Psalm 149. Hallelujah #4: God Delights In Our Praise.

Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 149. (MsgB)

Hallelujah!

Sing to God a brand-new song, praise Him in the company of all who love Him.
Let all Israel celebrate their Sovereign Creator, Zion’s children exult in their King.
Let them praise His name in dance; strike up the band and make great music!
And why? Because God delights in His people, festoons plain folk with salvation garlands!


Well, here we are at the next to last Psalm.

Psalm 149. Kinda the last one before the last one.

If you’ve been with us over the last few entries, you know that we’re pondering the Concluding Hallel. That fancy title was given to Psalms 146 through 150 by Hebrew scholars because of these five song’s unique focus on the word hallelujah. All five psalms (146-150) both begin and end with the word hallelujah, or as some English translations put it, “Praise the Lord.”

Actually, this familiar word hallelujah is an English transliteration of two ancient Hebrew words. The first word is hallel. It translates as ‘joyous praise’ or ‘to wildly or foolishly boast.’ When the word hallel is used in the second-person imperative masculine plural (hallelu), and then combined with the shortened Hebrew name for God (Yah), we have our very familiar English word, hallelujah.

So, simply stated, the Book of Psalms ends with five short songs that, quite honestly, remind the people of God to get their eyes off of their own problems and get with the God-program of shouting out our hallelujahs to our Creator/King.

Thus far in Psalms 146-148, we’ve discovered the following convincing reasons to become a hallelujah-shouter for life:

Hallelujah Reason #1 (Psalm 146): God is large and in charge;

Hallelujah Reason #2 (Psalm 147): It’s a good, beautiful, and fitting thing to do.

Hallelujah Reason #3 (Psalm 148): God is our Creator.

As I see it, Psalm 149 wastes no time in getting right down to the basics of praise and worship of God. As a matter of fact, it’s about as simple as simple can be. So here it is…

Hallelujah Reason #4 (Psalm 149): God delights in our praise.

Yes, my dear friends, here’s the gut-honest truth…

The God who is large and in charge, the Creator of the entire universe, the High King of Heaven who needs absolutely nothing or no one from His creation to keep Him alive, is the very same God who delights Himself in the praise He hears coming from His people.

Now, might I suggest that you and I stop just a moment and reflect upon this truth?

The one person or entity in our entire universe who needs absolutely nothing outside of Himself in order to survive, has chosen to become a God-head who delights Himself in the praise and adoration that comes from His creation.

Now at first glance, that may sound as though our God is a bit under-confident in Himself and that He somehow needs us (and our praise) in order to build Himself up, gaining enough confidence through that adoration to do His job. But relax, folks. That weakened approach to life is a human trait. Only you and I, as frail humans, need love and adoration to strengthen our souls. God is not cut from that fabric.

Scripture teaches us that God has absolutely no need outside of Himself. But God’s Word also tells us that this same self-sufficient God intentionally chooses for Himself a lifestyle where the praise and adoration of His children bring great satisfaction to His soul. In other words, God doesn’t need our praise (as in co-dependency) but chooses to delight Himself in our praise and worship when He receives it.

Wow. Here’s another way to think about this.

Our God, who needs no outward fire to keep Him alive, still is One who is deeply warmed in His heart when He hears you and me singing our simple hallelujahs toward heaven.

Hmm.

Ponder this: The next time you or I are singing our hearts out to God up in heaven, God the Father leans over His throne, placing His hand next to His ear. “Shhh,” God exclaims, motioning to the throng of heavenly beings who surround the throne of God. “Quiet,” God calls out, “I hear one of my kids singing to me down there! Let me sit back for a moment and soak it all in!” And for one moment in heaven, all activity stops. And the Holy Trinity smiles.

Hallelujah Reason #4 (Psalm 149): God delights in our praise.

My prayer: Hallelujah, God, my Father. Thank You for the wonderful reminder that my personalized praise and adoration of You is always noted in heaven. To know that my simple song of hallelujah warms and delights Your heart is pretty much all I need to know to keep singing from now to forevermore. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: So how does the awareness that God is listening for my voice, looking to be delighted in my song, change the way I approach praise and worship down here? If I knew for certain that God is listening carefully for my voice and is warmed when He hears my song, how might I change the way I look at my life and why I’m here?

So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?


Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Contemplative Activist network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.

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Click here to continue on this blog series…

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