“Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful” (Psalm 147:1).
It is interesting that the last 5 psalms from the book of Psalms all begin the same way: “Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 146:1; 147:1; 148:1; 149:1; 150:1). Why did the Holy Spirit believe it was important to end the book of Psalms in this way (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)? I believe He is trying to stress to us that it is important for us to take time to praise God!
The psalmist mentions a number of reasons of why he praised God. First, he praised God for God’s work in creation: “He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:4-5). It is hard to imagine, but not only does God know the number of stars in the universe, He also has named each of them. This is because His understanding is beyond our comprehension. His understanding is infinite.
Second, the author also adds how he praised God for how He provides for His creation and His people. God continues to nourish His creation: “Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens that cry” (Psalm 147:8-9). The blessings God’s people enjoy are because of God’s bountiful care: “Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you. He makes peace in your borders and fills you with the finest wheat” (Psalm 147:12-14).
Third, the psalmist praised God for His deliverance and comfort during times of affliction: “The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:2-3). He adds, “The Lord lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground” (Psalm 147:6). It is comforting to know that God shows tender care to those whose hearts have been broken. He is always there to bind up our wounds when we turn to Him!
Finally, the author praises God for the power of His Word. He mentions the power of God’s Word over His creation: “He sends out His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly. He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes; He casts out His hail like morsels; who can stand before His cold? He sends out His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow” (Psalm 147:15-18). It is awesome to consider the power of God’s Word at work as it swiftly goes to all corners of the globe to carry out God’s desires. Not only is God’s Word powerful as it works in the world, but it can also powerfully work in the lives of His people if they will let it: “He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any nation; and as for His judgments, they have not known them. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 147:19-20).
God has a special regard for those who fear Him and who render such praises to the Lord: “He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 147:10-11). Today, I will praise the Lord for His work in creation, for his providing my daily needs, and the comfort He gives me when I am brokenhearted. I will also praise Him for His Awesome Word that is at work in all of creation and is at work in my life helping me to become all that God wants me to be!
“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (Psalm 146:1-2).