Psalm 150 – Praise Him, Praise Him! 


In the relatively short period of time that I have breathed the breath of life on planet earth, I have come across a number of ways and means to highlight the worth of something. 

Without in anyway suggesting I am at the Grandmaster level of expressing myself in the English language, I do take pleasure and delight in using words to convey the benefits of my passions and interest. It will not take much for me to wax lyrical about the beauty of the game of football, TV programmes I have loved, meals I enjoyed consuming, blogs I enjoyed reading and so on. 

What I am currently developing an even greater appreciation for is the capacity to express my love for God. If there’s one thing that studying the book of Psalms has made profoundly clear is if I think I know how to praise Him, I have another think coming. Just when I think I get it, there’s more to get, just as there’s more to know about Him. For everything I know there’s a reason to praise and there are so many outlets on which that praise can be expressed. 

Praise Him on the keyboard, praise Him on the synthesiser, praise Him on the sitar, praise Him on the harmonica, praise Him in the dance, praise Him in the rap, praise Him in word, sound and deed.

Praise Him with every fibre of my being, lifelong praising said lifelong loving if an amazing God who has done great things. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 149 – Call To Praise … And … 

Here’s a good Psalm to pay attention to carefully. 

Reasons to praise God? Sure, they are there and offer strong encouragement for the readers to remember how great God is and what He does for His people. It’s all going well and then … 

“Two-edged swords … execute vengeance … punishments … bind with fetters … judgment … ” One or two folks pick up words like that and get to thinking of bloodthirsty and violent religion again. Giving permission for folks to get happy putting people forcefully in their place. 

This misses the point of the Psalm. Misses it quite significantly. Honour on God’s people is for those who are keen to see put in action godly justice. Godly justice that deals with those who oppress others and give licence to iniquity and inequity subjecting others to misery. How this is done is always lead by God Himself. Indeed how this is practiced properly is always lead and shown by God. That’s why praise is the basis for activities of justice. 

Praise reminds us that we are subject to the ultimate authority who rules wisely and with fairness, especially to the meek and humble who put their trust in Him. That’s not a bloodthirsty solution, that’s a peacemaking practice in line with the Word of God. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 148 – All Creation Praise Him

Heaven and earth encouraged to praise God. With good reason. 

Once more I like how the Psalm is set from the big picture of the universe to the smaller picture of the earth and then the more intimate picture of the relationship with a people on the earth. At every stage there’s a reason to praise God. That reason being, He is inextricably involved in each and makes them as awe inspiring and productively as they were always intended to be. 

This glorious God of the universe engages with His people just as He does with life on earth and just as He does with His magnificent heavenly array. In all of that and as part of that it makes sense for us all to give Him that of which He is worthy. 

Praise Him. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 147 – In Awe


I had the great privilege of being on a road trip with some saints. As the sun set and night settled in, rather than snoozing off after an exhausting day, those saints saw it fit to sing songs to God. There were songs of adoration, songs of praise, songs proclaiming the wonders of God. 

In His wisdom, God saw it fit to see the completion of the road trip rounded off with the reading of this Psalm. From the encouragement to praise God to the various reasons why it was incredible to hear how our time of worship in song chimed so well with the ethos of this Psalm seeing God in His splendour for all the marvellous things He has done, is doing and will do. 

Particularly fitting to be reminded that God isn’t hung up on the prowess of the warrior, but He takes delight of those who live in awe of Him. It’s the right response to such a glorious God. Nothing else is worth placing effort and trust. Nothing and no one else. When we consider His nature and His works, understandably, we worship Him. 

I love it when I get to have experiences like that and recognise how privileged I am to be around saints who effortlessly put in practice what the Word prescribes. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 145 – The Lord Is … 

One of the many reasons why I love this Psalm is how it shows very good reasons to praise the Lord. It’s a great exhibition of praise. It’s all based on both what the Lord has done and who the Lord is. 
I could run through the list and would I love to do that! Yet it’s worth for yourself just considering who He is and what He has done. Then seeing why it is so important to see the benefit of passing it from one generation to another. 

I am a recipient of elders and mothers impressing on me the goodness of God in word and deed. For it is one thing to exult over His goodness and another thing to witness it. Seeing it miraculously provide a home for a family set to be kicked out on the street. Seeing it restore a marriage heading for the rocks of divorce. Seeing it rescue young people from lives destined for misery and prison. Seeing it bring peace not in avoiding conflict but addressing the source of conflict – the insidious root of sin stubbornly refusing to be dismissed but then summarily uprooted and tossed aside forever by the goodness seen in the revelation of who God really is as expressed in His Word. 

No wonder He is the ruler of the Universe. No wonder He does great things. No wonder He is worthy of perpetual praise from those who see Him, know Him and love Him. 

It’s an outstanding Psalm worthy of your consideration as a springboard to ongoing praise to the Lord who is worthy. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 135 – Great God, Great Track Record

There is a chant that is sometimes used in football games that suggests that a striker of a greater quality ‘scores when he wants’. That degree of acknowledging brilliance in doing whatever he wants can also be attributed to the Creator of the Universe.

God, though, does not need to give you His CV to earn your approval.

This Psalm, however, does a great job of outlining great reasons why it’s worthwhile applying the worship that is integral to human existence in the right place.

Among the many great reasons here is to establish again the key advantage God has over all pretenders – He is living, omnipotent and glorious in engaging with His people. It’s a stinging jab to hear the Psalmist contrast this with the pretenders who may well have been crafted to have senses, but are actually senseless and those who devote worship to them will end up the same way.

The Psalmist refers to idols made of silver and gold in his era. These days the idols take on forms and shapes a bit different to those days, but nonetheless are equally senseless as objects of worship and lead to similarly senseless outcomes for those who devote time, energies and thoughts to them.

It’s worth considering the greatness of God. It’s worth looking at His greatness in creation, in His acts of salvation, in His deeds of restoration, in His works that established His people that were once not a people. Just considering His greatness and His great kindness to mankind is something that makes it all the more compelling to take on the Psalmist’s encouragement to praise Him.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 134 – The Night Watch


I appreciate scripture for what it says and what it means from the writer at the time.

This Psalm is written at a time when there was a temple and there would be priests who would serve in the temple in the night. It’s great that the Psalmist wants these servants to be encouraged in their work and worship. Beautiful to see this encouragement also ending with the call for a blessing on their efforts from the one who they are serving.

It’s all good. It’s all beautiful.

Though others may want to make a case for architectural structures being the modern equivalent of the temple and thus the same reverence for the structure as there was for the temple, there is something about the entire biblical narrative that suggests that God had something even greater in mind.

So as I think about serving in the night, I think of those who serve the living temple of God today in those night hours. Earnestly praying, counselling, making contact, being present, offering hospitality, being a light in the literal dark world. Lifestyles of worship, all in honour to the Most High God, all done in those twilight hours where others are pursuing less noble pursuits.

I trust those saints who offer such support are likewise blessed by the Creator of the universe.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden