The Psalm is beautiful not only for what
it says, but for how it says it! Truthfully, it's a
delight to try to preach Psalm 148.
Let me explain.
Psalm 148 belongs to a group of Psalms named,
or nicknamed, by a number of Bible teachers "The Hallelujah
They include Psalms 146-150. Each begins and
ends with the same words, "Praise ye the Lord." In Hebrew that
clause is spelled "Halel Yah," or "Hallelujah" when fused
"Halel" clearly means "praise" in Hebrew. And
"Yah" is a shortened Form of God's great Name "Jehovah!"
Hence, ten times, "Hallelujah," two from each
Psalm, Psalms 146-150.
Thus, the Psalms end on a very high note!
With a grand finale! They build in intensity! A symphony of
Psalm 148 begins with an exhortation.
"Praise ye the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.
Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts."
Five times the same verb is used! Each time "halel"
is expressed as an imperative! Someone is being commanded
to praise God! The root meaning of "halel" is "to shine!" To
brighten up! To flash forth light! It can also mean "to brag" on
someone! To commend him! And the particular verb form used here,
all five times, means to do so intensely!
Twice "Lord" is used, with the all caps
spelling, "LORD." That
means "Jehovah" God. However, here in Psalm 148, this Name is
shortened in its first occurrence! It's just "Yah." But the
second time it's "Yhvh," called the four-letter Tetragrammaton.
When the vowels are added to "Yhvh" you read "Yehovah," or
"Jehovah" in English.
The heart of this Name for God is the verb
"to be." In other words, "Jehovah" is the God Who "is." He
always is! He's not the "was" God! He's not the
"going-to-be" God! He's the "I am right now" God! Eternally so!
He never changes!
But notice here, in our Verses today, who
is supposed to praise God! First of all!
"Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise
him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye
him, all his hosts."
The first implication is that everybody is to
do so! "Praise ye the Lord," with
no specific worshipper implied! It's like Psalm 150's
"Let every thing that hath breath praise
But then immediately comes more information.
"Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD
from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all
his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts."
"From the heavens!"
The noun "shamayim" means "lofty, exalted, elevated." It's
translated "heaven" 398 times in the King James Bible and "air"
21 more times. This area can include anything from where the
birds fly to where the comets soar to the very Abode of Almighty
God! "The third Heaven" as Paul would later call it.
"The heights" is
just another way of renaming the heavens. It's an example of
Hebrew poetic "parallelism." That's just saying the same thing
in another way. It's often done in the Psalms and Proverbs of
Israel. "Marom" means "a raised place." It's verbal foot, "rum,"
means "to be exalted, to be uplifted, to be tall." Way up
But then the Psalmist gets even more precise.
"Angels" are now required to praise
the Lord! In Hebrew "angel" is represented by the noun "malak,"
just "messengers, representatives, deputies, ambassadors." How
many angels are there? Paul tells us, "an
innumerable company of angels," from Hebrews 12:22.
Seraphim, cherubim, archangels, regular
angels, maybe even some who are now fallen angels! All at one
time praised the Lord! Most are continuing to this very second!
Heaven is now, among other things, a great angelic choir loft!
Glory to God!
Then again, in parallel, are God's
"hosts." Spelled "tzsaba," and
based on a verb meaning "to go forth," we here have the Hebrew
noun for "army!" Soldiers, men of war!
Yes, angels protect!
Speaking of angels, Hebrews 1:14 reminds us:
"Are they not all ministering spirits,
sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of
salvation?" Here's an idea in seed form, the implication
of guardian angels! To "minister" is "to serve!"
The armies of God consist of angelic hosts,
throngs, multitudes upon multitudes!
All of whom here are demanded to praise the
Lord God Almighty!
What a sight!
What a sound!
More angels than democrats!
More angels than republicans!
More angels than atheists!
More angels than even Christians!
All worshipping our great God!
Makes me want to sing too!
"And I beheld, and I
heard the voice of many angels round about the throne ... and
the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and
thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the
Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom,
and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." John
from Patmos in Revelation 5:11-12
Go ahead, angels of God, praise Him more and
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Oh, by the way, when God is in His "warring"
Role, when the battle is raging, He is often called "the Lord of
Hosts!" The Lord of the armies! The Commander of all the angels!
