Praise the Lord From the Heavens!
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise the LORD from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps;
Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.
This is a small psalm. The word praise is used thirteen times in these fourteen verses. The psalm begins in the highest heavens and ends with the little nation of Israel. If any psalm reveals the glory and grandeur of the worship of the Lord, it is this one, for it is cosmic in its dimensions and yet very personal in its intentions.
Unlike most other religions, we do not praise a limited validity god who was manufactured on earth; we praise the One True and Living God who reigns from the highest heavens, THE GOD WHO CREATED ALL THINGS. Solomon was right when he said, Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. (1 Kings 8:27)
CARE for God's Creation
When I was a little boy, Summer time was great fun in Bangalore. I used to hurriedly cycle with my friends to a huge swimming pool and dive into the crowded waters. That's chlorinated city waters we weren't very proud of to brag, but was good enough to have fun.
When I used to visit my native place in Kerala, the story was a little different. We were right on the banks of a big river. It was open anytime. There were far fewer friends to go swimming in the wide River. Yet, we have loved to go there, because the waters were clean, serene, filled with small fish, and surrounded by swaying trees and bamboo plants. There were none to photograph us, and we had total privacy. We would scream out so loud, it was magical to hear our own voice echo back after a few seconds. If we had drowned, there were none to save us; no lifeguards. God was our lifeguard. In the initial days of swimming against the current, I have gulped in the waters by the litres, which tasted very sweet.
The situation is very different now. After decades of sand mining, erosion of the beautiful banks and the River being highly polluted through release of harmful chemicals and harsh soap water into it, it's waters are no more safe or fit for human consumption without processing. The waters are filled with e.coli bacteria, causing death to many bird and fish species that depend on it, and causes diseases to our bodies when consumed, and allergies to our skins if touched. In a span of a few decades, being selfish and uncaring for others, we were successful in destroying the once-beautiful River that ran peacefully and unscathed for centuries. Things are changing for the better after intense activism by few good people.
Psalm 148 calls on all of creation to praise God. By caring for God's creation, we can respond to God and the needs of others. When we care for others, we are actually praising God for what He has created for us. We can work to keep water clean for safe drinking and for protection of rivers and sea life. Every creature in the wild has the right to live.
We can educate ourselves and others about the effects of uncontrolled pollution on animal habitats and nesting sites. We can protect endangered species and reduce our energy use and carbon emissions. All are ways we can fulfil our call to care for God's creation. Let me know privately what methods you would use.
Psalm 148 asks us to complete a cycle — God creates, and we "co-create," acting as caretakers for the good of the earth. That is often called stewardship or taking ownership. Stewardship is taking care of something that's been entrusted to us, in a positive way. We must care for the environment we are living in. A week ago, an 80-year-old uncle of mine in a village refused to burn a 5-feet mount of swept-away leaves saying it causes damage to the environment. He left it as is to degenerate naturally. I felt amazement at his care, concern and awareness. Do we throw away small plastic wrappers just like that into the open?
Our time on earth is short. So we have a moral responsibility to take care of it for future generations. Indeed, God demands that we be good stewards of all that God has blessed us with, so that all people can share in the overwhelming goodness of God's creation. When we have a balance in nature, together with all birds and fish and stars and the moon, we have reasons to together praise God Almighty for all the wonders of His Creation! If you agree, say AMEN silently.
All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
thou silver moon with softer gleam,
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
- Bob, Bangalore!
³ ᵐⁱⁿ ¹⁰ ˢᵉᶜ
[9:18 pm, 07/03/2020] Leenu Binny: MORNING RENDEZVOUS
WHILE I live I will praise the Lord ,I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
All these psalms start with the phrase,PRAISE THE LORD!!
To praise God for His creation ,His wonderful works,even the Creation like Sun ,moon stars ,sea creatures has to praise him.The whole creation has to Praise God!!
It reminds me of the song ,
I want to Praise You God....
Birds in the sky sing their songs to You....
Trees in the fields lift their arms to You......
