Rev. Johnny C. Smith,
Pastor – Mount Moriah
Missionary Baptist Church
We begin our study of the great hymns of praise (Psalm 146-150) with each psalm beginning with the expression, “Praise ye the Lord”, and ending with the same expression. The expression, “Praise ye the Lord”, really means hallelujah. Would you like to express your “hallelujah” to the Lord? I would like to vent my “hallelujah” by recalling God’s gracious deliverances in my life, and I will join the psalmist as he exclaims: “But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy” (Psalm 59:16-17).
Also, I would like to express my “hallelujah” for the Lord’s extension of mercy in my life and I concur with the psalmist in Psalm 118:1-6 as he says: “O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: because His mercy endureth for ever, Let Israel now
say, that His mercy endureth for ever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that His mercy endureth for ever. Let them now that fear the Lord say, that His mercy endureth for ever. I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”
The psalmist begins this mighty hymn of praise with a determination to praise the Lord all of his life – “Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being” (vv. l-2). We should also praise the Lord continually because He has benefitted our lives tremendously. In verses 3-4, the psalmist teaches that we should place our trust
in the Lord, rather than placing our trust in powerless man. The end of man is laid out in verse 4 which says: “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”
We cannot receive lasting help from any human being whose body is destined to return to the dust, even if he is a prince. At death, the spirit of man departs from the body, and the body returns to dust (Psalm 104:29; Ecclesiastes 3:20).
Rather than trust in mortal man (v. 3), the psalmist expresses that one is blessed when he places his trust in Jehovah, for verses 5-6 say: “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever.” The psalmist speaks of God’s gracious help to His people in versesT-9a. Specifically verse 8 tells us “The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous.” However the sharp contrast is made in verse 9b, how He defeats the way of the wicked.
The psalmist closes with a declaration that the Lord reigns, for verse 10 says: “The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord.”
May God Bless!