Psalms 146-150 are the last psalms of this great book. What better way to end this grand book than with Psalms that praise God. Each psalm starts and ends with the phrase, Praise the Lord! Since the Hebrew word praise means hallelujah, some call these last five Psalms the hallelujah psalms.
Speaking of these Psalms, McCaw noted that:
They have no word of petition or any suggestion of personal need; and there is a minimum of historical allusion. All is focused upon God who alone is worthy to be praised. Each of the five brings to light some particular aspect of the praise of God; and Ps. 146 strikes the characteristic note of individualism. `If I do not praise God, then the praise of God is incomplete.'"
Psalm 146 stresses how God is the helper of His people and will always be there for us as opposed to men and human rulers. The message of this psalm is to respect God as being the ultimate ruler of our life and to put our trust in Him.
Psalm 146:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! 2 While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
God is certainly worthy of our praise. As the writer said, we should be willing to praise God for the rest of our lives with the understanding that our praise to God will never end because when we get to heaven, what do you think we will be doing there? We will be praising God.
Psalm 146:3 Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. 4 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. 5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6 Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, 7 Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry.
The writer tells us not put our trust in princes that is people in power or people of influence. We should not put our trust in man only because man can and does fail us. Even those who are trustworthy cannot offer us salvation because only God can offer that.
As the Psalm says, we must put our trust and hope in God because He will never fail us. He had the power to create the heavens and the earth and everything on the earth, so we should never doubt His ability to help us and be there for us. We have seen many time throughout the Bible where God helps the oppressed from their enemies and provided food for the hungry. Since we a have God we can trust in, we should praise Him. The writer continues to praise God for other things He does as we read in:
Psalm 146:7 The
LORD gives freedom to the prisoners. 8
The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises those who are
bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the
fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down. 10 The LORD shall reign forever --
Your God, O
There are many examples of God doing all of these things throughout the Bible. God has rescued his people from prison a number times, and we read of several occasion in the NT where Jesus literally opened the eyes of the blind that could not see. Of course, many today that are spiritually blind still have their eyes opened by Jesus when they allow God’s Word to penetrate their heart and convert them.
We have seen how God has provided for the fatherless and widows on numerous occasion in Scripture. We have also seen how the wicked have faced God’s wrath on many occasions as well. When we read about how helpful our God has been in the past and how we see His providence at work in our lives and in the lives of those around us, it should cause to praise the Lord as well.
In Psalm 147, we find a
special call for us to praise God. This Psalm relates to the time of
The overall message of the psalm is that we should always praise God for His love and concern for us and for who He is, what He has done for us and what He will do for us.
Psalm 147:1 Praise
the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant,
and praise is beautiful. 2
The LORD builds up
Sometimes when you hear Christians sing, your left wondering if they really care because they have no enthusiasm when they sing, but that should not be the case. When we think about who we are praising in song and how God considers it as a sacrifice of praise Him with the fruit of our lips (Heb. 13:15), it should light a fire in our soul and want us to make our singing of praise come from our heart. At the writer said, our praise to God is beautiful and pleasant.
When the children of
Knowing how powerful and all knowing our God is should never cause us to doubt in His ability to lift up the humble and to cast the wicked to the ground.
Psalm 147:7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God, 8 Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. 9 He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens that cry. 10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. 11 The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.
When you read through the Psalms that mention using musical instruments, we need to keep in mind that the instruments were used under the Law of Moses, but like many things associated with the Law of Moses, they were nailed to the cross and do not apply to us today. Using musical instruments for worshiping God is not command by word or example under the new covenant we are under. This section of our Psalm praised God for how He provides for His creation both physically and spiritually. Jesus, used the thought found in these verses to teach us not to worry because God provides:
Matthew 6:25 "
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what
you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more
than food and the body more than clothing?
26 "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow
nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you
not of more value than they? 27
"Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 "So why do you worry about
clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil
nor spin; 29 "and yet I
say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of
these. 30 "Now if God so
clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the
oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 "Therefore do not worry,
saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we
wear?' 32 "For after all
these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need
all these things. 33
"But seek first the
Jesus came to same conclusion this Psalm does. God provides for His creation. God is not interested in how strong you are or how well you can provide for yourself. Instead, He takes pleasure in those who fear Him, hope in His mercy, and put His kingdom first.
