“Praise the Lord”
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his temple! Praise his strength in heaven! Praise him for the mighty things he has done. Praise his supreme greatness.” ‘’Praise the Lord all living creatures! Praise the Lord.”
When we look at the first and last psalms, we find that both are short and have the same number of verses. The first psalm is an instruction to true happiness and the last psalm is to assist us in praising God. When Israel brought the ark of covenant of the Lord they did it with shouts, sounding of ram’s horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and playing of lyres and harps(1 chr.15:27-28).While other portions in Bible use beautiful imagery to convey beauty the writer of Psalm 150 uses insistence and repetition. It compels us to “Praise the Lord” (or in Hebrew Hallelujah).
Jewish people know this psalm by heart. In fact, this psalm has been part of a daily prayer ritual, said or sung before anything else is done for the day. While we as Christians are not bound by any such rules, how wonderful it would be to wake up each day and have our focus be, “Praise the Lord”. Apostle Paul urges us to glorify God in whatever we do (1 Cor.10:31)What makes a place God’s sanctuary? It is neither the size nor the beauty of the church, nor our appearance or the large attendance every Sunday, but it is God’s word. Wherever God’s word is correctly preached, there God himself is powerfully at work. He comes to us through his word. As people listen, he sets aside hearts as his sanctuary, washed and cleaned by the blood of Jesus.
God’s word proclaims his power and his exceeding greatness. Psalm 149 does so. He is the Creator (ps.104) who takes care of his children (ps. 103). He is the Redeemer (ps.107) who paid the price to free us from the darkness of sin (ps.130). He is the Sanctifier who cleans our hearts (ps.51) so that we may stand before the Lord in his holy place (ps.24). The book of psalms is well known for its songs and prayers of praise. We often use these psalms in the praise songs we sing at church. Many of these are found in inspirational greeting cards given for birthdays, weddings and other occasions.
The last verse of the last psalm expresses the desires of everything that has breath to praise the Lord. Man was created for God’s glory. God’s glory fills the whole universe. The prophet Isaiah saw this in his vision in the midst of sin and rebellion of his people (Isa.6:3). The prophet Habakkuk saw this vision in the midst of injustice, violence and sin (Hab. 2:14). The whole universe becomes the temple of God and all its inhabitants become his worshippers. This was the great vision John saw in Rev.5:13-14. God displays his power and majesty through the beauty and splendor of his creation. Despite all the scientific advancements we can only glimpse a fraction of all that God is and has done. God chooses to demonstrate the extend of who He is through the magnificence and wonder of his creation and for this, we stand in awe. No matter who we are or how we do it, as long as we are giving thanks to God for his compassion and mercy, our light will shine and give glory to God.
Prayer: Almighty God, you alone are truly worthy to be praised. Thank you for your sustaining grace and provision. Please help us to contemplate your wonderful works instead of concentrating on the vanities of this world. Make our life an act of worship to you always. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Gods creation reveals His glory
Dr. Anna Panackal, MTC, Philadelphia