Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! Psalm 150 ESV
Great and amazing are your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed. Revelation 15:3b-4 ESV
What kinds of instruments did people play in Bible times? This psalm mentions a number of them. It mentions trumpets, and there were two kinds of trumpets. One was made out of a ram’s horn, and it was used to call people to worship or soldiers to battle. There was also a trumpet made of brass or silver, and this was also used for worship and in battle. The lute usually had about five strings that were strummed, and it was small enough to carry. A harp was bigger and had 10 or 12 strings, and was shaped like a jar or bottle. A tambourine was actually more like a hand drum, and clay figures often show women playing a tambourine. Clay figures also show people playing pipes, which were double-piped flutes with holes to cover to make different notes. Cymbals were made out of copper or bronze, and gave a very loud, ringing sound.
Psalm 150 calls on people to use all kinds of instruments to praise God. Music is a wonderful gift of God for us, and we can use music to worship and praise God. What kinds of instruments do we use today? We use organs and pianos and guitars and drums and flutes and many, many others. God is honored when we give him our best music and use our voices to tell about how great and wonderful he is. God’s angels praise God in the highest heavens, God’s people Israel praised him in his sanctuary, we praise him in our churches, and we can also sing and make music and praise God anywhere.
The most important part about praising God is to know why we praise him. The Bible says we should praise God for his mighty and amazing deeds. God gives us everything we are and have, and even more, when we turned away from him in sin he sent Jesus to die on the cross for us. Jesus rose again from the dead and defeated sin and death and all the forces of evil, and this is the most mighty and amazing deed of all. Jesus died for us and for all people everywhere, and people from all nations come to God through Jesus to thank and praise him for everything he has done. Everything that has breath has reason to praise the Lord now and forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, we praise you for how wonderful you are and for everything you’ve done for us, and especially for Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.
The Lutheran Study Bible St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2009, p. 993.