Summary: A cosmic altar-call.
THE SONG OF CREATION
The whole of creation - from the cosmos (Psalm 148:1), to terra firma (Psalm 148:7) - is called to praise the LORD. This includes angels (Psalm 148:2), and animals (Psalm 148:10), and men (Psalm 148:12). Psalm 148 could be a sermon amplifying the text of Psalm 145:10 - “All your works shall praise you, O LORD: and your saints shall bless you.”
The Apostle Paul informs us that “the whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). The Fall of man has had cosmic consequences, introducing death and disorder into creation. With baited breath, nature awaits “the revelation of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19).
The opening exclamation OF praise (Psalm 148:1) is followed by several imperative exhortations TO praise. One by one, the various strata of the created order are challenged to take a different attitude - until at last the final invitation of this cosmic ‘altar call’ is full of expectation and hope (Psalm 148:13-14).
The appeal reaches first to the heavens (Psalm 148:1). Beginning at the place where angels dwell (Psalm 148:2), and through the starry domain of the Hubble telescope and its successors (Psalm 148:3), the summons goes forth into the sky and clouds above us (Psalm 148:4). Let them praise the LORD, for when He spoke they were created, and He made a decree that sets their limits for ever (Psalm 148:5-6).
Then the appeal is made to the earth. The command reaches down into the depths of the sea (Psalm 148:7), through the weather systems (Psalm 148:8), and up into the mountains. Trees are called to break forth into praise (Psalm 148:9); as is animal life, insects and birds (Psalm 148:10).
Then the whole human race (Psalm 148:11-12) is commanded to join the joyful symphony. The highest king is not excused; nor is the smallest child. All must join this song of praise.
The overall reason is given. The LORD has raised up the “horn” OF His people Israel (Psalm 148:14). The horn represents strength. In the song of Zechariah (Luke 1:68-69), the “horn of salvation” raised up FOR Israel is identified with Jesus.
There are no exceptions, no excuses. The LORD alone is worthy of our praise (Psalm 148:13). If mute things are able to praise God - and they are, for they “fulfil His word” (Psalm 148:8) - how much more should “a people near to Him” (Psalm 148:14).
When we worship and bless and praise God we add nothing to Him but, like the Old Testament priest, we magnify Him before the people. It is a command we should delight to obey. “Praise ye the LORD!”