Sweet excerpt from Spurgeon’s introduction: “The song is one and indivisible. It seems almost impossible to expound it in detail, for a living poem is not to be dissected verse by verse….For its exposition the chief requisite is a heart on fire with reverent love to the Lord over all, who is to be blessed for ever.”
Psalms 148:1 ¶ Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.
Psalms 148:2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.
Psalms 148:3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.
Psalms 148:4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.
The psalmist opens with a strong Hallelujah (Praise ye the LORD)! He turns his attention first to the heavenly hosts, both spiritual and physical, calling for all of His heavenly creation to praise the LORD in the heights of heaven.
Application from Spurgeon: “Stars without light would render no praise, and Christians without light rob the Lord of his glory. However small our beam, we must not hide it: if we cannot be sun or moon we must aim to be one of the "stars of light," and our every twinkling must be to the honour of our Lord.”
Psalms 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
Psalms 148:6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.
As is usually the case, the psalmist calls for the people to praise the name (as representing His character) of the LORD as they praise the LORD.
All God had to do was speak and the angels and our universe came into being. So I guess you might say creation started with a big bang, it sprang into being out of nothing at the command of the Creator’s powerful voice.
Deuteronomy 5:22 “These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice….”
Psalm 29:3–4 “The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.”
The psalmist notes that God established His creation for eternity., and His decree cannot be altered or overturned.
Spurgeon: “The highest praise of God is to declare what he is. We can invent nothing which would magnify the Lord: we can never extol him better than by repeating his name, or describing his character. The Lord is to be extolled as creating all things that exist, and as doing so by the simple agency of his word.”
Psalms 148:7 ¶ Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:
Psalms 148:8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:
Psalms 148:9 Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:
Psalms 148:10 Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:
The psalmist now turns his attention to creation below the heavens. He urges all of God’s creation from the earth, its atmosphere and its deeps to join in praising the LORD. All nature acts in accordance to His command. In some way, he expects even the animal kingdom to join in praising the LORD. I know they certainly inspire me to praise the LORD for the amazing beauty, detail and instincts on display from the largest to the smallest in the animal kingdom.
Psalms 148:11 Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:
Psalms 148:12 Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:
Psalms 148:13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
Finally, the psalmist turns his attention to humanity, calling for all—from royalty to peasants, including young and old, both male and female—to praise the name of the LORD. Only the name of the LORD is worthy of exaltation. His grandeur and majesty overshadows the whole of His creation.
How sad it is to me that instead of exalting God’s name, people today use it as a curse word or as an exclamation point—certainly with no thought of honoring God and sometimes with the specific intent to dishonor Him.
Psalms 148:14 He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.
It seems that the psalmist is writing from a time in which the people of Israel are honoring the LORD, the God of Israel. I liked the translation from the CJB: “He has increased the power of his people, granted praise to all his faithful, to the descendants of Isra’el, a people close to him. Halleluyah!”
I thought it was interesting to note the Hebrew for the word “near” made reference to kinsmen. This truth would take on a special meaning when Jesus the Messiah came to earth as a descendant of King David.
Obviously, the psalmist is addressing the people of Israel in context. Because of God’s unchanging character, I believe it is always His desire to strengthen “His people,” all those that trust in Him as LORD. As sons and daughters of God in Jesus, we, too, are a people close to Him.
Galatians 3:26 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:14–17 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”