by Pastor David Groendyk
As has been pointed out previously, Psalms 146–150 constitute one grand ‘Hallelujah!’ to end the book of Psalms. Psalms 146 and 147 highlighted why we should praise God, and Psalms 148 and 149 emphasize who does the praising, namely, all of Creation (148) but especially God’s chosen people (149).
Verses 1–5 are simply a happy celebration of God, his glory, and his salvation! It looks very much like David in 2 Samuel 6:16 when he leaped and danced for joy at the ark of the covenant arriving in Jerusalem. It is appropriate and fitting sometimes to jump up and down for joy at what God has done! How does your joy in salvation manifest itself in your life? Are you like Michal the daughter of Saul who scoffed and turned her nose up at David’s excitement and dancing? The Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, the King of all Creation, takes pleasure in us his people and adorns us with salvation. What more thrilling reality could there be in our lives?
Verses 6–9 take somewhat of a turn, though, similar to the end of Psalm 139. Just like Psalm 139, however, it is fitting to end this way. Part of the reality of being chosen by God and being one with Christ means that we are now agents of furthering his kingdom and that we will share in his rule in heaven (see 2 Tim. 2:12 and Rev. 20:4). For Old Testament Israel, binding kings with chains and taking up their two-edged swords were often quite literal. For the New Testament church, our sword is not a literal one but the Word of God (Eph. 6:17), and our enemies are not flesh and blood but the schemes of the devil and spiritual forces (Eph. 6:10–11). We do not go out and conquer and execute judgment by winning wars or elections; we conquer by speaking and preaching the Word of God and seeing hearts change to put their trust in the Savior. That is what the church militant does.
Go forth today, both celebrating the victory and seeking to spread the truth of the gospel message in the Word of God.