HOW ?WHEN ?WHERE ?has been already shared by Sister Jooley in her insight today.
In one of the insights previously one of the sisters had shared about benefits of a Quiet Time with God.
Thanks to UESI which taught me on the same lines of the importance of Quiet Time
I accepted the Lord in my college days in an EU camp ,where we were taught to have a special time with God.I took up this habit ,early morning would walk up to the terrace ,sit in a quiet place among my plants and first start by praising and thanking God looking at the sky, clouds,the birds,the trees and plants around.That was my regular practice as a student but as a mother when I had to shoulder responsibilities I slacked in this sphere ,priorities changed but thanks to 240Days Bible Reading since the 120days schedule I have renewed my touch with God and reading His Word firmly.
As soon as I posted the morning reminder today morning ,I recollected these psalms and relived my college days ,I walked down to my gate stood there and looked at the sky and praised God for each and everything He has created , even I stood and praised and thanked God for each and every neighbour by name(7 families in all in a gated community),which I have never done earlier, It would just be a bland prayer without any feelings I would ask Him to bless them.This little deed this morning made my day ,when I could share about the 240Days Bible Reading to a non- christian colleauge of mine as to what we do and why we do it.
A friend of mine Beena Roy who also is in this Bible reading group who walks a real walk of faith begins her day by putting on worship songs loud so that the spirit of worship and praise reverberates on throughout the day .Thanks to her I could imbibe this trait of hers too.Both husband and wife drive through villages stop by praise and pray with burden for the villages ,it was also a wonderful experience when I could accompany them on such a trip on a holiday.
Our God is worthy of all Glory,Honour and Praise.
As long as we live only we can praise Him.
For in Psalms 6:5 it is written:
For in death there is no remembrance of You,in the grave who will give You thanks?
So as long as we live ,let us PRAISE THE LORD !!!
THE BOOK OF
PSALMS ENDS SO WELL WITH THIS VERSE:
LET EVEYTHING THAT HAS BREATH,PRAISE THE LORD,PRAISE THE LORD!
As shared earlier the breath that we breathe is God's breath ,so should it not praise God as long as it breathes❓
HOW DO WE OFFER OUR LIFE TO GOD AS AN OFFERING OF PRAISE WORTHY AND ACCEPTABLE IN HIS SIGHT OR ❓
I shared this for the Glory of God .
Once again the Psalmist is crying out to God in prayer and pleading with the Lord to keep him from speaking what he should not in the presence of the wicked, vs 1-3. He also asks God to consider his uplifted hands as the evening sacrifice, which depicts the surrender of his case into the hands of a righteous God, vs 2. Further he pleads with God to keep his heart from entertaining evil and so returning evil for evil to men who practice evil and feast on the same as though they were some type of delicacies, vs 4! However, he welcomes the rebuke of the righteous, for he considers it to be an act of gracious love and anointing oil upon his head, vs 5; even though he is still determined to pray vehemently against the evil activities of the wicked, and is assured that when their evil judges are removed out of the way, by his prayers, the rest of the people will see sense in what he was standing for all this while, vs 6. Even when the wicked vehemently pursue him, vs 7, he is determined to remain focused and keep his eyes on the Lord, seeking the Lord's protection and deliverance alone, vs 8, 9; while praying that the wicked to fall into their own nets, vs 10.
We can clearly see from this Psalm, the intense battle that the Psalmist is engaged in, primarily in prayer, and seemingly, over a long period of time! And while it seems that the Lord is silent, yet, His Word assures us that after a period of testing, (which comes just to check whether we will stick to obedience to His Word, no matter how sorely we may be tempted to do otherwise), a period of great increase, stability and blessing is sure to follow, James 1:2-4! So, if we are walking through the valley of affliction, let us not grow weary in well doing, by His grace, for then we can be assured that He will definitely come and make all things beautiful in His time, 2 Chronicles 16:9.
