The psalms contain almost every human emotion be it joy, sorrow, anger or despair. Psalm 148 starts and finishes with the line “Praise the Lord!” and it is a common refrain throughout the psalm. This is clearly a psalm of thanksgiving.
Psalm 148 has inspired several well known hymns/songs including All Creatures of Our God and King written by Saint Francis of Assisi. It may help in reading this Psalm to think of it as a song with the rhythms and energy that accompany collective singing.
Praise for God’s Universal Glory
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 host!
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 He established them forever and ever;
he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his faithful,
for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!
Questions for Reflection
- Why do you think the Psalmist lists so many different beings praising God?
- Humanity comes last in the beings praising God – why do you think this might be?
- How do you praise God and give thanks for creation?
Some further reading
Robert Alter (2011) The Art of Biblical Poetry
Hymn: All Creatures of Our God and King, by Saint Francis of Assisi