This psalm begins and ends with a command to praise the Lord; in between we’re given some simple explanations.
Where do we praise the Lord? In his sanctuary, in his mighty heavens. In terms of new orientation, God has returned to where we expected God to be. God’s home again — sanctuary, mighty heavens. God’s where we expect God to be. But who’s “reorientation” is this — ours or God’s? Has the psalmist found God in a new place, or has he himself returned home from wherever he wandered to find God waiting patiently?
Why we praise the Lord? For his acts of power and surpassing greatness. Not because God fulfilled our wishes, or settled our disputes, or even vanquished our enemies. We praise God because God is God, nothing more, certainly nothing less. Sometimes that’s all you get, not the dramatic rescue from whatever worldly trials you’re undergoing, so praise the Lord. The trick, of course, is acknowledging that God being God is enough, or perhaps even harder, acknowledging that you being you is enough.
How we praise the Lord: with music and dancing. We praise him with clashing, resounding cymbals. We go out of ourselves and into the world of harmony (with cymbals!) both in music and dancing. We can make music on our own, but the power of human voice and talent merging together to create harmony and song pleases God tremendously. We come together to praise the Lord.
The final thought: Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. That line strikes me, because it brings us back to the earliest stories in the Garden, when God breathed life into his creation. God breathed himself into creation, into us. God is within us, and our breath reminds us of our responsibility to praise the Lord. Think about that when you notice your breathing over the next few days. Breathe in, praise the Lord. Breathe out, praise the Lord. Repeat forever. Repent forever, because God is always calling you home.