Evening Bible Study
The English word psalm comes from a Greek word that means “a poem
sung to musical accompaniment”, or in particular, “stringed” or “plucked”
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.
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
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
new – chadash – new, new
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
:3 Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him
with the timbrel and harp.
:3 with the timbrel and harp
timbrel – toph – timbrel,
harp – kinnowr – 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
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
beds – mishkab – 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)
Sexual immorality can take place on a bed (Lev. 18:22)
18:22 NKJV) You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an
The phrase “as with” translates the word “bed” (mishkab).
Marital sexual relations take place on a bed (Song 3:1)
As opposed to sexual immorality, marital relations are a
good thing in God’s eyes.
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)
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 NKJV) “Man is also chastened with pain on his bed, And with
strong pain in many of his bones,
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
It’s not for us.
We want to use our “swords” to see people saved, not killed.
: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?
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:
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
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 –
(Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)
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
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…
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
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.
:2 Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent
:2 mighty acts … excellent greatness
The writer of Hebrews tells us:
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.
sometimes life is hard and it can be difficult to come up with a reason to
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
:3 the sound of the trumpet
trumpet – showphar – horn,
This instrument was also used to call people to worship.
:3 the lute and harp
Other translations have “harp and lyre”
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!
:4 dance – machowl –
This word is always associated with joy.
:5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
:5 loud cymbals…clashing cymbals
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.
: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!