Psalm 147:12 Praise
the LORD, O
At this time, the
Not much has changed during the time of Christianity. While some wicked nations have prospered for a season, something bad usually happens to them. Those nations that make God a big part of their nation have prospered. Our nation, is a good example of that. However, it has really gone down hill since the beginning of our nation. Knowing God will bless a nation that follows Him, should cause us all to want to praise God.
In our next Psalm, the writer calls on everything in heaven and on earth to praise God.
Psalm 148:1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights! 2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! 3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light! 4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created. 6 He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.
In these first 6 verses, everything God created that dwells in the heavens are told to praise their Creator. They certainly should be because without God they would not exist. The remaining of the Psalm focuses on those the earth that should praise God.
Psalm 148:7 Praise
the LORD from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths; 8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; 9
Mountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all cedars; 10 Beasts and all cattle; Creeping
things and flying fowl; 11
Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; 12 Both young men and maidens; Old
men and children. 13 Let them
praise the name of the LORD, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above
the earth and heaven. 14 And
He has exalted the horn of His people, The praise of all His saints -- Of the
While this Psalm had an immediate application to the children of Israel, it certainly applies to all of us today because all of God’s creation in heaven and on earth should praise God for creating us and continuing to care for us and offering us salvation through His Son. This Psalm was made into song that we are all familiar with “Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah” on page 3 of our songs books. I would like for us to sing all 3 verses of this song and please pay attention to the words.
While Psalm 148 called on
all of creation in heaven and earth, our next Psalm calls on the children of
Psalm 149:1 Praise
the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise in the assembly of
saints. 2 Let
God loves it when His people praise Him in everyway that they can. Under the Law of Moses it was ok for them to praise God with a dance and a musical instrument. In fact, we find several occasions of this happening in the OT time.
Exodus 15:20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them: "Sing to the LORD, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!"
Judges 11:34 When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child.
1 Chronicles 15:28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn, with trumpets and with cymbals, making music with stringed instruments and harps. 29 And it happened, as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the City of David, that Michal, Saul's daughter, looked through a window and saw King David whirling and playing music; and she despised him in her heart.
Again, we must keep in mind that during the Law of Moses these things were acceptable to God. There were many things that were acceptable under the Law of Moses such as stoning those who committed adultery, animal sacrifices, burning incense and many other things that we do not do today under the new covenant because we do not have the authority to do them. The idea of the Psalm is to praise God in every way that is permissible.
I really like verse 4. For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. James tells us that God gives His grace to the humble (James 4:6). Before anyone can become a Christian and receive salvation, they must humble themselves before God. If they want continue to please God, they must continue to be humble. I also find it comforting to know that God takes pleasure in His people especially when they are being humble. I also like the idea of God beautifying us when we become Christian because this means we are no longer stained with the ugliness of sin and our soul is as beautiful as it can possible be.
Psalm 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, 7 To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples; 8 To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute on them the written judgment -- This honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!
Though God could kill
anyone He wanted to by Himself, He usually used a few faithful men that were
willing to trust Him to destroy their enemies. All you have to do is read
through the O.T. and you will find example after example where God did this for
the children of
Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us?
Isaiah understood this.
Isaiah 50:7 "
For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I
have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed. 8 He
is near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together.
Who is My adversary? Let him come near
So, let us never grow weary of praising God for what He has done for us and let us continue to praise Him for He is going to do for us. Let us never stop carrying out His will even when we face our enemy the devil and all that try to hinder us from spreading the good news of Jesus. We must continue to put our armor on and use the sword of the Spirit to cut to the heart of the wicked so they might be saved by humbling themselves before God and obey His plan of salvation.
Our last Psalm has the phrase “praise Him” in every single verse. Once again, we are going to see the writer calling on the people to praise God in everyway that permissible under the Low of Moses. What we should take from this last Psalm that closes out the book of Psalms is that you and I should never stop praising God in every way that is permissible for us under the law of Christ. We must never let ourselves forget how wonderful God is all that He has done for us and will do for us and how He has given us the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven. So, I will close our twentieth lesson from the Psalms by reading Psalm 150
Psalm 150:1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! 2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! 3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! 4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!