Do me a favor and please read Psalm 148.
If Psalm 147 was a psalm of praise as God is the protector, defender, and comforter of the people – Psalm 148 could/should be seen as a psalm of praise FROM all of creation. And what’s really beautiful in this psalm is that not only is it a full-embracing psalm of praise (above and below), not only do we get these beautiful images of stars, heavens, waters, sea creatures, hail, mountains, trees, and even people – but this is a call for ALL of creation to glorify, praise, and honor the creator…FROM WHERE YOU ARE. If you are above…praise the Lord. If you are below…praise the Lord. If you are a tree, a rock, a fish, a bird, a pig, a snail – it doesn’t matter for you were created by God and thus are called to praise him.
But the psalmist doesn’t stop just at praising God for his created hands (which is the majority of the psalm) for the final 2 verses deal with praising him for He is exalted, praise him for he has saved, and praise him for he holds his people close to his heart. And so I find myself absolutely awe-struck right….there (God holding us close).
The Sustainer of the universe, the creator of the heavens, angels, and all the heavenly hosts…holds his people, you and me, close to his heart. The One who made the sun and moon and shining stars, the one who spoke and made it so, the one who established them forever and ever and that they cannot whither or die or be removed without his voice, the one who created the smallest of things in the oceans to the biggest of things in the air and all in-between…THAT ALMIGHTY ONE…holds his people close to his heart. Amazing – isn’t it?
It’s easy to get lost in my own problems and wonder if I really am important or valuable to God. I think we all wonder if my job glorifies God or brings him praise or if my place in this world is really worth the salt because w want to be useful and worthy. And as a believers we want to make sure that our “work” is beneficial to the Kingdom or bringing honor and glory to God or worth the price Christ paid for it. But then we can go much deeper than just “work” and we can look into my life, my presence, and my being. Am I, ME, worthy of what the Sustainer has done? Is my 8am-5pm job, my family life, my community work, my church service – is it “good enough” for all that Christ has done for me?
The problem is that these questions are just rabbit holes after rabbit holes that do nothing but depress. Because when we go down those paths we’re looking for a hole that stops and yet the problem with these rabbit holes is they don’t because my questions won’t stop either. The problem with these rabbit holes is that I will consistently wonder and wonder and never find an end or answer that I seem to be looking for.
The problem? We’re looking for answers within – when we should be remembering the answer we’re already given. That the Creator of the universe, and all other things, holds his people close to his heart. And yet you and I, proclaimers of the One true God, believers in the Son of the Almighty One, know that it’s not only that God holds us close to his heart but he redeems us and creates in us a new one. And no rabbit hole will give you that answer. Only Jesus will.
So praise the Lord all you created children of God.
Praise the Lord all you who are held closely to the heart of God
Praise the Lord for you were created, held, redeemed, and given life by the One who is above all, within all, and the splendor of all things.
Praise the Lord.
- How do you work through your understanding of your worship IN your work?
- I like to imagine many things but one of the things that has always fascinated me and brought me to wonder was what praise and worship was going to look like in heaven. And so what will the praise from rocks look like? What about the cedars, or the hail or snow? All these things the psalmist encourages to praise – what will they do?
- For further study – read Luke’s birth account of Christ (Luke 2:13). What parallel do you see from Luke’s birth narrative and the psalmist’s declaration?