The creatures placed in the upper world called on to praise the Lord. (1-6) Also the creatures of this lower world, especially his own people. (7-14)
Verses 1-6 We, in this dark and sinful world, know little of the heavenly world of light. But we know that there is above us a world of blessed angels. They are always praising God, therefore the psalmist shows his desire that God may be praised in the best manner; also we show that we have communion with spirits above, who are still praising him. The heavens, with all contained in them, declare the glory of God. They call on us, that both by word and deed, we glorify with them the Creator and Redeemer of the universe.
Verses 7-14 Even in this world, dark and bad as it is, God is praised. The powers of nature, be they ever so strong, so stormy, do what God appoints them, and no more. Those that rebel against God's word, show themselves to be more violent than even the stormy winds, yet they fulfil it. View the surface of the earth, mountains and all hills; from the barren tops of some, and the fruitful tops of others, we may fetch matter for praise. And assuredly creatures which have the powers of reason, ought to employ themselves in praising God. Let all manner of persons praise God. Those of every rank, high and low. Let us show that we are his saints by praising his name continually. He is not only our Creator, but our Redeemer; who made us a people near unto him. We may by "the Horn of his people" understand Christ, whom God has exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, who is indeed the defence and the praise of all his saints, and will be so for ever. In redemption, that unspeakable glory is displayed, which forms the source of all our hopes and joys. May the Lord pardon us, and teach our hearts to love him more and praise him better.
Psalms 148:1-14 . The scope of this Psalm is the same as that of the preceding.
1. heavens [and] heights--are synonymous.
2. hosts--(compare Psalms 103:21 ).
4. heavens of heavens--the very highest.
waters--clouds, resting above the visible heavens (compare Genesis 1:7 ).
5. praise the name--as representing His perfections.
he commanded--"He" is emphatic, ascribing creation to God alone.
6. The perpetuity of the frame of nature is, of course, subject to Him who formed it.
a decree . . . pass--His ordinances respecting them shall not change ( Jeremiah 36:31 ), or perish ( Job 34:20 , Psalms 37:36 ).
7-10. The call on the earth, as opposed to heaven, includes seas or depths, whose inhabitants the dragon, as one of the largest (on most destructive and ungovernable agents of inanimate nature are introduced
8. fulfilling his word--or, law, may be understood of each. Next the most distinguished productions of the vegetable world.
9. fruitful trees--or, "trees of fruit," as opposed to forest trees. Wild and domestic, large and small animals are comprehended.
11, 12. Next all rational beings, from the highest in rank to little children.
princes--or, military leaders.
13. Let them--all mentioned.
excellent--or, exalted ( Isaiah 12:4 ).
his glory--majesty ( Psalms 45:3 ).
above the earth and heaven--Their united splendors fail to match His.
14. exalteth the horn--established power ( Psalms 75:5 Psalms 75:6 ).
praise of--or literally, "for"
his saints--that is, occasions for them to praise Him. They are further described as "His people," and "near unto Him," sustaining by covenanted care a peculiarly intimate relation.