Let Earth Praise!
(7) Praise Yahweh from the earth, sea creatures and all ocean depths, (8) fire and hail, snow and fog, stormy winds that do his bidding, (9) mountains and all hills, fruit bearing trees and all cedars, (10) beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds, (11) kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all judges on earth, (12) young men along with maidens, old men together with youths. (13) Let them praise the name of Yahweh, for his name is exalted and his glory is above earth and heaven. (14) He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints and for the sons of Israel, a people near to him. HALLELUJAH!
The opening six verses of this psalm, yesterday's study, are marked by repetitions of the command, “Praise him...” This second segment contains one command, “Praise Yahweh from the earth” (vs. 7), followed by a listing of all those things on earth that should praise him. This roll call begins with sea creatures in the ocean depths (vs. 7) and ends with everyone young and old (vs. 12).
The final two verses serve as a fitting conclusion to the psalm. Verse 13 summarizes the message of verses 1-12, that all creation in the heavens above and the earth beneath should praise Yahweh. The final verse describes how Yahweh has richly blessed his covenant nation. The psalm concludes as it begins with the exclamation, “Hallelujah!” Repetitions in this segment include the word for “praise” used three times (vss. 7, 13, & 14) two mentions of “Yahweh” (vss. 7 & 13), two occurrences of “name” (vs. 13), and two of “people” (vs. 14).
I. What should those on earth do? Praise Yahweh. (7-12)
II. Why should those on earth praise Yahweh? Because of his great glory and special care for his covenant nation, Israel. (13 & 14)
All creatures on earth, especially the beneficiaries of his saving grace, should continually praise Yahweh.
Consider the following declaration from the pen of the Apostle Paul: “For by him (Jesus) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16,17). Note Paul’s use of four key prepositions, “by,” “for,” “before,” and “in,” to express the greatness of the Son. “By” – He is the creator of all things, the one through whom everything has come into existence (Col. 1:16). “For” – He is the reason why all things were created, the one for whose glory everything has come into existence (Col. 1:16). “Before” – He is the uncreated one, existing eternally, independent of all created things (Col. 1:17). “In” – He is the sustainer of all things, the one who upholds everything by his divine power (Col. 1:17).
In this way Paul establishes that Jesus Christ is uniquely worthy of praise for his great work of creating and sustaining all things in heaven and on earth. And this is precisely the message of Psalm 148, that Yahweh, who has now been revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, should receive praise from the heavens (vss. 1-6) and the earth (vss. 7-14) because he created all things and sustains all things by his divine power. Truly he is worthy of every expression of praise we can offer him now and throughout eternity.