Psalm 150:3–5 (ESV)

3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!

This exuberance now receives sound. Many musical instruments are used by man. Wind, string, and percussion instruments are used to give God the glory. The shofar (ram’s horn), the harp, the lyre, the tambourine, the flute, the castanets, and the cymbals with their powerful sound, are all used. All instruments are being used to honour the Lord.

In the temple service in Jerusalem, their sounds were heard. The priests blew on the ram’s horn (as on a trumpet), the Levites played the harp, lyre, and the cymbals to accompany the worship songs (1 Chronicles 15:16; 1 Chronicles 25:6), and the tambourine was for the people, especially for the women. Every person was involved, as everyone could share in the great deeds God did. They had many reasons to show their joyfulness. We read that already when the ark was brought to Jerusalem. In 2 Samuel 6:14–15 we read that David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.

This deep joy, filled with faith, was typical for all the work done in the temple. After all, was it not through the offering of sacrifices that the relationship between God and his people had been restored? Therefore, there was ample reason for a sincere celebration. Many psalms speak of this. For example, we hear it in Psalm 87:7: Singers and dancers alike say, All my springs are in you. The same joyfulness in God comes through in the words of Psalm 149:3: Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!

This joy in God may be shared by God’s people throughout the ages. The apostle Paul understood this when he, encouraged by the Holy Spirit, wrote: Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:18–20).