PRAISE THE LORD!
By Wayne S. Walker
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 150:6). The Hebrew name for the book of Psalms is “Tehellim” which means “Praises.” Not every Psalm is specifically a Psalm of praise, but many of them are, and Psalm 150 certainly is. Based upon this Psalm, Henry F. Lyte, author of the beloved “Abide With Me,” wrote another hymn which, when set to the majestic Welsh tune Gwalchmai, begins, “Praise the Lord, His glories show, Alleluia! Saints within His courts below, Alleluia! Angels round His courts above, Alleluia! All who know and share His love, Alleluia!”
We should praise the Lord God because of who He is and what He has done. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Joachim Neander wrote a hymn which I love; it has not been in many of our older hymnbooks but is thankfully finding its way into some of our newer ones. As translated into English by Catherine Winkworth, the first stanza reads, “Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation; O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation. All ye who hear, Now to His temple draw near; Join me in glad adoration.” Of course, whenever we praise God, we are praising the Father, just as Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9).
However, when we praise God, we are also praising Jesus Christ because of what He has done for us. “…For you have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10). Fanny Crosby wrote, “Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer; For our sins He suffered and bled and died. He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation, Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the crucified. Sound His praises, Jesus who bore our sorrows; Love unbounded, wonderful, deep, and strong. Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent glory; Praise Him! Praise Him! Ever in joyful song.” Jesus deserves our praise because of who He is. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
Also, when we praise God, we are praising the Holy Spirit as well because He is the one whom Christ sent to guide the apostles into all truth and through whom they revealed the will of God to mankind (John 16:13, Ephesians 3:3-5). Brethren have debated through the years whether it is scriptural to sing songs addressed to the Holy Spirit, but how often have we all sung the well known doxology by Thomas Ken, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost”? The Holy Spirit is equally worthy of our praise because He too is God, divine in nature (Acts 5:3-4). Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all fit objects of our praise. Therefore, when we sing, when we pray, and when we live our daily lives, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD”!