I've found, by computer search, the Name "Lord of Hosts" 245
times in the Word of God!
Here they are! "And
Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that
he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and
he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and
chariots of fire round about Elisha." The angelic hosts
of Heaven, the armies of God! Yes, "Fear
not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with
them." 2nd Kings 6:16, Elisha to his attendant.
LESSON 2, VERSES 3-4:
Many Churches still have one, a "call to
worship." Usually it's a hymn of praise and adoration. Literally
a summons to magnify the Mighty Name of God!
Well, Psalm 148 is, perhaps more than any
other Bible Psalm, an invitation to praise! To keep things
parallel, a "call to praise."
Listen to today's verses:
"Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him,
all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye
waters that be above the heavens." Psalm
Here's a trip through space! Both orbital and
With three more "Praise Him" imperatives,
this Psalm is setting some kind of record!
Remember that Verses 1 and 2 had six such
admonitions! Count them. I'll help you with some underlining.
"Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the
heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him,
all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts."
Wow, eight times in four verses, "Praise the
The angelic hosts began the chorus! Again
that's in the first two verses.
But, today, other heavenly phenomena are
invited! Verses three and four.
"Sun" is "shemesh" in Hebrew, "that which is
brilliant!" To know the role the sun is playing every day, see
Psalm 19:4-6. "He set a tabernacle for the
sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going
forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto
the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof."
A bridegroom and a strong man, both pictures of Christ Jesus!
"Moon" is "yareach," having something to do
with "monthly" cycles of time. Think of the phases of the moon
each month! The night time praises God in Psalm 8:3-4.
"When I consider thy heavens, the work of
thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man,
that thou visitest him?" The moon, no source of light
itself, merely a reflector, is a picture of the Church or
perhaps the individual child of God! Reflecting the light of the
Sun, the Son really!
"Praise ye him, sun and
moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens
of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens."
Our Text again, Psalm 148:3-4
Next the "stars" are conscripted! "Kobab"
just means "blazing," how very appropriate! I am reminded of the
stark brevity of Genesis 1:16. "He made
the stars also." Yes, and man is still counting them!
Perhaps each has a story to tell, a testimony to give!
Notice they are called "stars of light" too.
This might imply that certain stars exist that have quit giving
light! That maybe are ingesting light! Black holes, I think
they're called today.
In the Hebrew language "superlatives" are
made by doubling the noun and placing "of" in between. "Song of
songs" is the best ever written! "King of Kings" is the most
sovereign of all! And the "Holy of Holies" was the most
sanctified place on earth!
Thus, "heaven of heavens" must be the very
Abode of God! And even there, He is to be praised! Especially
Then a bit of science. I dare say science
that had not yet been discovered when the Psalmist wrote these
God ... ye
waters that be above the heavens."
Yes, with satellites we now know of the vast
resources of water flowing through the skies, suspended in the
atmosphere! One science text I studied several years ago
suggested several aerial rivers of water, at least the size of
the Mississippi River, snake their way through the heavens!
"And God made the firmament, and divided
the waters which were under the firmament from the waters
which were above the firmament: and it was so."
More members of the choir!
Sun, moon, and all the little stars!
Heavens and waters, you too!
Praise ye the Lord!
Surely, eventually, we mere humans can get in
on this too!
I sure do want to praise Him today, don't
After all, He is most worthy!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 3, VERSES 5-6:
Today's Text further exhorts heavenly bodies, some alive and
some not, to praise the Lord! Now speaking of them rather
than to them, the Psalmist continues:
"Let them praise the name of the LORD: for
he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished
them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not
pass." Psalm 148:5-6
Although it's unnecessary, God is about to
tell us WHY His Name should be praised. I'm sure classes of
angels have poured over these Verses again and again throughout
The first verb, "praise" in English or "halal"
in Hebrew, is here expressed as a piel imperfect action word.
This means that the activity prescribed is to be vigorous!