This Psalm was written when David was hiding in a cave, most probably, while fleeing from king Saul. David was overwhelmed with grief to be hunted down to this extent for no fault of his! What could he do, when (on being unable to retaliate for conscience' sake), defending himself from his oppressor became his only option? Yes, he could do just one more thing, which was the best option, under the given circumstances, and that being to cry out to the Lord by making specific supplication and complaint unto the Lord concerning his predicament, vs 1,2,5. He was confident that God knew all about his condition, vs 3. He also felt completely abandoned by the arm of flesh, vs4! All he asked the Lord to do was to attend to his cry and to deliver his imprisoned soul from his persecutors, whom were stronger than him, for he was brought very low, vs 6. He reasoned that, as God dealt bountifully with him by delivering him, he would have reason to praise the Lord and be surrounded by the righteous in the land, vs 7. If we find ourselves in a similar predicament, then this Psalm instructs us to do as David did and keep trusting in the Lord alone with all our hearts, instead of leaning on our own understanding and returning evil for evil! And, although it make take some time for the Lord's best plan to come to pass, yet it will be the very best that we could have ever asked for, and so, will surely be worth the wait! But, in the meantime, the just shall live by his faith, Habakkuk 2:2-4, while the soul which is proud will be disheartened when God does not answer him in a hurry!
As David calls on the Name of the Lord in this Psalm, he does not expect God to help him while he is unrighteous, vs 1. Further, he does not even claim to be perfect or sinless, vs 2. All he is asking God for is deliverance from his enemy who has persecuted his soul and left him spiritually dead, vs 3! Therefore, he remains overwhelmed and desolate, vs 4! At times he remembers the days of old, (perhaps the time he slew Goliath), and meditates on all the works of the Lord's hands, vs 5. This gives him a desperate thirst to see God's hands move on his behalf again, vs 6. He pleads with God to answer Him speedily, lest he die in such a hopeless condition, vs 7! He longs to be revived by God's lovingkindness in the morning, and seeks to know the way in which he should walk, vs 8. Besides asking the Lord to deliver him, he also asks God to teach him how to do God's will, so that he may walk in uprightness, vs 9. And, if not for anything else, he asks God to revive him, and bring his soul out of trouble for the sake of the Lord's righteous Name, vs 10! From this Psalm we learn how to hold on to God even I times of deepest darkness and keep doing what is right in God's sight. For, the Lord is near the brokenhearted and well able to deliver us from all our troubles, if we would only wait patiently, in repentance and faith, for His perfect timing!
In this beautiful Psalm, King David tells us how we can be truly prosperous. He says that this happens when we make the Lord our strength and the one who teaches our hands to war and fingers to fight, vs 1. It is when we see the Lord as one who does us only good, and one who is our fortress; our high tower, and our deliverer; our shield, and the one in whom we trust; that He will subdue the people who come against us, vs 2. Very simply put, it means that as we walk in obedience to the Lord's Word, it is He who fights our battles and subdues those who come against us. And yes, inspite of the fact that we are mere human beings, who are here today and gone tomorrow, yet God will come down from heaven to do miraculous wonders on our behalf inorder to scatter our enemies and put them to flight, vs 3-6. By His mighty right hand, He will deliver us out of great waters and from a strange people who war against us by speaking arrogantly and in whose right hand is falsehood and deceit, vs 7-8, 11. And as God delivers us from these people who wield a hurtful sword, with their false and arrogant tongue, vs 10, we will rejoice with song unto the Lord and praise Him joyfully with psaltery and harp, vs 9. It is then that our sons will be as plants grown up in their youth and our daughters will be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace, vs 12.
All our granaries will be full, affording all manner of store and our sheep will bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets, vs 13. Further, even our oxen will be strong to labour and there will be no loss of their young ones such that there will be no complaining in our streets on account of any scarcity, vs 14. And we will be one happy lot of people, because we belong to and revere a great an awesome God as ours, vs 15!
