Praise The Lord (Psalm 148) – Textual Tuesday

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This Psalm of praise requires the use of our imagination. All creation praises Jehovah. It might be easier to understand how angels, heavenly hosts and people praise Him. Men should praise God, but surely whoever wrote this song got carried away when he talked about dragons and fire, etc., praising the Lord. Eleven times in fourteen verses God’s creation is told to praise Him. All things created praise their Creator (vs. 5).  Further, He is praised because His name alone is excellent, exalted (vs. 13). Holy and reverend is His name. His glory is above the earth and heaven (vs. 13). Because God created us, because His name is above every name, excellent, exalted, His glory is above all.

Who is to Praise Him?

The heavenly hosts praise God. Heaven and heights are to praise Him: angels, hosts, sun, moon, stars and waters praise Him (vs. 1). They serve around the throne of God crying day and night, Holy, Holy, Holy. The sun praises God, the moon praises God, even the waters above the heavens and waters under the heavens.

Animal life praises God (vs. 7). Inanimate elements praise Him (vs. 8, 9). These praise Him when they do what He created them to do (vs. 8). When they praise Him, they fulfill what He commanded them to do (vs. 9).

All people are to praise God. All ages and both men and women are to praise Him (vs. 11-12).  All His saints praise Him (vs. 14).

Notice, angels don’t have a problem praising God. Other created things, animals, elements and inanimate things don’t have any problem praising God, but quite often, people do. Surely His saints would have no problem praising Him. Yet, even His saints have a problem living lives that praise Him. If we live a life that truly praises Him, it is not because it is easy and comes automatic. It is because we recognize we were put here to praise Him. Praising Him requires much effort, self-control and humility.

How does all creation praise Jehovah?

God appointed the moon to regulate the seasons and when the moon does that for which it is appointed, it glorifies God (Psa. 104:19). When the sun rises in the east, goes down in the west and shines on the earth, the sun is doing what God created the sun to do. God asks nothing more of the sun than to do what He created it to do. When stars shine, they are doing what God created them to do.

We are told fire is to praise God. When fire is used to warm man, renew the earth, provide heat to cook our food and create power for electricity, it praises God. Hail and snow provide moisture for the earth. They provide a cover on the ground that takes care of insects that would be a detriment to the crops for the next year. Hail and snow are praising God. Vapors and stormy winds praise God when they do what God created them to do. We may not have the slightest idea what dragons do but they are praising God when they do what He created them to do. They are fulfilling the will of God and praising Him.

Just so with mountains, hills, fruit trees and cedars. Fruitful trees praise God when they bear fruit for food and for seed. Cedars praise God when they provide shade and when cut down, they provide fuel to cook for man. Kings praise God when they rule as they should rule, not for a king’s benefit, but for benefit of their citizens and their welfare. Princes praise God when they rule so that they benefit their people. Judges who will not be bribed but judge righteously and justly praise God. They are doing what God made them to do. Young men and maidens, and old men and children praise God when they do what God made them to do.

Now here is the exciting thing about this Psalm. Of all creation, the ones from whom God really desires praise is His saints (vs. 14). Glory or praise unto God is in the church (Eph. 3:21). In that saved relationship we are doing what God wants His people to do. Saints are a new creation and God has made this new creation with a purpose (2 Cor. 5:17). God before ordained good works that we should walk in them. When we do what we were ordained to do, we are praising God (Eph. 2:10). There is no other way we can glorify God. We praise him when we do what He has created us to do.

What have we been created anew in Christ Jesus to do?

He created us anew to live and become like Jesus. That is our purpose in life, so one day we can gain the prize of heaven. When we allow Him to transform us into His image, we are fulfilling what God ordained us to do. We praise God by living a pure life and by being an example to others (Matt. 5:16).  We praise God by teaching others (2 Tim. 2:2).  We are told to worship God and praise Him when we worship Him (Jn. 4:23-24). We are told to serve God (Rom. 6:14). When we serve Him, as servants of righteousness, we praise Him.

We are God’s new creation to praise Him in the family, social, civil, and business life. That takes care of every waking moment of our lives. Everything we do grows out of these relationships. When we do what God created us to do in these relationships, we are praising Him.

Rickie Jenkins