Study Guide – Psalm 149

Psalm1491 Praise the Lord.*

Sing to the Lord a new song,
    his praise in the assembly of his faithful people.

When is the last time that you sang a new song of praise to the Lord? Perhaps make a goal today to find a new song (e.g. write one on your own, search iTunes, or try Rend Collective) so that you can praise God freshly.

2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
    let the people of Zion be glad in their King.
3 Let them praise his name with dancing
    and make music to him with timbrel and harp.
4 For the Lord takes delight in his people;
    he crowns the humble with victory.
5 Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor
    and sing for joy on their beds.

 This psalm, like others, uses this phrase, "Let them _______ (rejoice, praise, etc.)." What sorts of circumstances inhibit believing-people from rejoicing  in God or praising the Lord?

A "timbrel" is a sort of tamborine. It was an integral part of the percussion in Israel's worship music for hundreds of years. What instruments do you think provide opportunity for the best worship music? What instruments did your parents or grandparents think were best? What instruments might your children or grandchildren think will be best in the years to come? What's the point of all these questions about instruments in worship? 🙂


In verse 4, there are two actions ascribed to God. Take a moment to consider how remarkable these actions are. How do God's actions lead to the urgency to praise God in song in verses 1-5?

6 May the praise of God be in their mouths
    and a double-edged sword in their hands,
7 to inflict vengeance on the nations
    and punishment on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with fetters,**
    their nobles with shackles of iron,
9 to carry out the sentence written against them—
    this is the glory of all his faithful people.

Praise the Lord.* NIV

 This psalm takes a dramatic shift in verses 6-9. What is the context of this psalm and how, then, could it possible that praise and vengeance would be combined?

Notice the phrase at the beginning and ending of this psalm: How does this phrase significantly impact the rest of the words of this psalm?

For the next week, try beginning and ending your day with this phrase. Take note of how it changes your perspective, your prayers, and even your actions throughout each day.

*Praise the Lord = Hallelu Yah

** Fetter = shackle or chain – Knowing this word adds deeper understanding to the depth of passion in the old praise song, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" by Robert Robinson (1735-1790): 

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above. 

Related articles

Study Guide – Psalm 1
Study Guide – Psalm 70
Study Guide – Psalm 138
Study Guide – Psalm 113
Study Guide – Psalm 117
Study Guide – Psalm 43

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