Praise In Worship

Pastor Don Carpenter

Building Blocks of Worship / Psalm 150:1–6

A gospel song saved a 10-year-old Atlanta boy from his kidnapper.

In April 2014, Willie Myrick was in his front yard and bent down to pick up money when somebody grabbed him and threw him in a car. The little boy began to sing a gospel song called “Every Praise.” Myrick said that the kidnapper started cursing and repeatedly told Myrick to shut up, but he wouldn’t. He sang the song for about three hours until the kidnapper let him out of the car.

We all know that praise and worship is good for the soul. In this case, it may have saved young Willie’s life. In addition, he got to meet “Every Praise” gospel singer Hezekiah Walker, and they sang the song together.

—Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell1

1 Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell, “Gospel Song Saves Boy from Kidnapper,” in 300 Illustrations for Preachers, ed. Elliot Ritzema (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2015).

 “Hallelu Yah”—hallelujah—“Praise the Lord!” Jehovah (or Yah, for Yahweh) is the covenant name of the Lord. It reminds us that He loves us and has covenanted to save us, keep us, care for us, and eventually glorify us, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His Son, on the cross. The new covenant was not sealed by the blood of animal sacrifices but by the precious blood of Christ. “God” is the “power name” of God (El, Elohim), and this reminds us that whatever He promises, He is able to perform. Worship is not about the worshiper and his or her needs; it is about God and His power and glory. Certainly we bring our burdens and needs with us into the sanctuary (1 Peter 5:7), but we focus our attention on the Lord.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 224.

As we continue our study of the building blocks of worship, we come to the building block of praise. It is fitting that the Book of Psalms, God’s inspired hymnal, ends with an anthem of praise. The Hebrew transliteration of Praise Ye the LORD is Hallelujah! The Psalmist calls us to worship … more specifically, to Praise God in worship. This morning we will examine a very detailed explanation of what it means to Praise God in Worship.

Praise Whom?

Psalm 150:1 KJV

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: Praise him in the firmament of his power.

The Hebrew expression hallu-yah opens and closes this psalm. See 135:1 and note.

Praise him The Hebrew exhortation used here, halluhu (commonly translated “praise him”), occurs nine times in Psa 150.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ps 150:1.

Psalm 135:1 KJV

Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; Praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.

Praise Where?

Psalm 150:1 KJV

Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: Praise him in the firmament of his power.

In His Sanctuary

The “sanctuary” was the Jewish tabernacle or temple where the priests and Levites led the people in praising God. We know that the Lord does not live in the structures that we design and build (Acts 7:48–50; 17:24–25), but there is nothing sinful about setting aside a place totally dedicated to worshiping the Lord. The early church met in the temple, in upper rooms, in private homes, and even in synagogues, and when persecution began, they met in caves and underground burial chambers. People who excuse themselves from public worship because they “worship God in nature” need to be reminded that the God of nature has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ and commanded us to gather together with other believers (Heb. 10:25). We can lift our hearts to the Lord from any geographic location, for our God fills heaven and earth.1

1 Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Exultant, 1st ed., “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Cook Communications Ministries, 2004), 224–225.

Matthew 18:20 KJV

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

In The Firmament of His Power

Praise him in the firmament of his power. The whole expression is equivalent to earth and heaven;—Praise him on earth; praise him in heaven. The word rendered firmament is the same which is used in Gen. 1:6.

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 339.

Genesis 1:6 KJV

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

“Praise him in the heavens” or, if mighty is to be expressed, “Praise him in his mighty heavens.” For both phrases the preposition in indicates where God is, not where those are who are urged to praise him.1

1 Robert G. Bratcher and William David Reyburn, A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1991), 1188.

Luke 2:13–14 KJV

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 

Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, Good will toward men.

Praise Why?

Psalm 150:2 KJV

Praise him for his mighty acts: Praise him according to his excellent greatness.

The Psalms put the emphasis upon two things: the fact that He is the Creator, and the fact that He is the Redeemer. God made this earth on which we live, as well as the universe. This lovely sunshine that you are enjoying is His. He is the Creator. There is not a thing at your fingertips today that He did not make. He is worthy of our worship because He is the Creator. He is also worthy of our worship because He is the Redeemer. He is the only Creator, and He is the only Redeemer. You see, God works in a field where He has no competition at all. He has a monopoly on the field of creation and on the field of redemption. Because of this, He claims from all of His creatures their worship, their adoration, and their praise.1

1 J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary: Poetry (Psalms 90-150), electronic ed., vol. 19 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 189–190.

Power In Creation

Psalm 19:1–2 KJV

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament sheweth his handywork. 

Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night sheweth knowledge.

Romans 1:20 KJV

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Power of Salvation

1 Timothy 1:15 KJV

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Power of Sanctification

Romans 8:28–29 KJV

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Philippians 1:6 KJV

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Did you ever notice a tag on a piece of clothing saying, “The irregularities in this product are not flaws, but are a natural result of the handworking of the fabric.”?

