Psalm 148

This third of five Hallelujah Hymns stands out as a unique call for praise from the whole of Creation. Its structure is rather like a responsive song, a long verse with a short response, then another such pair.

This is one of the few psalms where the meaning is painfully obvious with any decent English translation. It would be embarrassing to attempt tracing this out in terms of commentary. About the only thing not so plain to English readers is just how serious the psalmist takes a rather literal rendering. Some may have seen, or perhaps remember from the 1970s and 1980s the rather cartoonish drawings produced by the Jesus Movement, showing natural objects with smiling faces singing praises to God. Don’t be fooled; those who observe the Hebrew belief that the heart is a far wiser “mind” than the brain would have no trouble hearing the songs of Creation.

Thus, the psalmist openly encourages Creation, starting from the highest realms of the Spirit, along with the heavenly bodies in the sky, along with the clouds. Next follows a brief responsive chorus. The chorus firmly establishes the authority for such a call to praise: Jehovah is the Creator of all things.

And then follows another longer verse listing various creatures and features of nature that we all encounter. Finally, as the last in order of Creation, comes humanity. We start with the highest ranking human authorities down to the children. Again the chorus establishes the very reason for all of this celebration, and it is distinctly a Restoration theme: The Lord has raised Israel’s “horn” — the Ancient Near Eastern symbol of divine moral authority. Not just the collective might of the people, but the holiness and purity that justifies joining in as a part of Creation in praising the Creator.

When Jehovah lifts your horn, the only just response is worship and celebration.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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