Regular readers of this blog will realize that I love the Psalms because they express so many different aspects of our faith in God. Psalm 147 is a Psalm full of praise to god for his greatness and his loving care. The Psalm starts with these words,
1 Praise the LORD.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
Here we find a call to praise God and the Psalmist finds praising God pleasant, he enjoys doing it and he believes it is the appropriate thing to do. when we look at the Lord surely we should join with the Psalmist in praising God and we will also enjoy praising him.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
6 The LORD sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.
Notice here that the Lord builds up his people, he brings the exiles back home. This God does not deal with just the external needs of his people but he deals also with their deepest emotional needs. I find the words “he heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” to be words of comfort. To know that my God cares about my deepest emotional needs and will deal with them by his loving care is true encouragement. In all my brazenness,I can come to him and receive healing. Notice also that the God who heals is the creator of the universe who cares for the humble, this is a God who looks with compassion and deep love upon his people. It should therefore give us the courage that we need to come to him with all our needs knowing that he cares about us. The Psalmist argument is that because God is so great he sustains the humble. So often in our weakness we feel that God will not care about little me, this Psalm contradicts that feeling with the truth about who God really is.
7 Sing to the LORD with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp.
8 He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.
10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
11 the LORD delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
12 Extol the LORD, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion.
13 He strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?
18 He sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
19 He has revealed his word to Jacob,
his laws and decrees to Israel.
20 He has done this for no other nation;
they do not know his laws.
Praise the LORD.
The rest of this Psalm demonstrates why we should give praise to the Lord. we see his power but we also learn that he delights in those who fear him, surely this is exciting, the sovereign Lord delights in those who love him. The truth of this is life transforming, we can live in the light of the fact that god delights in us.
We see that he has revealed himself to us in his word, we have come to know who he is,through his amazing grace. No wonder the Psalmist ends where he started by saying Praise the Lord. Will you join the Psalmist in giving praise to the Lord?