Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the broken-hearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
The Lord sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp.
He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.
He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Extol the Lord, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion.
He strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.
He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
He sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.
He hurls down hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?
He sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
He has revealed his word to Jacob,
his laws and decrees to Israel.
He has done this for no other nation;
they do not know his laws.
Praise the Lord.(Ps. 147:1-20 NIV)
The Psalm begins with a call to worship – Praise the Lord. Singing the praises of God is good and pleasant. Singing the praises of God does have a great impact on our lives. Even a sad song is helpful. Singing lifts our spirits, it helps to remind us of our blessings in Christ. Singing is a gift of God to us and He enables us to gift it back to Him by the singing of His praise. It is fitting to praise the Lord for who He is and for what He has done.
The Lord builds up the church. He gathers His people from the four corners of the earth and they come into the family of God.
He is a healer, healing those who have had their hearts broken. Sometimes we get our hearts broken through the stupidity of our own actions, at other times things happen to us over which we have no control. The Lord heals the broken-hearted, He binds up their wounds. This is a very personal interaction with great attention to detail. How capable is God to be able to do this? To demonstrate His power and knowledge, the Psalmist tells us that the God who pays attention to the detail of our lives is the God who has appointed all of the stars in the heavens and He has given each of them a name. Astronomers are still discovering new stars. They measure the distance to the stars in light years. Astronomers can’t agree how many stars there are in our galaxy. God appointed each star and gave each a name. There is a limit to the number of stars, but there is no limit to the greatness of God’s power. There is no limit to God’s knowledge. It is this God, great in power and knowledge, Who turns His attention to the humble and He sustains them, and the wicked will be brought down from their high position. He will cast them down to the ground.
Again, the Psalmist calls for the praise of God to be sung. This time the emphasis is placed upon gratitude. We should be grateful for what God has done and make music to the Lord upon the harp. The theme of praise is for God’s providential care of creation. God spreads the clouds across the sky and causes the rain to fall so that the grass will grow on the hills. He provides for the beast of the field and the birds of the sky. Even the birds cry out and God hears their call.
Many would place their trust in the size of the army and the number of horses available to go into battle ridden by well trained warriors. The Lord does not have pleasure or delight in a great army. The Lord takes delight in those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His unfailing covenant love. He builds up their strength against those who would oppose them. The Lord has blessed His people.
Dear Lord our God we thank You that You have blessed us beyond all measure. Where we have been broken You have healed us. Where we have been wounded You have bound up our wounds. Help us to see how You have blessed us in Christ as we pray in His name. Amen.