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“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long...The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 146:1-2, 10)

Praise the Lord!

It’s a common refrain in the Psalms. It’s a common refrain in life. We are often encouraged to praise the Lord. Are you happy? Sing songs of praise! Are you sad? Offer praise to God! In moments of triumph, praise the Lord! In moments of struggle; offer praise to the only one who can hear and listen!

It;s a repeating refrain for life. As long as we have been involved with church we’ve been encouraged to praise the Lord. We hear it so often that if we aren’t careful it becomes background noise. Like the boy who cries wolf over and over again; we eventually get to where we don’t listen to it anymore. If we aren’t careful, the encouragement to praise the Lord becomes just another line we give. Very similar to the line of comfort, I’ll pray for you, when maybe we do, or maybe we don’t have any intention of praying for the person.

Yet here is the Psalmist, in both the first and last lines of Psalm 146, reminding us to praise the Lord! And not just to praise the Lord, but to praise the Lord as long as we live because the Lord will reign forever and ever.

Psalm 146 is the first Psalm in what is considered the last main group of Hallel Psalms contained within the greater book. The first group of Hallel (Praise) Psalms is found in 113-118, the second group is 120-134. This particular group is a group of Psalms that ends the book, putting the finishing touches on the Psalter. Each of these Psalms starts and ends with the very same lines.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

It’s that repeated refrain that reminds us of the importance of what we are doing.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Something happens to us as we repeat the line over and over again. The more we repeat them, the deeper they seem to sink into our hearts.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

The first time we speak it, it’s just a saying we make. The second time it’s still just good church talk. But as we continue, as we repeat the refrain it moves from words that we say without thinking to a heartfelt longing, and the desire of our heart.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

As we repeat the phrase we are reminded that of all the things we praise, there is only one that is truly worthy of our praise. We praise our sports teams, we praise our coworkers, and we praise our friends on a job well done. But it is God alone who is worthy of praise.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

If we aren’t careful, we give our praise to other things, created things, lifeless idols that we carry around from place to place, moving them from one situation to another in hopes of finding lightning in a bottle that will solve all of our problems. But like all false gods, our idols are lifeless and empty.

Yet we hear the words again, Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

And we are reminded that our jobs, as vital as they seem from week to week are not as important as God. We are reminded our finances, as stressful as it is when bills keep coming in, these are not most important. Even our families, as important as our families are, if we aren’t careful, we elevate our families to god-like status, which is something they can never fulfill. All of our idols are worthless. They are empty. They are nothing more than rock and stone.

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

As we hear the words we are drawn more into communion with God. As we hear the words we are able to release the stresses of the day, and release the worries of life. Even if just for a moment, we find renewal in the one who alone can bring peace to life.

Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long...The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 146:1-2, 10)