GLOBAL AND LOCAL
Find a song of praise to sing to God.
Read Psalm 147
1 Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
6 The Lord sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp.
8 He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.
10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
11 the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
12 Extol the Lord, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion.
13 He strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?
18 He sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
19 He has revealed his word to Jacob,
his laws and decrees to Israel.
20 He has done this for no other nation;
they do not know his laws.
Praise the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen was the last time you praised God out loud?
The psalmist gives reasons for our hearts to find God good. They alternate between the global and general and the local and personal.
Praise God for his creation. He established the far reaches of the universe (4), brings forth life on earth (8), feeds the animals (9) and governs the seasons (15–18). We often take these things for granted. They seem to happen automatically. If we’re city dwellers, we may never even see the stars or notice God’s intimate care for all he has made. But they point to his generosity, creativity, power and care. To miss them is to miss reasons to praise him!
Praise God for his care. God loves all creation, but his particular delight is in his people. This psalm is written to a downtrodden people, probably to exiles returning from Babylon (2; cf. Neh. 12:27). God knows what his people go through, and he binds up their hearts (3). He doesn’t love them because they’re self-sufficient but because they depend on him and trust in his love (10,11).
The climax of the psalm is in verses 19 and 20, where the singer praises God for his relationship with them. They are descendants of Jacob—a swindler, liar and coward. But God chose them and revealed himself to them and made them his own (20).
Write down a list of all the reasons you can think of to praise God. Post it in a place where you will see it continually.
Use the words and patterns of this psalm to give thanks to God for creation, for his care and for his Word.
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