Many may feel we have spent too long in recent weeks and months looking at reasons to praise God. I make no apology for returning to this theme, however – not simply because as we study the Bible, we have to look at what it actually says (and these final psalms say a lot about praise!), but also because our praise is often so lacklustre and uninspiring that it is worth asking why that should be the case. Certainly, in the psalms we find no lack of enthusiasm or zeal when it comes to praising God. They abound with exhortations to praise (e.g. Ps 95:1, Ps 5:11, Ps 33:1, 3 – see also Is 12:6), and that praise is clearly meant to be whole-hearted and exuberant (Ps 71:23, Ps 81:1).
Ps 149:4 gives us yet another reason to praise God: ‘For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.’ It’s an amazing thought that God delights in us, but this is a theme developed in other parts of the Bible (Zeph 3:17, Deut 30:8-10, Ps 18:19, Prov 11:20, Is 62:4). The word ‘crowns’ in other versions is rendered ‘beautifies’ or ‘adorns with splendour’, and all these translations show us something of what it means to bring pleasure to God’s heart. Meyer says, “Not only does God take a personal interest in each step of the obedient soul, but He makes it beautiful, and leads it from victory to victory.” There are hints too in Ps 149:7-8 that God’s people will also be involved in carrying out God’s decrees (see Rev 19:15). The fact that we who were once enemies of God (Eph 2:1-3) have now been reconciled to Him through Christ (2 Cor 5:19-21, Rom 5:8) and are counted as heirs of God and joint-heirs of Christ (Rom 8:17) give us so many reasons to praise that we cannot remain silent!