(You) Praise the LORD! The last five Psalms begin and end with this exhortation. The Hebrew words used here are halal and Yahh, which is where our word “Hallelujah”, or “Alleluia”, originated. In Revelation 19, we see “Alleluia” (KJV) and “Hallelujah” (NAS) appear. The Greek word is hallēlouïa, with origins from the above Hebrew root words, meaning, of course, “Praise the LORD”.
This makes me smile because I have several unsaved friends who use the word “Hallelujah” as an exclamation of happiness, not thinking about what the word means. I love how all the world praises God! 🙂
Back to the Psalms. The Psalmist tells us why we should praise God.
“Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant and praise is becoming. The LORD…heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite…Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praises to our God on the lyre, who covers the heavens with clouds, who provides rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens which cry…He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly. He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes. He casts forth His ice as fragments; who can stand before His cold? He sends forth His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow and the waters to flow…Praise the LORD!” ~ Psalm 147:1, 3-5, 7-9, 15-18, 20b
The Psalmist tells us who should praise: all of the creation should praise its Creator. (Even sea monsters!)
“Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all stars of light! Praise Him, highest heavens, and the waters that are above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created…Praise the LORD from the earth, sea monsters and all deeps; fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling His word; mountains and all hills; fruit trees and all cedars; beasts and all cattle; creeping things and winged fowl; kings of the earth and all peoples; princes and all judges of the earth; both young men and virgins; old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven…Praise the LORD!” ~ Psalm 148:1-5, 7-13, 14b
And finally, the Psalmist tells us where and how we should praise the LORD.
“Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!” ~ Psalm 150
Lift up your instruments, your songs of praise, your heart overflowing with joy and thanksgiving!
And so ends the book of the Psalms. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD! Amen!