Psalm 150:1-6 (KJV): “Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.”

The Hebrew word for “praise” (H1984 – hâlal) means to boast; be made praiseworthy; be commended; to glory, etc. This passage of Scripture has a lot to tell us about praise — to whom, where, why, how, and who should praise.

WHO TO PRAISE: 1 Praise ye the LORD. It is very apparent that God is our audience — not people! Therefore, praise is not entertainment —it’s an expression of appreciation to God alone.

WHERE: 1 …in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. The word “sanctuary” (H6944 – qôdesh) means a sacred place or thing (like the tabernacle and the temple). In the Old Testament, the tabernacle was a portable sanctuary (dwelling place of God) where the children of Israel worshipped. However, the temple Solomon built superseded it as the dwelling place of God. In the New Testament, we are now His temple (according to 1 Corinthians 3:16-17), where we commune with Him internally and “individually.” Although we still assemble together in a physical location “corporately,” His dwelling place is no longer limited to a geographical location. We are living, breathing, portable sanctuaries! Wherever we are, we can praise and worship God!

WHY: 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. His mighty acts and excellent greatness are far too many to express with ordinary words. We can all testify that He has done wonderful things, especially in our personal lives. The only expression befitting of all these things is PRAISE!

HOW: 3 Praise him with the sound of the TRUMPET: praise him with the PSALTERY and HARP. Musical instruments are used to express praise in ways that words cannot.

WHO CAN PRAISE: 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. The word “let” suggests it’s a choice — an act of the will. Therefore, everything that has breath must choose to praise God. Surely, if we can choose to praise people for things they have done, we should choose to praise God for all the things He has done (which are far beyond any man’s capability).

Although verses 3-5 list instruments to use for praising God, verse 6 tells us that no one is overlooked. Those who cannot play an instrument can still praise God. GOT BREATH? QUALIFIED! We may not be able to praise Him in dance or play the trumpet or organ, but we still have ONE INSTRUMENT that we can use to give God praise — BREATH!

Breath qualifies us to be instruments of praise, along with the other musical instruments. It’s one instrument that doesn’t require music lessons, training or money. However, it IS a borrowed commodity (since birth). Loaned by God, our breath should be used to give Him the praise He deserves. Loans must be returned and, one day, we will be required to return it so it’s best we use it while we are alive.

Birds sing, dogs bark, trees praise, and rocks will cry out. Surely, we (who can testify of His goodness) can praise Him. Neither animals nor inanimate things reason whether to make innate sounds. They simply use their breath to do what’s considered normal. We must do what’s normal and give God the praise we owe Him! If we have breath, we have enough! We have a reason! GOT BREATH? QUALIFIED!

Jenise “Sandy” Blake is pastor of Feed My Sheep eMinistries (formerly SONLite Ministries of Pine Bluff.) Details: or .

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