with the God of Israel, the psalmist is beside himself with joy as he invites all of creation to join him in praising the Creator. In other psalms he invites—even demands!—the praise of the angels, the sun, moon and stars, sea creatures and ocean depths, beasts and birds, hills and mountains, fire, hail, snow and wind and people of every age and station in life (see Psalm148-149). In today's psalm, every instrument of music and every breath of every living creature is pulled into service to praise the King of kings. We are to "praise God in His sanctuary" until our praise echoes back from "His mighty heavens" (Psalm 150:1b).
Just thinking about it is enough to leave us out of breath. Why are we doing this? For what purpose do we offer up unending praise that rebounds from earth to heaven and back again? We are to praise the Lord "for His mighty deeds" and "according to His excellent greatness" (Psalm 150:2). We praise Him because He created the heavens and earth. We praise Him because He left the mighty heavens and came to earth to save us. The almighty God, who receives creation's praise, who counts every hair on our heads, and knows when a single sparrow falls, took on human flesh to be born among us. On a day when the sun ceased its bright praise and veiled itself in darkness, God the Son, our Lord Jesus, took onto the Himself the penalty of death that we deserved for our sins. On the third day after His death, the light of the morning sun shone on Jesus' empty tomb. The redeeming death and triumphant resurrection of God's Son shape the heart of our praise, now and for all eternity.
From Sunday to Sunday and every day in between we give thanks to our Creator and rejoice in the Lamb who was slain for us. Our praise, joined to the joy of all creation, rises endlessly before God's throne: "And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, 'To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!'" (Revelation 5:13)
THE PRAYER: Mighty God, my Creator and Savior, receive my grateful praise until I join the saints and angels to worship before Your throne. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. What's your favorite way to praise God?
2. Do you play a musical instrument in praise to God? Would you like to?
3. Besides singing and playing music, how else can we praise God in our lives?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"