Faithlife Sermons

Praise is Universal

Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view

Praise the Lord

Notes
Transcript
Handout
Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Praise is Universal

Psalm 148:1–14 ESV
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! 2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! 3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! 4 Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! 5 Let them praise the name of the Lord! For he commanded and they were created. 6 And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away. 7 Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, 8 fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! 9 Mountains and all hills, fruit 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 rulers of the earth! 12 Young men and maidens together, old men and children! 13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven. 14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the Lord!
psalm148.1-
I had the unique pleasure of talking with a young man the other night about what it means to become a Christian. It is an honor to be someone that gets to point people to Christ… Not that I do this because I am a pastor in his Church, but because I am a child of God that gets to help other people become children of God… I preach Christ outside this pulpit because I am a christian and God is worthy everywhere we go.
While I was sharing with him a more full explanation of what it means to become a Christian, I felt it was necessary to explainGod’s Judgement for sin and how serious this is. I have found most people want to believe the Gospel but truly struggle with the idea of Hell, which is a real place reserved for those who reject the Gospel and come under the wrath of Almighty God. It is with this illustration I would like to start this mornings sermon with, because the inverse is true of what we have before us, Praise for God.
To understand Hell and judgement we need to understand some things about God, first is that he is the sovereign ruler over all creation that comes from him alone. God is absolute truth and when we come to him we need to submit ourselves to him, even and especially when there are things we are uncomfortable with, because he is in control and we do not get a say in that. We need to understand that God is Holy and pure and cannot be joined with what is sinful and unclean, so sin separates us from God. God is the ultimate authority and highest power in the universe and so sin against him requires the highest penalty. He re is the illustration.
Child - When you are a kid and you hit your sibling, what happens to you? You parents spank you or punish you.
Teenager - When you now hit your parent, what happens to you? Or you go to School and hit a class mate, what happens to you? Suspension, grounding, etc...
Adult - Walking down the street you hit an innocent person, what happens? They call the Police and throw you in jail, you go before a Judge and get jail time or some other form of punishment.
Adult - You run up to the President and you hit him, what happens to you? You most likely get shot, but at least go to jail for a long time, if not life.
Why? How come you don’t just spanked by your parents if you hit the President? isn’t it the same as when you were a little child and you hit your sibling? You are a person, the person you hit is a person, you did the same thing… Why such a sever punishment?
First let us define the hitting of another person not just as wrong, but Sin. Sin is not a mistake, sin is not what makes you human because everybody sins and makes mistakes… Sin is the essence of being wrong. As you sin against someone, the penalty for it is increases as the authority of the one you sins against is increased.
So if death is the sentence for someone who would make a run at the President, then what would it be for someone who sins against God? Eternal punishment, seperation and torment = Hell.
Does that make sense? This is why people do not want to believe in God because they cannot escape this if they believe in God. Which is also why the Gospel is so powerful, because it declares that we all are guilty and yet God did something for us to be eternally forgiven of all sin, past, present and future!
The Gospel is the answer for people’s fear of the coming judgement for the sin they cannot deny. The gospel is good news! Yet when we believe we also must realize that we now belong to God and worship him alone in the way he told us to. And I say all of this because if that is how sin works in condemning us, then inversely how does praise for God work for those he has saved?
When a child learns to love his parents at an early age, they crawl up into your lap and hug and kiss you and tell you they love you.
When a teenager wants to tell their parents they love them, it is usually a thank you for some specific things. Thanks Mom and Dad for the clothes, for the home, for the food, for the gifts, etc… I love you! Maybe even sometimes they give a gift on mother’s or father’s day, or a birthday...
When an adult wants to express thanks for their parents, they but them something and tell them in more detail how thankful they are, and sometimes even say, “when you can’t take care of yourself, I will provide care for you.”
The more you have, the more you give because the ore you realize your love needs to be obvious for this person. Well whether you have a mom or dad or not, You have a heavenly Father that is the most worthy of love, of your Praise and worship for all eternity. He has done for you what not even you could do for yourself. When we Praise him, it is not like a card we give to our parents, a hug we give to those we care for or even like what would happen if the President of the United States walks into this room. We would all stand and clap and allow him to speak, and if someone didn’t want to treat him as such they would be removed, because of his authority we would show him respect… No matter who is the President… this is not a political statement, just an example.
How much more should we praise the Lord??? How much more is He Worthy??? What could we possibly offer to him? What has he prescribed in his word to us? Let us not choose our own way but give to him what he declares is due to him alone!
This psalm will show us praise from Heaven, the Earth and all peoples on the earth! Let’s look at the text.
Psalm 148:1–2 ESV
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! 2 Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!
psalm148.
We have a What, a where and a Who here… The What is Praise… Last week we talked abut how Praise is Verbal worship of God, usually loud exclamations of God’s worth. Praise can happen with words, music and dance, it is external and visible and directed to him alone. The what is Praise…
5 times in these two verses we see the command to Praise, like perfectly timed minute guns… Praise the Lord… Praise the Lord… Praise him… Praise him… Praise him...
Spurgeon said, “Praise, like the drum of the Great King, beats around the world with this one note!”
Praise is the subject of this song, with God as the object!

