Praise at All Times

Psalm 149 encourages the people of God to praise Him at all times, regardless of circumstances. In times of blessing, praise Him! In times of suffering, praise Him! In times of warfare, praise Him! When we come to that enviable place in our Christian experience that we can honestly say, “Praise the Lord!” in every situation—and genuinely mean it—we will have assimilated the full thrust of this magnificent hymn of praise—and all the songs in Scripture.

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In Times of Blessing

Psalm 149 is one of five “praise the Lord” psalms that conclude the Hebrews’ ancient hymnal. Like the other four, it begins with the command “Hallelujah!” leading to a time of exalting God’s goodness. In this case, the people of God are summoned to praise Him in response to three different situations: times of blessing, times of suffering, and times of warfare.

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The Meaning of Praise

There are times when the hardest words in the world to utter are “Praise the Lord!” (also translated “Hallelujah!”). These words just don’t flow from our lips. In fact, there are times we are turned off even when others use the words! Interestingly, each of the last five psalms in the Hebrews’ ancient songbook begins with that exclamation of praise.

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A Song of Deliverance

The psalmist’s lament in Psalm 116 expresses reasons to love the Lord despite the soul-crushing burden of grief and sorrow. Because He Cares for Me. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. (116:7) Look at that! The words “dealt bountifully” are a translation of the Hebrew gamal, which means “to deal fully and completely” with something or someone. Frequently, it suggests the idea of “rewarding.”

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Cultivate Relationship with God

Psalm 100 is an extended command to worship the Lord, giving specific instructions to follow. The first three commands in 100:1–2 are directly related to cultivating a spirit of joy. The next four call for our response to the Lord’s identity and character. We’ll examine the first two of these commands. Know that the LORD Himself is God (100:3).At first glance, this seems like an odd command.

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Rejoice in God

David’s desert song, Psalm 63, contains a decision he hoped would enhance his relationship with the Lord: he decided to rejoice in God. But those who seek my life to destroy it, Will go into the depths of the earth. They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; They will be a prey for foxes. But the king will rejoice in God;

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Meditation and Singing

In his wilderness experience, David made five decisions that would deepen his connection with God. First, he decided to imagine the Lord’s physical presence. Then he decided to express praise for God out loud. His third decision is to devote himself to a mental discipline many in the twenty-first century do not clearly understand: meditation. He decided to meditate on the Lord (63:6).

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Satisfaction in Praise

David’s lonely wilderness sanctuary left him thirsty and hungry, not only for food, but for meaningful interaction with his God (Psalm 63:1–2). As his song continues, David describes a second decision he made to cultivate a relationship with the Lord: he decided to express praise to the Lord (63:3–5). Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.

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Facing Fear with a Song of Faith

When fear has us in its icy grip, we quickly turn toward self-preservation. We hope to avoid loss, escape pain, or cheat death. Not David! His composition, preserved for us as Psalm 27, gives priority to eternal matters. Verses 4-6 revolve around the idea of David’s desire to maintain constant, intimate fellowship with his Lord.

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Facing Fear with Praise

As David faced his fears and expressed them to God in Psalm 27, he began with worship, celebrating the power and faithfulness of his God. Declaration of Praise: The key to the entire song is verse 1. It consists of two similar sentences, each ending with a rhetorical question. “The Lord is my light . . . my salvation . . . the defense of my life.” Interestingly, David says God is all of this.

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