Weds 19th August - 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 splendour 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.
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Meditation on Psalm 148
The last five Psalms each begin and end with ‘PRAISE THE LORD’ or ‘HALLELUJAH’.
Verses 1-4 Praise the LORD from the heavens
Verses 5-6 Why should the heavens praise Him?
Verses 7-12 Praise the LORD from the earth
Verses 13-14 Why should praise rise from the earth?
What a Psalm of praise.
Notice there is no mention of the justice or judgment of God; no mention of the mercy of God; no mention of the redemption of God; no mention of the forgiveness of God.
Why not – because there is no mention of sin or evil or wickedness as there is in so many of the Psalms. The love of God runs like an invisible thread through the Psalm, culminating in a wonderful phrase at the end.
Of course, it is right to be reminded of these characteristics of God in His gracious dealings with us but here we ‘enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and into His courts with praise.’
- Praise from the heavens
When we read Psalm 19 we are reminded that ‘the heavens declare the glory of God, the stars proclaim the work of His hands.’
Not just the heavens but, specifically, ‘the sun and moon and shining stars.’
Not just the heavens but ‘the highest heavens.’ Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 115:16a all remind us what the heaven of heavens signifies.
Even the rain clouds, ‘you waters above the skies’, praise Him. To borrow words from a famous musical, ‘I’m singing in the rain.’
A. Why should the heavens praise Him?
All these were created by Him. Here is the heavenly creation, including the angels, praising Him, whose Name is higher than any other name.
B. Praise from the earth
Animate and inanimate – we marvel at the rich variety of God’s earthly creation.
Come back to the beginning in Genesis 1 – at the end of each phase of creation we read, ‘and God saw that it was GOOD.’ At the end of the creation account, we read, ‘God saw all that He had made and it was VERY GOOD.’
Here, the Psalmist alludes to this as he reminds us that the weather praises the LORD; the mountains, the hills, the trees, the animals – they all praise the LORD.
Then he concludes that every person, whatever their status, their nationality, their gender, their age – ALL bring praise to the LORD.
C. Why should praise rise from the earth?
He alone is supreme.
There is none like Him.
‘His Name is majestic in all the earth’ Psalm 8:1
The LORD has raised up for Himself a strong people, a faithful people – in spite of our weaknesses and failures – and ‘a people close to His heart.’ This is that wonderful phrase, so full of meaning for us today.
You and I, as believers in the Lord Jesus as our Saviour and Friend are a ‘people close to His heart.’
What a beautiful description of the family of God – we could not be closer to God than that.
No wonder the Psalmist ends the Psalm with ‘PRAISE THE LORD’ or ‘HALLELUJAH’.
Thursday 20 August - Psalm 149
Friday 21 August - Psalm 150
(The series will recommence with Psalm 2 and following from Wednesday 26th August)