1 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
2 Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
3 Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.
6 He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
9 Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;
10 Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12 Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
14 And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.
Praise the LORD!
In the first stanza of this psalm, the psalmist describes where and who should praise the Lord. The second stanza gives the reasons why creation should praise Him. The third stanza names more creatures and creations of God that should praise Him, including kings, princes, men, women, old, and young. The final stanza again admonishes all creation to praise Him, for His glory is above all others.
This seems to be a generic song declaring the world’s obligation to praise the Lord. It bases the command on the truth of who God is rather than just on what He has done. The deeper lesson here is that God should be praised for His greatness as much as for His acts. While God does often demonstrate His greatness through His acts, we must recognize His greatness independent of what He has done as well. Some characterize praise as thanking God for what He was done, while worship is recognizing God for Who He is. This may be a bit of a simplistic definition, but it does have merit. Praise Him when you see His hand at work, but also worship Him even when He seems invisible, because He is the Great God at all times.