Praise you the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.…
Throughout the last five psalms we discover no wail of penitence, but a heightening tone of jubilant and adoring praise. The melody swells higher and louder until it reaches its climax in the "doxology" or "hallelujah chorus" of this psalm, where everything that breathes is summoned to join in the grand oratorio! It is a rigging finish to such a splendid collection of spiritual songs. Praise is the poetry of worship — the loftiest mood of the devout soul — the outflow of adoring affection — the rhythmic language of holy joy and loving gratitude.
I. WHERE the chorus is to be rendered (ver. 1). The song and the sanctuary, the chorus and the cathedral, are admirably suited to each other.
II. WHY (ver. 2). For His "mighty acts" in daily life, according to the "excellent greatness" of His love as Father, compassion as Benefactor, power as Deliverer.
III. HOW (vers. 3-5). "Whoever despises music," says Luther, "I am displeased with him, Next to theology, I give a place to music, for thereby all anger is forgotten, the devil is driven away, melancholy, many tribulations, and evil thoughts are expelled. It is the solace of a desponding mind."
IV. BY WHOM (ver. 6). Here the psalmist reaches the climax in his exhortation; he has exhausted language; he can particularize no more; he rushes to the culmination; he demands a universal outburst of adoration; he calls upon all in whom the breath of life is to help swell the "hallelujah chorus!" O what a thrilling crash of melody! what a volume of perfect harmony, when animate and inanimate creation, with all creatures, rising rank upon rank, order above order, species above species, purged from corruption, delivered from all evil, and attuned to the euphony of the skies — when "everything that hath breath," the consecrated breath Divine — "shall join in one harmonious song, and crown Him Lord of all!"
(J. O. Keen, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.