Understanding His story helps us to understand that His-Story is our Story!
By: Michael Anderson
Additional Notes By: Iva & Stan May
How much do you know? (Answers at the end of the lesson)
God’s story begins with a perfect environment created by a loving God. He placed the crown of His creation – the man and the woman – into a paradise where they would walk with Him in praise and worship. Sin stole their hearts from God and replaced His praise with undeserved rebellion. Successive generations refused to honor Him as their King, and eventually the entire earth experienced the judgment of the flood. Noah's sacrifice was a sweet aroma to God, and Abraham’s offerings were praise to His name. Joseph gave Him praise before Pharaoh, and Moses and the children of Israel raised up a song of praise when God delivered them from Egypt (Moses also wrote Psalm 90). Samuel’s mother Hannah offered a wonderful song of praise when God heard her prayer, but only in the time of David was praise elevated to an entire book of praise songs. Each psalm was a song sung by God's people as an individual song, so each psalm is designated as singular, like "Psalm 23" (song 23), not "Psalms 23."
Moses, David, Solomon, Asaph and his descendants (Asaph was David’s musician and adviser to David - circa 1,000 bc) created much of Israel’s songbook - the Psalms, but writers were producing psalms even in the time of Isaiah and Hezekiah during the Divided Kingdom Era. These psalms run the gamut of human emotions. They address depression (Ps. 42, 43), comfort in death (Ps. 23), fear (Ps. 56), anger over the prosperity of the wicked (Ps. 73), confidence in trials (Ps.46), and joy (Ps. 98). Penitential psalms express repentance over sin (Ps. 32, 38, 51). Messianic psalms declare the hope in the coming Messiah who will bring Israel redemption (Ps. 2, 22, 110). Imprecatory psalms look forward to coming judgment on those enemies who attack God’s people (Ps. 58, 137). Psalms of Ascent (Ps. 120-134) were sung by Israelites as they made three annual pilgrimages up to Jerusalem for the feasts (more about that next week). Story psalms teach and remind us of the history of Israel and teach coming generations about God’s faithfulness in the past (Ps. 78, 105, 106). Hallelujah psalms conclude the book (Ps. 146-150), but most of the psalms “contain an element of praise” to the LORD, the God of Israel. Psalm 150 finishes out the Psalter and, as the final hymn, demonstrates the glorious praise due to the one true God.
At the conclusion of this lesson, participants will recognize that God is worthy of praise in all places and at all times, and will be challenged to give Him the praise that He is due.
God calls His people to praise Him for who He is and what He does.
God created all things for praise to Him.
God delights in the praise of His people and desires that all peoples everywhere should praise Him.
The final psalm of the psalter begins and ends with “Hallelujah!” This Hebrew word means, “Praise the LORD!” The verb for praise is followed by the covenant name of the LORD, the name by which He revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush. The verb is a command; praise is not optional, it is expected. The writer follows the first word with a series of commands to praise the LORD that weave a tight outline for the psalm.
1. Where to Praise the LORD
2. Why We Praise the LORD
3. How to Praise the LORD (3-5)
4. Who Should Praise the LORD?
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD” (6). Praise is the hallmark of God’s people, but praise is the responsibility of every created being in the universe. Jesus even said that if humans withhold their praise, the rocks would cry out (Lk. 19:40). God is seeing worshipers who will “worship Him in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:23-24). God calls all nations to praise Him and to look to Him for their salvation (Is. 45:22). He is worthy of the praises of all people everywhere.
When the apostle Paul defends his missionary ministry to the Gentiles in Romans 15, he quotes the Psalms to demonstrate that God is seeking praise from all nations. Quoting Psalm 117:1, he writes, “And again: ‘Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!” (Rom. 15:11). One motive for God’s missionary ministry to the nations is to bring praise to Him from all the nations. Praise from every nation will come to pass; John’s vision in the book of the Revelation reveals a song sung by people redeemed “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). They join with the angels and the elders to sing heaven’s sweetest song: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev. 5:12).
God created everything to bring Him praise and commands everything that has breath to praise Him. In fact, in Revelation 5:13, John records, “And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!’”
The text of this psalm ends as it begins - “Hallelujah” - PRAISE THE LORD!
Study and Application: Finding Jesus on Every Page
What does this lesson teach us about God? Man? Sin? Grace?
Ps. 150 is only six verses long and the Lord has packed it full of information. It divides nicely into “where”, “why”, “how”, and “who” concerning the worship to the Lord God Almighty! All four of these points have something in common! All four depend upon the condition of your heart! Who should praise? YOU ARE! With your voice or an instrument! If you are the dwelling place of God, then you are His Temple! If you think about it, you are a mobile place of worship. You are designed to carry the worship of God out to the world. Do you?
“And every tongue shall give praise to God” (Rom. 14:11). One day everyone will bow and will offer praise by confessing that Jesus is Lord. In fact, everything that has ever had or has breath will praise the Lord! (See: Rev. 5:13.) Let’s let others see us praising God so that they may know Him now instead of bowing at the judgment as they are about to be cast into the lake of fire because they never came to know the Lord. Be the example! Jesus, the Son of God, praised the Father! (See Matt. 11:25, Luke 10:21.) He sets the example for us! Praise Him with all that you are! Don't worry about what others think! Worry about what HE thinks! Praise Him for who He is! He is God!
God speaks to command His people to praise Him.
God acts with mighty acts to invite praise and to show that He is worthy of praise.
God reveals His nature and His actions to incite His people – and all creation – to praise Him.
Why do people struggle to express praise to the LORD? Why do many churches seem dead whey they should be so alive with praise?
What are some of the mighty acts that God has done for us today for which we should praise Him?
Why do churches sometimes quarrel over styles of music, and how could learning from the Psalms help in the praise of the church?
Answers: How much do you know?
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