Brother Mike’s Message
Conclusion to the Psalms (Psalms 146-150)
Book 4 climaxes in Psalm 145:21 reading, “My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever.” Book 5 begins with Psalm 146 which may be seen as the psalmist’s response to 145:21: “I will praise the Lord as long as I live” (v. 2). The implication of psalm 146 is that we should put our trust in the Lord and not in mankind. Not even people in positions of power can provide salvation. No human is eternal; neither is his provision or protection comparable to the Lord’s. Therefore, “Praise the Lord!”
Psalm 147 is especially directed to the people of Jerusalem encouraging them to “Praise the Lord” for “building up Jerusalem” (probably a reference to rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem), delivering them from captivity (v. 2), and restoring the broken spirit of Israel (v. 3). This psalm continues to praise the Lord for His power over creation, for bringing the wicked to justice, sustaining life for the righteous, and for the power of His word that perfects it all. Psalm 148 is a shout out for all creation to “Praise the Lord.” The first six verses call for everything belonging to the heavens to “Praise the Lord.” Verses 7-13 are a plea for everything that belongs to the earth to “Praise the Lord.” The psalmist concludes with a special appeal for Israel to “Praise the Lord” for their salvation (v. 14).
Psalm 149:1-4 may be a continuation of the praise for the salvation provided by the Lord as stated in 148:14. The second part of 149 (vv. 5-9), is probably connected to the future victory God provides for His people. Therefore, Israel is to “Praise the Lord” for future protection and victory.
Psalm 150 is a fitting conclusion to the Psalms as a whole, and especially to 147-149. It calls for Israel to “Praise the Lord.” They are to “Praise him for his mighty works and excellent greatness” (v. 2). Verses 3-5 are a call for Israel to celebrate the Lord in worship. The mention of the instruments and dance should not be taken literal here. It is more probable that it is a reference to devoted, intentional, emotional, possibly even spontaneous praise to the Lord. The conclusion to the Psalms is obvious in these last chapters: We are to “Praise the Lord” because he is our provider, our protector, and our deliverer in the past, present, and future. God is so good and powerful that everything in the heavens and on earth praises his name.”