This psalm is a song of hope and encouragement for the oppressed. The Psalmist in verse 2 shows us that the Creator endows every person with two gifts.
“I will Praise Hashem while I live, I will make music to my God while I exist.”
First, He gives life, the basic ability to sustain physical existence. This is a general gift which all men share. The Psalmist pledges to praise God before it is too late. Psalm 115:17 states, ‘The dead will not praise YAH. Nor those who descend into silence.’
Second, God bestows additional talents which enable each individual to carry out his unique purpose and mission in life. This is a personal gift which forges a private bond between every person and his Maker.
“Rabbi Hirsh observes that in the course of living out his role in life, a man is in a perpetual state of musical composition; every fresh enterprise makes original music and songs of praise for the Creator.” Artscroll Tanach Series Tehillim
Think about what this second gift is about.
When we are doing the purpose of why we are here, you are making Divine music toward the Creator.
Unsure what your purpose is, see my blog https://emunatrek.com/2019/12/25/noahide-purpose/
Ponder this, praise God while you live and make music to Him while you exist. Your existence is comprised of many different components, a job, marriage, family, friends, driving a car, shopping and so on. All this is part of the music we make with our lives. Then we couple all these individual areas of our existence with the Divine Instructions of the 7 Noahide Laws and then the music we make in all those areas are elevated to become a higher arrangement of music that the Creator is hearing from those who He gave life to.
As I am writing, I am also meditating on this very interesting concept, a thought comes to mind. There would seem to be an opposite side to this concept. By taking advantage of our existence, not giving any thought to how we act, or lived a life where kindness and the instructions of the Creator are not important to us; would this not be like a musician that misses a key or hits a wrong note while he/she is playing or singing.
Think about it.
One more verse we need to look at before we get to the psalm, the Psalmist makes a very important statement in verse 5 that we all need to grasp.
“Praiseworthy is one whose help is Jacob’s God, whose hope is in Hashem, his God.”
Rashi (the great Jewish commentator), teaches us that the reason the Psalmist stated this verse the way he did, is because God made a promise to Jacob to assist him. Jacob found himself in several different situation and God kept His promise of assistance.
This verse is important for us of the nations. It is telling us that a person is praiseworthy who has chosen the God of Jacob/Israel to be their God. Such a person knows that there is no help going to come from the gods of the nations.
Halleluyah! Praise Hashem, O my soul! I will praise Hashem while I Live, I will make music to God while I exist. Do not rely on nobles, nor on a human being for he hold no salvation. When his spirit departs he returns to his earth, on that day his plans all parish. Praiseworthy is one whose help is Jacob’s God, whose hope is in Hashem, his God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; Who safeguards truth forever. He does justice for the exploited, He He gives bread to the hungery; Hashem releases the bound. Hashem gives sight to the blind, Hashem protects strangers, orphans and widow He encourages; but the way of the wicked He contorts. Hashem shall reign forever – your God, O Zion – from generation to generation. Halleluyah!
Terry W. Hayes
Photo Credit: Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash