Sunday, January 29, 2017

Psalm 148: Universal Praise Belongs to God!

I have thoroughly enjoyed the UMI lessons from the book of Psalms this first month of 2017!  We looked at Psalms 33, 96, 65, 104, and now 148. 
The author of Psalm 148 is unknown, but he certainly had a passion for praise and worship.  Psalm 148 has been called the psalm of universal praise.  Nothing in heaven or on earth has been left out of this praise psalm, not anything above, the stars, moons, planets, heavenly angels and hosts; not anything on earth, the smallest and largest of animals, not the fruitful trees of every kind;  not the kings, princes, judges, and rulers of the world; not even the President of the United States.   Everything and everybody must praise the Lord!
There are two calls to praise, each ending with a cause for praise.  First, there is a call to the heavenly beings and heavenly bodies to praise the Lord (vv1-4). Because of his creative power, he commanded and they were created; he established them forever and ever (vv5-6). I tried to image the waters above the heavens (v4), and the stars, galaxies and solar systems in farthest reaches, in the vastness of outer space. I could not.  However, even there let the heavenly bodies and worlds never to be seen by human eyes, let every-thing praise the Lord! 

The second call is to the earthly beings, all creatures, and substances (vv7-12) because, God's name alone is to be exalted above the earth and heaven, and because of the strength (horn) of his people who praise Him. The psalmist began with the heights of the heavens, but here descends to the depths of the ocean. The creatures there were created by God, as well as the beasts, cattle, and creeping things, all are capable of praising Him.  The greatness of any ruler on earth is outmatched by the glory of the Lord. No matter their age or gender, every person is called to praise the Lord.  This means we must teach our babies early to love and fear the Lord, and sing praises to him.  We must come along side our senior saints in the churches, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities, and help and encourage them to worship God to be best of their abilities. Let them all, great and small, praise the LORD.   "For this name is very great, His glory towers over the earth and the heaven (v.13)."
The psalm ends as it begins with, Praise ye the Lord!


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