Do me a favor and please read Psalm 150.
This is the LAST psalm in the Bible. The one that wraps up all that we read, all that we processed, and all that was said – and then some. And, as it should be, this psalm is not only a declaration of a hallelujah and praise, but it’s a call to worship. And while this last unknown psalm is short in length it’s HUGE in implications and theological significance. We’ve had psalms of joy, psalms of lament, psalms of confusion as well as ones filled with fear. We’ve read from psalmists that needed God to forgive them as well as writers that called God to use his judgment upon their enemies. We’ve had psalms that were simply a call to worship while others were a tear-jerking call to repent. But in all of it, from Psalm 1 thru Psalm 149, it was all about God, his loving grace, his relationship with his people, and their response TO His grace.
So why end with this hallelujah praise? Why bring it all back to this? Because every emotion, need, and hope for the people of God was, and is, with God. And so while we don’t get that question in this text we, the readers, are invited to enter into this praise and see why WE would praise God. And ultimately, as a Christian, we are invited to see Christ in this text and thus naturally come to the realization that we praise God FOR JESUS.
- His atoning death and sacrifice? Praise him.
- His love and grace? Praise him.
- His redemptive crown-bestowing, Satan-kicking, grave-leaping work? Praise him.
- For his patience and love? Praise him
- For his adopting us as children of God? Praise him.
I appreciate with Albert Barnes states about this psalm:
- “It was manifestly designed, whoever wrote it, to occupy the very place which it does occupy—to complete the volume devoted to praise. Praise is the suitable ending of the book; praise is what the Spirit of inspiration meant to secure in the heart and on the lips. In the review of the whole there is occasion for praise. In view of all that has been disclosed about God, about his religion, about the manifestations of his mercy and grace to this people, there is occasion for praise.’
Lastly, I think this psalm truly answers the psalmist original declaration from Psalm 1 (you can find blog on that here). Who is blessed and why are they blessed? Why are we fed by streams of water? And who are the righteous and who watches over them (in order: the people of God are, because God loves us and blesses us, the people of God are, and God is). So when you can answer those questions it naturally will take you to Psalm 150. So yes, every living and breathing thing praise the Lord with songs, harps, cymbals, tambourines, and anything else you can get your hands on.
Some questions to think about:
- Does this psalm reflect how YOU would end the book? If not – how would you end it?
- How many times does the psalmist say “praise” in this text?