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A Chorus of Praise Enjoined. Psalm 148: PDF

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1 A Chorus of Praise Enjoined Psalm 148: Text: Psalm 148:1-14, A Chorus of Praise Enjoined Commentary by Clyde M. Miller 1. Praise
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1 A Chorus of Praise Enjoined Psalm 148:1-14 2 Text: Psalm 148:1-14, A Chorus of Praise Enjoined Commentary by Clyde M. Miller 1. Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above. 2. Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. 3. Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. 4. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. 5. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created. 6. He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. 7. Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, 8. lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, 9. you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, 10. wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, 11. kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, 12. young men and maidens, old men and children. 13. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. 14. He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the LORD. 3 Introduction: I. The last five psalms in the Psalter give evidence, by their comprehensiveness, of having been composed or placed here to serve as a conclusion to the Psalter. A. In Psalm 148, the whole creation, animate and inanimate, is called upon to praise God. II. The psalm is naturally divided into two parts by the poetic structure. A. First, the summons goes out to praise the Lord from the heavens (Psalm 148:1) and then from the earth (Psalm 148:7). 1. Psalm 148:1, Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above. 2. Psalm 148:7, Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths. B. Next, in each section certain persons and things that inhabit the heavens (Psalm 148:1b-4) and the earth (Psalm 148:7b- 12) are addressed in the second person and exhorted to praise God. 1. Psalm 148:1-4, 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 148:7-12, 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, 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 maidens, old men and children. C. Finally, in each section a partial refrain is uttered in the third person in which reasons for praising God are stated (Psalm 148:5-6 and 13-14). 1. Psalm 148:5-6 and 13-14, Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the LORD. III. The psalmist moves from conscious (Psalm 148:2) to unconscious (Psalm 148:3-4) praise and then from unconscious (Psalm 148:7b-10) to conscious praise (Psalm 148:11-12). A. Psalm 148:2, Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. B. Psalm 148:3-4, Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. 5 C. Psalm 148:7-10, 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, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds. D. Psalm 148:11-12, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. E. The climax is reached in Psalm 148:14 where there is an apparent allusion to restoration from weakness and danger. 1. Psalm 148:14, He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the LORD. Commentary: Praise from the Heavens Psalm 148:1-6, 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. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. I. For the beginning and ending, see the introduction to Psalm 146. 6 Psalm 148:1, Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above. I. Heavens and heights are synonyms, used here to indicate the dwelling place of the angels (Psalm 148:2) and the heavenly bodies (Psalm 148:3). A. Psalm 148:2, Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. B. Psalm 148:3, Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. Psalm 148:2, Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. I. Angels and hosts are here synonymous. II. The word hosts can refer to the heavenly bodies (Deuteronomy 4:19), but the parallel structure here suggests that it refers to angels (Josh. 5:14-15; and 1 Kings 22:19). A. Deuteronomy 4:19, And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars all the heavenly array do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. B. Joshua 5:14-15, Neither, he replied, but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come. Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, What message does my Lord have for his servant? The commander of the LORD's army replied, 7 Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy. And Joshua did so. C. 1 Kings 22:19, Micaiah continued, Therefore hear the word of the LORD : I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. Psalm 148:3, Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. I. Sun and moon, the most prominent heavenly bodies to the eye, are mentioned first, followed by the innumerable stars (Psalm 147:4, see notes). A. Psalm 147:4, He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Psalm 148:4, Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. I. The Hebrew expression rendered highest heavens literally means heavens of heavens, a Hebrew superlative which could have a spatial or qualitative connotation (Psalm 8:1; and 113:4). A. Psalm 8:1, O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. B. Psalm 113:4, The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens. C. Solomon knew that not even the highest heavens can contain God (1 Kings 8:27). Kings 8:27, But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! D. Highest heavens is parallel with the waters above the skies, referring to the Genesis creation account (Genesis 1:6-8). 1. Genesis 1:6-8, And God said, Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water. So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse sky. And there was evening, and there was morning the second day. Psalm 148:5, Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created. I. The reason that these inanimate things of the heavens should praise God is that God by His mere command called them into being (Genesis 1:3,6 and Psalm 33:6,9). A. Genesis 1:3 and 6, And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God said, Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water. B. Psalm 33:6 and 9, By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. 9 Psalm 148:6, He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. I. He gave a decree that will never pass away paraphrases the Hebrew that reads literally, he fixed their bounds, and he did not pass. A. Bounds can refer to the boundaries of things or to laws given to man. B. The Hebrew phrase translated be passed literally is pass over or transgress. 1. Here a passive rendering better fits the context, which refers to inanimate creation. 2. The word bounds may refer literally to that which God made for the seas (Jeremiah 5:22; Proverbs 8:29; Job 38:10; and Ps. 104:9, where a different Hebrew word is used). II. The thought is that God controls the universe that he created. A. This is the meaning of he set them in place (literally caused them to stand ). B. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:35-36 and 33:25) thinks of these ordinances as being tantamount to a covenant between God and His creation. 1. Jeremiah 31:35-36, This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar the LORD Almighty is his 10 name: Only if these decrees vanish from my sight, declares the LORD, will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me. 2. Jeremiah 33:25, This is what the LORD says: 'If I have not established my covenant with day and night and the fixed laws of heaven and earth. Praise from the Earth Psalm 148:7-14, 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, 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 maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the LORD. Psalm 148:7, Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths. I. Sea monsters (Genesis 1:21) and the ocean depths suggest the massive oceans and their huge creatures. A. Genesis 1:21, So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 11 Psalm 148:8, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, I. In an ascending scale, he thinks of that which fills the atmosphere, lightning, literally, fire and hail, etc. II. Winds that do his bidding emphasizes that God controls weather conditions. Psalm 148:9, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars. I. The majesty of mountains and hills and the beneficent value of fruit trees and cedars glorify God. Psalm 148:10, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds. I. Animals are the creatures closest in nature to man, so this verse prepares us for what follows. Psalm 148:11-12, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. I. People of all classes, high and low, young and old, should praise God. Psalm 148:13, Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. I. In this verse, a reason for mankind to praise God is given. 12 II. His name refers to God's character and reputation manifested in His creative and saving acts. III. Above here means greater than the heavens and the earth. Psalm 148:14, He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the LORD. I. This is the grand climax. A. His people, his saints (loyal ones), and of Israel are all synonymous expressions. B. Raised up a horn means that God has provided strength for His people in the form of deliverance (Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Samuel 2:1; Psalm 89:17; and 132:17). 1. Deuteronomy 33:17, In majesty he is like a firstborn bull; his horns are the horns of a wild ox. With them he will gore the nations, even those at the ends of the earth. Such are the ten thousands of Ephraim; such are the thousands of Manasseh. 2. 1 Samuel 2:1, Then Hannah prayed and said: My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. 3. Psalm 89:17, For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn. 4. Psalm 132:17, Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one. 13 C. Horn refers to the king, a source of strength. D. Israel is designated the people close to his heart is literally are of his nearness in the Hebrew. Application: 1. God's condescending love that brought him near to His covenant people is in mind (Psalm 119:151 and Isaiah 55:6). a. Psalm 119:151, Yet you are near,olord, and all your commands are true. b. Isaiah 55:6, Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. I. Psalm 148, similar to many others, designated the whole creation as submissive to God. A. Alas, man made in God s image is the only creature that rebels against God. 1. God by creation gave man moral choice, but He also holds man responsible for the choices that he makes. B. The soul of man is eternal. 1. He shall be judged and caused to spend eternity in either heaven or hell. 2. Let us make our commitments wisely! 14 Questions Psalm 148:1-14 (Questions based on NIV text.) 1. Psalm 148 begins and ends with the statement, the. Our lives, from birth to death, should make the statement, the. 2. the from the, him in the. him, all his, him, his. him, and, him, you. him, you and you the. Let them the of the, for he and they were. He set them in for and ; he gave a that will. 3. According to verses 1b-6, who and what are to praise God? the from the, you and all, and, and, that do his, you and all, and all, of the and all, you and all on and, and. 5. According to verses 7-12, who and what are to praise God? 6. Let them the of the, for his is ; his is above the and the. He has up for his a, the of all his, of, the to his. 7. According to verses 13 and 14, why is God to be praised. Define horn as used in verse In what ways would the world be different if all praised God as stated in Psalm 148? 10. What does it really mean to praise God? 11. Why was Israel, with all its sinfulness, close to God s heart above other nations? Into what two natural parts is Psalm 148 divided by its poetic structure? 13. The in the give evidence, by their, of having been or to as a to the. 14. Speak to the use of the first and second person grammatic structure in Psalm 148 and explain its significance 15. The psalmist moves from to praise and then from to praise in Psalm List synonymous expressions found in Psalm 148. As used in Psalm 148, define heavens/heights, hosts, heaven of heavens, bounds, be passed, His name and he set them in place. 18. Why and how are inanimate things to praise God? 19. controls. of, and, and, should praise God. 20. The is to be to. made in s is the that against. by gave, but He also holds man for the that he. The of is. He will be and caused to in or. Let us make our!
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