Praise the Lord with Music
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his Temple;
praise him in his mighty heaven.
2 Praise him for his strength;
praise him for his greatness.
3 Praise him with trumpet blasts;
praise him with harps and lyres.
4 Praise him with tambourines and dancing;
praise him with stringed instruments and flutes.
5 Praise him with loud cymbals;
praise him with crashing cymbals.
6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
Psalms 150, NCV
There exists an orchestra here, a certain symphony of praise. So many are escorted into this, and yet not enough are praising Him. These six verses give us a deep variety of instrumentation to choose from. Everything must be accepted, and brought into this certain place of blessing Him loudly.
There are 12 certain approaches listed in this psalm. Twelve ways to worship, who go on to create a deep harmony within each other. None of us operate on our own, but as believers are ushered into music practice. All of a sudden, we are much more than “spiritual musicians.” We are quite corporate, or at least should be.
Recently, I’ve gotten hooked on the Jazz musician, of Miles Davis. His work seems to be always a conundrum of a jazz and blues, but always several instruments working together, weaving a wonder that is exquisiteness at it’s best. He teaches me of how the Church weaves a certain connection between people.
Psalm 150 brings everything together, as we read it we should think “together.” We have “worship tools” that enhance what we want to do. Harps, tambourines, and flutes are some of what we play. All are invited as we excel in something more than the mundane or ordinary. We will never be elevator music or “Muzak.”
Psalm 150, the last psalm should really be the first psalm. (But I won’t make a federal case of it.) The throne room of God is not simply a visual place– it is just as much an auditory one. We do see things, but we also hear things, which are wonderful in themselves. Get ready dear ones, for a concert which will not disappoint, that is going on, without us, in the heavenly places.
But I will sing about your strength.
In the morning I will sing about your love.
You are my defender,
my place of safety in times of trouble.
God, my strength, I will sing praises to you.
God, my defender, you are the God who loves me.
Psalm 59:16-17, NCV
I’ve always considered singing as strange. Leave it to me to try to understand music on any level. But to me, to vocalize with music as a bit bizarre. The dictionary really doesn’t clarify it for me at all, but it makes it even stranger,
“to utter words or sounds in succession with musical modulations of the voice; vocalize melodically.”
And yet from this strangeness, David can find a solid reason to sing. At this time in David’s life, things are quite tense. Saul has been focused on him, and has come very close to pinning David down (literally). I’m sure David is struggling with anxiety, doubt and despair. And yet, it is from these considerable issues that David starts singing.
A precedent has been set. Singing when you are in deep water. This particular Psalm has a definite theme and direction. David sings about God. He sings about His strength, and love, and protection. I suppose if you are walking through an evil mob– it is really good to be watched over, and to be securely protected is very much appreciated.
When evil is immense and active, our first response should be to sing! When we direct ourselves toward the Lord, and begin to sing to Him, the enemy scrambles for cover. Worship scares him. Satan is confused and frightened when we start to praise our God. (I tend to think he has an ‘allergy’ to our simple worship.)
I consider myself to be pragmatic and logical. There are things I see right through. Pyramid schemes, Nigerian banking plans, and multilevel marketing are things that are discernible to me. But this particular Psalm punches through, and I confess I have come to understand this extraordinary power of worship. When I decide to worship, all heaven goes crazy!
Often, I think, we “candy-coat” worship, we dip it in chocolate, and make it for ‘feeling good.’ If we ‘catch a buzz’ it was good worship. But then we come into His presence, it is a joy and there is peace for us. And this is terrific. But we should reformat our thinking.
But worship is warfare. As we stand and praise Him, the kingdom of Satan is substantially degraded and minimized. Worship does this and more.
Satan fully hopes that we will forget, or at least trivialize this idea of worship, he strategically works his way against it. It frightens him when we start to understand. The worship of the True God drains Satan of his power and authority. I think perhaps, when we do worship, we start to truly become ‘kings and queens’, but only when we praise our God.