Psalm 149

The Word Made Fresh

Sing a new song to the LORD!
Let God’s faithful people sing God’s praises!
2Let Israel rejoice in the one who made us;
let the people of Zion rejoice in their king!
3Praise the LORD’s name with dancing,
and with the music of tambourine and lyre.
4For the LORD delights in the people of God,
and rewards them with victory.
5So, let those who are faithful rejoice
and sing for joy on their couches.
6Let the praise of God be in their voices
and two-edged swords in their hands
7to take vengeance on enemy nations
and punish their peoples;
8and to bind their kings with ropes
and their princes with iron chains,
9and thus carry out the judgment against them.
This is indeed the glory of the LORD’s faithful people.


1-5: Hallelujah! In the last psalm we saw the call to praise proceed from heaven to earth, from inanimate objects to animals to people to Israel. This psalm focuses exclusively on Israel and is a summons to the “assembly of the faithful” to praise the LORD because the LORD “delights in the people of God.” Their praise is to be expressed through singing and rejoicing and dancing and making melody, not only in holy assemblies but also “on their couches,” that is, in their homes.

6-9: Now the psalm takes an unexpected turn. The praise of God is to be expressed vocally while their hands are brandishing swords! Judgment is pronounced on the nations and peoples who have been enemies of God’s people. We call to mind the scene described in Nehemiah 4:13 where the people are engaged in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, carrying swords and spears while they work in the midst of threats from their enemies who are trying to disrupt their efforts. The psalm ends with Hallelujah, of course.


God is with God’s people in peacetime and in wartime.