Psalm 148 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 148

…Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps;

fire and hail, snow and fog, tempestuous wind, doing God’s will;

mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,

wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds;

sovereigns of the earth and all peoples….Psalm 148: 7-11

I am such a slow learner at times.  After posting meditations on 147 psalms over the past 7 months, two things have belatedly occurred to me as I reach Psalm 148.

In the Psalms the word “praise” is found around 175 times (depending on one’s translation and the word form one is searching).  But in none of those times does God command us to praise.  God never says, “Praise me.”  It is the human leaders, poets and singers that invite, encourage and implore us to praise the Lord giving us all sorts of reasons why.  I wonder if praise cannot be commanded but can only spring out of love and awe.

The second thing I realize through this psalm is that praise happens from animals, plants and even inert rocks, just by their being and doing what animals, plants and mountain rocks do.  They move, they grow, they crumble—some of it is totally unconscious praise.  Does the great blue heron know that it is praising God when it lifts its wings?  I know I catch my breath at the beauty—and I think that is praise to the Creator.

I have heard it often said that our work and living is (or at least can be) praise.  This psalm would seem to affirm that hope.  Praise is not only something we do when we sing or pray to God.  We can praise God by simply being the people God created us to be.


1. Read Psalm 148 and reflect on its meaning for you.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder? When does praising God come alive for you?

2. Or comment with a photo of your own that is a window of this psalm’s meaning for you.

The next post will be on Psalm 149.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting an (almost) daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.


  1. This reminds me of the third verse of Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether…All our meals and all our living Make us sacraments of thee,
    That be caring, helping, giving, We may true disciples be.
    Alleluya! Alleluya! We will serve thee faithfully. ( Percy Dearmer)

  2. And also, Jesus telling people that if the crowds didn’t cry out, the stones would….:-)