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After Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan scored a goal against Germany in the 2014 World Cup, he and his teammates did a coordinated dance step. When Germany’s Miroslav Klose scored a few minutes later, he did a running front flip. “Soccer celebrations are so appealing because they reveal players’ personalities, values, and passions,” says Clint Mathis, who scored for the US at the 2002 World Cup.
In Psalm 150, the psalmist invites “everything that has breath” to celebrate and praise the Lord in many different ways. He suggests that we use trumpets and harps, stringed instruments and pipes, cymbals and dancing. He encourages us to creatively and passionately celebrate, honor, and adore the Lord. Because the Lord is great and has performed mighty acts on behalf of His people, He is worthy of all praise. These outward expressions of praise will come from an inner wellspring overflowing with gratitude to God. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord,” the psalmist declares (150:6).
Though we may celebrate the Lord in different ways (I’m not encouraging back flips in our worship services), our praise to God always needs to be expressive and meaningful. When we think about the Lord’s character and His mighty acts toward us, we cannot help but celebrate Him through our praise and worship.
How has this psalm challenged you to be more expressive in your praise to God? Spend some time thinking about the greatness of the Lord’s mighty works. Then give Him your praise.
Praise is the song of a soul set free.
The last five psalms (146–150) are also known as Hallelujah psalms because each of them begins and ends with “Hallelujah” or “Praise the Lord.” The psalmist calls for “everything that has breath”—every living thing on earth and spiritual beings in the heavens—to worship God for what He has done (v. 6). We praise Him for “his acts of power” and for “his surpassing greatness” (v. 2). God deserves the full and joyous expression of our commitment and devotion, and we can praise Him exuberantly with singing and musical instruments (vv. 3-6).