This week we continued in the Bible Project’s Creation series, watching the video on Psalm 148. This psalm is one of the final chapters in the book of Psalms, and it centers upon how all of Creation is given the task of praising the Lord.
Before we jumped into the video, we had a brief discussion about what praise even is, particularly in regards to the Lord. “Praise the Lord” is a phrase that we often hear in church, or even say ourselves, but I think that its common usage can make its real meaning a little fuzzy. We often throw it around to refer to singing songs about God, or we even use it when something good happens, almost like the expression, “That’s great!” These aren’t wrong ways to use it, but as the video points out, in the Bible, to say, “Praise the Lord!” is to call those around us to join in praising the Lord. And for us to praise the Lord ourselves is essentially to tell those around us what God has done for us and how great he is. We praise movies, sports, celebrities, and many other things in our culture all the time. It’s the same concept with God, but we should praise him far more adamantly than all of these other things!
As this video walks through Psalm 148, it points out that all of creation praises the Lord, even the inanimate things such as the sky, sun, moon, stars, and creatures. When we think about these things praising the Lord, we see that this probably does not mean they are worshipping God with their words. Rather, simply by existing according to the way that God created them too, they “shout” forth to us to see how good and great God is!
So when the psalm approaches the end of its calls to praise, we see that it calls Israel and all people of all walks of life to praise the Lord. The reason that it gives is that the Lord has given victory to Israel. As we bring the rest of the story of Scripture into conversation with this, we know that the reason the Lord promises and brings victory to Israel is so that, through Jesus (Israel’s Messiah), all who come to God in praise will be given victory.
If the stars, moon, sea creatures, and the rest of creation shouts praise about God to us, will we hear it, see God’s goodness, and join in praising him as well?