What Are the Psalms of Praise?

David, as one of the authors of this book, is an example of a man that has come to terms with his life and found fulfillment in only one thing, the acceptance that in all things, God is the author of our lives.  

Glory Dy
Psalm in the Bible with sunflowers

The Book of Psalms is one of the most unique and inspiring books in the Bible because it is a book of poetic expressions. These poems vary in emotions, such as laments, thanksgiving, songs of ascent, and one of the most common ones, the Psalms of Praise.

The Psalm of Praise, as its name suggests, is a poetic expression of praise, thanksgiving, and exaltation by the authors of the Book of Psalms towards God the Father.

Let us discuss popular examples of Psalms of Praise in detail to discover more about this particular way of poetic expression.

The Psalm of Praise of David

Possibly one of the most popular Psalms of Praise is the Psalm of Praise of David as it is written in Psalm 145,

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty — and I will meditate on your wonderful works. 

They tell of the power of your awesome works — and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

This Psalm of Praise of David is an acrostic poem. An acrostic poem is a poem in which the first letter spells out a word or phrase. In this particular case, Psalm 145:1 begins with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which makes it acrostic poetry.

In this particular Psalm of Praise, we can read that David exalted God the Father in every line of the poem. It is basically a summary of what David learned in his lifetime about God the Father.

Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon — from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me — a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 43

Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?

Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalms 42 and Psalm 43 are two-related Psalms of Praise in the book of Psalms. In some Hebrew scripts, these two Psalms are joined together.

The Psalm starts in Psalm 42 with an expression for a deep longing for God by the author. Then it proceeds with a sad expression or a lamentation poem towards the Lord God.

At the end of the poem, which starts at Psalm 43, is an expression of assurance and confidence towards God the Father.

This very expressive Psalm of Praise is actually a testament to the humanity of the author. It shows the ever-changing emotion of humans as it shows three expressions in one poem.

The exaltation of the author towards God the Father, in the end, makes it a Psalm of Praise and an invocation.

This unique Psalm of Praise shows the spiritual progress of humans and we can relate to this poem on so many levels. It tells us that continually communicating with God will change our perspective about life in general.

Psalm 103

Another popular Psalm of Praise is Psalm 103, as is written,

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children — with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

There is no telling about the circumstance of David here. What is clear in this poem is that David was a man who had wisdom and knowledge about God’s grace and deliverance, and we can assume that this poem was written in different parts of David’s life.

It is clear that David had a higher sense of understanding and relationship with God. He was keener in his sense of sin and frailty of life and he knew the fulfillment of gratifying God the Father.

This makes the perfect example in the Bible of a “song of pure praise.”

Psalm 150, The Final Psalm 

Psalm 150 is the final psalm of the Book of Psalms. While each division of the Book of Psalms closes with a doxology, Psalm 150 closes the fifth division and the collection of poems and the entirety of the book. As it is written,

Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Psalm 150 is very unique because it is the only poem in the Book of Psalms that contains no explanation, no teachings, and arguments. It is purely praise to Yahweh and more of a prophecy about a devoted life to God.

Praise the Lord

In deciphering the four poems in the Book of Psalms, namely The Psalm of Praise of David, Psalm 42-43, Psalm 103, Psalm 150, and The Final Psalm, we are reminded of the importance of praising God the Father.

David, as one of the authors of this book, is an example of a man that has come to terms with his life and found fulfillment in only one thing, the acceptance that in all things, God is the author of our lives.

Photo Credit: ©Sparrow Stock

Glory Dy has been a content creator for more than 10 years. She lives in a quiet suburb with her family and four cats.

Originally published October 15, 2020.