Read Psalm 148
1 Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for at his command they were created,
6 and he established them for ever and ever—
he issued a decree that will never pass away.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
9 you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and women,
old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 And he has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his faithful servants,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.
Psalm 148 is commonly referred to as a psalm of universal praise. These verses are a call for everything on the earth and in the heavens to praise the name of the Lord. Verse 5 gives us insight into why God deserves our praise, “[f]or he commanded and they were created.” God is Creator of everything on Earth, as well as in the heavens, and that is praiseworthy.
In only 14 verses, the psalmist covers all aspects of the earthly and the heavenly realms. Starting with the angels in the heavens, we are reminded in verses 1 and 2 that nothing is so high that it should not praise the Lord. Even the sun, moon, and stars are praising their Creator (verse 5). From the highest mountain to the depths of the ocean, all of creation owes its existence to the Lord. Verse 8 tells us that “fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind [fulfill] his word!” It is awe-inspiring to think that even the weather is sovereignly under God’s control and brings glory to His name!
Have you ever stopped to consider that a fruit tree bearing fruit or a cedar tree that produces durable, strong wood has only done so because God personally created those trees and commanded them to do so? Verse 10 tells us that both the wild and tame beasts of the earth, as well as living creatures that crawl along the ground or fly up in the air are workmanship of the Creator and bring praise and honor to him. As you move on to verse 11, we are reminded that no living creature is exempt from the obligation to bring praise to God. It does not matter if you are a king or a ruler, a man or a woman, old or young, we should all unite in praising the Lord!
It’s important to pay attention to the fact that this Psalm begins and ends with the phrase “Praise the Lord!” If you struggle with how to talk to God, beginning and ending with praise is a great place to start. Begin today by praising the Lord for the beautiful morning sky or cool breeze. At the end of the day, praise Him for the clear light of the moon or the still sounds of the night. His glory exceeds all others and the more you establish a habit of praise, the closer you will be drawn to Him.
- When you look at God’s creation, what makes you shout “hallelujah”?
- Do you feel like praising God is a continuous habit in your life? Why or why not?
- In addition to the creation that surrounds us, we owe our existence to our Creator. Spend some time thanking God for your life and creation.
Did You Know?
In 1224, Francis of Assisi wrote the “Canticle of the Sun”, a poem based on his reflections of Psalm 148. In the early 1900s, William Draper paraphrased the words of the canticle and set them to music. In 1919, that song was first published in a hymn book under the title “All Creatures of Our God and King.” You can listen to that song here.
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