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Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

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Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

There is a tinge of emotion as I come to this final Psalm. Although I will read these reflections over and over, just as I have and will continue to read and meditate on the Psalms themselves, I feel that a long and intimate visit has come to a close. Of all that can be said of God, the greatness of His power, the holiness of His character, and the faithfulness of His loving-kindness, and about our pilgrimage of knowing Him, it can only be summed up by the admonition to praise Him. All the world, and everything He has created, is to praise Him. The inanimate grandeur of nature is for His praise. The miraculous creation of living things is to praise Him. We are to live our lives as a testimony of His love and our devotion to Him. We are to praise Him for His greatness and sovereignty and for His mighty deeds in the world and in our own lives.

We praise the Lord at church, "in His sanctuary" (v. 1), as we gather with His people to worship, but we are also to praise the Lord out in the world, "in His mighty expanse" (v. 1). We are to praise Him all the time. It is not just all created beings that breathe that are to praise the Lord, but with every breath of life we are to praise Him. It is not just the musical instruments of piano and organ, drums and trumpets, guitars and violins that are to be expressions of praise, but whatever instruments are in our hands are to be implements of worship that are used for His glory—the dishes and pots and pans in the kitchen, the tractors and plows on the farm, the computers and cell phones in our office. Wherever we are and whatever we do, there is not a moment or activity that should not be devoted to the Lord and be for His glory.

Wherever we are and whatever we do, there is not a moment or activity that should not be devoted to the Lord and for His glory.

We should comprehend day by day as we live and breathe what the apostle John grasped in the Book of Revelation. "Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created … Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing … for Thou was slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Rev. 4:11; 5:12, 9). God created us, redeemed us, and is worthy of our praise. He created the whole world and died for the sins of all peoples. He is worthy of our total devotion and all the honor and blessing and glory we can give in living for Him.

Prayer: Lord, You are not only my Savior and Master; You are my life and my all. As an unworthy servant I acknowledge Your power and glory. I am a recipient of Your grace and daily expressions of Your loving-kindness. You are merciful and forgiving when I sin; You are my strength when I am weak. You are my joy when I am sad and my hope when I am discouraged. You are my refuge, my fortress, and my shield when I am tempted and when my carnal nature threatens to take control. You are my light to guide me as I walk in obedience to Your will. You are exalted and worthy of my praise and worship. I lay my life at Your feet as an offering, lift my hands in submission as Your servant, and give You my heart to be filled by Your presence that I might live for Your glory alone.

Credit: In the Secret Place:
A Pilgrimage through the Psalms by Jerry Rankin
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An Invitation to Praise - Psalm 150:6

Before the closing halělû yāh that repeats the opening call to worship, the psalmist ends not with an imperatival call to praise, but a cohortative invitation. Until now, the psalmist has called for praise using musical instruments, but he concludes with the most important instrument of all, the human voice.

Mays rightly points out that the psalm presents not only the ‘possibility’ but also the ‘responsibility of praise’ (Mays 1994:450). The Hebrew word for ‘breath’ (něšāmâ) is used in Genesis 2:7 and reminds us that God gave humans the breath with which they praise him. Indeed, there is no more important use of that breath than to worship God.

Credit: Tyndale Commentaries - Psalms.