Hello, Friend. It’s nice that you made it back again.
In David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, the casket is laden with cloth with Psalm 150 embroidered on it. Source.
Observation: Repeated Word and Repeated Line
Last week, when studying Psalm 46, I provided a list of things to look for when studying the Bible. This week, I want to bring up a repeated word: praise.
I tend to notice repeated words because they pop out to me and can be important. In Psalm 150, the Psalmist uses the word 13 times in the brief 6-verse Psalm.
Furthermore, each time that “praise” is used, the word directly links to God.
The Psalm also begins and ends with the same verse. This is an example of repetition, which is often employed in literature. Literaturedevices.net says that repetition “stresses on the point of main significance,” which I think is the goal of the Psalmist in this case. While literaturedevices.com doesn’t provide a unique name for this type of repetition, it does provide interesting nuggets on the subject.
Asking Questions: What does “sanctuary” mean?
The Psalmist gives the following instructions in verse 1.
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty heavens!
My question was simply, “What does ‘his sanctuary’ mean?” This question seems important since this verse gives the Where aspect of where we should praise God.
So I did some digging. I read online commentaries and found several opinions.
Generally, Bible commentators speculate that sanctuary could mean “in his holy places,” which many believe refers to the temple. Biblestudytools.com and Biblehub.com both provide several commentaries that expound on this idea.
In the time when the Psalmist wrote Psalm 150, it seems appropriate to instruct people to praise God in the temple. However, in this new time without a temple, I think God would extend “His sanctuary” to include every believer.
Based on the commentaries, the argument for the temple is that God should be praised where He dwells, which would be the temple. But, on several occasions, Paul says that the Holy Spirit dwells in us, and that we are like the temple when filled with the Holy Spirit.
Here’s my thought: when the Psalmist wrote Psalm 150, he probably meant that we should praise God in the temple because that is where God dwelt. But since our bodies are like a temple and the Holy Spirit dwells in us now, I think we should praise God everywhere.
Perhaps my theology isn’t sound, but it’s an argument. Would you support or challenge my thoughts? I’d like to hear from you.
Interpretation: Where… Why… How… Who… should we praise?
I dabbled into interpretation in my Asking Questions section, but that is a normal response to asking questions.
After all that work, I confess that much of this section was borrowed from the November 27, 2014, entry from Our Daily Bread, a daily devotional.
Julie Ackerman Link breaks down Psalm 150 succinctly, saying that Psalm 150 gives “a lesson in praising the Lord.” She answers the following questions:
- Where should we praise?
- Why should we praise?
- How should we praise?
- Who should praise?
I encourage you to reference her article since it is very brief, but essentially she says that everybody should praise God, everywhere and in all ways.
Several of the instruments described in Psalm 150 are shown in this picture, which I have borrowed from goodsalt.com. This image belongs to them. Source.
Instruments, from top, left to right: reed pipe, trumpet, timbrel, cymbals, lute, harp, zither, lyre, shofar, organ.
Application: Praising God
The application seems very straightforward to me. Psalm 150 says to praise God everywhere in all ways. Therefore, the application should be to praise God.
We should praise God everywhere.
We should praise God because of who He is.
We should praise God in all ways.
And “everything that has breath” should praise the Lord (verse 6).
What other applications could you find in Psalm 150?
What else piqued your interest in Psalm 150? I would love to hear a response below.
At this time, I confess that my blog posts will either be slowing or completely stopping with this week. Due to a change in circumstances, I may not be able to produce these on a weekly basis.
Therefore, I thank you for your readership and your support for my blog. I have greatly enjoyed studying the Psalms, and I hope you gained something from it. Be sure to leave responses on any post or to recommend a Psalm that I should do next, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Until next time, I leave you as Paul would:
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:28)
Next Week: To Be Announced