This introduction serves as an invitation to join in an on-going journey of discovery. You will not need to buy tickets nor make travel plans. All that's required is your Bible and a quiet place to read and meditate. Together we'll explore the Book of Psalms, Israel’s hymnal and longest collection of poetry.  

Psalm 103:19-22

Universal Praise

TRANSLATION
(19) Yahweh has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. (20) Bless Yahweh, you his angels, mighty in strength, who perform his word, obeying the voice of his word! (21) Bless Yahweh, all his hosts, you servants of his who do his will! (22) Bless Yahweh, all his works in all places of his dominion! Bless Yahweh, O my soul!

OBSERVATIONS
Two repetitions are found in this segment. Yahweh’s “word” occurs twice in close succession, describing how his angels who both “perform” and “obey” what he declares bring him glory (vs. 20). In the last three verses of the psalm, the repeated command, “Bless Yahweh,” is used four times. These imperatives, beginning with the angels in the heavens (vs. 20), expand to include all who serve him (vs. 21). Then all creation is directed to praise Yahweh (vs. 22). Finally, in the last line, repeating the exact wording he used to open the psalm (vs. 1), David closes the circle by exhorting himself once again to join in this universal outpouring of praise to Yahweh (vs. 22).

OUTLINE
I.  Yahweh has established his sovereign rule over all.  (19)
II.  For this he is worthy of universal praise.  (20-22)

IDEA STATEMENT
Because Yahweh sovereignly rules over all creation, he deserves universal praise.

APPLICATION
When we praise Yahweh, whether in the quiet of our hearts or vocally together with other believers, we join a multitude of angelic beings and saints in all places and from all periods of history who joyfully acknowledge the glory of God. Offering Yahweh our praise is the highest calling to which we can aspire, the most worthwhile use of our time, the most virtuous activity in which we can engage, and the most pleasing offering we can bring to the One who is worthy of everything that we could ever give him.

Chapters 4 & 5 of the Revelation contain a glorious depiction of the worship in heaven where all who know and love Yahweh gather to offer him praise. As we read the following words from Revelation 5, our hearts should be encouraged to “bless Yahweh,” just what the psalmist exhorts all believers to do: “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise! Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever! The four living creatures said, Amen, and the elders fell down and worshiped (Rev. 5:11-14).

Psalm 104:1-9

Psalm 103:13-18