Praise God! (Psalm 150)

The last psalm in the psalter rings with praise. It particularly emphasizes instrumental praise, and since it begins with a direct reference to God’s sanctuary, it seems a powerful argument for using all kinds of instruments in worship.

It begins with a call to praise God in worship and in the vast expanses of his creation (Psalm 150:1, ESV):

Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
   praise him in his mighty heavens!

The psalm continues with reasons why God deserves praise (2, ESV):

Praise him for his mighty deeds;
   praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Because God has done great and excellent things, he deserves great and excellent praise. Talented musicians are called to praise God with a variety of instruments, not in noisy cacophony but in beautiful and vibrant harmony (verses 3-5, ESV):

Praise him with trumpet sound;
   praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
   praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
   praise him with loud clashing cymbals!

Every creature that breathes should praise the Lord (6, ESV):

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!

We are called to praise God in his sanctuary. We are called to praise God under his blue sky and starry heavens. God deserves great and excellent praise because he has done great and excellent things. Musicians and artists ought to praise God with all kinds of instruments or media. Every creature that lives and breathes on the face of the earth is called to use their talents and abilities to praise God.

At this time of year, when the leaves turn brilliant colors and farmer harvest plentiful crops, our hearts should overflow with praise to God for his abundant gifts.

Psalm 150 may have been singing in my mind some years ago when I wrote this poem:

Autumnal Psalm

Praise God

For gleaming star that crowns the gilded dawn
For frost that clings to shingled roof and lawn

For breath that fogs in air that’s crisp and clear
For flashing flags of startled antlered deer

For sunlight’s glint on frost-wrapped blades of grass
And even for the windshield’s frosted glass

Praise God

For warming sun in sky of sapphire blue
that glows through leaves in every varied hue

From flaming maple, russet oak, to gold
of elm’s frail pale and hickory’s brilliant bold

Above the clinging, crimson creeper vine
Beside the scarlet sumac and green pine

Praise God

For dry leaf crunch and dry leaf smell
While walking on the woodland trail

Praise God

For brunette bean field shaven clean
And blonde corn’s crooked stubble seen

For round bales, wrapped and stacked in rows
Rich fodder safe from winds and snows

For golden mountains of shelled corn
that suddenly in fall are born

And daily augered to new height
in dusty cloud from morn to night

Praise God

For geese in Vs that cleave the dusky sky
While purple clouds upon horizon lie

For rising amber harvest moon
like bulging shimmering balloon

Praise God

Let everything that hath breath
Praise the Lord

© Glenda Faye Mathes

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