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Psalms 149-150

Thursday Evening Bible Study

July 20, 2017


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Target 3300 words   Video = 75 wpm

Ruth Ann

The English word psalm comes from a Greek word that means “a poem sung to musical accompaniment”, or in particular, “stringed” or “plucked” instruments.

The Hebrew name is tehillim, which means “praises.”

The book of Psalms is the hymnbook of God’s people.

It’s also the “Him” book as well. It’s all about Jesus.

The writer of Hebrews quotes from Psalm 40:8 when he writes,

(Hebrews 10:7 NKJV) Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ”
The author was talking about Jesus.
We’re going to see a lot of Jesus in the Psalms.

Soul Music

Music touches the soul. It’s “soulish” in nature. It touches the emotions.

We’re going to find every kind of emotion possible expressed in the Psalms.

For every sigh there is a Psalm.

For most of us, this is what makes the Psalms so wonderful. We can identify. We can relate.

If we were honest, even darkest most depressing Psalms describe the very things we go through day by day.

It is my prayer that as we continue on this journey through the Psalms, we won’t just look at these songs academically, with our mind, but that we may also grow as worshippers.

We are in a section known as the “Hallel” or “Praise” songs.

In Psalm 146-150, each song starts with “Hallelujah” (in Hebrew) or “Praise the Lord.

Each Psalm also ends with “Hallelujah”

Psalm 149 – Warrior Praise

:1 Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints.

:1 Sing to the Lord a new song

newchadash – new, new thing, fresh


Keep it fresh

We can fall into a trap where our time with God becomes a matter of repeating things we’ve memorized and can say in our sleep … and we probably are saying them when we’re spiritually asleep.
Do you like milk that’s past its expiration date?
Imagine how God feels listening to our praise that’s less than fresh?
This was one of God’s rebukes to His people:
(Isaiah 29:13 NLT) And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
This doesn’t mean we have to throw out all our old worship music.  It does mean we need to discipline ourselves and pay attention to what we’re saying and singing.

:2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

:3 Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.

the dancemachowl – dance, dancing

:3 with the timbrel and harp

timbreltoph – timbrel, tambourine

harpkinnowr – lyre, harp; from an unused root meaning to twang

The Sea of Galilee is sometimes called “Kinneret” because it’s shape resembles a harp or lyre.

:4 For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.

:4 the Lord takes pleasure in His people

(Romans 8:31–32 NKJV) —31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

God is for us, not against us.

:5 Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds.

:5 sing aloud on their beds


Resting places

bedsmishkab – a lying down, couch, bier, act of lying
The bed is a place of rest.
All kinds of things take place on beds.  The following is how “mishkab” is used in the Old Testament:
People sleep on beds (Job 33:15)

(Job 33:15 NKJV) In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, While slumbering on their beds,

Sexual immorality can take place on a bed (Lev. 18:22)

(Leviticus 18:22 NKJV) You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

The phrase “as with” translates the word “bed” (mishkab).

Marital sexual relations take place on a bed (Song 3:1)

(Song of Solomon 3:1 NKJV) —1 By night on my bed I sought the one I love; I sought him, but I did not find him.

As opposed to sexual immorality, marital relations are a good thing in God’s eyes.

(Hebrews 13:4 NKJV) Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Some people use their time in bed to devise wicked plans (Mic. 2:1)

(Micah 2:1 NKJV) Woe to those who devise iniquity, And work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, Because it is in the power of their hand.

Sometimes the bed is where we struggle with our weak sick bodies. (Job 33:19)

(Job 33:19 NKJV) Man is also chastened with pain on his bed, And with strong pain in many of his bones,

(Psalm 41:3 NKJV) —3 The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.

(Psalm 30:5 NKJV) For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

What do you do in that place of “rest”?
It might not be your bed.

It might be on your recliner.

It might be your day off.

It might be your vacation.

Are you looking for trouble, or are you looking for God?

God would rather that we learn to look to Him, honor Him, and praise Him on our “beds”.

:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand,

:7 To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples;

:8 To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron;

:9 To execute on them the written judgment— This honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord!

:7 To execute vengeance on the nations

This was for the nation of Israel.

They had real, physical threats to their kingdom, threats that required a sword.

It’s not for us.

We want to use our “swords” to see people saved, not killed.

back to…

:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand,

:6 high praises … two-edged sword


Worship and the Word

Through Israel’s history, we see that their praise of God was just as important as the swords in their hands.
They were to be warriors who learned to worship.
When Jehoshaphat was faced with the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Edom marching towards them, Jehoshaphat’s first move was to ask God for help.

