Such Joy! Chapter 149
I have to say, as an Apostolic Pentecostal, I totally get what the Psalmist was talking about here! Just look at some of these keywords throughout the chapter:
- Praise his name in the dance
- Sing praises…with the timbrel and harp
- Be joyful
In all seriousness, though, if David knew anything at all it was how to praise, sing, and dance. And he did so unashamedly and as often as was necessary… and even sometimes when it wasn’t necessary.
I understand that not everyone shares my belief, but that’s why I’m glad that the Bible is a Living Word. It speaks to each of us in different ways, especially, I think, through the Psalms.
For instance, “sing unto the LORD a new song,” to me, means singing in the Holy Ghost. Praising Him in the congregation of the saints means being verbal in the church house.
Speaking of the timbrel and harp show the significance of music in worship. And singing aloud upon their beds shows that we don’t just leave the Spirit of God in the church when “service” is over. No, our faith should accompany us the same way our skin does. I wouldn’t think of leaving that behind, would you?
Vengeance & Judgment
The last three verses, Psalm 149:7-9, quickly change the overall feel of the reading, although still hanging with the celebratory feel…
7) To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
8) To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
9) To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.
The terms “vengeance” and “judgment” may seem negative on their own. But I think in this particular context, the Psalmist isn’t speaking of simply retribution or overtaking. I think this speaks to a victory, plain and simple. And one that the Lord has helped to secure.
Praise, Praise, Praise!
The last chapter of the book of Psalms is a great wrap-up for the overall message of the book. Great praise and joy seem to just waft up from the page. If you read it slowly, taking in every verse, imagining what the actual act of praise must have felt like… it’s simply beyond words.
It sounds like a party, doesn’t it? Trumpets, timbrels (tambourines), dancing, stringed instruments, organs, loud cymbals… again, I can’t help but think of the word “CELEBRATION”!
And what a celebration we should have every single day! To be an heir of the creator of the earth! Truly, the Psalmist closed up with an encouragement to do exactly what we were created to do: “Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.”
What are some of the ways you find to praise the Lord? Does it illicit great joy in your spirit? Do you find yourself wanting to praise God in the many ways that David and his people did? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter!
Lord Jesus, I worship You from the top of my head to the soles of my feet! I praise You because You ARE and because You have given me every reason to! Lord, I pray that You would fill my readers, even now, with the joy of Your Presence and allow them to feel what the Psalmist felt. Bless us with Your Spirit, Lord, as we worship and praise You and Your praise will ever be on my lips! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!