Energetic! That's the piel stem. And the sense of time the verb
possesses is that of continuous action, incomplete action.
Habitual and on-going praise! That's the imperfect part, meant
To praise God's "name" is to praise Him! In
Hebrew "shem" implies the whole Person. One's "name" is one's
Now, here's one reason why God is to be so
extolled. "For He commanded, and they were
created." He is the Creator! Not yet dealing with His
great Redeemer status, He is the Originator of all life! The
Source! To "command" is "to charge, to give orders, to order."
This is one of those rare instances where God is not directly
pictured as the active Agent in creation, but the Supervisor,
the First Cause behind it all. Likely Jesus is here estimated to
be the primary Creator! "In the beginning
was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by
him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
The verb "created" is "bara" in Hebrew, "to
make something out of nothing!" To shape, form, or fashion. If
I'm not mistaken, every Biblical use of "bara" has God as its
Subject. Indeed, only God can make something out of
Here's a second reason all things heavenly
should be glorifying our Great God, the Creator.
"He hath also stablished them for ever and
ever." The first verb is "amad," meaning "to make stand,
to cause to endure, to give longevity." Here, not only is life a
gift from God, so is its durability! Psalm 139:16 implies that
God already knows the exact amount of time we shall live!
"In thy book all my members were
written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as
yet there was none of them." That expression "in
continuance" translates "yom," even our "days" are foreknown by
God, how many days we shall live on earth!
And every new day is a gift from God!
"It is of the LORD'S mercies that
we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They
are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23, "new every morning!"
"For ever and ever" anglicizes "ad olam" from
Hebrew. "Ad" means "perpetuity," literally that which "goes on
and on!" And "olam" pictures the farthest point you can see, the
"vanishing" point, and hints that the matter at hand survives
way beyond that far distant mark! Hence, eternal!
Then a third idea is advanced. Praise God
because ... "He hath made a decree which
shall not pass."
"Made" translates "nathan," primarily meaning
"to give." To grant, to permit. The noun "decree" is "choq,"
merely "a statute or ordinance," but especially in this sense,
"something proscribed, limited, bound by higher powers."
"Shall not pass" defines "abar," a Herbrew
verb meaning "to bring across, to carry through." God's decree
here will not "pass away" or "pass on." I take this clause to be
protective, defensive for the creatures of God. Limits have been
set by the Creator! To pass them is to invite trouble! These are
restrictions that not only guide our lives ("Thou shat not
....") but also restrain our enemies ("Touch not God's
anointed."). It's just wonderful, amazing!
So, let's hear it, all non-earthly citizens
of the universe!
Praise the Lord!
Because He made you!
Because He sustains you!
And because He protects you!
And to the rest of us, still strangers and
pilgrims on earth, take note!
There are no doubt many more than three
reasons why we should be worshipping God's Name! Maybe three
dozen, or three hundred! Three thousand? More than we will ever
be able to count!
Get a head start!
Praise Him all day long!
Through all the hours!
Then, before bedtime too!
Remember, from Psalm 148:5-6.
"Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and
they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and
ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass."
Psalm 148 is as full of praise as any chapter
in the whole Bible! And that's a lot of chapters! To be precise,
exactly 1,189 of them!
If we could only hear them, sun and moon and
stars and angels too, only understand them right now! We could
already be auditors of this great celestial choir!
Training for Heaven!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Get ready for tomorrow's Verses! The Lord
willing, this "heavenly" praise from Psalm 148:1-6 literally
comes to earth! We are going to have an opportunity to praise
LESSON 4, VERSES 7-8:
Psalm 148 has toured the heavens! There it
exhorted, really it commanded, each entity to praise the Lord!
The angels, the sun and moon, stars, and everything else,
including the very atmosphere ... all were invited to join the
Now, beginning with verses 7 and 8, earth is
invited to participate as well.
Let's join the Psalmist, as they say,
"already in progress." He writes under the direct inspiration of
the Holy Spirit of God. "Praise the LORD
from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: fire, and hail; snow,
and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word." Psalm
The noun "earth" is "eretzs" in Hebrew. It
generally means the world in this sense; the land, the fields,
the ground, as well as the nations. Geography and politics, both
of which deny God now!
