Praise Is Beautiful 

Psalm 147 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 10, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. Praise the Lord that He put Psalm 147 in the Bible, 
    1. at least for my sake, because, 
    2. if I had the skill I could have written this Psalm. 
      1. I say that because it says what I want to say. 
      2. You will find that you have said many of the same things as the psalmist. 
  2. What does this Psalm say then? 


  1. Psalm 147.1a | What Your Theme Should Be

    1a Praise the LORD!
    1. The prophets and the apostles made it clear 
      1. that the point of life is to praise the Lord. 
      2. If I am not praising the Lord, what am I doing? 
        1. What could I possibly be doing 
        2. that replaces praising my Creator? 
    2. It does not matter what Book of the Bible that you read, 
      1. you will find out 
      2. that the writer ultimately praises the Lord. 
    3. If I am correct, 
      1. that means the theme of your life 
      2. should be praising the Lord. 
    4. Just consider what the poet of Psalm 147 wrote. 
      1. His first line declared: “Praise the Lord!” 
      2. His last line declares: “Praise the Lord!” 
    5. Now let’s find out what he said between those two. 
  2. Psalm 147.1bc | What Praise Is

    For it is good to sing praises to our God;
    For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.
    1. Praising God is good, pleasant, and beautiful. 
      1. Brethren, do you believe that with every fibre of your being? 
      2. We are creatures made to worship, 
        1. not to be worshiped. 
        2. Praising God, 
          1. whether by singing, speaking, writing or your manner of life 
          2. is one way we worship our Creator. 
    2. When we praise God, 
      1. we keep the proper order or balance of things, because 
      2. He is the Creator and we are the creatures. 
        1. That makes praising God good. 
        2. Since it is good 
          1. we engage in something that is pleasant and 
          2. that is a beautiful thing. 
  3. Psalm 147.2–4 | Why Praise Is Beautiful: Part 1

    2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
    He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
    3 He heals the brokenhearted
    And binds up their wounds.
    4 He counts the number of the stars;
    He calls them all by name.
    1. Praise Him because He builds up Jerusalem 
      1. by gathering together the outcasts of Israel. 
      2. He also gathers together society’s outcasts. 
        1. Look at the ministry of Jesus. 
        2. Harlots, tax gatherers, lepers, and the poor were attracted to Him. 
          1. Mark said that,

            37 …the common people heard Him gladly (Mark 12.37).
          2. Paul said:

            27 God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence (1 Corinthians 1.27–29).
    2. Praise Him because He heals broken hearts and binds up their wounds. 
      1. How many people have had broken hearts, but 
      2. they found that the Lord could bind up their wounds? 
        1. Have you experienced the healing of a broken heart? 
        2. Did you remember to praise the Lord? 
    3. Praise Him because He counts the stars and names them all. 
      1. If He knows the number of hairs on all of our heads, 
      2. He can not only know the number of the stars, but 
        1. He can give names to every one of them. 
        2. Is that not a magnificent reason to praise Him? 
  4. Psalm 147.5 | Why Praise Is Beautiful: Part 2

    5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
    His understanding is infinite.
    1. Praise Him because He is great. 
      1. If He can gather the outcasts, 
      2. if He can heal the brokenhearted, 
      3. if He can number and name all the stars, 
        1. then yes, He is great and 
        2. He is mighty in power. 
    2. Think of it: 
      1. He can know the far reaches of space and all the stars out there and 
      2. He can know the brokenness of your heart. 
        1. That makes His understanding infinite, 
        2. in both directions 
          1. out to the starts and 
          2. in to the heart. 
    3. Sounds like good reasons for praising the Lord to me. 
  5. Psalm 147.6 | Why Praise Is Beautiful: Part 3

    6 The LORD lifts up the humble;
    He casts the wicked down to the ground.
    1. Praise Him because He lifts up the humble. 
      1. Think of Jesus. 
        1. Placed in an animal feeding trough when He was born. 
        2. Placed on a Roman cross when He was to die. 
      2. However, where is He now? 
        1. He sits on a throne, but 
        2. not some meager throne on the earth, 
          1. He sits next to the Father in heaven! 
          2. Can we find a better example of the lifting up of the humble? 
      3. Jesus has promised 
        1. that if we overcome the world, 
        2. He will lift us up:

          21 “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3.21).
    2. Praise Him because He casts the wicked down to the ground. 
      1. They have lifted themselves up, but 
      2. He will humble them greatly. 
  6. Psalm 147.7–9 | Why Praise Is Beautiful: Part 4

    7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
    Sing praises on the harp to our God,
    8 Who covers the heavens with clouds,
    Who prepares rain for the earth,
    Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
    9 He gives to the beast its food,
    And to the young ravens that cry.
    1. Speak praise to our God, but 
      1. be sure to include singing as a way of praising God. 
      2. The children of Israel sang praises on a harp, but now we

