September 2022

Psalm 148: Praise, 4 September 2022

Psalm 148: Praise!
Restoring Your Soul: Psalms

Series Big Idea:
The Psalms are filled with passionate expressions of the soul.
Big Idea: Let all of creation praise the Creator!
Praise the LORD! That’s the simple message of today’s scripture reading. Praise the LORD!
The original Hebrew word, which will be explained more fully later in a video, means to give glory, to sing praises, to go mad, to make fools, to boast. It has a connection to wedding songs and one reference says, “acted insanely.”
When is the last time you went bananas? When did you last embarrass yourself with your unbridled joy and enthusiasm?
Last night there were more than 100,000 people in
Columbus giving praise to young adults who were passing a pigskin. They sang praises. They boasted about their team. They gave glory to a university athletic program. To some, they appeared to be going mad, and to others they looked like fools.
Praise requires effort, passion, and energy…and an object. Praise the LORD!
This summer we’re in the book of Psalms, the song book of the Bible. We’ve looked at several themes about our relationship with God which all lead to praising Him.
Are you ready?
The heavens praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. (Psalm 148:1-4)
Have you ever witnessed this? I think you have! We might not see angels and heavenly hosts, but the sun and moon are quite spectacular, right? Were they created just for us, or could their movements actually be an expression of praise to their Creator?
What about the shining stars? We’ve mentioned them throughout this summer series. The more I learn about the
stars and galaxies, the smaller I feel!
I’ve shared the story before, but
William Beebe, the naturalist, used to tell this story about Teddy Roosevelt. At Sagamore Hill, after an evening of talk, the two would go out on the lawn and search the skies for a certain spot of star-like light near the lower left-hand corner of the Great Square of Pegasus. Then Roosevelt would recite: “That is the Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda. It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each larger than our sun.” Then Roosevelt would grin and say, “Now I think we are small enough! Let’s go to bed.” (
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for at his command they were created, and he established them for ever and ever—he issued a decree that will never pass away. (Psalm 148:5-6)
The name of the LORD is to be praised. It’s holy. It’s sacred. It’s powerful.
The earth and sea praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, (Psalm 148:7-8)
you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children. (Psalm 148:9-12)
That includes you and me! The late Dallas Willard said,
“Sometimes we get caught up in trying to glorify God by praising what He can do and we lose sight of the practical point of what He actually does do.”
God is awesome. He can do great things, but He also does great things that deserve our praise. God is good…all the time! All the time…God is good!
We need to be reminded of this. We need to remember…because we so easily forget. We get freaked out by the news. Social media can cause anxiety. Life is filled with stress and trials and problems…and some are quick to blame God for all of their troubles rather than the sin which plagues our world.
All of creation—everything—is to praise the LORD!
Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. (Psalm 148:13)
We sang earlier about the name of the LORD. There are actually several names for God. We
often reference three because there is one God in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We call this the Trinity. This is a mystery
The ancient Greek Fathers of the Church likened the Trinity to a dance. A weaving in and out, back and forth with a harmony of Spirit and a unity of purpose.
I like this statement from InterVarsity’s website which speaks of the Dance of Equality:
There is no hierarchy in the Trinity. The Son glorifies the Father and the Father glorifies the Son.  The Spirit glories Jesus.  The gospel of John paints this picture of equality powerfully for us.
The Trinitarian doctrine that we affirm proclaims the one God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit full of love and glory. Did you catch that in the doctrinal basis? “Full of love and glory.”
The Son and Spirit don’t lack glory. The Father doesn’t lack love. Far from it!  The New Testament says he lavishes his love on us by sending his Son! They highlight and spotlight and exalt and serve each other. The ancients called the relationship perichoresis, but the best way to describe it is to think of it as a dance.  They spin and whirl in a wild dance of love and trust until you can’t tell who’s leading and who’s following and all you know is that a great time is being had.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)
The Trinity is certainly a mystery. I suppose if we completely understood God, we would be God!
The Bible gives numerous descriptions of the roles of the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. For whatever reason, I used to imagine the Father as the One who created everything, but John clearly states otherwise. Then again, Genesis 1:26 tells us that God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.” If that doesn’t sound like more than one Person…
We praise the Father. We praise the Son. We praise the Spirit. They are all God. They are God. But on this communion Sunday as we prepare to remember the work of Jesus on the cross, I want to show you references to Jesus specifically in Psalm 148.
Jesus the Messiah can be seen in this psalm. He is the
-       Creator of all things (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17)
       Captain of the hosts of the LORD (Joshua 5:14)
       Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2; Luke 1:78)
       Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)
He demonstrated power over
-       Storms (Matthew 8:23-27; 14:23-33)
       Trees (Matthew 21:18-22)
       Animals (Mark 1:13; 11:1-3)
And he has raised up for his people a horn,  the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the LORD. (Psalm 148:14)

Credits: some ideas from Warren Wiersbe

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