But some day, the creatures (living) and
features (not living) of this globe on which we live will truly
praise the Lord!
For example, going back to verse 7,
"Praise the LORD from the earth, ye
dragons, and all deeps."
Jehovah God will be glorified by "dragons?"
The word is "tanniyn," found only 21 times in
the Bible. Three times it's translated "whale or whales." Once
it's "sea monster." But, indeed, 21 times it's rendered "dragon
or dragons" and thrice more as "serpent."
The giant animals of the ocean depths are
being commanded to praise God! I know one that did, for sure!
The whale, the great fish, of Jonah's day! How obedient he was,
or she! Do the marine species know their Creator? Apparently so!
But, too, the day is coming when the old
serpent himself, Lucifer, the Devil, will "bow his knee and
confess with his mouth" that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD! Every knee
will do that, and every tongue!
The Devil must admit, sooner or later, that
God is right!
That God is holy!
That God has never done anything wrong!
That Heaven is real!
That Hell is just!
That Eternity never ends!
And that, wow, sin does not pay! Rather, it
does not pay well! In fact, it costs dearly! The wages of
sin is death forever ... in an unending place of torment and
Such admissions are a form of praise, even if
The "deeps" of our verse is "tehom," the
steep "subterranean waters" of the seas. "Abyss" is a good
We do not yet know all that's down there! We
can't get there to consistently study and investigate! The water
pressure is too great!
Man though his history has regularly
uncovered, still is for that matter, discovering previously
unknown sea life!
Like fish with no eyes, it's so dark down
there! They don't need them!
Or eels with red "tail lights," for
identification purposes probably!
All these little fellows will praise our
great God! They've already been invited to the Celebration!
"Praise the LORD from
the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: fire, and hail; snow, and
vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word." Psalm 148:7-8
As you can see, the Psalmist next turns to
Five "weather" events!
All bragging on the Lord!
"Fire," spelled "esh," means hot flames!
Lightning, for example! The fiery destruction of Sodom and its
suburbs, too! And Hell itself! Ask Moses about that bush, too,
when you get to Heaven!
And I've not even reviewed fire's dominant
role during the Tribulation!
"Hail" too, glorifying God! Like the hail
that God used to give Israel victory over the Midianites one
day! Or the hail during the plagues of Egypt. Or the
hundred-pound hailstones yet to fall on earth as described in
Revelation 16:21. Ice, praising God!
Then "snow" too! "Sheleg" appears 20 times in
the Bible, more in Job than any other Book! Remember that lion
in a pit on a snowy day, 2nd Samuel 23:20? God controls the
snow! "For He saith to the snow, Be thou
on the earth." Job 37:6 teaches us this. But most
often, I think, "snow" is used as an illustration!
"Come now, and let us reason together,
saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as
white as snow." Isaiah 1:18
Now that makes me praise the Lord!
"Vapour" is most often gaseous water, in this
context anyway. In Scripture it means either smoke or vapour,
but only 4 times total. Ironically it comes from a word group
meaning "to sacrifice." To burn incense!
Fog, worshipping God!
And yet in the future,
"And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth
beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke." So
promises God in Acts 2:19.
Then comes the "stormy wind!" The word
"stormy" is "saar," most often describing a tornado, a giant
"whirlwind!" And "wind" is "ruach," same as "Spirit" in the Old
Testament. We, according to Psalm 104:3, serve a Lord
the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind."
I think of that every time the weather gets violent!
And the Day of Pentecost, that sound of a
rushing mighty "wind!"
And think of the times Jesus stilled the
"wind," it obeying immediately!
All of them, dragons and depths and fire and
hail and snow and vapour and wind ... "fulfilling" God's Word! "Asah,"
a verb," means "to do or to make or to fashion or produce!"
Sounds like God commanded it ... and nature followed His Will!
Helping Almighty God!
And, when God speaks, gladly they respond!
All praising God in the process!
And when these all obey their Creator, other
creatures will join the team too! Probably even ...
"the mountains and the hills shall break
forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field
shall clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12
I deny atheism!
