The journey through Psalms is a difficult yet rewarding one. It has highs and lows, ups & downs. There are the valleys of soul-crushing darkness & death and then peaks of majesty & glory. The journey is filled with lament, protest, questions followed by praise, refocus, and declaration of the character & redeeming acts of God. 150 chapters, and a single verse simply won’t do justice to the conclusion of this trek. In fact, it is going to take 5 psalms to wrap this whole book up. The final 5 psalms serve as a doxology for the whole book focused on “Hallelujah,” a transliteration of the Hebrew for “Praise YHWH.” 36 times this word appears in these final 5 psalms. God is worthy of praise from everyone & everything. Psalm 150 is the finale of this grand spiritual concert.
Doxologies for Each Book
A doxology is an exclamation of praise & blessing. Each book in Psalms end with a doxology.
Book 1: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.” (Psalm 41:13)
Book 2: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!” (Psalm 72:18–19)
Book 3: “Blessed be the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.” (Psalm 89:52)
Book 4: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 106:48)
Book 5: “My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.” (Psalm 145:21)
Celebration to End the Book
Celebrating the Creator (146): “Who made heaven & earth” – the Creator, unlike earthly princes who die (v.2-3); He executes justice for His creatures (7-9), watching out for the little guy. So praise Him!
Celebrating the Greatness & Goodness of God (147): The one who named every star (v.4) is good to the weak and the meek (6). He’s so great, yet He is good to the little guy. Not only individual; He’s good to Israel with kindness that He doesn’t show to any other nation (12-20, esp.20). So praise Him!
Celebration High & Low (148): We know this one because we sing it. The whole cosmos, universe is called upon to muster praise for God. From the highest heights of the heavens to the lowest regions of earth and everywhere in between; animate & inanimate, people & things – cry out in praise. Praise Him!
Celebration from His People (149): YHWH takes pleasure in His people, so let them rejoice in Him and praise Him. He has been merciful to His people and will issue future justice & vengeance upon His enemies (which are the enemies of Israel). Thru God’s help, His people will conquer their enemies. God protects & takes pleasure in His beloved. So praise Him!
Final Hallelujah (150)
Note: Praise (the verb) is used 12 times in 6 verses, 11 of them are commands with the one being an invitation (Let us praise…).
Where (1-2)? 1) In Heaven (1): in the heavenly “sanctuary” although the Temple courts would no doubt be a reflection of what is happening in heaven. 2) On Earth (2): God accomplishes His “mighty deeds” on earth, in the world.
How (3-5)? Notice that there is no content to the praise except verse 2 about His mighty deeds. Of course, the preceding four (4) psalms provide ample material for praise. But notice also, all the instruments and instrumental music which is praise to God. An interesting note: the Law only gives directions concerning the trumpet & the horn. But there are several other instruments listed here, brought in by David.
Who (6)? Everyone that has “breath.” All living beings. He gave them breath, let them breathe His praise. Cf. Revelation 5.13. Just as God gave breath at the beginning, so He expects us to use that breath to worship, praise, adore Him. All of the faculties are called upon to worship God: The breath is needed to blow the trumpet; fingers are needed to pluck the stringed instruments; the hand is used to beat the tambourine; the feet move in dancing – everything, every part of the person is engaged in this excited state of worship.
Let me first begin by reminding us that we are the temple of the Lord today. We are reflection of what is taking place in the heavenly realms, even in the very throne room of God. We are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. Our every step, our every move ought to be a reflection of God’s holiness & glory. Our every breath ought to be a praise to God.
Second, how’s your worship brother/sister? Is your worship mostly just a mental appreciation? “I praise you.” I know some people get carried away with the emotions of worship, but worship ought to have emotion as well. Look at this Psalm: if were transported back to this time when the Israelites were singing & praising God, we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. “Who are they worshipping?” YHWH.
One is virtually breathless when you get through this psalm! The end of Psalms is an invitation to bold, loud, exuberant, excited, enthusiastic worship to YHWH. “Hallelujah” – every breath is both a cause & an invitation to praise Him. It must become praise itself. Our whole life must become a psalm. We merely join in the chorus that reverberates throughout the cosmos. Scientists think they are hearing residual sound from the big bang; nah, that’s the cosmos singing the praise of King YHWH.