George Booker
Psalms Studies - Book 5

Psalm 150

1. Introduction

In these five books of Psalms,

Books 1, 2, and 3 end in “Amen and Amen” (41:13; 72:19; 89:52).
Book 4 ends in “Amen. Hallelujah” (106:48).
Book 5 has this entire psalm as its conclusion — a sustained Hallelujah.

When first written, Psalm 150 would have been the consummation of the thanksgiving of Hezekiah’s people for the phenomenal salvation and the renewed God-given prosperity and blessing in their time.

Thus, in a much fuller and more final sense, this psalm is surely the climax of all God’s mighty purpose in this world, the hymn of praise to “Him that sits upon the throne”, when all is finally accomplished.

For a list of the various musical instruments, and details about them, see Psalms Studies, Intro., Part 5..

With the assembly of orchestrated instruments mentioned here, compare 2 Samuel 6:5, when David brought the ark to Zion, and Nehemiah 12:27, the dedication of the city wall (and therefore of the city itself) after a return from captivity. These parallels suggest, not so much an end as a glorious and holy new beginning.

Hence “Praise Him” is repeated 13 times in this psalm — one for each of the twelve tribes and one for the Gentiles!

2. Notes

A. God’s sanctuary (s.w. “holiness” in Psa. 99:3,5,9) in His people (cp. Psa. 20:2).

B. His praise... in the firmament — i.e., among the angels and in the stars (cp. Psa. 148:1-4).

A. His mighty acts on behalf of His people.

B. His excellent greatness in the heavens.

But since all the rest of the psalm is about the praise of God on earth, why the brief allusions to angels? Because:

(a) Angels have every right to share, with unrestrained gladness, in the highest moments of God’s creative and redemptive work (Job 38:7; Isa. 37:36; Luke 2:13,14; Rev. 5:11-13).

(b) Is not the chief ministry of angels associated with mankind, to the glory of God (Heb. 1:14; Psa. 34:7; Matt. 18:10)?

(c) Psalm 148 (vv. 1-6,7-14) has set the pattern.
Dance is the only non-instrument in vv. 3-5. But it is necessary here, because a timbrel, or tambourine, is rather pointless if unaccompanied by dancing.
Every thing that hath breath. Of all living creatures that have breath, only humans can truly praise the Lord. Literally the phrase is: “Every breath”, with reference to Gen. 2:7. Finally God’s human race is fulfilling to perfection the divine intention in creation.

3. Conclusion

Psalm 150 is more than an artistic conclusion to a book of hymns and prayers. It is a prophecy... of the last result of the devout life, and of the last result of all God’s works in the earth.

When the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our God, and when the blessed have been invited to receive that kingdom prepared for them — then... there will be assembled on mount Zion the great multitude, who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of all nations and peoples and tongues. Surely there will first be a great hush among that magnificent host, as the Lord enters His holy temple, and “all the earth keeps silence before Him” (Hab. 2:20). This will be the most eloquent silence the world has ever known. What thoughts will then fill the hearts of God’s people!

Then from the players gathered in their thousands, the music... beginning softly... will rise steadily to a triumphant crescendo of praise. All kinds of instruments will be employed: trumpets to rouse, harps to soothe, organs for solemnity, timbrels for rhythm, cymbals for emphasis. And with it all, every one who has breath, knowing and fully understanding the purpose of that God-given breath, will praise the Lord in the song which no man hitherto could sing — the song of Moses and the Lamb.

This universality of praise will be the keynote of all life, when at last, in fulfillment of every consecrated hope since time began, “the tabernacle of God will dwell with men” (Rev. 21:3), and God Himself will be “All in All” (1 Cor. 15:28).

In awed contemplation of such a picture, we hear the still small voice of God’s Spirit whispering even now in the ear of conscience:

“Praise ye the Lord.”

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