It is not about the level of your praise but the object!

This with many other Psalms screams to us to Praise the only one who is worthy!
he where is from heaven in the heights.
The where is from heaven in the heights. This is not vain repetition here but rather a statement of Songs of Praise coming FROM heaven and praise IN the heights!

God is not only to be praised from the heights but IN them!

God is not only to be praised from the heights but IN them!
No place is too high for his praises to be sung, but in the highest place his praises must be sung!
God is praised in the heights! Heaven is a place where God sits enthroned on his praises!
Psalm 22:3 ESV
3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
If there is a sense in which God inhabits or is enthroned in the praise of his people, then how much more in a real way is he dwelling in the midst of praise from heaven, and in the heights?
Let the heavens resound with Praise in the highest of Heights!
Finally, then comes the who of this praise… The angels and all his hosts!
Listen up angels! You who look into his glory and have seen him enough to praise him, you who do his bidding and fly on his errands. Whether your name is Gabriel, or Micheal, if you are a warring angel or some other created being included in all hosts of heaven. All of you, the very armies of Heaven those same angels that declared praise when shepherds were watching their flocks in a field… Praise him and let the sound of heaven resound in the heights!
What is implied here is an invitation for truly innocent beings to Praise God! But Why?
Because they owe their creation in innocence to God! They owe their preservation in innocence to God! They owe him nothing less than all out Praise as their creator!
But it doesn’t end there. The psalmist continues to command the universe to praise God!
Psalm 148:3–4 ESV
3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! 4 Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
There is no place where his praise is not proper and where his praise does not come forth from!
Like the bright shining Sun of the day and the reflection of its light at night on the moon, and even when the moon is not visible, there are stars which shall not deny their maker the praise that is due to him! No place on this planet will ever not be in the light of the sun moon or stars!
Yet think about the fact of what the sun and moon and stars represent.
The sun represents the day and the moon and stars represent the night… So Praise is continual!

