Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

Pandemic Perspective – Part 42 Making Praise a Priority – Part 2

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Psalm 150 

1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven! 2 Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! 3 Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! 4 Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! 5 Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. 6 Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!

As we look at Psalm 150 we see that the greatest number of words between any two “praises” is four and that only happens one time. The rest of the time there are only two words between one praise and the next. It reveals the hurry that the writer was in to praise and the enthusiasm to express what the Lord had done in his life. What if as believers in Jesus Christ we were eager to show that same type of excitement over being a child of God? When was the last time you were out of breath telling someone about Jesus Christ? When was the last time you could hardly complete a sentence because you were talking so fast about Christ? It’s time for us to get excited about God and to be enthusiastic about what He has done for us. After looking at the Call to worship and the Cause of worship we now find ourselves engaged in the: 

•          Concert of Praise – Verse 3-5

Praise should be a concert where we join together, and the psalmist now tells us to praise God through music and includes several instruments. 

Ram’s horn was used to signaling the start of a battle or the successful conclusion and so it indicates not only the start of the worship services but the victory of worship. 

Harp & Lyre are instruments that require skillful hands to play them properly. Our praise of God is not confined to words but should also come through the skill of our hands.

Tambourine and dancing remind us that worship is an active experience and not something that we encounter passively. Today we have become passive in our praise, holding back in our worship because we worry about what other people might think. We have mistaken being reserved as being reverent and in so doing we have lost the point of worship which is to become lost in the worship of God. Getting to that place where nothing and no one else matters because in that moment it is all about God. Do you let go with God, do you praise with abandon?

Strings & Flute give us the picture of a large group of instruments, much like an orchestra which is made up of many different individuals worshipping as one. God loves diverse worship with different ways of expressing praise, lots of participants but one recipient. The most important part of praise is that you have a part to play in worship. What would happen to the orchestra if the pianist stopped playing or if the violin section didn’t show? You are a part of God’s church and your part of the praise matters. Praise requires participation and when we don’t show we are stealing His praise. We don’t just rob God of reverence we rob ourselves from the opportunity to lose ourselves in Him.

Cymbals reveal the intensity of worship, the clashing and crashing that creates emotion and depth to our praise. What if we praised God with all of the intensity that we could muster? This list of instruments represented everyone that they had available to them to be used and we must praise God with everything that we have. Lastly we see the:

•          Crescendo of Praise – Verse 6

Crescendo is a musical term that refers to the building of a musical piece to its climax or its finale. This seems to fit the purpose of this psalm and the priority of praise. This is the last psalm and the call is for the whole earth to give praise to God. It calls every living thing in the universe to worship the one true God. Praise calls the world to a choice, worship God or worship self. What will be the crescendo of your life, the crowning achievement, what you accomplish or your adoration? Today we have drifted away from worship on the waves of self-praise whose current carries us far from God. The psalmist’s last cry is one of praise what will your life and lips reveal, your love for the Lord or something else? 

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