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 146 – Praise the Trustworthy God 


This is something I maintain vigorously: It is easier to say, “I love you,” than “I trust you.” 

I am not saying trust is better than love. I am saying that there’s no more significant expression of love than trust. That takes a lot especially as we get older and some become more wary and less trusting. Yet even for the most cynical there is a propensity to place trust in someone and/or something. Twenty years ago there was a wave of euphoria and optimism at a new government leading the UK. The US was captured by a similar hope and optimism when a President was elected on a crest of a wave of hope of a bright future, almost ten  years ago. In both cases the hopes and dreams of many were dampened by decisions that affected their administrations. 

People place trust in celebrities, inspirational leaders in finance, self-development, education, medicine and other exploits of human endeavour. Their hopes ever dependent on the progress individuals make. Sports fans get engrossed, intoxicated and almost attached in a deep and spiritual way to the men or women who represent their desire for success. So much faith and trust is invested in these people that the crash that results from failure or disappointment of a significant kind can cause them to spiral out of control. Closer to home and a husband or wife can be so consumed with the other that it’s stifling, placing unrealistic demands from people who share two common experiences in life: being let down by others and letting down others. Children idolise their parents and when they notice chinks in the armour of perfection, such can be the setback that the trust may never return. 

In all this, the words of the Psalmist should prove to be wise words to heed. That value commodity of trust should not be conserved for risk of hurt and disappointment. Neither should it be frittered away on even the most attractive of leading figures. Rather that trust should be invested in the ever trustworthy, ever faithful, ever reliable Creator of the Universe. His track record is ever on show of being there for people at their lowest ebb. He is ever sustaining, feeding, rescuing, healing, comforting, nurturing and truly providing salvation for those who put their trust in Him. 

I love how He lifts, loves and liberates His people – it’s something He can be trusted to do. That’s why it makes sense to put your trust in Him and follow His lead in every aspect of life. It’s also a very good reason to praise Him because He is so trustworthy and what we can trust Him for is so amazing. 

It’s much better to trust Him than anyone or anything else. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 144 – For The Coming Peace 


I am a huge fan of this Psalm. 

Everything in this is building up to the glorious time of peace – real, true, lasting peace. Peace as evidenced by the removal of crime and the threat of evil. Peace as evidenced by the flourishing of the offspring and a fruitful and prosperous land wherein that offspring can flourish. The picture of peace depicted in itself is breathtaking. 

The means of reaching that peace is even more epic. In as much as the Psalmist is prepared for conflict, he knows the victory is only accomplished by God Himself establishing it. Peace that lasts and is meaningful comes when God intervenes to establish once and for all that it is not the wicked who prevail. It is not injustice that wins. It is not the greedy that are blessed. When He fights the battle, it is one that is thoroughly won not out of taking glory in violence, but in taking joy in the rule of a glorious God ushering true peace in our time. 

That’s something worth singing a new song about. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 143 – Desperate 


Time is running out, the opposition are pressing in, they will get there any moment, you need help and you need it desperately. 

That is this Psalm. The thing is even in the state desperation, the Psalmist doesn’t go looking elsewhere for the help. He throws himself at the mercy of God. Pleading for Him to come through and leaving no room for doubt that when the victory comes through, only one will get the glory and only one will continue to receive his wholehearted allegiance. 

This is a good way of seeing just how much God means to us when we are challenged with desperate times. Do desperate measures leave us crying out to God all the more? 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden