The Psalms for a New Day website has just been redesigned and the website has moved to a new location. The page you are looking for has moved. Try the link below:
Looking for content on a specific topic?

Psalm 150

Unending song

We readily shout and sing for shared achievements like winning goals, celebrating far lesser objects than God. The psalmist calls us to celebrate the greatest object of all wholeheartedly, as we were created to.

Praise Yahveh!
Praise God in his sanctuary
praise him in his immense vaulted heavens.
2 Praise him for his powerful deeds
praise him for his surpassing greatness!
3 Praise him with the blast of the ram’s horn
praise him with lute and lyre.
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance
praise him with strings and flute.
5 Praise him with the sizzle of cymbals
praise him with an almighty crash of cymbals.
6 Let everything that lives and breathes
praise Yahveh!
Praise Yahveh!

Like the last four psalms, this one begins and ends with “Praise Yahveh!” or “Hallelujah!” Praise should be raised from God’s sanctuary at the center of everything and fill the farthest reaches of the heavens, human and angelic praise resounding together.

Though the Psalter’s explosive finale gives just two reasons for praise, they cover everything the book says about God’s acting powerfully to redeem his people, showing himself to be unequaled in compassion and sovereignty. Such boundless love and power call for an equally unrestrained response from us: worship in song and dance with a full orchestra. Worship from every living creature.

This last psalm joins with the first to frame the book with what’s difficult on one end and what’s easy on the other: rigorous individual discipline in Psalm 1 leading to unfettered universal worship here. Exuberant praise is clearly central to God’s design for our lives: why should anyone hold back when we’re all commoners blessed beyond measure by our heavenly king? And why should our worship be less than buoyant when celebrating the greatest object of all? But amidst life’s many distractions, we need calls to praise like this—indeed, we need the entire Psalter—to remind us of the greatness of our Redeemer-king, who alone deserves unending praise.

Thank you, Jesus, for making your home among us, giving your all to defeat the powers of evil, and making it possible for us to experience the freedom and joy of knowing you. Thank you for your unconditional love. I gladly add my voice to the hallelujah chorus that will never ever end. Amen.

During your free moments today, meditate on these words:

Praise him for his powerful deeds
praise him for his surpassing greatness!

Why Yahveh?

Every translator of the Psalms must decide how to handle God’s personal name, YHWH, which occurs repeatedly in its Hebrew text. Translators of the King James Version usually translated it “LORD” (all caps) and occasionally transliterated it (badly) as “Jehovah.” Modern translations, likewise, either translate or transliterate it. While translating it aims to make it more accessible to readers, transliterating it is more faithful to the text since it’s not a word at all, but rather God’s uniquely personal name. I’ve chosen to transliterate it to root it more firmly in the biblical story as the name—meaning the “self-existent One”—that God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. This name set Israel’s God apart from all the gods of Israel’s neighbors.

Personal names are, well, very personal. Even the sound of a name can evoke strong emotion. One problem with YHWH is that we aren’t sure how it was pronounced since Jews long ago stopped saying it in order better to hallow it. In transliterating it, I follow the advice of my esteemed Hebrew professor, Raymond Dillard. He advocated transliterating it as Yahveh—pronounced yah·vay—arguing that following the modern Hebrew pronunciation of its third consonant makes the name sound more robustly Jewish than Yahweh.
May these psalms be a light to you in dark times. You can read more of Mark Robert Anderson's writings on Christianity, culture, and inter-faith dialogue at Understanding Christianity Today.