< July 09, 2017 >

Commentary on Preaching Series on Psalms


[This is Week 5 of a 5-week preaching series on Psalms.]

Week 5 (July 9, 2017)

Preaching text: Psalm 150; accompanying text: John 4:24-26

A Call to Praise

The Psalter ends with an extended call to praise. The psalm can be considered the exclamation point on the psalter. But the form of the "call to praise" should not be missed. A call to praise is normally one part of the hymn of praise (the other part is the "reason for praise").

Why is it significant that the Psalter ends with an extended all to praise, with no reasons for praise given? Because it means that the Psalter closes by inviting the reader to join in singing the songs of the Psalter -- out there, in daily life, in the real world. In Hebrew, the Book of Psalms is called "Praises." So do the math: the book of "praises" ends by inviting you to join in the praise.

The psalms as a whole are not meant primarily to be sung in worship. Rather, we are invited to come to worship in order that we might sing the songs in daily life. So, when we are wallowing neck deep in the mire of life, we are invited to sing the songs of lament: O Lord, have mercy. When we are experiencing the grace and joy of life, we are invited to sing the songs of praise: Thank you God! When we are in a tough spot, but remember God's presence, we are invited to say, "I trust you O God, you are with me." And when we see God at work in the world, we are invited to point to God's invisible hand at work and say, "Praise the Lord!"

Let everything that lives praise the Lord.

Hymn Suggestions:

  • "Let All Things Now Living"
  • "We Praise You, O God"
  • "Let the Whole Creation Cry"
  • "For the Beauty of the Earth"