I embrace the God of Abraham and Isaac and
Jacob and all of Scripture!
I worship His Son Jesus!
This great God has redeemed my soul!
Move over, wind and snow and fishes, I've got
to honour Him too!
What a privilege to be alive this Monday
Praise the Lord!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 5, VERSES 9-10:
The Heavens have been asked to praise the Lord!
The angels inhabiting Heaven too!
Then the earth joined the
Even geographical designations!
"Mountains, and all
hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: beasts, and all cattle;
creeping things, and flying fowl." All these are to
magnify our already great God! This list is taken word-for-word
from Psalm 148:9-10.
But how do mountains glorify God?
Ask Mount Sinai!
Ask Mount Calvary!
In the future ask Armageddon, which means
"the mountains of Megoddo."
Ask the quaking mountains of the Tribulation
or the splitting mountains when Jesus returns to earth!
Ask the mountains where Jesus preached!
Or was transfigured!
Yes, they can praise the Lord quite handily!
And "hills" are just little mountains! Just
like "har" means "mountains" in Hebrew, "gibah" means "hills."
It is from a base word that means a "bowl or cup," being shaped
like these items when inverted.
Like the "thousands of little hills" that
provide grazing places for God's cattle! See Psalm 50:10.
The "fruitful trees" too!
Like that fig tree Jesus noticed one day,
Or the olive trees that represent Israel!
Under which Jesus prayed night after night!
Linking the last verse of John 7 and the first verse of John 8,
you will see what I mean. "And every man
went unto his own house. Jesus went unto the mount of Olives."
Trees that are obeying that first command,
"Be fruitful, and multiply."
Then, surprisingly, God specifically mentions
"cedars." The verse again: "Mountains, and
all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars."
Spelled "erez," in Hebrew "cedars" comes from
a word that means "to be firm, to be strong!" God admires
stability, faithfulness! It's part of His very Nature, His
Essence! "I am the LORD, I change
not." Malachi 3:6
God built His House largely out of cedar
It smells good! It does not easily rot! It is
repels enemy insects! It is lovely to behold! It is associated
with mountains too! All are praiseworthy traits!
Next verse, verse 10, which we need to study
today. "Beasts, and all cattle; creeping
things, and flying fowl." You all must be included too,
praise ye the Lord!
The word for "beasts" is "chay" in Hebrew,
any "living thing." Animals of all sizes and shapes!
At Jesus' temptation, and only Mark tells us
this: "And He was there in the wilderness
forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and
the angels ministered unto Him." Mark 1:13
Think of the donkey and Balaam!
The ravens and Elijah!
The little wild colt Jesus rode into
Jerusalem in Matthew 21.
The animals pairing to enter the ark of Noah!
"All cattle" too!
"Behemah" is the word. It's from a root word
meaning "to be mute." But our Lord still cared for them! Even in
Jonah's day: "And should not I spare
Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore
thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand
and their left hand; and also much cattle?" God
"spared" the cattle! Jonah 4:11
God wants us to care for the animals too!
"A righteous man regardeth the life
of his beast," so said Solomon in Proverbs 12:10.
One day in 1st Samuel chapter six some lowing
cattle brought the Ark of the Covenant home to Israel!
And it's strange that "creeping things" would
be enlisted, registered to praise the Lord! "Remes" just means
things that "walk on all fours." Remember the plagues of Egypt?
The locusts and all the anguish they caused! They could both
creep and fly!
The serpents in the wilderness! The one on a
pole especially! What a sermon it preached in Numbers chapter
twenty-one. Jesus alluded to them in John 3, while talking to
Nicodemus, "And as Moses lifted up the
serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted
up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
eternal life." John 3:14-15
Not counting their activity in the Book of
Revelation! Like that demonic invasion from Hell!
"For their power is in their mouth, and in
their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and
had heads, and with them they do hurt." Creeping across
the earth, leaving pain and agony in their wake, Revelation 9:19
Lastly, "flying fowl" too!
The little sparrows Jesus mentioned!
The dove who scouted for Noah!
The one Who descended on Jesus at His
Baptism, typifying the Holy Spirit of God!
