PRAISE HIM! PRAISE HIM!
Lord, help me to praise You every day and in all circumstances.
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.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Why do these authors of the psalms so often exhort us to praise God? What do they know that we don’t?
All Christians have days when they don’t feel like praising God. We need then to recognize that worship is a matter of obedience and also that there are reasons for us to praise God. The command to “Praise the Lord” echoes throughout this stirring psalm and, as with Psalm 147, the encouragements of verses 1, 7, 13 and 14b divide the song into three distinct stanzas. In verses 1–6 the psalmist addresses the heavens, starting at the top with the angelic hosts (2) and
moving through the planets (3) to the sky and the water-carrying clouds (4). All are commanded to praise the God who created them (5) and set them permanently in their place (6).
Verses 7–12 beautifully mirror the first section. Whereas every verse in 1–6 begins with a verb, here each begins with a noun. Now the earth is addressed rather than the heavens. The psalmist starts at the bottom, beginning with sea creatures in their murky depths (7) and working his way up to the high point of God’s creation, humans (12). The whole world is commanded to recognize the splendor and exaltation of the one who rises above the earth and the heavens (13).
This entire psalm is glorious, but verse 14 is really thrilling. Having worked his way down from the angels and up through the earthly creation, the psalmist reaches what lies at the center of God’s affection in verse 14. As with Psalm 147:11, his people are his delight. They are “the people close to his heart.” For them he has raised up a “horn,” a figurehead of strength and power. For Israel, that was the king; for us, it is our King, Jesus, the one Zechariah’s song described as “the horn of salvation” (Luke 1:69).
Horns were used for the anointing of kings and as trumpets in Bible times. How does that help you further to meditate on Christ today?
Lord, I thank You for regarding me as one of Your people and, as such, as someone near and dear to Your heart.