1 Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel.3 He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. 5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. 6 The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. 8 He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. 9 He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. 10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; 11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
12 Extol the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion, 13 for he strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. 14 He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. 15 He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 16 He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. 17 He hurls down hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? 18 He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
19 He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. 20 He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the LORD.
Psalm 147 – Keep on praising the LORD
(Verse 1) We continue with God’s plan that we should ‘Praise the LORD’ in this psalm. The Psalmist gives us reasons to praise God. Some underline ones we have already considered, and some give a new emphasis. We need to remember that to go on thanking God for the same things is always very good. At the same time we should be looking for new things we have experienced which cause us to thank and praise Him. Even this morning, I was tempted to look at God through some problems rather than look at problems through God, and I decided to praise Him aloud for some of the many things in which God has blessed and led me personally. It is always helpful to do that and He blessed and helped me today and helped me to serve Him in doing a task which was demanding. I praise Him for that! Praise always breeds more praise, whether with other Christians or solo. The psalmist starts with a new explanation of why to praise God. It is ‘good to sing praises to our God.’ It must always be ‘good’ to do good! He then adds it is ‘pleasant and fitting’ to do that. Something ‘pleasant’ pleases! It pleases God to hear it, it pleases you to do it, and it pleases others who join together with you, whether in twos and threes, or in larger numbers. Try it and see! Of course, it is not until you connect with God as your loving Father in Heaven that this takes on special meaning. You become a child of God by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart through the Holy Spirit (John 1:12) when you see that Jesus died on the cross to take your sins and pay the penalty for them with His own precious blood. Then you ask God to forgive you for those sins, turn your back on them, and receive Christ into your heart.
(Verses 2-20) What is on the psalmist’s ‘praise agenda’ for praising God?
- He restores Jerusalem and its exiles.
- He heals the broken-hearted.
- He numbers and names each star.
- He sustains humble people.
- He casts down the wicked.
- He gives water and food to cattle.
- He delights when we fear Him.
- He delights when we hope in Him.
- He secures and satisfies Jerusalem with peace and ‘the finest of wheat’.
- He is in control of even harsh winter weather and still supplies water.
- He revealed Himself to Israel by the Scripture and to no other nation.
In the Old and New Testaments (the Bible) God has done that for us too. So do read it and ‘Praise the LORD!’ Will you do that?