We are exhorted 13 times in six short verses to praise the Lord
Where should we praise Him? – Everywhere
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
God’s sanctuary refers to the place of worship on earth where God’s people gathered. In the psalmist’s day, this was the temple in Jerusalem; in our times, it is the church.
The “mighty expanse” (“firmament”) refers to the heavens, and is a call to all of the heavenly hosts to praise God. Thus the psalmist is saying, “Praise God everywhere! Praise Him on the earth! Praise Him in the heavens!” A man of God writes, God’s “glory fills the universe; His praise must do no less”
Why should we praise Him? – Every act and attribute of God
2 Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Why should we praise God?
- Because of what He has done (“His mighty deeds”) and
- because of who He is (“His excellent greatness”)
A. We should praise God for His mighty deeds
Think your way through the Psalms and you will be reminded of some of the great things God has done. As we saw in Psalm 139, He formed you while you were in the womb, and ordained all the days of your life. As we discovered in Psalm 22, He sent the Messiah to die for our sins. Psalm 23 shows us His providing for our every need as our good Shepherd. Psalm 32 tells of the forgiveness of sin which God gives to the repentant sinner. Psalm 57describes how God is sufficient in a time of trial. Psalm 71 taught us of God’s grace for old age. Psalm 119 extols God’s Word which He has graciously given to guide us. Truly, God has done mighty deeds!
Think of how he has dealt with you. He chose you in Christ before the foundation of the world. He sought you when you were dead in your transgressions and sins, when you were hostile toward Him. He caused you to be born again to a living hope. He has dealt graciously and patiently with you to lead you to the place where you are today. And He who began this good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6). Praise God for His mighty deeds!
B. We should praise God for His excellent greatness
Apart from His many mighty deeds, God is worthy of praise simply for who He is. He is perfect, lacking in nothing. He is “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God” (1 Tim. 1:17); “the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light” (1 Tim. 6:16). “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created” (Rev. 4:11). “Praise God according to His excellent greatness.”
How should we praise Him? – With everything you have got
3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5 Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Use your breath to blow the trumpet;
use your fingers to play the harp and lyre;
use your whole hand to hit the tambourine (timbrel);
move your whole body in the dance.
There are stringed instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments (vv. 4-5). It sounds more like a party than a Sunday morning worship service! But that’s what a celebration of worship to the Lord should be – Holy and yet fun. Most of us are going to be in for a surprise because heaven itself will be like as the Word says.
The trouble is some of us have become more religious than God Himself. We have become holy and dull….We just happen to get excited about the trivial instead of the crucial.
Let’s say your wife doesn’t appreciate the game of cricket? You shout, “Wow, did you see that shot!” She shakes her head and says, “What’s the big deal? Who cares, anyway?” You think to yourself, “She doesn’t love the game.” If you love the game, you get excited about it. If you love the Lord, you’re going to get excited about gathering with His people to praise His name. If you come to church with no preparation, hassled about some problem, glancing constantly at your watch and thinking, “Let’s get this show over with so I can get on with the day’s activities,” you’ll never praise God as you should.
Who should praise Him? – Everything that breathes
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
The only qualification for praising God is that you breathe.
The fact that God can command us to praise Him means that praise is not just a feeling based upon your mood or circumstances.
Praise is a matter of obedience to our great God. It stems from deliberately focusing on Him. It is the result of being willfully God-centered in your thinking. If you are breathing, praising God is not an option; it is your responsibility.