Psalm 147 overflows with thanksgiving for Israel’s God who is abundant in power with understanding beyond measure.
Within the context of Living in The Story, we consider Psalm 147 at the same time we see the remnant of Exiles returning from Babylon to the Promised Land. Even as they came home to a devastated land and city, still the psalmist chooses to celebrate the grace of Yahweh who has once again kept covenant with Israel.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
He grants prosperity within your borders;
he fills you with the finest of wheat.
The Lord declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and ordinances to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation …
But this psalm reaches far beyond the borders of Israel. Here is a universal song of praise, a cosmic hymn celebrating the Creator-Redeemer-Sustainer of all creation. This is the Lord of all …
who determines the number of the stars and gives to all of them their names;
who covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth and makes grass grow on the hills;
who gives to the animals their food and to the young ravens when they cry;
who gives snow like wool and scatters frost like ashes.
(who can stand before his cold!?)
Then he sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
Then God said …
The first creation story in Genesis portrays God’s Word as bringing all things into existence. Within the faith of Israel, God’s Word and God’s Wind create and animate.
Note that “nature” and “the environment” are not biblical terms; the theologians of Scripture instead use the word creation.
The creation emanates from the Creator and remains deeply connected. Creation displays some of the complex character of the Creator. Like a poem, like a painting, like a sculpture … the creation reveals something true and real about the One who creates.I love the prayer we pray each Sunday from the Book of Common Prayer. It dovetails perfectly with the prayer and praise from this psalmist:
Give us all a reverence for the earth as your own creation,
that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others
and to your honor and glory.
Allelu – Yah!
Praise the Lord!