The vultures in Revelation 19:17-18.
"And I saw an angel standing in the sun;
and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly
in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto
the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings,
and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the
flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of
all men, both free and bond, both small and great."
That nosey little bird in Ecclesiastes 10:20.
"Curse not the king, no not in thy
thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of
the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall
tell the matter."
All of the animal kingdom!
Praising Almighty God!
Could I tell you something?
I believe this Text, entirely!
Somehow, although now beyond our ability to
discern, the created world, even its so-called inanimate
members, are thanking and glorifying and uplifting and praising
And our Redeemer!
So be it, Lord!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 6, VERSES 11-12:
The following, from Psalm 148:11-12, are
being asked to praise the Lord: "Kings of
the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:
both young men, and maidens; old men, and children."
After the heavens and all that is therein
contained, the oceans and all their inhabitants, the various
weather conditions like snow and wind and lightning, the
mountains, the trees, the cattle, the bugs and the birds ...
after all these, man is invited to join the choir!
To join the symphony ... and praise the Lord!
I say "man," but mean "mankind," a whole list
of people, human beings. The list is specific.
It begins with "Kings," spelled "melek" in
Hebrew, and based on a verb that means "to reign." Beginning at
the top, with royalty, God is to be honored, even in the palaces
But immediately our Text demands praise for
God from "all people." We've just gone from the top to
the bottom! From the wealthy King to the poor common
laborer! From the healthy Monarch to the sickly patient in
intensive care! From the famous and powerful to the unknown and
All "people," in Hebrew "leom," translated
"folks" once in Scripture, is taken from a word meaning "to
gather together." It means "congregated" people! This might hint
at public worship of some kind.
Now our Text gets even more specific.
"Kings of the earth, and all people;
princes, and all judges of the earth: both young men, and
maidens; old men, and children."
Particular groups are enumerated.
Including the "princes," just "sar" in the
Psalmist's language, meaning "rulers or leaders or captains or
Add the "judges" too, in Hebrew "shaphat,"
meaning "to govern or vindicate or punish or defend or even
From the throne to the bench to the board
room to the living room, God is to be honored!
Then the common people are invited!
People like you and me.
"Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children."
Study these four groups carefully.
The focus shifts from one age level to
The term "young men" translates "bachur,"
meaning the "choice" ones! The very best of the best, dedicated
to God! When animals, sheep or doves, were to be offered to God,
only the unblemished would qualify! So is it here with us
God loves quality!
But He also loves the lowly, the humble, the
poor, the down-and-out people of society! The tainted and
scarred among us!
Back to our list, the "maidens" are next. "Bethulah"
is an interesting word, used 50 times in the Old Testament. It
means "maiden" 5 times, "maid" 7 more times, but "virgin" 38
times! It's from a little used root meaning "to separate."
Again, God is going for quality!
But He loves not only the virgins, but the
prostitutes and the many-times-married as well! I shutter as I
write these words, but John 4 (the woman at the well) and John 8
(the woman "taken" in adultery) bring me peace.
Quickly, add the "old men" to the choir! "Zaqen,"
literally meaning "aged, elders, ancient," is based on a word
that means "to show one's age." It's truly thrilling to see a
man, an elderly gentleman, glorify and uplift the Lord!
We are living in an anti-patriarchal age. The
world is now filled with men-haters. I say, along with the
Bible, thank God for Dads and Husbands and Pastors and Deacons
and other men who set sterling examples of godliness in their
But let's not forget the "children." God
never does! "Naar" means "youthful," but can include "infants"
too! It's translated "babe" once in Scripture, a little boy or
Are you included in this collection?
Are you praising God today?
We should be!
Tomorrow, Lord willing, we shall learn one
major reason for praising God! One of worship's greatest
I'll close with the first verse from Psalm
148, which is identical to its last verse too.
"Praise ye the LORD."
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 7, VERSES 13-14:
The last two verses of Psalm 148 provide a summary. Without them
the Psalm is incomplete.
"Let them praise the
name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory
is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn of
his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the
children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD."
