Psalm 147 — Praise helps our spirit — Reading the Psalms


1 Praise ye the LORD;
For it is good to sing praises unto our God;
For it is pleasant, and praise is comely.
2 The LORD doth build up Jerusalem;
He gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He healeth the broken in heart,
And bindeth up their wounds.
4 He telleth the number of the stars;
He giveth them all their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
6 The LORD upholdeth the meek:
He bringeth the wicked down to the ground.
7 Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving;
Sing praises upon the harp unto our God:
8 Who covereth the heaven with clouds,
Who prepareth rain for the earth,
Who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
9 He giveth to the beast his food,
And to the young ravens which cry.
10 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse:
He taketh no pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him,
In those that hope in his mercy.
12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem;
Praise thy God, O Zion.
13 For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates;
He hath blessed thy children within thee.
14 He maketh peace in thy borders;
He filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sendeth out his commandment upon earth;
His word runneth very swiftly.
16 He giveth snow like wool;
He scattereth the hoar frost like ashes.
17 He casteth forth his ice like morsels:
Who can stand before his cold?
18 He sendeth out his word, and melteth them:
He causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19 He sheweth his word unto Jacob,
His statutes and his judgements unto Israel.
20 He hath not dealt so with any nation:
And as for his judgements, they have not known them.
Praise ye the LORD.

When we open our hearts to praise God we help lift our spirits, too. This psalm helps us understand this idea by first revealing it, and then giving us the words by which we can do it. It tells us, “It is pleasant and comely”. Then it gives us the tools of praise itself.

I’ve found this to be a true idea and experience in my life. As a child hearing things like this from my parents usually annoyed me. “If you don’t feel good, try to do something for someone else.” I’d think, “Why should that make a difference to my mood?” I have neither data nor charts to explain this phenomenon, but I know it to be true. I’ve experienced it and trust it. So, when we praise God, we help our own hearts and spirits.

Besides, God is so worthy of praise! He created all we see, and everything beyond our sight; he even named each bit of it. Yet, with such supreme and lofty knowledge, he does not fail to notice the meek and lowly. Every little animal is cared for – down to the silly little bickering sparrows. If God knows and feeds them, will he not know you and I?

We praise him for his power. We trust in him for his faithfulness. We thank him for his protection and are. By him we know we can be well. Praise God.


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