In this Psalm we can sight the reason for David's success inspite of the many years of crushing that he endured. To begin with, on the one hand, although he was honest about his feelings towards his oppressors, he always sought to leave their judgment in God's hands. While on the other hand, he never failed to praise God for who God was to him and for all the great things that God had done for him, even while he was being sorely tested, vs 1,2,3,5-7. In this manner, he believes that one generation should praise God's works to another, so that the Lord's mighty acts will be declared from generation to generation, vs 4, 10-13. The song of praise that they will proclaim will be that, 'The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all his works', vs 8,9. The marvelous acts of the Lord are also seen when God upholds those that fall and raises those that are bowed down, vs 14, and, provides food and other desires in due season, for all those who wait upon Him, vs 15, 16. Besides this, He is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works and is nigh unto all those that call upon Him in truth, vs 17,18. He will preserve all those who love Him, fulfill the desire of all who fear Him, vs 19,20. However, the wicked He will ultimately destroy, vs 20! For all these marvels, the Psalmist David, is determined to speak the praise of the Lord with His mouth and exhorts all flesh to bless the Holy Name of the Lord forever and ever, vs 21. This Psalm gives us a gist of the numerous things that we can praise God for even while passing through difficult times, and as a result, we will experience amazing transformation in our lives and circumstances and ministries as well.
What a beautiful Psalm! The Psalmist once again finds reason to praise God and put his trust in Him alone. And, he is determined to praise the Lord for as long as he lives, no matter what he has to face throughout his lifetime, vs 1,2! He has also learnt another important thing in life viz. that we should not put our trust in princes or other human beings who have no power in themselves to deliver us in our time of need and on a consistent basis, vs 3. This is because once they die and return to the ground, their plans die too and so does their power, vs 4. On the other hand, he tells us how blessed the one whose helper is the God of Jacob and whose hope is in the Lord his God is, vs 5. For He is the one who made the heavens and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and so, is our Creator and source who remains faithful forever, vs 6! It is He who vindicates the oppressed, gives food to the hungry and releases the imprisoned, vs 7. It is He who gives sight to the blind, lifts up all who are depressed and loves the godly, vs 8. It is He who protects those residing outside their native land; lifts up the fatherless and the widow, but also opposes the wicked, vs 9.
Moreover, he rules forever and throughout the generations to come, vs 10.
Nevertheless, we can only truly trust in Him if we have known Him personally as our Savior and Lord, and choose to walk consistently in obedience to His commandments as specified in His Word. For it is only then that we will have knowledge of His unchanging character, which is both love and light. Infact, Jeremiah 17:5 tells us that God will put a curse on people who trust in mere human beings, and who depend on mere flesh and blood, and whose hearts have turned away from Him. If we have done so, let us repent before the Lord wholeheartedly for complaining about people who don't help us, but rather give our praise and trust to the only one who is worthy of the same for He has promised to never leave or forsake us, Hebrews 13:5,6; and every one of God's promises are 'Yes' in Christ Jesus, even as we say our 'Amen' to them , 2 Corinthians 1:20, knowing full well that it is impossible for God to lie, Hebrews 6:18!
This Psalm lists some more reasons that God's people need to praise Him for, accompanied by musical instruments as well, vs 1,7 He is able to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and bring back the physical and spiritual exiles of Israel, vs 2. He is able to heal the brokenhearted, and bandage their wounds, lift the oppressed and knock down the wicked, vs 3,6. He is able to count the number of stars and name all of them, vs 4. He is great, has awesome power and limitless wisdom, vs 5. He covers the sky with clouds, provides the earth with rain, and causes grass to grow on the hillsides, giving food to the animals, and to the young ravens when they chirp, vs 8,9. He is not impressed by the strength of the horse nor the warrior's strong legs, vs 10, but takes delight in His faithful followers, who fear him and wait for His mercy, vs 11. Besides this Jerusalem and Zion need to praise Him for protecting their gates and blessing their children, vs 12,13; as well as bringing peace to their territory and providing them with the best of grain, vs 14. His commands given through the earth, swiftly reach their destination, vs 15, making even the cold winds, which are sent as snow, frost or hailstones, to melt at His command and flow as water when He breathes over them, vs 16-18. It is this same God that proclaims His Word to Jacob and statutes and judgments to Israel, vs 19. He has done this for no other Nation, vs 20. So, He is worthy of their praise!
