1 Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
6Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.
In every sentence, it seems one word makes it very clear about what the psalm's theme is. Praise, the expression of approval, commendation or admiration of God, is explored in regards to:
- ... Where our praise goes to
Wouldn't it be pointless if, when we praised God, in prayer or out loud, through music or in silence, it didn't reach God's attention and He never heard it? But God does hear and see our praise in Heaven. Whatever we do, he sees it all (1 John 3v20) This also emphasises how praise should never be for show, but intended for God's ears and designed to also encourage others who can be reminded of God's promises.
- ... How we can praise Him
This psalm highlights how we can praise God in all sorts of ways, especially musically. I know a lot of people who think that Christian music should not sound like rock - many just don't like the sound, which is fair enough, but others dismiss it as being 'the music of the Devil'. These people obviously don't know that Charles Wesley, considered to be one of the greatest hymn writers in the history of Christianity, faced a lot of scandal and disapproval from many Christians when his compositions were first heard.
Yes, rock music has negative connotations and talented musicians like Jimi Hendrix and many others have 'lost the plot' because of their dealings in a world shrouded in darkness... but has this got anything to do with the actual music? The proof is here: God loves it when someone who follows him plays their drum kit in a heavy metal band with extra loud 'resounding cymbals' as part of their praise; God loves it when trumpets are blown in Salvation Army brass bands and in jazzy worship songs; God loves little children in church shaking tambourines and percussion instruments as they learn more about Him; God loves it when people make up dance routines that honour and bring glory to Him; God loves peaceful music, with a Celtic edge - with harps and lyres; God loves classical and baroque praises, with 'strings' and wind instruments like the 'flute'. What a variety! There now can be no argument - God loves all types of music that praise Him!
- ... Who can praise Him
Cliqued as it may sound, in verse 6 'Let Everything That Has Breath' by Matt Redman comes to mind. It's a good title (though it is borrowed from this). The point is, God never prohibits anyone from praising Him - you don't have to be a 'good person' (there's no such thing really) or someone that has been following Jesus for a long time. You can be young or old, male or female, of any nationality, of any language, of any background - nothing should hinder you from praising the Lord.
- ... Why we should praise Him
One reason why we should praise God is because of 'his acts of power'. The fact the whole world and everything came into being is quite mindblowing. There are probably more acts that we can think of, especially miracles which have been recorded in the Bible and also events in our own lives, where God has helped us in situations that have arisen.
Another reason why we should praise God is because his greatness is 'surpassing', better than all others' power. People and things our society idolises are nothing compared to God. Why should we think about them and all our society can offer ( which is hardly anything worthwhile) more than God? We should praise God for wanting to remain with us, who are so easily distracted.
We should praise God for his power, his grace and his never ending love for us - let's praise the Lord!