Bible Reading: Psalm 148

Psalm 148
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 Him, sun and moon;

Praise Him, all stars of light!

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.

He has also established them forever and ever;

He has made a decree which will not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,

Sea monsters and all deeps;

Fire and hail, snow and clouds;

Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;

Mountains and all hills;

Fruit trees and all cedars;

Beasts and all cattle;

Creeping things and winged fowl;

Kings of the earth and all peoples;

Princes and all judges of the earth;

Both young men and virgins;

Old men and children.

Let them praise the name of the Lord,

For His name alone is exalted;

His glory is above earth and heaven.

And He has lifted up a horn for His people,

Praise for all His godly ones;

Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.

Praise the Lord!

 

At football games and other big sporting events, we see extraordinary scenes of exuberant enthusiasm.  Yet all these should pale into insignificance compared to our exuberant worship of God.  The opening words of this psalm are, ‘Hallelujah! Praise God from heaven’ (v.1, MSG). The last five psalms (Psalm 146–150) each begin and end with ‘Hallelujah’. The psalms, as with the New Testament and the whole Bible, end with exuberant praise, blessing and delight.  The word Hallelujah is an invitation to worship – it literally means ‘Praise (Hallal) the Lord’ (Yahweh). It occurs twenty-four times in the Old Testament (mainly in the psalms) and it occurs four times in the New Testament – each of them in our passage for today.

 

George Frederick Handel’s most famous work, ‘Messiah’ tells the story of Jesus – the Messiah. Part Two is about his death on the cross and his ascension into heaven and ends with the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus. In the spring of 1742, King George II rose to his feet as the first notes of the triumphant ‘Hallelujah’ chorus rang out. Royal protocol has always demanded that, whenever the monarch stands, so do everyone in the monarch’s presence. Thus, the entire audience and orchestra stood. King George II had accepted that he too was subject to the Lord of lords and King of kings. May, we do likewise today.

 

Weekly Memory Verse:  The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked.  Psalm 146.9