One of the Ten Commandments is “to make no graven image.” This prohibition against the visual arts of drawing, painting and statuary caused the flourishing of imagery in the Hebrew language and poetry. What amazing word pictures the Psalmist paints! As you read this Psalm, let you imagination translate these words into a technicolor, cinemascope visual celebration of the incredible works of the Lord!
1 Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
6 The Lord sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;
make music to our God on the harp.
8 He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.
10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
11 the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
12 Extol the Lord, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion.
13 He strengthens the bars of your gates
and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders
and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.
15 He sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He spreads the snow like wool
and scatters the frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?
18 He sends his word and melts them;
he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.
19 He has revealed his word to Jacob,
his laws and decrees to Israel.
20 He has done this for no other nation;
they do not know his laws.
Praise the Lord!
Every morning, every evening, every night and day is a symphony of praise to your name.
The rising sun; the spreading clouds; the blue of the sky; the glory of the flower and the field; the vast power of the ocean; the song of the birds; the variety of nature; the colors of the sunset; the innumerable stars; the change of the seasons; all these things speak of your creative power, and together, form a hymn to you.
Open our eyes, Father, to the glory around us.
When we are downcast, lift our eyes to you.
And when we cannot see you, help us to see your presence in the world around us.
We thank you for all you have made, Father.
We glorify your name!