A devotional of Psalm 148
Today we get to wear God’s polar glasses and try on praise from their perspective. We saw last time that he is a God who pans opposites so that no one falls outside his parameters. Young and old, male and female, free and slave, kings and subjects, heights and depths, multitudes and few, hot and cold, dry and wet, light and dark, the fruitful and the ornamental, the flying and the creeping, the tame and the wild.
God created all things. Jesus, “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist,” Colossians 1:15-17. It is him we are to praise.
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!
3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise 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.
6 And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
The first reason we are to praise him is that he is our creator.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word!
On our last study we saw that everything in creation exists to fulfill God’s word. We learned that his word “runs fast.” Isaiah taught that it shall not return to him void. We saw that it is as the rain that falls and unfailingly causes things to grow. His word is always on an errand, and it always achieves the purpose of that errand. Our God is always about power, promise, provision, and purpose. Those four words are as good as the four corners of a cash note that you can take to the bank.
Fold that note and put it in your wallet. Take it out and use it often: power, promise, provision, and purpose. The way to cash in the note is by the words of your mouth. Words are God’s agent for production of those 4 Ps. That is why you must carefully watch the words of your mouth. God created the universe with his words. We do the same things. Indeed, “From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Life and death are in the power of the tongue,” Pr. 18:20, 21. Life and death, people. Did you catch that? Life and death are in the power of your tongue!
Your tongue is an agent. It is an armament. It is a tool or a utensil. Your mouth is like a loaded gun. Use it responsibly. Use it masterfully. Learn to use it to speak life where life is needed. Learn to use it where death is needed. Align it carefully with scripture and become a master at wielding that weapon. Ask Holy Spirit to teach you what that means in your life. May his creating and sustaining power, promise, provision, and purpose be fulfilled in your tongue and with your lips. May it be fulfilled in your life and in the lives over those who speak.
In this chapter, the focus is on praise. May you become fluent in the language of praise. The best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in the culture, have a coach, and open your mouth to speak their words in context. Surround yourself with people who speak praise. Look for opportunities to speak praise in context – and every context is a praise context.
9 Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young 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.
14 He 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!
The second reason to praise God is that he has raised up a horn for us. A horn – qeren – is a symbol and a mainstay of power. It is a beast’s defense and its highest peak. It’s root word – qaran – means to shine or send out rays. Your horn, believer, is praise. It is your strength, your defense, your high place. It is where you shine. It is where you bring forth light for yourself and for those around you. It is where you show off your God and showcase him. You have to be standing pretty close to him to reflect his light.
The closer you are to him the brighter you shine. The closer you are to him the more brilliant are his power, his provision, his promises, and his purposes for you. Cozy up to the Word of God as outlined in scripture by the power of Holy Spirit. His name is Jesus. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit,” 2 Cor. 3:17-18.
I pray that this study of psalms this year has brought you closer and closer to him. Its precepts have been astounding and life changing for me, and I pray they have been for you too. As we draw to a close, the passages are distilling the most important parts. If you hear nothing else, hear this: praise, praise, praise. May that be your focus and your drive this week and in the new year. You can’t go wrong.