        19 [sing] and [make] melody in [our] hearts to the Lord (Ephesians 5.19).
    2. Praise Him for how He cares for the earth, 
      1. covering the heavens with clouds, 
      2. watering the earth with rain, 
      3. making grass to grow on the mountains, 
      4. feeding the beasts, and 
      5. feeding the young ravens. 
        1. Only God could provide the massive amounts of daily water and 
        2. the incalculable tons of food necessary 
          1. to water the earth and 
          2. to feed all the animals. 
            1. The super abundance of life on this planet 
            2. shows the awesomeness of our God at work. 
  7. He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
    He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
    11 The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
    In those who hope in His mercy.
    1. Does the strength of the horse impress God? 
      1. He made the strength of the horse, but 
      2. its strength is nothing compared to God’s strength, 
        1. although the horse is much stronger than a man. 
        2. Man controls the horse, but that does not impress God. 
    2. Do the legs of a man give God pleasure? 
      1. He made them. 
      2. They have no choice but to be what they are. 
    3. What does give God delight? 
      1. The people who fear Him. 
      2. The people who hope in His mercy. 
        1. The horse had no choice in being strong. 
        2. The same with the legs of man. 
          1. However, we choose to fear God, 
          2. we choose to hope in His mercy. 
            1. Knowing that we have a choice, and 
            2. that we have chosen Him, 
              1. that is what delights God. 
              2. Do you, therefore, fear Him and hope in His mercy? 
  8. Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
    Praise your God, O Zion!
    13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates;
    He has blessed your children within you.
    14 He makes peace in your borders,
    And fills you with the finest wheat.
    15 He sends out His command to the earth;
    His word runs very swiftly.
    16 He gives snow like wool;
    He scatters the frost like ashes;
    17 He casts out His hail like morsels;
    Who can stand before His cold?
    18 He sends out His word and melts them;
    He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.
    19 He declares His word to Jacob,
    His statutes and His judgments to Israel.
    20 He has not dealt thus with any nation;
    And as for His judgments, they have not known them.
    1. Again the psalmist turned his attention to the people of God, 
      1. telling them to praise their God. 
      2. And I am telling you with this sermon today, 
        1. praise your God. 
        2. Look at what He has done for us. 
    2. Praise Him because He has strengthened the bars of Jerusalem’s gates. 
      1. Hebrews 12 and Revelation 21 show that ancient Jerusalem 
      2. stood as a symbol of the true Jerusalem, 
        1. which is the church. 
        2. The church has endured centuries of persecution, 
          1. starting in the first century, but 
          2. the church still exists and all her enemies have fallen. 
    3. Praise Him because He has blessed your children. 
    4. Praise Him because He makes peace within our borders. 
      1. Like any church, we have gone through conflict in the past, but 
      2. today we have peace. 
    5. Praise Him because He gives the finest wheat. 
    6. Praise Him because He sends out His command to the earth. 
    7. Praise Him because His word runs very swiftly. 
    8. Praise Him because He gives the snow, frost, and hail. 
    9. Praise Him because He turns the ice into water for us. 
    10. Praise Him because He declares His word to spiritual Israel. 
    11. Praise Him because He has set us apart from the nations. 
  9. Psalm 147.20c | Is This Your Theme?

    20c Praise the LORD!
    1. The Book of Psalms alone has given us many reasons for praising our God. 
    2. Could you also add to the list? 
    3. Think of one of the top blessings 
      1. that Psalm 147 mentioned:

        11 The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
        In those who hope in His mercy.
        (Psalm 147.11)
      2. Here is why this is the most important thing that the psalmist listed. 
        1. Every material blessing—
          1. which is usually what we think of 
          2. when we think of how God has blessed us—
        2. will someday fade away. 
          1. It will either fade away during your lifetime or 
          2. you will fade away because you will have died. 
            1. When you die you no longer enjoy material things. 
            2. As a matter of fact, 
              1. as you approach death, 
              2. none of your material blessings will even matter to you. 
                1. The only thing that will matter to you then 
                2. will be that you are getting ready 
                  1. to pass from here to another place. 
                  2. You are about to meet your Maker. 
        3. Your family might be around you as you are drawing your last breaths. 
          1. As comforting as that is, 
          2. you will know that you are about to leave them, and 
            1. are you prepared for what will happen next? 
            2. If the theme of your life has not been praising the Lord, 
              1. how do you think that meeting will go? 
    4. If you 
      1. feared the Lord during your life on earth and 
      2. placed your hope in His mercy, 
        1. leading you to praise Him all the days of your life, 
        2. then you will not have to fear, for 
          1. you know that your loving heavenly Father awaits you and 
          2. you know that your Master and Lord, Jesus the Christ awaits you. 
    5. Remember what Stephen said he saw 
      1. as the Jews were stoning him to death. 
      2. This has to be one of the most amazing pictures in all of Scripture:

        56 “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7.56).
        1. There is only one other place in Scripture, 
          1. that I know of, 
          2. that shows Jesus standing in the presence of God: Revelation 5.6. 
        2. The Bible always pictures Him as sitting at the right hand of the Father. 
          1. Why was He standing? 
          2. We stand to honor someone. 
            1. If you praise the Lord for the rest of your days on earth, 
            2. you will see something magnificent!