#792: A Life of Praise

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Reflections by the Pond
December 26, 2016

The last word in the last verse of the last psalm in the book of Psalms is "Hallelujah!" In the Hebrew, halal jah, or, as translated, "Praise the Lord!" The last verse is a call for every breathing thing to praise the Lord.

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

Psalms 150:6

The first human being, Adam, was given breath by the breath of his Creator: jah. The Lord God stooped to the mud of Eden and brought to life the first man by means of His own. God shared His own breath to give breath to His creation—not just man, but all living things; and not just self-animate beings such as humans and trout and wrens and gorillas and mice, but many things that are only externally animated, such as oaks and roses and hydrangea bushes. All, in one way or another, have breath. They breathe.

And in some manner beyond our understanding, everything in creation—suns and moons and mountains and weather—has the ability to shout "Hallelujah!" "Praise the Lord!"

Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all stars of light!
Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!

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;

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above earth and heaven.
And He has lifted up a horn for His people,
Praise for all His godly ones;
Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.
Praise the Lord!

Psalms 148: 3-4, 7-10, 13-14

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The collection in the Bible of all the psalms—indeed, the entirety of the Bible from Genesis to The Revelation—calls us to praise the Lord. But that call is not met simply by the occasional Sunday morning praise chorus. It is not fulfilled when we utter a few words of praise as a preface to requesting something from our God. Praise of God is not an event, or an item on a do-list checked off as completed.

Praise of God is to be a lifestyle.

By the breath of God the universe was spoken into existence, and by His breath man was given life. By the breath of God the apostles were given understanding; by His breath the written word was set down for all to read, and only by His breath can we understand it.

breath = neshama (Hebrew) = wind, spirit

It all came from Him, and to Him alone it is to return.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or Who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

Romans 11:33-36

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This sort of lifestyle-praise is not just verbal; its audible sound is just the vocal aspect of a heart, a mind, a life percolating with exaltation for such a glorious God.

Praise, at its heart, is a life celebrating, exulting in the joy of belonging to Him.