An Overview Of The Old Testament
Part 123 – Praise Be To God (Psalms 145-150)
1. Was the Psalmist willing to praise God and speak of His wonderful works?
Yes: “(1) I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. (2) Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. (3) Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. (4) One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. (5) I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works” (Psalms 145:1-5).
2. Are the works of God noticeable and memorable?
Yes: “(6) And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. (7) They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness… (10) All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. (11) They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; (12) To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom” (Psalms 145:6-7; 10-12).
3. While falling into the hands of God is a fearful thing (Hebrews 10:31), is God an unmerciful hothead?
No: “(8) The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (9) The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalms 145:8-9).
* “(18) Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. (19) He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (20) Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old” (Micah 7:18-20).
** God is balanced: “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off” (Romans 11:22).
4. Can the kingdom of God be destroyed?
It could not when incomplete (prior to Christ, called the throne of David): “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations” (Psalms 145:13).
* The kingdom certainly now, that Christ is on the throne (Acts 2:29-30), cannot be removed (Hebrews 12:28).
5. The Lord will uphold those that fall and call upon Him if they call upon Him in what way?
“(14) The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. (15) The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. (16) Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. (17) The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. (18) The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth” (Psalms 145:14-18).
6. What conditions were there for the Lord to fulfill men’s desires and preserve them from the wicked?
“(19) He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. (20) The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy” (Psalms 145:19-20).
* Those who truly fear and love the Lord obey Him (Deuteronomy 13:4 and I John 5:2-3).
7. Should all flesh praise God?
Yes: “My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever” (Psalms 145:21).
8. Did the Psalmist have a mindset that should prevent him from failing to praise God later in his life?
Yes: “(1) Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. (2) While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being” (Psalms 146:1-2).
9. What is one of the arguments put forth for man to trust in God rather than men?
The point is, man is frail and of little power while God is the Supreme Creator: “(3) Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. (4) His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. (5) Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: (6) Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: (7) Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners: (8) The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous: (9) The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. (10) The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalms 146:3-10).
10. Should praising God be considered a pleasant thing to do?
Yes (both to God and man): “(1) Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely” (Psalms 147:1).
11. What wonderful things are accredited to God in the 147th Psalm?
“(2) The LORD doth build up Jerusalem : he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. (3) He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. (4) He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. (5) Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. (6) The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground. (7) Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: (8) Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. (9) He giveth to the beast his food[13a], and to the young ravens which cry[13b]. (10) He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. (11) The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. (12) Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. (13) For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee. (14) He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat. (15) He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly. (16) He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. (17) He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? (18) He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow. (19) He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. (20) He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalms 147:2-20).
* Though some of God’s blessing fall to all men (Matthew 5:45), Israel should have realized how many special benefits they had for being God’s people (Romans 8:28).
12. Should all of God’s creation praise God?
Yes: “(1) Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. (2) Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. (3) Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. (4) Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. (5) Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. (6) He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. (7) Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: (8) Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: (9) Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: (10) Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: (11) Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: (12) Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children” (Psalms 148:1-12).
* Since trees, snow, etc. cannot talk, how is this done? Consider: Acts 14:17; 17:26-28.
13. Is God’s name greater than anyone else’s name?
Yes: “Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven” (Psalms 148:13).
* “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all” (I Chronicles 29:11).
* “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth” (Psalms 8:9)!
* “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth” (Psalms 83:18).
* “(10) Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (11) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).
14. Does God lift up the strength [i.e. the horn] of His people?
Yes: “He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalms 148:14).
* “He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree” (Luke 1:52).
15. In what congregation should praises be sung to God?
“Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints” (Psalms 149:1).
* The congregation of the saints today is the church (I Corinthians 1:2).
* Songs are to be sung in the assembly (I Corinthians 14:15 and Hebrews 2:12).
16. What was Israel supposed to do for their King?
Their King (the Lord; v. 1), was to be praised in song, dance, etc.: “(2) Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. (3) Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp” (Psalms 149:2-3).
17. Does the Lord take pleasure in His people?
Yes: “(4) For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalms 149:4).
* “They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight” (Proverbs 11:20).
* “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
18. Was Israel instructed to praise God at all times, even when wielding a sword in battle against the heathen?
Yes, and joyously so: “(5) Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. (6) Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; (7) To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; (8) To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; (9) To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalms 149:5-9). ** How can God accept worship in war? See: Exodus 15:3!
19. What is the theme of the 150th Psalm?
The theme is made clear in verse 6: “(1) Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. (2) Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. (3) Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. (4) Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. (5) Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. (6) Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalms 150:1-6).
20. We have read, in our current study, about praising God with mechanical instruments of music and with dance (Psalms 149:3 and Psalms 150:3-5). Why don’t we do that today?
* We are under the New Testament of Jesus Christ (Romans 7:1-6, Ephesians 2:11-17, and Hebrews 9:15-17) and nowhere in this Covenant is there authority to worship God with mechanical instruments of music. God requires worship to be done correctly (John 4:23-24). He demands that we do not follow the doctrines of men (Colossians 2:8). Since this practice cannot be found in the New Testament, it is a doctrine of men rather than of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20). If God wanted us to play instruments of music in our worship to Him, the New Testament would tell us when and how to do so (II Timothy 3:16-17 and II Peter 1:3). What we do find in the New Testament is the authority for our musical worship to God to be singing. We must understand that God expects us to follow a pattern to do what pleases Him (II Timothy 1:13). Any changes to that pattern results in sin (I John 3:4, Galatians 1:6-12, and Revelation 22:18-19).
* Now notice what God wants us to do in our musical worship to Him: “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives…. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives… And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them… And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name…. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also…. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord… Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord… Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee… Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms” (Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26, Acts 16:25, Romans 15:9, I Corinthians 14:15, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 2:12, and James 5:13). The pattern is clear, God wants us to sing for our musical worship unto Him!
* Amazingly, some will argue that these Psalms mean we should use mechanical instruments in worship. However, they will deny the Psalms that speak of offering animal sacrifices (Psalms 66:15).