What is praise? The word “Praise” in this text comes from the Hebrew verb Hallel. It means to boast, to give thanks, to adore, to magnify someone for their good qualities. It shines a light on a person and uplifts them in the company of people. This attention is to be given to God because HE alone is worthy.
The word Hallelujah is a compound word meaning “Praise Yahweh!” Notice also that this verb is found in the imperative mood, in other words, it’s not an option for only when I feel like it, rather it’s a command even when I don’t feel like it.
It’s kind of like when I don’t feel like getting up in the morning, I still need to get up anyway. I still use an old fashion alarm clock. It sits on my nightstand. It’s got that fake wood paneling, popular with electronics made in the 70s. I’ve had it since I was a kid, and I still have it and it still works. One of my goals during sabbatical was to set boundaries around my devices, so one thing I did was I stopped sleeping next to my device this summer. I didn’t want my phone to be the last thing I looked at before bed, nor did I want it to be the first thing I looked at in the morning.
So if I had to be up early, I refused to use my phone as my alarm clock, I use this. It’s the kind of alarm clock with a buzzer. Now, it used to be that the only alarm clock you could buy was one with a buzzer, “EHH EHH EHH EHH”. Do you still use a buzzer alarm clock?
Yeah, now, there are few things that we both love and hate as much as an alarm clock. Without it, most of us would miss an early start to the day, peacefully sleeping the morning away. So the alarm clock is a blessing to us, but it is also somewhat unwelcome as it rouses us from our slumber and shouts, “It is time to engage life!”
Here’s my point, Psalm 150 is a spiritual alarm clock, waking us up from our self-focused life to engage in praise of the Lord. Notice 13 Times in six verses it says to praise! Wake up! It is time to engage in praise of the Lord our God.
Perhaps you, like me, need a spiritual wake up this morning to praise the Lord. How is your praise life? Do you need to raise your praise? Or Would you rather hit the spiritual snooze button than energetically and fully engage in praise of God? Do you have some Praise procrastination?
Psalm 150 wants to wake us up to engage in praise.