1Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.
The Good News is that that God is worthy to be praised and has called us to praise Him. This means that God cares about us, is interested in us, has made us capable of knowing Him and has willed that we should know Him and praise Him. There are many amazing implications to this Good News and I hope to explore some of them in this space in the days to come.
According to Revelation 14:6-7, even at the end of the world this Good News will be proclaimed by angels to those who survived many plagues and yet still didn’t repent. There is still hope while breath remains to “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” It get’s us back to His original purpose for making us.
This Psalm, which perfectly concludes the Holy Zubur (book of Psalms), commands us 13 times to praise the Lord. Three times the holy name of Yahweh is mentioned (seen in English as LORD), perhaps suggesting Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We see in the first verse that we are specifically commanded to praise God in His sanctuary, His holy place. We are told in the Bible that there is a heavenly temple of which the earthly temple in Jerusalem was merely a copy (Hebrews 9:23-24). The prophet Isaiah saw God in His holy temple, with angels proclaiming “Holy, Holy, Holy.” This is recorded in the sixth chapter of his prophecy. He was overwhelmed with the guilt of his sin on that occasion, but God had a way to take away his sin.
It is awesome just to consider what the throne room of God is like. We are told in the Bible of flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, smoke, earthquakes and angels flying forth to do His will. It is a place of God’s overwhelming glory and majesty. Yet we are also told “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). It is a place of the greatest and most intimate comfort. How can we not praise Him as we contemplate Him “in His sanctuary”!
Good news: God has invited us into His sanctuary to praise Him, but just like Isaiah, we need to have our sins taken away.
I remember when God was distant to me. That sanctuary was very far away and I had no desire to go there. My world was pretty safe and that throne room did not feel safe to me. I would not be able to hide a single one of my sins before the eyes of the Almighty. His wrath would fall on me, swift and sure.
According to this Psalm praise for God begins in His sanctuary. Have you been to God’s sanctuary? I have been there and found there is a way for you to stand in His presence—GOOD NEWS—I will share in my next post.