All this utter and complete and uncompromising praise in these last few of the 150 Psalms might seem a little over the top, perhaps? But, what else is there to do in response to all of this? a gracious God who builds up his people, heals them, goes out searching for the outcasts, binds up their wounds, lifts up those oppressed, and fights off the wicked who might mess around with his chosen…who makes the clouds, causes rain to fall, grows the grass—simply feeds and cares for the whole creation. And for all of this, His delight, his pleasure is in nothing but the people who stand in awe, fear, and respect before Him, placing their future not in their own doings, but in all that He has prepared for them—hope and trust in his gracious being and in his eternal love of them. Praise just bursts forth in the realization of all of this. Blasphemy is the only other option.
Here we are meandering about, considering which program to sign up for, which technique to practice that might get us more satisfaction, which of the latest gurus to tap into to make us more “holy”—and there is God, gracious and steadfast, the creator of snow, wind, hail, frost, and all sorts of food and drink for man and woman. There He is, waiting patiently for one or more to look to Him as the only real hope there is on this planet. Plodding through the snow, gasping for the gift of oxygen that’s always right there, grabbing a glance at the stars here and there, here we are pretending we have been a part of this creative and energetic force in the universe. But there is God, his word rushing through the heavens announcing that He is the One and only Lord. Hallelujah!
We supposed to turn to this psalm when things are not so hot? when things have just gone to hell? Get out this one, number 147, and sing and praise! Maybe we think we need to wait for inspiration? for a crowd that’s ready to lift up its hands? for a more humble and repentant soul? for forgiveness of this, that, and everything? No context, no scenarios, no pre-requisites here in this psalm. Just open up and belt it out…Praise the Lord! Wow! Thanks for your graciousness, your attentiveness to us. Thanks for life! Thanks for your words, your commandments, all you have for us, all that you would have us do. Praise the Lord!