The Word Made Fresh
Praise the LORD from above!
Praise the LORD from the mountaintops!
2Praise the LORD, angels!
Praise the LORD, all the hosts of heaven!
3Praise the LORD, sun and moon!
Praise the LORD, twinkling stars!
4Praise the LORD, sky!
Praise the LORD, oceans!
5All of you, praise the LORD’s name,
for it was at the LORD’s command that you were created.
6The LORD put it all in place permanently,
fixing all the boundaries which cannot be removed.
7Praise the LORD, all the earth,
including the creatures in the depths of the sea.
8Fire and hail, snow and ice,
storms and winds, for that is the LORD’s command;
9all the mountains and hills,
fruit trees and cedar trees,
10wild creatures and cattle in the fields,
creatures that crawl and birds that fly,
11kings and people over the earth,
rulers and all who govern in the world,
12young men and women, too,
old and young together –
13let all of them together praise the LORD’s name.
Only the LORD should be praised,
whose glory is greater than heaven and earth.
14God has raised up a leader for the people.
Bless the LORD’s faithful, the people of Israel.
1-6: Hallelujah! The first movement of the psalm calls the heavens and all its hosts – including sun, moon, and stars, angels and other heavenly beings – to praise the LORD because the LORD created them. God “fixed all their boundaries,” a way of saying that God has defined all the parameters of their existence including beginning and end.
7-10: Now the call to praise descends to the earth. Creatures of the sea, weather patterns, geographical features, wild and domestic animals, insects and reptiles and birds are summoned to worship.
11-12: Next, the call to praise is extended to human beings. We are all lumped together in the summons regardless of position, economic status, gender, or age.
13-14: Only God is worthy to be praised, for only God’s glory is “greater than heaven and earth.” Although God is hailed as creator and ruler of all, God has chosen to fulfill the sacred purpose through a specific people, Israel. The phrase “a horn for God’s people,” which is a literal translation, probably refers to a particular leader that has arisen, but the context here seems to refer rather to God’s promise of restoration and protection. Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Look at all of God’s creation around you – dancing leaves, flying birds, floating clouds, and all – and know that God is also around you.