By Gerald Melton
Sycamore Baptist Church
The book of Psalms begins with the happiness of the good person contrasted with the fate of the wicked. There are the struggles of the faithful and their call to the Lord for help and comfort. It is fitting that it ends with a universal call of praise to the Lord in the Sanctuary or the Temple, as it was known. For us today, it would be a church or a building designed for that purpose. Some of them could visit the Temple only a few times a year, how would that affect us and our relation with the Lord? That is the best place to praise and worship the Lord for those who can come even sparingly, it’s best to come. Others say that they can worship anyplace and do not see the need to be in God’s House.
The common experience is when church attendance declines and there is no fellowship, their personal religion with God declines. Many church services can be seen on TV and people become accustomed to that type of worship. It may be all right for those who are sick an shut-in, but it cannot take the place of worshipping with others. The psalmist makes us conscious of the majesty and the might of God! God is all powerful in heaven and on earth and is great beyond all human speech and understanding. How is God to be praised? Some would feel that silence is a very effective way of worship for they
have felt His presence in silence. The psalmist suggests that music can express praise and mentions the instruments of that day. Rightly used, music encourages the congregation in the praise of God. Music can unite and inspire worshipers as they become participants in worship.
Who is to praise the Lord? Praise is not to be offered only by the worship leaders, pastors or singers. It is to be offered by all of the people present for it is something any one that knows the Lord can do. I have heard many people say that they could not sing and that may be true, but that is not the only way to praise the Lord. Saying the words softly or to yourself is a way of praising the Lord as best as we can. We are to praise God for His works and His abundant greatness and the joy those who worship Him can feel! The book of Psalms could hardly have been ended more appropriately than with such a psalm. It is very fitting for a collection of writings which reach to the depths of human feelings and then soars to the heights of joy!
Let’s just praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let’s just lift our hearts toward heaven and praise the Lord; Let’s just praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Let’s just lift our hearts to heaven and praise the Lord!