In his book Reflections on the Psalms, C. S. Lewis describes why people so naturally praise: “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment...it is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not be able to tell anyone how good he is...the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.”
In today’s reading, the Psalmist is delighted in God and wants everyone to join in the praise. He is not content until the entire universe directs its reverence to God. Twelve times in this poem, the Psalmist commands different groups of people or parts of the created world to “praise!”
In verses 1–4, the Psalmist looks up and commands the “heavens... heights... angels... heavenly hosts... sun... moon... and stars” to praise the Lord. They should delight to praise God because He created them and sustains them (vv. 5–6). The only appropriate response is to use the existence God gave to point people to Him. The command for the sun, moon, and stars to praise God is especially striking in an ancient context. Most people around Israel worshiped the sun, moon, and stars as gods. The Psalmist is clear that they are not gods, but a part of God’s created world.
In verses 7–12, the Psalmist looks around and calls upon the earth, creatures of the sea, the ocean, storms, mountains, trees, all animals, and all people from king to commoner and from young to old to praise the Lord. As God’s creatures they find their fulfillment in ascribing to God His worth.
This psalm should make you feel as if you are a part of a stadium filled to the brim with raucous, ecstatic jubilation, celebrating God. God is faithful. He has kept His promises to Israel, His covenant people.
>> Praise God! Join the celebration and spend time praising God throughout the day. By yourself or with others, lift your hands and acknowledge that our God reigns. He is Lord of lords and King of kings!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise Him all creatures here below; praise Him above, ye heavenly host—praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen.