God’s Word of Praise and Thanksgiving
Psalm 149: Today’s psalm is a song of praise that emphasizes God’s justice. It offers images of music, praise, and celebration. But it also includes images of punishment. It may possibly have been an exilic or postexilic prayer for the defeat of Israel’s enemies and the deliverance of the people from exile and the restoration of Judah.
A Hymn of Praise
1Praise the Lord!
Sing a new song to the Lord;
praise him in the assembly of his faithful people!
2Be glad, Israel, because of your Creator;
rejoice, people of Zion, because of your king!
3Praise his name with dancing;
play drums and harps in praise of him.
4The Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he honors the humble with victory.
5Let God’s people rejoice in their triumph
and sing joyfully all night long.
6 Let them shout aloud as they praise God,
with their sharp swords in their hands
7to defeat the nations
and to punish the peoples;
8to bind their kings in chains,
their leaders in chains of iron;
9to punish the nations as God has commanded.
This is the victory of God’s people.
Praise the Lord!
Today’s Key Verse: Psalm 149:1
Praise the LORD! Sing a new song to the LORD; praise him in the assembly of his faithful people!
Reread verses 6-9: The “swords” symbolize God’s concern for justice. Punishment is to serve the purpose of justice. God gave the king the responsibility for establishing justice on earth, but after the end of David’s dynasty, the responsibility for establishing justice was given to all God’s people. Note that New Testament writers do not speak about the sword of vengeance as much as the power of God at work within us (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:12-17; Hebrews 4:12). This “power” is God’s Spirit which helps us to be living examples of God’s love. In what ways have you experienced the power of God’s Spirit at work in your life?
Praise the LORD! I sing to you joyfully, Saving God! Make me an agent of your justice through the peaceful power of your Holy Spirit, that I may be a living example of your love. Amen.
Psalm 150: A concluding doxology.