Everything that has breath, Praise the Lord!

Scripture reading for July 3rd: Psalms 146-150

The hymn book of the Old Testament concludes with some stirring songs of praise.  Life is to be lived in worship to the King!  Real joy and peace come from a life centered on the goodness and greatness of God the Creator!  Worship is not just singing a few songs at church on Sunday.  It is not limited to those who are gifted at singing or dancing.  It is a universal duty of everything that has breath!

Psalm 146 begins with a declaration that the psalmist is going to praise the Lord all of his life!  He warns us not to put our trust in princes, mortal men who cannot save!  What a word for our nation today!  Many are caught up in the idea of a President or Governor who can save us!  It simply will not happen!  They will die and their plans come to nothing! (Psalm 146:3-4)  Only the God who created the heaven and earth can save!  This God is faithful forever!  He can be counted on by the poor, needy, oppressed and hungry!  He watches over the alien, widow, and the fatherless!  (Psalm 146:7-9)  God is the ultimate social worker and will bring help and justice!   He reigns forever!

Psalm 147 is a hymn of praise to the Lord for Jerusalem, His holy city and it’s chosen people.  God has built up Jerusalem and gathered the exiles of Israel.  He has healed them and sends provision.  God’s people are to praise and honor Him for His mighty deeds on their behalf!  God’s delight is in His people, those who fear Him! (Psalm 147:11)  He blesses them and protects them and deserves their worship!  (Psalm 147:12-14) He has given them His Word and laws, making them special among all nations!  Praise the Lord! (Psalm 147:19-20)

Psalms 148 commends all creation and the saints for their praise of the Lord!  Angels praise Him in the heights.  The sun, moon and stars praise Him.  They should because he commanded and they were created!  He named them and set them in place!  (Psalm 148:3-6)  From the earth, sea creatures and fish, mountains and valleys, animals large and small praise Him!  (Psalm 148:7-10)  Man, too, praises the Lord!  Young and old, men and women, rich and poor all owe Him praise for His splendor is above all His works!  (Psalm 148:14)

Psalm 149 is a curious psalm.  It calls upon God’s covenant people, Israel, to praise the Lord!  They are to dance, sing, and make music with instruments!  They are to sing a new song and rejoice, even on their beds!  The psalm then shifts from praise of God in their mouths to a double edged sword in their hands!  They are to praise the Lord as they inflict vengeance on the nations and peoples who have rebelled against the Lord and rejected His Love!  These are under a sentence of death from God!  (Psalm 149:6-9)  This is the “glory of all His saints.”  Wow!

Psalm 150:6 sums it all up and closes the hymnal!  “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”

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