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Sermon: Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah, Psalm 148

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Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah 

Psalm 148 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 24, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. What do you think of Psalm 148
    1. We just sang a version of it, 
    2. which is one the favorite songs of Churches of Christ. 
  2. Thirteen times 
    1. the psalmist either praised the Lord or 
    2. declared that other parts of creation should praise the Lord. 
  3. Have you noticed that when we sing it, 
    1. we sing with delight? 
    2. We love the song because we love our God. 
  4. Imagine this as we go through Psalm 148 today: 
    1. The psalmist is the choir director. 
    2. He has two powerful voice sections: 
      1. First, he will call on the heavens. 
      2. Then, he will on on the earth. 
    3. He leads them all in praising God. 


  1. 148.1a | Praise the Lord

    1 Praise the LORD!
    1. Psalm 148 is the third Hallelujah Psalm. 
      1. The last five Psalms begin and end with, “Praise the Lord,” 
      2. just like we live our lives. 
    2. There are 49 verses in the Bible that say, “Praise the Lord,” but 
      1. 35 of those are in the Book of Psalms. 
      2. That shows the focus of the Book of Psalms, and 
        1. that is the focus of Psalm 148, because 
        2. 13 of the 35 are in this Psalm alone. 
  2. 148.1bc | From the Heavens

    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 stars of light!
    4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
    And you waters above the heavens!
    1. The psalmist urged 7 things in the heavens to praise the Lord: 
      1. All God’s angels, 
      2. all God’s hosts, 
      3. the sun, 
      4. the moon, 
      5. all the stars, 
      6. the heavens of heavens, and 
      7. the waters above the heavens. 
    2. Either these things can proclaim their praise of Jehovah, or 
      1. just their beautiful existence alone praises Him. 
      2. Psalm 19 says:

        1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
        And the firmament shows His handiwork.
        2 Day unto day utters speech,
        And night unto night reveals knowledge.
        3 There is no speech nor language
        Where their voice is not heard.
        (Psalm 19.1–3)
        1. The declaration of the heavens is so obvious 
        2. that it is as though they speak. 
          1. So it is with all of God’s inanimate creation. 
          2. You cannot hear them say, “Praise the Lord,” yet, 
            1. we who know God 
            2. see the rest of creation and 
              1. it cries out that it has all been created. 
              2. We see creation and we know 
                1. that unlimited intelligence and 
                2. that unlimited power 
                  1. put it all together. 
                  2. We praise the Lord for it along with the heavens. 
  3. 148.5–6 | He Created Them

    5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
    For He commanded and they were created.
    6 He also established them forever and ever;
    He made a decree which shall not pass away.
    1. From the heavens He should be praised because 
      1. He spoke the command and 
      2. they were created. 
    2. If He had not spoken, 
      1. they would not be. 
      2. We would not be. 
    3. The things of the heavens came to be by Divine Fiat. 
      1. Fiat is an order or commandment. 
        1. The heavens and all that is in them 
        2. exist because God ordered for them to be. 
          1. Think on the power of the first recorded command of God:

            3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light (Genesis 1.3).
          2. Nothing complicated or complex about that sentence. 
            1. A simple statement 
            2. declares unimaginable power. 
      2. Psalm 33 also shows the Divine Fiat:

        6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
        And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
        7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
        He lays up the deep in storehouses.
        8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
        Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
        9 For He spoke, and it was done;
        He commanded, and it stood fast.
        (Psalm 33.6–9)
      3. Revelation 4 shows heaven speaking of the Divine Fiat:

        11 “You are worthy, O Lord,
        To receive glory and honor and power;
        For You created all things,
        And by Your will they exist and were created.”
        (Revelation 4.11)
    4. He established them to last forever and ever. 
      1. It is not just that He created them, but 
      2. He created them to last forever. 
        1. Unfortunately, man’s sin brought death and 
        2. all that accompanies death 
          1. into God’s creation. 
          2. Therefore, one day He will destroy it. 
    5. What the psalmist said also applies 
      1. to the earth and what is on the earth. 
      2. And it is the earth that he addressed next. 
  4. 148.7–12 | From the Earth

