Thursday, December 29, 2016

Psalm 148 Let all Creation Praise its Creator

KEY TEXT: Psalms 148:5-6 Let them praise the name of the Lord! For he commanded and they were created. And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away. 

KEY THOT: The  psalmist calls on the created order to praise the Lord who is the Creator and God of Israel. Everything on earth was created to exalt God's name and elicit praise for the Creator. The physical universe of the sun and stars declare God's power by giving out light without diminishing in strength over millions of years. The moon reflects this glory by lighting up the night sky. And on earth, the natural order of changing climates and seasons, the trees, birds of the air, land and sea creatures were made to tell of the splendor of God's infinite creativity: "Praise the Lord  from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock,  creeping things and flying birds!" (vv.7-10). All of creation was made to reveal God's glory.

Only humans have failed to praise and worship the Creator because of their rebellion against the Creator: "Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children!" (vv.11-12). We are created to worship God for God desires and seeks for us to worship him: "the Father is seeking such people to worship him" (John 4:23). 

In saving us from our sins, Jesus Christ restores to us our primary function as part of the created order--to praise and worship God in his holiness and majesty. We are created to be worshipers and so cannot not worship. If we do not worship the Creator-God, we will set up our own gods and bow down to worship them--whether they be physical idols made like the created order or false gods to satisfy our inner void like money, sex and power. But all these false gods cannot satisfy because we are made to worship the Creator-God only who has created us: "they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!"

If we are feeling empty and frustrated, it may be an indication that we have failed to worship the true God but have instead worshiped false substitutes. Let us return to worshiping our Father, not only because He seeks our worship but also because it is the only activity that can make us whole and normal again. The worship of anything but God distorts the image of God within us, which was implanted in us to worship the Creator and nothing else: "Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven" (v. 13).

Father, thank You that You have made us to be worshipers first, workers second. It's only as we return back to worshiping You that we discover our true humanity again. Amen.

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