The first sentence applies to every creature
and every entity previously mentioned. Angels, sun, moon, stars,
oceans, lightning, hail, wind, mountains, beasts, and all the
rest ... "praise the Name of the Lord!"
The second sentence applies only to the
Lord's people, their "horns" being exalted as they praise
Almighty God! "He also exalteth the horn
of his people."
Let's examine the Text more closely.
Departing from his normal "imperative" form
of the verb, "praise" here (still "halal" in Hebrew) is now an
"imperfect" verb in the "piel" stem. That means that instead of
a command, the Psalmist is giving a strong suggestion that God
be praised! After all, you can't force anything or anyone
to worship God! That response must be out of a willing heart!
This time "praise," being a "piel" verb, longs for excited
praise, aggressive praise, intensive adoration of our Heavenly
God's "Name" in the Old Testament, simply
spelled "shem," always means His Character and Essence as well
as one of His many darling Titles.
The word "excellent" actually depicts
something that is getting larger and larger all the time! "Sagab"
means "excessively high."
God's Glory, "howd" here, means "vigour,
splendor, majesty, beauty, honour" not being the common word for
"glory" at all. He is a beautiful Lord!
Yes, for all creation, living and non-living,
animate and inanimate, "Let them praise
the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory
is above the earth and heaven."
Now, specifically, for His people,
"He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his
saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near
unto him. Praise ye the LORD."
And that noun "people," just two letters in
Hebrew, "am," means a congregated people, one's compatriots,
nearly one's kinsmen. This is almost a term of endearment. This
word is not used in Scripture for the ribald, uncouth masses of
humanity, heathen or pagan.
And here God's people are said to, at least
figuratively, have "horns!" The word is "qeren," generally used
of animal's horns, but in the Bible a picture of power and
strength! Almost invariably so. Most Hebrew language lexicons
immediately after defining "qeren" say, "figurative for
Look at what has just been promised the
The more we praise Him ... the more power He
The more we glorify Him ... the more
strength, the more stability, the more steadfastness!
The less we will be discouraged,
Oh, the power of praising the Lord!
Here it is again, the "link" between "praise"
and "strength." Psalm 148, last verse: "He
also exalteth the horn (power, strength) of his people, the
praise of all his saints."
"Exalteth" translates "rum," a common Hebrew
verb, used nearly 200 times in Scripture and meaning "to lift
up, to raise, to set on high!"
Praising people, generally speaking, are
serving people too!
Praising people also are, using the word
spiritually now, happy people as well!
Then our Psalm, significantly, ends with a
three-fold identification of the "people" who are so blessed.
These worshippers of God!
"The praise of all his saints; even of the children of
Israel, a people near unto him."
1. They are "saints!"
2. They are of "Israel!"
3. They are "near" the Lord!
Quickly, "saints" comes from a base word, "chasiyd,"
a relative of the Hebrew word for mercy! To be a "saint" means
one is "kind, gentle, gracious," as well as "holy!" This thought
always reminds me of Proverbs 19:22. "The
desire of a man is his kindness."
"Israel" grammatically means "ruled by God!"
It blends the noun for "princed or controlled or governed" with
the name of God, "El," the all powerful One! Jacob the "crook,"
by the power of God's Spirit, became Israel, the man of God!
Virtually a new creature! These worshippers are not genetically
limited to Jews according to the flesh. They have the spirit of
God in them, whoever they are, and are being transformed day by
And "near" the Lord, "qarob," means "at hand,
nigh, neighbor," but best of all, "kinsman!"
Folks, keep praising Jesus!
He will give you more and more power!
He will make you all the more kind
He will rule over you and change
you more and more into His glorious Image!
And He will be near you, the
implication being nearer and nearer and nearer!
The blessings of praising the Lord!
Let's join the rest of creation and all of
Heaven for eternity!
Let's obey the last four words of Psalm 148,
which were also the first four words of Psalm 148 ...
"Praise ye the Lord!"
Which, in English as well as Hebrew, reads "Halleluyah!"
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
Psalm 148 is one of my
favorite all-time Psalms indeed! Hope you have enjoyed studying
it with us! It's all God's Word, divinely inspired verse by