The Last Verse in the Psalter

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the LORD!” (Ps 150:6)

Anything alive must worship God. The psalmist calls on all living creatures to praise the Lord – both mankind and animal life. It also reminds us that worship is to happen all the time – every time we breathe (I Cor 10:31).  If you’re breathing right now, you’re supposed to worship.  

Making music is not the only way we worship but it certainly seems to be a primary way we praise God.

In his book Worship Matters, Bob Kauflin writes about how music equips the Christian to worship God and I want to share with you his 4 reasons why (pgs. 98-100).

  1. Music stirs up and expresses God-glorifying emotion. Singing is a primary form of expressing our deepest affections for God. This means that any musical praise that is half-hearted is an oxymoron – or worse – hypocritical.  
  2. Music helps us reflect the glory and activity of the triune God. Ever meditate on the reality that God sings too? The Son sang a hymn with His disciples on the eve of His death (Matt 26:30). The Spirit inspires songs in the hearts of believers (Eph 5:18-19). The Father rejoices over those who are also singing (Zeph 3:17). The Father sings, the Son sings and the Spirit sings.
  3. Music helps us remember truth about God. In Deuteronomy 31:19-21, God commanded this: “Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel. For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant. And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring). For I know what they are inclined to do even today, before I have brought them into the land that I swore to give.” Music has a way of helping us remember God and rehearse His workings.
  4. Music helps us express our unity in the Gospel. When you look at examples of praise in the Scripture – especially the N.T. – it is often corporate and in the context of the body of Christ.

What a fitting end to the Psalter. There is no “Greet these people”; there is no concluding remark; this psalm doesn’t end with an “Amen” or “Doxology” because worship doesn’t cease; there is never an ending. It just ends with the remind “Praise the LORD.” In other words, “Keep on singing.”

7 Lessons from “My Jesus I Love Thee”

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine; for Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou; if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me, and purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow; if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,

And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow, if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight, I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow, if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

Date: 19th century

Writer(s): William R. Featherston

Inspiration for writing: The author of this hymn was a Canadian teenager when he wrote it. He was 16. It is rumored that his aunt sent his words off to be published in an English hymnal titled The London Book. The melody was written and improved upon by American Baptist pastor A.J. Gordon.

7 Lessons:

  1. Jesus wants, allows, and calls Himself “our own.”
  2. When we come to Christ, we renounce the sins that previously enraptured us.
  3. Jesus’ love “began” in time past; we love Him because of His eternal love.
  4. Jesus’ death of the cross saves us.
  5. The suffering of Jesus was necessary for us to be saved.
  6. Our devotion to Jesus will be eternal. Not even death will end our love for Him.
  7. Our love for Jesus Christ should be maturing, deepening, and widening.

More Worship for God

Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, give unto the LORD glory and strength.(Ps 29:1)

The word “ascribe” means “to assign something as belonging to God.” David is “calling it like it is” when it comes to God’s glory and what He rightfully controls.

David is calling upon the angels to ascribe to God. The only other time this phrase appears in the O.T. is Psalm 89:6-7 and it refers to angels there as well. Why them? Why angels? Why does David call upon the angels to worship God when they did this already full-time?

All creatures are created to glorify God and angels seem to have a special emphasis of purpose in this area. Why is David telling pleading with them to do something they are likely already doing?

Once again, David’s own worship feels inadequate, and he believes God needs and deserves more. His worship is not enough; he wants an angelic worshiper to join him. David calls upon them because he feels the praise of men to be inadequate. He believes he can attribute to God praise, but human praise is limited, not exhaustive and will come up short every time. Why? Because God deserves as much worship as possible. God wants this type of unworthy, humble worshipper.

We must never grow weary of worship. We must lean into worship more with each day. And we must encourage others to do the same.

4 Lessons from “O Worship the King”

Oh, worship the King, all-glorious above, oh, gratefully sing His pow’r and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days, pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

Oh, tell of His might, oh, sing of His grace, whose robe is the light, whose canopy space;
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,

And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite? It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain, and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail, on Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end, Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!

Date: 17th century

Writer(s): Robert Grant

Inspiration for writing: It might surprise you that given the humble vocabulary of this song (e.g., “frail children of dust”) that the author of this hymn was a distinguished member of Scottish Parliament, and governor of Bombay, India. Grant was an avid supporter of missions and helped fund a medical school in India. We don’t know why he wrote this song, but we can be confident he wanted to elevate the majesty of God.

4 Lessons:

  1. The consideration of the person and works of God must lead us to worship in song.
  2. Wherever we look we can see the evidence of God at work.
  3. Because of our own weakness, we can rely on God for strength.
  4. Attributes referenced – sovereignty, glorious, protector, eternal, majestic, powerful, gracious, wrathful, trustworthy, faithful, merciful, creator, savior, friendly

3 Lessons from “All Creatures of Our God and King”

All creatures of our God and King. Lift up your voice and with us sing
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam. Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

O praise Him! O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong. Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice. Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear. Make music for thy Lord to hear
O praise Him! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless and worship Him in humbleness
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son and praise the Spirit, Three in One!

Date: 13th century

Writer(s): Francis of Assisi (or Giovanni Bernardone, his real name)

Inspiration for writing: Francis of Assisi was a great lover of God’s creative work in nature. He often encouraged his followers to respond in praise when they considered God’s handiwork. When he turned 25, Francis left all his wealth behind, left the military and pledge to live the life of a monk. He began writing hymns and this is one of those 60 that he wrote.

3 Lessons:

  1. Every part of God’s creation was designed for praising it’s Creator.
  2. When we approach God in praise, our posture ought to be one of humility.
  3. Our praise is trinitarian.