A Call to Praise the Lord
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” (v. 6).- Psalm 150
As the inspired hymnbook for the people of God, the book of Psalms teaches us how to pray and sing in a manner that pleases our Creator. Worship and praise are the chief concerns of the Psalter, so it is fitting that the book concludes with a hymn calling the people of God to exalt Him. Psalm 150 concludes the book of Psalms by calling us—and all other living things—to praise the name of the Lord.
Regarding the placement of this psalm at the end of the Psalter, several commentators note how this arrangement shows us the true goal of obedience to the law of God. The book of Psalms contains several psalms that highlight the importance of God’s law and how it guides the lives of His people. These hymns, including such psalms as Psalm 1; 19; and 119, indicate the blessedness that comes with keeping the Lord’s commandments. But the Psalter also shows us that our Creator never intends law-keeping to be an end in itself. Instead, the worship of the Lord is the final goal of our obedience. A life governed by God’s law, and ultimately by all of Scripture, will produce heartfelt worship and praise. The adoration we see in Psalm 150 ows out of those who have been redeemed and are truly intent on pleasing the Almighty. We have kept His commandments only if we worship our Maker. The purpose of God’s law is to produce the worship described in Psalm 150.
Psalm 150:3–5 demonstrates that it is appropriate to worship God with the assistance of many different kinds of instruments. No musical instrument is inherently ill-suited to worshiping God; it is what we do with the instrument that matters. And with the instruments that we have, we are to praise and worship the Lord for His character (“his greatness”) and His work (“his mighty deeds”). This requires the proclamation of His Word so that we will know Him and what He has done for His people.
Verse 6 calls upon all creatures to praise the Lord. The book of Psalms is meant not only for the worship of the Jews, but its hymns are to be sung by all people unto the one true God. John Calvin comments that the psalmist looked forward to a day when its hymns, which were once used only in Israel, would be heard the world over, and that this has happened in Christ. “In this prediction we have been joined in the same symphony with the Jews, that we may worship God with constant sacrifices of praise, until being gathered into the kingdom of heaven, we sing with elect angels an eternal hallelujah.”
Worshiping God in spirit and truth must be the goal of our lives. Our Lord seeks such worship, and this worship is acceptable to him whether it comes from Jews or Gentiles (John 4:19–24). How do we know if we are truly obeying our Lord’s commandments? One way is to look at our desire for worship. If we are eager to praise the Lord for who He is and what He has done, then we know that we are growing in true obedience to God’s law.
Passages for Further Study