1 Praise the LORD!Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!
3Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD!
For he commanded and they were created.
6And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
7Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!
11Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the LORD!
Do you talk to angels? There are those who claim to see angels, receive visits from angels, get messages from God through angels, and communicate with angels on a regular basis. Such claims should be received with a healthy dose of skepticism. The Bible is clear that the manner in which God communicates to the world, especially His people, is through the written Word of God, the Bible.
But in the Psalm that we have before us today, the psalmist talks to angels. He also talks to the sun, the moon, the stars, the creatures of the sea, creatures of the earth. He even talks to fire and hail and snow and mist, the wind, mountains, fruit trees and non fruit trees. Beasts and livestock are not omitted either. The Psalmist is not insane. Nor is he teaching that inanimate objects can be communicated with. There is no earth religion being promoted in Psalm 148.
The Psalms are poetry and need to be read as such. And what the Psalmist is doing in Psalm 148 is telling us that all the created order is designed to give glory to God. We see this in every verse where these things are spoken to. He is calling upon everything to shout out praise to the God who has made them.
And they do.
We are told in the Bible that the hosts of heaven continually sing praises to the God before whom they dwell. Psalm 19 tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God. What is happening in Psalm 148 is that the author is awestruck with God and wants everything to sing out praises to Him. The Psalmist has seen things and he has meditated on what he has seen. He has thought deeply about what God has been able to do in creating all things and he is smitten by the power of it. He sees that God is a God of great beauty, and imagination. He sees that whoever and whatever it is that has been able to put this universe together and cause it to continue is a fabulous Being indeed.
We need to do what the Psalmist has done. And we never will until we be still and know that God is God. We live busy lives in busy places. There is precious little time to sit and meditate on anything, never mind the sovereign Creator of all things. Anything that works to take our thoughts away from God is a potential idol. We take little time to contemplate God because we are too busy with things that to us are more important. What we do not realize is that the things we are so busy with, if they are not sinful in and of themselves, are given to us by God for his glory. If they keep us from God then we are abusing them.
This is true especially of pastors, missionaries and over booked volunteers in the church. We allow our work for God to keep us from getting close to God. This Psalm is a powerful reminder to us that we need to open our eyes and see the works of God and be struck with awe. This will demand that we reorganize our schedules. It will mean assessing our routines and determining what can be dumped and what must stay. It will mean taking seriously God’s call upon us to rest from our labours for the sake of getting closer to Him.
Have you ever been so amazed at the character and majesty and power and love of God that you felt like calling out to the angels themselves to praise Him? Has God ever been so wonderful to you that your heart breaks with the fact that most of the world is cheating itself with counterfeit pursuits of pleasure? Has your heart ever been that stirred? It never will be if you do not put into your weekly routine, serious time to get closer to God. You think that you do not have time. Make the time and you will be amazed that you ever thought anything else was too important.