Praise is continual

At the break of day we see the light and feel the heat from the sun… and all that it is doing is shinning and praise God! Even if we don’t see it as often as others do because it is obscured by clouds… those clouds have a brightness to them because of the Sun shinning behind them.
In fact when you fly in a plane the first thing you will notice when you get above the clouds is that the sun is always shinning! At night the moon and stars are always shinning! The light they give speaks of the moment when God created them and gave them a job… and now they shine in Praise of Him!
Genesis 1:3 ESV
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Genesis 1:14–19 ESV
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
Genesis 1:14–18 ESV
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
So as the psalmist declares that praise should happen he commands the sun and moon and stars to continue to do what they were created for...
Let the shinning stars be one section of a celestial chorus of Praise. All the heavens and the angels and hosts of heaven created by god along with the Sun, Moon and even the stars. May the stars add their voice to this praise by millions and billions. May the start by their thriving heat and blinding light and immense energy all testify to His immeasurable power and artistic skill!
I would point out to you that this Psalm is being written to a people who have recently come out of exile in Babylon… SO? What does that have to do with anything? Well… The Babylonians believed the stars were deities that controlled their destiny. But here we see that they are but one section of this celestial choir that echoes the Glory of their Master!
Feel the light and heat of the day and praise God, see the dim light at night and become thankful when the moonlight that illuminates the world around you, and then look up at the stars and see how they constantly shine a light that cannot but declare his Glory!
Vs. 4 - So praise him you Highest heavens you waters above the heavens… meaning the clouds of water that move over our heads… Let the clouds roll out volumes of Adoration one after another in an endless expanse like the ocean full of water roaring God’s praise! See them and change your mind about a rain cloud, to see it as a vessel that is simply praising God because that is the job it has!
Psalm 148:5–6 ESV
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord! For he commanded and they were created. 6 And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
These created heavenly beings praise the Lord because the Maker should have honor from his works! They should praise him and tell of his great character by their praise. They would not be if he had not commanded and created all things. Praise for God is written in his works, declared by his creative power, established in his eternal wisdom, and decreed in great goodness! May the whole of his creation including those in heaven, praise the magnanimous Maker of all things.
God has established them, and until he says so they shall not pass away! Praise the Lord!
Psalm 148:7–8 ESV
7 Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, 8 fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word!
psalm148.
The next section of this Psalm deals with praise FROM the earth. In verse 1 it was Praise from heaven and now the psalmist declares it must come from the earth as well. The praise now descends to our dwelling form his, and is returned from our dwelling to his! Praise from the earth!
Listen Spurgeon speak of this verse...
“we, who are, “bodies terrestrial”, are to pour our praises from the golden globe of this favored planet. Jehovah is to be praised not only IN the earth but also FROM the earth, as if adoration ran from this planet to the general accumulation of worship in the heavens!”
Charles Spurgeon
Songs coming down from heaven now blend with those going from Earth.
Yet the psalmist starts with the sea creatures in the depths to begin to praise the Lord!
I love what Sam Storms said in his commentary on this passage...
“Every “creature” from the “sea” has a song to sing: whether it is the puny perch or massive whale, be it the majestic dolphin or the ravenous shark. Stingrays and moray eels and starfish and barracudas and bass and trout and salmon together draw attention to him who is worthy of all worship”
(I’ve never wanted to go fishing so bad in all my life!)
But look at the elements praise God now...
Fire and Hail? Snow and Mist? Even Stormy Winds...
It is a grand orchestra that contains such wind instruments as this. God is the great leader who keeps all these musicians in concert, and directs both time and tune! They fulfill HIS WORD!
Listen Fire and Hail seem to be at odds with each other, yet they did his bidding… By Fire the psalmist surely also means Lightning as this was a common expression for lightning back then. So when did lightning and hail do his bidding? Remember the plagues on Egypt when lightning and hail made Jehovah known in his great terrors of mighty power. They are a contrast in nature but combine to magnify the Lord.
The snow and mist or clouds, equally consecrate his Praise. As water is cooled and hardened it falls like flakes that are pure in unique. White snow is what your former sin stained account is now being transferred into!
Isaiah 1:18 ESV
18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
isaiah
Psalm 51:7 ESV
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
The picture that snow gives to the inhabitants of the earth speak of a purity that can become theirs in Christ.
But what to make of these stormy winds.
Though destructive winds that rush with with unparalleled fury may come, even they are still under God’s law and move at his commands.
All these elements are to praise God! May they all cause you to be in awe of the bigness and grandeur of our God who uses them at his whim and will.
But not just these...
Psalm 148:9–10 ESV
9 Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! 10 Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds!
Psalm 148:9–10 ESV
9 Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! 10 Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds!
psalm148.
Whether it is big or small, esteemed or rejected, it has one job, and that is to Praise God!
Look… “Mountains and all hills”… From the snow covered heights of Mt. hood, Mt. Rainer, St. Helens, or Adams to the humble foothills of central NY… Be it Everest or an anthill, God is Praised!
“Fruit trees to all the cedars” these testify to his splendor: Apple trees, cherry trees, sycamores, and oak, elm, and weeping willows, sequoia’s and all sorts of pine trees… They grow up and point to the heaven that sing the praise of God!
“Beasts and Livestock” - Cows and Crocodiles, Sheep and Stallions, to Lions and Longhorns. All of these even must roar or baaa a praise to the creator invented their uniques ways.
“creeping things” - tarantulas and ticks, snakes and skunks, centipede and caterpillars… Whether scary and hairy or nasty or noble… they must praise God with their own design and purpose.
Even “flying birds” - blue jays, buzzards, Cardinal’s or crows… and even the most annoying bird I have ever heard since moving here that screeches every morning at 5 am… The praise god with wretched screeches and beautiful feathers that speak of a creation to wonderful for us to fathom how it came to be by our masters own words!
What is the psalmist telling us?

