The Last Psalm

“Praise ye the Lord”

Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord” (Psalm 150).

The long voyage is over, and the harbour is reached, the roar of the storm gives place to the music of the haven. We have gained the end, the victory, the song.

Praise, and only praise, resounds on every hand. The voice of the enemy is silenced and his power is broken. The murmur of the wilderness is heard no more, its weary discords, its sobs, its pains, its sorrows, have given place to the glad “Hallelujah” of God’s presence. Every heart is happy, and every mouth is filled with song. We are reminded of the parable of Luke 15, and the glad home where is received the once prodigal, its satisfaction and its music, only here the scope is wider. It is Israel replaced in its own land, in the joy of the kingdom, and in the presence of the King. The long night is over, the nation has received double for all its sins; its warfare is accomplished, its iniquity is pardoned; it is the time of its “comfort.” And what more befitting than such a song! What more comely than that instruments of music, the sweetest, the clearest, the loudest, should be employed to celebrate the praise of Jehovah?

There is now “no evil occurrent.” The Lord is king, and His name is one, and His subjects are blessed. “Happy is the people that is in such a case; yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord.” They give heartfelt expression to their joy. In the six short verses of our beautiful closing psalm we have praise thirteen times. And what music! What harmony!

The heavenly sanctuary is invoked to sing praise to God (v. 1); not a voice in those glorious courts on high may be silent. They have their own exquisite song to sing in the glories of the Father’s house, and in the knowledge of Father, Son, and Spirit fully revealed.

Then, again, “the firmament of His power” must reverberate with His praise. Not a being amid all these higher principalities but shall swell the chorus of His praise; while they who can sound trumpet, or psaltery, or harp, or timbrel, or pipe, or stringed instruments, or organs, or loud cymbals, or high sounding cymbals, shall also praise the Lord! Lovely orchestra, indeed, when each instrument of music emits in perfect and willing harmony the rightful praises of the Lord!

How glad the choristers, how sweet the song! But, in order to ensure the universality of the song, and to gather into its joy every intelligent being, the call is made: “Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord.” Breath, the breath of life, the faintest ability to articulate anything, let such, and all such, praise the Lord. Hallelujah!

What a conclusion! “Still praising” as ages roll. Happy service now and for ever on the part of the ransomed of the Lord.