God spoke through the prophets to tell Jehoshaphat that He would take care of this battle.  All they needed was to stand back and trust Him.

How did they demonstrate their trust in God?

(2 Chronicles 20:21–23 NKJV) —21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” 22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

They demonstrated their trust in God by praising Him for His mercy.

We too face enemies and difficulties.

There is certainly a time to get up and fight for things, but do we also learn to trust Him and praise Him in the midst of difficulties?

As New Testament believers, we have a special kind of two-edged sword – God’s Word.
(Hebrews 4:12 NKJV) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Our sword isn’t meant to lop people’s heads off, but to challenge wrong ideas.

(2 Corinthians 10:4–5 NKJV) —4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Our sword is used in spiritual battles, such as when Jesus was being tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread…

(Matthew 4:4 NKJV) But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

Or our own inner struggle, learning to put God’s Word into practice into our lives.

(2 Timothy 3:16–17 NKJV) —16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(Psalm 119:11 NKJV) Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.

While some churches put more of an emphasis on things like the Holy Spirit and worship, other churches put more emphasis on the teaching of the Bible.
We ought to be about both.
We ought to have both the high praises of God in our mouth, as well as God’s Word in our hearts and minds.

Psalm 150 - Hallelujah

:1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!

:1 sanctuary … mighty firmament

Even though both terms could refer to different things, when you use the principle of Hebrew parallelism, you see the various ideas overlap.

The Psalmist is talking about everyone in heaven worshipping God.

Heaven is His “sanctuary”.
The “mighty firmament” can refer to heaven.

:1 Praise God in His sanctuary

sanctuaryqodesh – apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness

Could refer to the sanctuary of the Temple.

Could refer to the sanctuary of Heaven.

Could refer to “holiness”, praise Him in His holiness.

:1 Praise Him in His mighty firmament

firmamentraqiya– extended surface (solid), expanse, firmament

The word is used to describe the atmosphere on the day of creation (Gen. 1:6-8)

(Genesis 1:6–8 NKJV) —6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

It is also used to describe heaven, where the cherubim are (Eze. 1:25)

(Ezekiel 1:25 NKJV) A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings.
Hebrew parallelism would tend to interpret this as the heaven where God dwells, a parallel with “sanctuary”.

:2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!

:2 mighty acts … excellent greatness


Why praise?

The writer of Hebrews tells us:
(Hebrews 13:15 NKJV) Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Sometimes giving God is a bit like making a sacrifice – something that’s difficult, that’s hard to do, something that costs us.

Why?  Because sometimes life is hard and it can be difficult to come up with a reason to praise God.

Here are two good reasons to praise God.
1) For what He’s done.

Can you give me ideas here?

What has God done in your life?

What has He done in the world?

The nation of Israel often went back to certain events like their deliverance from Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the conquering of their Promised Land, etc.

Even if you can’t think of something in your own life (which you still need to work on), think about the old standards.

2) For who He is.

How about this?

What do you appreciate about God?

He is faithful, merciful, gracious, kind.

:3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp!

:3 the sound of the trumpet

trumpetshowphar – horn, ram’s horn

Video:  Blowing the Shofar

This instrument was also used to call people to worship.

:3 the lute and harp

lutenebel – harp, lute, guitar, musical instrument

harpkinnowr – lyre, harp

Other translations have “harp and lyre”

Video:  Improvisation on Lyre & Harp

It’s good to use all kinds of instruments to praise God.

:4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!

timbreltoph – timbrel, tambourine

:4 dancemachowl – dance, dancing

This word is always associated with joy.

Video:  Muppets – Kermit – Happy Feet

stringed instrumentsmen – string (of harp)

flutes‘uwgab – a musical instrument; perhaps a flute, reed-pipe, or panpipes

:5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

:5 loud cymbals…clashing cymbals

loudshema‘– report, a hearing

cymbalsts@latsal – whirring, buzzing

clashingt@ruw‘ah – alarm, signal, sound of tempest, shout, shout or blast of war or alarm or joy

I remember growing up in a time when some thought that having drums in church was “of the devil”.

God is praised even with loud clashing cymbals.

Video:  The Muppet Show – Buddy Rich vs Animal Drum Battle

:6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

:6 Praise the Lord

The last phrase in the book of Psalms is hallelu-yah

Let’s praise Him!