Praise is diverse

It doesn’t need to look the same or sound the same. It comes from all places. Under water and on dry land. in the highest of heights and to the lowest of lows, to darkest of forests to the brightest desserts. From the most beautiful to the ugliest insect… predators and prey alike all Praise God. Up above in heavenly realms of light and down below in dark places where creepy things crawl… None can escape the mandate to Praise the creator because he gave it all life and all owe it to him alone!
But that leaves one last group to Praise him. His most prized and loved in all created order. People!
Psalm 148:11–12 ESV
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! 12 Young men and maidens together, old men and children!
psalm148.
We might draw lines between classes here, but when it comes to praising God there is no exceptions.
Kings, princes and rulers. Bottom line is that even they must give praise to God.
The manners and tradition of high society from the Queen of England to a tribal judge in bush of the outback, they must not disdain or refrain to praise the Lord. From those who lead in battle to those who judge in courtrooms, they must not allow their job to keep from adoring the sovereign ruler of the universe!
Spurgeon said, “Kings of the earth and Judges of the earth are not proud, but humiliating titles, as earthy kings and judges will not be kings and judges for long.”
Yet it more than just to these of noble calling he commands to Praise the Lord, he includes ALL PEOPLE! It doesn’t matter who you are and what you do...
100yrs from now it will not matter what your house looked like, what kind of clothes you wore, what kind of car you drove, how big your bank account was, or how diversified your portfolio is… All that matters is if you are able to praise him from heaven or be tormented by the praises you will from heaven as your eternal judgement forever separates you from the author of life!
Yet there is more distinction to pick apart. We as people love to classify our demographics...
“young men and maidens” - Male or female young and old, Praise the Lord.
“old men and Children” - from generation to generation there is to be no animosity between you as you together Praise the lord. No excuses here. It doesn’t matter where you go for your news or where you go for your clothes or what kind of music you like, or what you think about the current state of politics in our country… young and old and everyone in between… Praise the Lord!
But WHY?
Psalm 148:13 ESV
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.
Why? His name alone is exalted...
Over all nations, ranks, classes and ages. He is exalted above all Every thing that was outlined here on earth by people… the whole sum of all of it is still not good enough to be exalted above him, he is exalted above it all!
But what of the heavens and elements that praise him? All of their beauty and grandeur, awesome wonders in the skies above, from the most beautiful sunsets on our coasts to majestic sunrise seen on foreign lands. Clouds that come rolling in and flash with lightning and pour out blankets of white snow… Stars that create pictures and glimmer with light of far off galaxies, and a sun that is 98million miles away and takes only 8 minutes for its heat to reach our faces… Add all the their beauty and strength together and still the Lord is more majestic far above all these things!
See Praise is the universal duty of all created order and it is constant, emphatic and growing for all time and yet pales in comparison to the one it praises!
The eternal immortal invisible God who is Holy and pure beyond our ability to understand… He is the one this praise belongs to!
But the psalmist is not done yet.. because this God who is worthy of our praise still needs to be seen for who he is...
Psalm 148:14 ESV
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the Lord!
Now at first this may not seem to be as profound as it is. but look at it with me and think deeply.
This language makes no sense to us. What does it mean to lift up a horn? This was a common way of referring to someones dignity or a nations worthiness because of some innate strength. If we were to represent a people group and raise up a horn for them, we would be saying they are a mighty and esteemed people. But to make this more valuable to those who Praise God… it is not a person who is raising the horn of God’s earthy people here… It is God himself who raises up the dignity of his people. He does this, by saving them and providing a savior for them.
In my study bible it had this note… For the people in question, their glory is not from themselves but from the Creator God whose redeeming love provides for their honor!
When praising God there is no room for a nation or a people to brag of their own accomplishments. For God’s true people know that anything good and lovely about them comes from the Love their God has for them.
God has made his people strong, famous and victorious. Yet his goodness to all creatures in all of creation does not prevent him from showing special favor to a people of his own choosing. He is good to all but he is God to his people! He lifts up the downtrodden but he lifts up his people in a special way.
When they are brought low because of their sin and abandonment of his ways, he raises up a horn for them by sending a deliverer. And because of this they are his saints! Saints who praise him, because he first lifted their horn.
He lifts their horn, they lift his praise. He exalts them among all other peoples and they exalt him as the only one worthy to be exalted in all the universe. The Holy one is praised by his holy ones. He is their God, and they are his saints.
But notice the psalmist is writing this to then people of Israel. Israel is a nation of people who are identified in this world as being his special chosen, his elect children. And while all nations are told to praise the lord, here is the call addressed to the elect who know him better than all others.
Spurgeon said, “Children of privilege should be children of Praise”
As Israel they were children of Abraham, but we who are in Christ are also spiritual Israel and heirs according to the promise.
gal3.
Galatians 3:29 ESV
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
For they rejected the messiah that came to lift their horn and fight their battle for them. yet that was good for us...
Romans 11:11 ESV
11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.
The Bible declares that we have now inherited what they should, but that they will once again turn. and so in this psalm we see Israel mentioned but I would inform you that if you are in Christ this is talking about us now too! Why? Because look at the earmark of being his saints and his people...
Psalm 148:14 ESV
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the Lord!
Near to him! We could never be near to God in a sinful state… but here is the Gospel!
Ephesians 2:13 ESV
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
We have been brought near to him...
Not by our works of righteousness, but by the work of Christ on our behalf. Not because we are good but because he is good. Not because of our nature but because of his nature. He forgives us and washes us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness!
So what is the only response we can have for him???
Psalm 148:14 ESV
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
Join with those in heavenly choirs and the sun moon and stars, those in the highest of heavens, the elements in the earth below, the wind and rain, the thunder and lightning, the high the low those in the sea and those on the land, even those who are a foreign tongue and have different political allegiances, for he is exalted above all.
What should we do with this text today? what is our response? It is praise… But why? Because of who he is.
A Big God… beautiful God… Faithful God… Great God.. gracious God… powerful God… loving God… Loyal God… righteous God… merciful God… majestic God… enjoyable God… joyful God… judging God… Holy God… Happy God… eternal God… the only wise God… but none of those compare to our most treasured title for him...
OUR GOD!!! Praise him Praise Him Praise him!!!
Related Media
Related Sermons