This week’s Engage God Daily was written by Jake Potter, one of CF’s amazing student ministry interns.
Psalm 150 (ESV)
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
When I was growing up in church, worship wasn’t something that people got excited about. I mean, sure, a certain group in the church got pretty
excited for the Sunday evening hymn request night, but it was mostly pretty rigid. You stood up when you were told, and sang the words with your hands at your sides to avoid even the appearance of moving to the rhythm. You sat down when the music minister said “please be seated,” and you listened to whatever special performance or solo was prepared for the “special music” section. (This is usually when I needed to get up and “go to the bathroom.”) Then we would listen to a sermon, and have a closing song (no matter how brief) where we all held hands. It was like clockwork; it’s just the way things were, and no one was very keen on changing up the status quo.
I distinctly remember one Sunday when a woman sitting near me dared to raise her hand during worship. I remember it being a rare moment and I felt something tugging on my heart during the worship, but raising your hands just wasn’t done, especially not in the main worship service with the adults. Sure enough, someone came up behind her and abruptly told her to put her hand down. I remember the upset look on her face, and I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach telling me that what just happened was wrong—not that someone raised their hand when it was uncommon, but that someone went out of their way to stop a woman from worshiping God with her whole heart.
I share this story because I think there can often be a disparity between what we think worship ought to look like in our minds or according to our traditions, and what the Bible describes. Raised in a very structured church environment, I started trying to discover for myself what worship should look like. It was then that I discovered Psalm 150. Psalm 150 talks about dancing and every kind of instrument from wind, to strings, to percussion, even “loud clashing cymbals”! Psalm 150 was describing a celebration of praise that I was unaccustomed to, and I wanted to get in on it.
As we spend this week going over Psalm 150, I would like to invite you on a journey of praise – to be fully intentional each day to worship the LORD and experience the power and presence of the God in worship.
A specific way I would like to invite us all to prepare to receive this Psalm throughout the week is to listen to Psalm 150 sung in its original Hebrew, using the instruments and methods listed in the psalm. The following video is by a Hebrew worship band called Miqedem, and features people from around the world singing Psalm 150 in Hebrew while in quarantine. (You can put English captions on by pressing the CC button on the player). I hope that as you watch and listen to this song, you will feel at a whole new level the final verse of Psalm 150, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”