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Psalm 147

June 5, 2009

This psalm is post-exilic and is very similar to the previous three psalms in content. It was probably written upon the completion of Jerusalem’s wall and gates by Nehemiah. The psalm appears to be divided into three parts each which exhorts the believers to praise the Lord. The three parts are verses 1-6 referring to the exiles who returned, verses 7-11 referring to the Lord’s care of His creation and those who fear Him, and verses 12-20 referring to those living in Jerusalem and all of Israel. We are to praise the Lord in song because it is right. God has healed their broken hearts by letting them return and begin restoring Jerusalem. It was difficult and hard work with much opposition and the Lord cared for their wounds. Verse 4 refers to stars but I prefer to interpret it as God knowing the name of each person who returned. They were the humble remnant returning to begin restoring Jerusalem. Those Jews who were too content and too proud to be associated with God and who chose to remain in Babylonia were destroyed. The second section begins with a challenge/exhortation to sing praise and make music in thanksgiving to God. He, God, blesses them with rain and food. The land is blessed and the animals are blessed but in so doing those who fear the Lord are also blessed. Their hope is in God’s love for those who love Him. The third section exhorts all of Jerusalem to praise God. Jerusalem’s wall and gates have been rebuilt. Peace has come to the fighting factions and the land is prosperous because God’s Word has brought snow, frost, hail, and sun; all which water the earth and give it nutrients. But God has also blessed them with His Word [Ezra’s ministry?]. Israel is special. Israel represents the people of God. Praise the Lord!

God disciplines those He loves. He restores those who fear Him. This psalm offers praise to God for His mercy and love. God is blessing their efforts because those who returned from exile humbled themselves before God. If your life seems harsh or if your life is easy, stop and consider who you serve and who you worship. God’s blessings are enjoyed when one humbles themselves before the Lord and obey Him. Obeying God rarely results in an easy life but neither does it result in a difficult life. It results in a life that that requires we place our faith and hope in God. One must “fear the Lord” to understand the Lord. A harsh life could be the result of God’s discipline. An easy life might mean we are ignoring God. Fear the Lord and praise God to discern ones relationship with God who loves those who love Him.

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