Psalm 149:1(NKJV) Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the assembly of saints. 2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 3 Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. 4 For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.
Times of blessing should prompt spontaneous praise. When food fills our storehouses, when everyone is free of illness or injury, when no enemies or tragedies threaten, that’s a natural time to sing our thanksgiving and shouts of praise. Consequently, the songwriter gives us three commands as he discusses times of blessing. He tells us to sing (verse 1), to be glad (verse 2), and to praise His name (verse 3). Let’s look at each command and meditate upon what God is saying.
First, the psalmist urges us to sing a new song. When God brings goodness into the lives of His people, He loves to hear us respond with fresh and spontaneous expressions of delight. Even better when we gather with other “godly ones” to celebrate the Lord’s blessing. After all, we openly share our times of stress and heartache, just as we should. For some reason, however, we seldom gather our friends for the sake of celebrating God’s abundant blessings.
Second, the songwriter calls for God’s people to be glad. Times of prosperity and/or promotion should never cause guilt. If it comes from the hand of God, we should rejoice! Unfortunately, some in the family of God ranks have begun to believe that it is more spiritual to suffer, or that only materialistic people can prosper. What a lousy testimony to a loving God! While the Lord uses suffering to cultivate godly character, He also delights to give good things to His people. Praise God when the blessings flow! They come from Him. Psalm 75:6–7 makes that clear: For not from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the desert comes exaltation; But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.
Third, the composer calls us to praise. The third verse commands us, in effect, to really “let loose.” Don’t stifle your praise; let it out! In the days of the psalmist, it was quite common for God’s people literally to dance for joy and play on musical instruments when they were filled with praise. David danced in the street when the ark was brought back into the city of David (2 Samuel 6:12–15). Likewise Miriam, Moses’ sister, danced in praise of God after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea (Exodus 15:20–21). The dancing in Scripture was done out of praise in one’s heart to God for His blessings and deliverance. I don’t know about you but I feel like dancing for the Lord now family of God!
The whole point of these first three verses of Psalm 149 is that we are to enjoy our times of blessing in full measure. We are to give our Lord fresh, undignified exclamations of praise when He chooses to pour out His abundance upon us. Believe me family of God the Lord loves to hear the sounds of praise!