This Psalm gives 3 reasons for which we ought to praise God. The first being that God is the Creator of all, vs 5; having established His Creation with a decree which shall not pass away, vs 6. The second reason is that His name alone is excellent and His glory is above the earth and heaven, vs 13. And the third reason given is that He has raised up a source of strength for His people and has made them victorious, vs 14! Now among all of His creation that is expected to praise Him from the heavens and in the heights vs 1, are included angels, heavenly hosts, vs 2; sun, moon and stars, vs 3; heavens of heavens and the waters above the heavens, vs 4. Those from the earth that are expected to praise Him include the dragons and the deep, vs 7, together with the fire, hail; snow, vapour; and stormy winds that fulfill His Word, vs 8; and the mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars, the beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and the flying fowl, vs 9,10, and the Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth, vs 11. Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children are also included in this list, vs 12. One would wonder how so many inanimate and lifeless objects could end up praising God! But, a deeper look into the same gives us another dimension of what praise really is! What we can learn from these objects, is that, obeying God by just doing what they have been called to do with satisfaction and joy, brings both beauty and harmony in Creation and is counted as praise that pleases God. Without such worship, all outward forms of praise will prove ritualistic, redundant and meaningless. So, keeping this in mind let us, like the Psalmist, exhort everything that has breathe to praise our God, and let us do the same ourselves, for His Name is above every other name and He is indeed worthy of our praise!
This Psalm tell us about the different ways in which we can praise God. We can praise Him with a new song amongst the assembly of the godly, vs 1. We can praise Him by rejoicing in our Creator and delighting in our King, vs 2.
We can praise Him with dancing or with singing unto Him with the accompaniment of the tambourine and harp, vs 3. The oppressed praise Him because He has delighted in them and delivered them, vs 4, while the godly praise Him with shouts of joy on their beds for vindicating them, vs 5. Praise can also be used as a weapon of war when coupled with the Word of God, which is called a double-edged sword, vs 6 in that the Word convicts us first, to do away with our corrupt self-life, and then can be used together with praise that is based on the Word, in order to take revenge on the nations, to punish foreigners and bind their kings in chains and their nobles in iron shackles and execute judgment upon their enemies, all of whom are influenced by evil spirits and who refuse to repent, vs 7,8. And in this way God will vindicate and honour His loyal followers. For this God is worthy of our praise, vs 9!
So, praising God consistently, no matter what difficult circumstances we find ourselves in, coupled with obeying and confessing God's Word which is appropriate for that situation, forms a very important weapon which enables us to enthrone God in our difficult circumstances, and so unbinds His hands to work in our favour, because it expresses our faith in a faithful God and this pleases Him very much, Hebrews 11:6.
This Psalm resonates the 'where, why, how and who' of praise!
Where should we praise God?
In His sanctuary and in the sky/heavens, (from a heavenly standpoint)/ together with His heavenly hosts who testify to His strength, vs 1.
Why should we praise Him?
We should praise Him for His mighty acts and for His surpassing greatness, vs 2.
How should we praise Him?
We should praise Him with the blast of the horn, with the lyre and the harp, with the tambourine and with dancing, with stringed instruments and the flute, with loud cymbals and clanging cymbals, vs 3-5.
Who should praise Him?
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord, vs 6!
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but does give us a good Idea of what praise looks like, as well as the emotions that are involved in praising God and the enthusiasm with which it should be entered into, coupled with our obedience, if our praise is expected to delight the heart of God and move His hands to work on our behalf! For without faith it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6, and those who truly believe will inevitably praise God, before seeing the outcome of prayers answered, knowing full well that God's Word will never return to Him empty, without fulfilling what He sent it to accomplish, Isaiah 55:11!