    7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
    You great sea creatures and all the depths;
    8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
    Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
    9 Mountains and all hills;
    Fruitful trees and all cedars;
    10 Beasts and all cattle;
    Creeping things and flying fowl;
    11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
    Princes and all judges of the earth;
    12 Both young men and maidens;
    Old men and children.
    1. The psalmist listed 23 things that should praise the Lord: 
      1. Great sea creatures, 
      2. All the depths, 
      3. Fire, 
      4. Hail, 
      5. Snow, 
      6. Clouds, 
      7. Stormy wind, 
      8. Mountains, 
      9. All hills, 
      10. 10.Fruitful trees, 
      11. 11.All cedars, 
      12. 12.Beasts, 
      13. 13.All cattle, 
      14. 14.Creeping things, 
      15. 15.Flying fowl, 
      16. 16.Kings of the earth, 
      17. 17.All peoples, 
      18. 18.Princes, 
      19. 19.All judges of the earth, 
      20. 20.Young men, 
      21. 21.Maidens, 
      22. 22.Old men, and 
      23. 23.children. 
        1. Either these things can proclaim their praise of Jehovah, or 
        2. just their beautiful existence alone praises Him. 
    2. He broke up his pattern at verse 8 when he said “fulfilling His word.” 
      1. Stormy winds and all the things he listed, 
      2. fulfill God’s word. 
        1. The natural creation of earth works, because 
        2. He set it all in order for it all to work harmoniously. 
      3. Isaiah 55

        10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
        And do not return there,
        But water the earth,
        And make it bring forth and bud,
        That it may give seed to the sower
        And bread to the eater,
        11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
        It shall not return to Me void,
        But it shall accomplish what I please,
        And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
        (Isaiah 55.10–11)
        1. Think on what Isaiah said and what you know to be true: 
        2. See the massive amount of rain 
          1. that He dumps on the earth daily 
          2. to cause plants to grow 
            1. that feed the 7 billion people daily, and 
            2. that feed all the other life on the planet. 
  5. 148.13–14ab | The Exalting One

    13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
    For His name alone is exalted;
    His glory is above the earth and heaven.
    14 And He has exalted the horn of His people,
    The praise of all His saints—
    Of the children of Israel,
    A people near to Him.
    1. Let them, 
      1. the things of the heavens and the things of the earth, 
      2. praise the name of Jehovah. 
    2. Why? 
      1. First, His name alone is exalted, 
        1. truly, His glory is even above the earth and heaven. 
        2. We see how glorious creation is, what is His glory like? 
      2. Second, He has exalted the horn of His people. 
        1. That makes Him the praise of all His saints. 
        2. The children of Israel are a people near to Him. 
    3. Verses 5 and 6 tell us to praise the Lord because 
      1. by His order all things exist. 
      2. This does what verse 13 said: 
        1. It exalts His name alone. 
        2. As glorious as the earth and heaven are 
          1. His glory goes even above them. 
          2. How is that possible? Yet, we know it to be true. 
    4. Then verse 14 singles out His people 
      1. for exaltation among all the things that God has created. 
      2. The people near to Him are the children of Israel. 
        1. That now means you:

          28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God (Romans 2.28–29).
        2. It is not that the Lord has changed who is His people, but 
          1. it has always been this way, 
          2. that it is what you are on the inside that matters to God. 
  6. 148.14c | Praise the Lord

    Praise the LORD!
    1. First few lines of verse 14 said that He is the praise of all His saints. 
    2. Therefore, they want to do 
      1. what the psalmist did: 
      2. They begin and end with praising the Lord. 


  1. The psalmist listed 30 things that should praise the Lord. 
  2. Are you among the 30? 
    1. If not, why not? 
      1. If not, what are you doing with your life? 
      2. Why do you think you exist? 
    2. If so, do you know why? 
      1. Do not stop. 
      2. Keep thinking on Him. 
  3. Do you know what we saw and heard in this Psalm?

    “The chorus summoned to praise the Lord in this psalm is so vast that it needs the dome of the universe for its concert hall.”
    – Walter R. Roehrs, Concordia Self-Study Commentary, page 406
    1. Don’t you want to join that chorus? 
    2. Everything surrounding you praises the Lord. 
      1. Surely you want to do the same thing! 
      2. Conform your life to the greatest expression of the glory of God: Jesus. 
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