The 147th Psalm is one of a collection of five psalms that end the psalter. Each of them begins and ends with “Praise Ye The LORD” (Hallelujah). Each of them gives reasons why the LORD should be praised. These reasons together compose a portrait of how God cares for His people in all of life’s journey. The 150th Psalm ends the psalter with the call to praise Yahweh just for who He is. The others call us to praise for the great things He has done for us. This morning, we will take a look at the 147th Psalm.
Main Idea: It is good and right to praise our incomparable God, the Creator, and Redeemer, who delights in His people.
This hymn in Psalm 147 magnifies the uniqueness of God. Yahweh alone is God. He’s in a category by Himself. He stands alone. The Psalmist weaves two main themes together, which magnify God’s incomparable nature: (1) God’s power over creation, and (2) His redeeming love for His people. Reflecting upon God as Creator and Redeemer, the Psalmist speaks of God’s power, wisdom, and transcendence. And he also speaks of God’s care, compassion, and generosity. God is majestic and merciful; kind and King; powerful and gracious. The Psalmist gives many illustrations of these wonderful truths. As a result of God’s unrivaled glory, we should praise Him!
The Psalm gives an exhortation to praise God three times:
Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him! Psalm 147:1
Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp. Psalm 147:7
Extol the Lord, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion. Psalm 147:12
In between these exhortations, reasons to praise God are provided. These reasons highlight the character and works of our Creator and Redeemer. I simply want to walk through the Psalm and highlight nine reasons why we should praise God wholeheartedly.
Why Praise God? His commands are meant to lead us into joy
In verse 1, the Psalmist instruct/exhorts us to praise God, and then says, “How good it is to sing to our God, for praise is pleasant and lovely”. Over and over in the Psalms, we’re called to praise God. Why?
God is worthy of praise. So, we should praise Him.
But in addition to this truth, in commanding us to praise Him, God is inviting us to experience true and lasting joy. For our greatest good and highest joy comes in praising God. God’s commands are always for our good and our joy.
The Psalmist reminds us in verse 1 that not only is God good, but it’s also good to praise Him. It’s fitting. It’s right. It’s pleasurable. It’s beautiful.
Do you feel this way about worship? Do you delight in both personal and corporate worship? Compare it to entertainment. Do you enjoy sports, movies, or recreation more than the praise of God? Can you say, “It is good to praise God! There’s nothing like being with God’s people singing God’s praise?”
Of course, it’s fine to delight in gifts like sports and food. But our greatest delight will be found in God himself, (Psalms, 46). Because God is the most valuable of all sources of joy, we will not find the depth of delight that we find in Him anywhere else.
The true believer knows that worshiping God is more satisfying than anything this world has to offer. Knowing that the Spirit of God is working in our lives, in our midst as a church, is beautiful, powerful, and pleasurable (cf., Ps 133:1).
And God commands us to experience this pleasure! We’re made for beauty, for delight, and for the community. And in worshiping God we find what we were made for. Lewis says, “In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him” (Ibid., 41).
So do not reject God’s commands. John says, “His commands are not burdensome” (1 Jn 5:3, ESV). The true saint delights in the law of the Lord. They delight in praising the Lord. To our non-Christian friends, we need to remind them that if you turn to God, you aren’t giving up pleasure, but rather, you will find true and lasting pleasure. The pleasures of sin are “fleeting” (Heb 12:25), but the pleasures of worshipping God are fulfilling.