Psalm 147

Praise the Lord For All Things

1 Hallelujah,
for it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant and fitting to praise him.
2 YHWH builds up Jerusalem.
He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the broken in heart,
and binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars.
He calls them all by their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power.
His understanding is infinite.
6 YHWH upholds the humble.
He brings the wicked down to the ground.
7 Sing to YHWH with thanksgiving.
Sing praises on the harp to our God,
8 who covers the sky with clouds,
who prepares rain for the earth,
who makes grass grow on the mountains.
9 He provides food for the livestock,
and for the young ravens when they call.
10 He doesn't delight in the strength of the horse.
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 YHWH takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his loving kindness.
12 Praise YHWH, Jerusalem!
Praise your God, Zion!
13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates.
He has blessed your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders.
He fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sends out his commandment to the earth.
His word runs very swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool,
and scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them.
He causes his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19 He shows his word to Jacob;
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not done this for just any nation.
They don't know his ordinances.

World English Bible

When do you stop in your daily routine to give God praise? Why do you praise the Lord?

If we bother to look, we can always find a reason to praise God. Despite evil in the world, open eyes and open hearts will glorify God for the smallest blessing. So, let us look and raise our voices in song to the Lord!

The psalms are full of praise. Psalm 147 was a combination of three different psalms that represented praise in different contexts. The first (147:1-6) praised God for comforting the poor and needy in Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile. God was the one who rebuilt Jerusalem; those who returned were his instruments in the construction. God would also return those left in alien environs to the Promised Land. The God of the cosmos cared for the least significant, so great was his power.

The second song of praise (147:7-11) thanked God for his power, primarily shown in the rainy season. Through his gift, produce and livestock flourished. In the greater view, all (even the king) should remember that they rely on God for all good things (like the rain), not on national strength or the size of an army. The devout and humble pleased God, for they lived that reliance. (Notice the unspoken relationship between praise and an attitude of reliance on God for his many blessings.)

The third song (147:12-20) addressed Jerusalem which believed God's word originated with his presence in the Temple then spread to the corners of the world. The city should praise God for his protection and his blessing. Both came from the word of God which swiftly commands nature's rhythms and processes. This was the same word God gave to his people in the Law. Notice that the power that regulated nature also regulated the life of the people in the city. There was a sense God's creative power and his Law were one and the same.

Let's dwell on that last point for just a moment. God's Word controls the universe and guides our very lives. If there was any reason to praise God, this insight would be the reason. God's power is so overwhelming that it holds the galaxies in their orbits, the sub-atomic particles in their space, and the fate of nations in his hands. Yet, the Lord has not forgotten me or you as individuals. When we are poor and needy, he sustains us. When we enjoy the produce of the land, he provides for us. When we see the good his will gives us, he blesses us. God takes care of us with all good things.

Praise God!

Take a few moments and look for reasons to praise God. Nothing is too small or too large. Make a list, if needed and praise the Lord!