Morning Light – September 28th, 2016

ml_2016Today: [Psalm 150] It’s Time to Get Loud. Psalm 150 is a fitting conclusion to the book of Psalms. It mentions 13 times over the exhortation to praise the Lord. Ancient Rabbi’s held the belief that there were 13 comprehensive attributes that defined or expressed who God is. Jesus comprised a group of 13 as His primary band of disciples (including Himself) as a symbol of direct opposition to the prince of this world – the dragon who is mentioned himself 13 times in the bible. There are also found in this chapter calls for dance, and instrumentation in praise. The psalmist exhorts us to find some high sounding cymbals, particularly LOUD cymbals with which to praise the Lord. God is not nervous. Noise does not offend Him. In fact it is time to make some noise in your life in praise to God!

[Psa 150:1-6 KJV] 1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

With chapter 150 we come to the conclusion of the book of Psalms. Psalm 150 is not only the conclusion of the book of Psalms but also the last of the 5 previous psalms that begin and end with Hallelujah – prompting the title and group together of these chapters as the “Hallelujah Psalms”. The majority of these last 5 psalms are believed to have been written by the same author. In antiquity the Israelites sang this psalm when they would bring their first fruits into the sanctuary in baskets on their shoulders. The word praise is used 13 times in this chapter, according to one medieval rabbi in the 1100’s – to commemorate what he saw as the 13 perfections in God. The 13 perfections were that:

  1. God is Eternal
  2. God is Good
  3. God is All Knowing
  4. God is All Present
  5. God is All Powerful
  6. God is Immutable (unchanging)
  7. God is Holy
  8. God is Just
  9. God is Self-Existent
  10. God is Sovereign
  11. God is Merciful
  12. God is Patient
  13. God is Truth

It is interesting that scholars in the middle ages would come up with 13 attributes that encompass the character of God. 13 is a number that denotes lawlessness and rebellion. Nimrod for instance was the 13th ruler in the line of Ham. His name means “A mighty hunter who will take the place of God…” In Romans ch. 1 Paul lists 23 characteristics of sinful people – the 13th being “haters of God”. The dragon – a reference for Satan is mentioned 19 times in the bible. It is not without import that Jesus with His apostolic band of followers completed the number of disciples with Himself making 13 in all. This is intended to show the conflict of kingdom and Jesus coming into direct challenge to the usurpation of Satan in the earth. This psalm then is a warfare psalm as well – a declaration of the supremacy of God over the god of their world who unjustly defies God’s rule.

Verse 1 tells us we should praise God in the sanctuary, in the firmament of His power. In other words this is a reference to your own human spirit. Jesus said in John 4:

[Jhn 4:23 KJV] 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

To worship God in spirit one must first recognize that your human spirit is the temple of God. It is the equivalent to the Holy of Holies. Your body is the outer court; your soul is the inner court and your spirit is the Holy of Holies. The wording goes on to define your human spirit as the firmament (or container) of His power. The power of God is on the inside of you because God is on the inside of you. You are a holy vessel. In every mind and heart there is a sound. It is the internal dialogue taking place continually as the backdrop of your own thoughts. The heart of God is that that backdrop of ambient mental activity should be that of praise unto Him. Remember that your thought life is something that God is continually subjected to because He lives on the inside of you. Does He find pleasure there or does He find your thought life dreary or objectionable? We are exhorted in scripture to harness our thought life to that end:

[2Co 10:4-5 KJV] 4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Some say “I can’t help what I think..” Oh yes you can. The above scripture says so. Most people exercise no discipline over their thought life. Their mind is like a spoiled child misbehaving in public, completely unrestrained by a foolish and indulgent parent. We are obligated to maintain constant discipline over our thoughts and imaginations. Why are we to do this? Because it is our responsibility to maintain a posture of hospitality and deference to the God that lives in us. This is the implication of the fact that God lives in us by virtue of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Verses 2-5 tell us for what reason and how we are to praise Him. We are to praise Him for His acts and for His most excellent greatness. Now the world around us discounts God. For the first time in the history of our nation there is no denying we are in a post-Christian period. Our political system completely scorns the pillars of the Christian faith. Our courts overwhelmingly judge in open opposition to our faith. Our legislatures on the Federal and state level pass laws every day that mock God’s word with impunity. Popular culture completely denigrates our faith and defies our values. Where are we to put our attention? Upon the things of God. To look upon the world and even though things may look bleak we punctuate every descriptor of the darkness around us with the declaration “… and His mercy endures for ever…”

We are also exhorted in this psalm HOW to worship Him. We are to worship Him in the dance. Let the dance come back into your step. You may not see it in your character – but if you were to suddenly experience a windfall of enormous proportions you would dance. Get the dance back in your step. Worship Him with instrumentation. Worship Him with stringed instruments. Worship Him with cymbals. Worship Him with loud cymbals. Some say God isn’t deaf but He isn’t nervous either. Learn to love God OUT LOUD. It is the world that wants to stifle your faith and muffle your joy. Go out in your day and obnoxiously and loudly give praise to your God in such a way that every pagan around you is rendered uncomfortable and offended. Worship Him on the high sounding cymbals. You may not have any musical ability but you can get a pair of cymbals and a set of drum sticks and praise the Lord with them. Let everything that has breathe praise the Lord. (I don’t know about you but I am going to go find a set of cymbals).

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