1 Praise God in his holy temple; praise the LORD in heavens high. 2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his majesty. Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him for his majesty.
3 Praise him with the sounding trumpet; praise him with the harp and lute. 4 Praise with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute. Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him with the strings and flute.
5 Praise him with the clash of cymbals; with loud cymbals praise accord. 6 Praise him, everything that’s breathing! Hallelujah! Praise the LORD! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Hallelujah! Praise the LORD!
You can hear a Free Church of Scotland congregation the second two verses to the tune Praise My Soul the King of Heaven here.
This call to unstinted praise of God is brief and heartfelt. Gone are the calls to obedience, the complaints, the lamentations, and the questions which have characterised so many of the preceding Psalms. In their place, we have the call to recognise God as worthy of all the adoration and love our hearts can muster. We are to mirror here on earth the ceaseless praise of the heavenly host.
What an array of musical instruments, wind, string and percussion, the Psalm gathers to praise God; and dancing too is encouraged. Temple worship in the days of the Psalms must have been noisy and enthusiastic. Not quite URC style is it?
In between the drama of Psalm 1 and Psalm 150 there lies the lived life of faith, in all its innocence, hurt, doubts, suffering, gratitude and joy. The Psalms are among the most honest and unflinching testimonies to the life of faith in Israel. There’s no smooth progression from faith’s mighty struggles, to the pean of praise urged in Psalm 150. There’s an ebb and flow to faith. For those of us engaged in the life of faith, the psalms ring true to life. Indeed it may be true that only those who are scarred by the battles of faith are capable of fully opening their hearts, minds and voices to the untrammelled praise of the one who is worthy of all praise, God our maker. Let the music commence!
We would be open, gracious God, to moments of respite from our doubts and struggles, when your Spirit penetrates our lives in such a way that all we can do is worship you, as our hearts lift up in pure adoration and praise. For such openness we pray in the name of your well beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ Amen
The Rev’d John A Young, retired URC minister of Scottish Synod, member of Giffnock URC
Sing Psalms! (C) The Worship and Psalmody Committee of the Free Church of Scotland