Musing 9.25.20


Praise the Lord!

Praise God in his sanctuary!

Praise God in his fortress, the sky!

Praise God as suits his incredible greatness!

Praise God with the blast of the ram’s horn!

Praise God with lute and lyre!

Praise God with drum and dance!

Praise God with strings and pipe!

Praise God with loud cymbals!

Let every living thing praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

– Psalm 150

Each day read a psalm as part of my morning devotions. I march through them from beginning to end. When I reach the last one, Psalm 150; I return to the beginning. You may have guessed that I recently finished and started over. The psalms are prayers of lament, petition, warning, instruction, thanksgiving, anger, manipulation, and exhortation. Psalm 150 is pure, unadulterated praise. The only commandment is to praise.

It strikes me as prayed by someone who is energetic, aware, and appreciative. The writer senses that all is well in God’s world. It focuses on God’s goodness and encourages others to experience God’s goodness. This is a person full of love and hope. It is a person who is glad. She is a person who probably has said on more than one occasion, “I am glad for you.” She delights in the joy of others. This is a person focused on God and neighbor. We might even say that she is devoted to living for God and neighbor.

This is a hard psalm to read in a monotone; it is read with an enthusiasm for life and God.
For this person, faith is not primarily duty to God, but gratitude for God. Action flows from this gratitude. Music plays a significant role in her life. Maybe she was a musician. What she is skilled at she uses to praise the Lord. This determines how her gifts are used. She must employ her cymbals to praise God. She has to do something in order to praise. How would a teacher have written this psalm? An accountant? A gardener? A student? A carpenter? It is kind of psalm which any of us could write.

Praise the Lord!

Praise God with the hammer and nail!

Praise God with saw and lumber!

Praise God with the level and tape measure!

Praise God with clamp and chalk line!

Praise God with beautiful buildings!

Let every living thing praise Lord!

Praise the Lord!

For years, I have not regarded Psalm 150 as that profound. In these days I think it may be the most profound psalm. Praise of God is what draws us out of our doldrums. It calms our anxiety. It lessens our fears. It raises us out of our funk. We shift our focus to God and neighbor. We concentrate on using our gifts.

Try writing a psalm like Psalm 150 this week. I would love to read what you come up with.

Hope you are safe and well.