The word praise is used thirteen times in these fourteen verses. The psalm begins in the highest heavens and ends with the little nation of Israel. If any psalm reveals the glory and grandeur of the worship of the Lord, it is this one, for it is cosmic in its dimensions and yet very personal in its intentions. How anyone could trivialize the privilege and responsibility of worship after pondering this psalm is difficult to understand. Consider the three declarations of praise presented by the Psalmist;
The Heavens Praise the Lord
We do not praise a god who was manufactured on earth; we praise the one true and living God who reigns from the highest heavens, the God who created all things.
The Earth Praises the Lord
The sea creatures from the ocean depths head the list, followed by the demonstrations of God’s power in the atmosphere. Remember David’s psalm about the storm (29)? “Fire” in verse 8 is probably lightning, although some opt for volcanic disturbances. Lightning often accompanied hailstorms in the Holy Land. To us, the storms are unpredictable and seem out of control as they do extensive damage, but we are assured that they are accomplishing God’s will.
The psalmist then moved from the sea and atmosphere into the land, where God placed trees for food and trees for building, wild animals and domestic animals, small creatures and birds. But men and women are the highest creatures in God’s creation because they were made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-28).
If any of God’s creation has good reason to praise the Lord, it is mankind, because we have the privilege of knowing God more intimately, and we have the promise of one day being like Christ. Angels rejoice when sinners are saved, but they cannot experience the grace of God (Luke 15:7, 10). We wonder how many world leaders take time to thank and praise God. Whether we are male or female, young or old, famous or unknown, we can all know the Lord and praise the Lord. We know His name! What a privilege to be a child of the King!
The People of Israel Praise the Lord
In Scripture, a “horn” is a symbol of power and dignity, a king or a kingdom. To “take away the horn” means to deprive a nation or person of authority and. When the Lord brought His people back from exile in Babylon, He “raised up a horn” for them. This cannot refer to a king, for David’s dynasty had ended with the capture of Zedekiah, and the returned remnant had no king. But they did have a nation, a temple, and a priesthood, and they had preserved the sacred Word that the Lord had given them through their prophets.
But Luke 1:69 gives us the right to apply this image to Jesus Christ, the Son of David, for He is the only person qualified to sit on David’s throne (Luke 1:30-33). “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22), and the Jews are a people who are still dear to the Lord (Ex. 19:6; Num. 16:5; Deut. 4:1-8).
If you read this psalm again with Jesus in mind, you can see how much greater He is than anything or anyone mentioned, for He is the Creator of all things (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17). He is Captain of the hosts of the Lord (Josh. 5:14), the Sun of Righteousness (Mal. 4:2; Luke 1:78), and the Morning Star (Rev. 22:16). When ministering here on earth, He demonstrated power over storms (Matt. 8:23-27; 14:23-33), trees (Matt. 21:18-22), and wild and domestic animals (Mark 1:13; 11:1-3). He is far above the angels (Heb. 1; Eph. 1:18-23; 3:10-11). He revealed the Father’s name and glorified that name in all He was, said, or did (John:14; 2:11; 11:4, 40; 12:28; 14:13; 17:4).
In all things, Jesus Christ has the preeminence—”Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.” Colossians 1:18, NLT
YES! Praise the Name of Jesus! Praise the One and Only God who sent His Son to save us!
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 148, The Message
Praise God from heaven,
praise him from the mountaintops;
Praise him, all you his angels,
praise him, all you his warriors,
Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, you morning stars;
Praise him, high heaven,
praise him, heavenly rain clouds;
Praise, oh let them praise the name of God—
he spoke the word, and there they were!
6 He set them in place
from all time to eternity;
He gave his orders,
and that’s it!
7-12 Praise God from earth,
you sea dragons, you fathomless ocean deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and ice,
hurricanes obeying his orders;
Mountains and all hills,
apple orchards and cedar forests;
Wild beasts and herds of cattle,
snakes, and birds in flight;
Earth’s kings and all races,
leaders and important people,
Robust men and women in their prime,
and yes, graybeards and little children.
13-14 Let them praise the name of God—
it’s the only Name worth praising.
His radiance exceeds anything in earth and sky;
he’s built a monument—his very own people!
Praise from all who love God!
Israel’s children, intimate friends of God.
TRUTH: Worship and praise God only, “it’s the only Name worth praising!” Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Jesus for saving us and bringing us to God’s throne room, unashamed, to praise God in all His glory and splendor!
Proverb 12:28, NIV
WISDOM: “In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality.”
Abba, Father in Heaven,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you have done, how you have saved us, how you help us now and will do in our lives here until we meet you there where you are. You are God! We are not. You alone are worthy of ALL our praise! So, we praise, honor and thank you with all that is in us for we love you back. Thank you for first loving us. To YOU be all glory!
In Jesus Name, Amen