That’s the way we are, too!

God put into your very being certain things that reflect His nature and His character in a way that no one else ever has or ever will.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have certain characteristics that no one has ever had before

But no one has the unique combination of characteristics that God has placed in you.

David likens God’s work to that of a weaver

He picks the exact color and thickness of every strand

Then He carefully puts them together to create a unique and beautiful creation.

Praise How?

With Singing

Psalm 7:17 KJV

I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: And will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Psalm 9:2 KJV

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

Psalm 18:49 KJV

Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, And sing praises unto thy name.

With Wordless Music and Art

Psalm 150:3–5 KJV

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: Praise him with the psaltery and harp. 

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: Praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 

Praise him upon the loud cymbals: Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

 • Trumpet

TRUMPET (?????????, chatsotserah). A straight, metallic wind instrument made of silver; used during worship and in the court (Num 10:1–10; 31:6; 2 Kgs 11:14; 12:13; 1 Chr 13:8; Ezra 3:10). For further details, see this article: Horn.

 • Psaltery

 • with harp and lyre (psaltery) Describes two different stringed instruments. See note on Psa 92:3.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Ps 150:3.

1 Samuel 10:5 KJV

After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:

1 Samuel 16:16 KJV

Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

 • Timbrel – tambourine 

 • Dance

2 Samuel 6:14 KJV

And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.

Here it cannot be improper to regard it as referring to that measured tread, or solemn movement which sometimes constituted a part of worship: 2 Sam. 6:14. Such a movement cannot be proved to be wrong in worship; whether it is wise or expedient is a different matter. Customs in worship change as the customs of a people change; and that might be very proper in one stage of society, or in one period of the world, which, though not in itself wrong, might be very unadvisable in another.

Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Psalms, vol. 3 (London: Blackie & Son, 1870–1872), 336–337.

 • Stringed Instruments

 • Organs – Pipes/flutes

Various opinions have been expressed as to the character of this instrument. Some very old authorities believe that the uwgab resembled the bagpipe. They say it consisted of two pipes fastened in a leather bag, one above and the other below. Through the upper pipe, which had a mouthpiece, the bag was filled with air, while the lower pipe had holes that were closed or opened with the fingers much like a flute. Air was forced through this bottom pipe by pressure on the bag.

Most authorities, however, identify the uwgab with the syrinx or panpipe, which is undoubtedly a very ancient instrument, and is generally conceded to be the germ of the modern pipe organ.

 • Loud Cymbals

1 Chronicles 13:8 KJV

And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

1 Chronicles 15:16 KJV

And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.

2 Samuel 6:5 KJV

And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.

Two kinds of cymbals are thought to be mentioned in our text-verse, as rendered in the KJV. The loud cymbals are believed to correspond to the castanets that are used in Spanish and Latin music. Two of these small cymbals were held in each hand. The high sounding cymbals are believed to have been the larger kind that are used today in military bands and symphony orchestras. They were often used in military bands in ancient times, and were also used by the Hebrews in Divine worship as an accompaniment to a chorus of singers (1 Chronicles 15:16 and 25:6, 2 Chronicles 5:13). Paul refers to this instrument in 1 Corinthians 13:1—“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”1

1 James M. Freeman and Harold J. Chadwick, Manners & Customs of the Bible (North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998), 329.

It is important to note that this passage ties musical instruments and dance to a public expression of praise in worship. We must use caution before we write all of this off as merely an ancient cultural practice. Surely God gets praise and glory through artful musical expression that is more than just lyrical.

Who Should Praise?

Psalm 150:6 KJV

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Every breathing creature!

Revelation 5:13 KJV

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Psalm 145:21 KJV

My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: And let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

 • Saved and unsaved

 • Young and Old

 • If you can breath you can sing!

 • If you can breath you can praise God!

 • Even if you cannot talk, but you are breathing, you can praise!

Genesis 2:7 KJV

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Louis Albert Banks tells of an elderly Christian man, a fine singer, who learned that he had cancer of the tongue and that surgery was required. In the hospital, after everything was ready for the operation, the man said to the doctor, “Are you sure I will never sing again?” The surgeon found it difficult to answer his question. He simply shook his head no. The patient then asked if he could sit up for a moment. “I’ve had many good times singing the praises of God,” he said. “And now you tell me I can never sing again. I have one song that will be my last. It will be of gratitude and praise to God.” There in the doctor’s presence the man sang softly the words of Isaac Watts’ hymn,

“I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath,

And when my voice is lost in death,

Praise shall employ my nobler power;

My days of praise shall ne’er be past,

While life, and thought, and being last,

Or immortality endures.”

(From a sermon by Bruce Howell, “The Reputation of God” 1/22/2009)

Praise Ye The Lord!!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 7:14 PM June 3, 2021.

Comments are closed.