Praise the Lord All Creation
A Sermon Delivered to
28 April 2013
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
This week when we heard the news that Harvard was closing their primate breeding center for laboratory use, we were rejoicing and praising the Lord for the good news, and praying that people everywhere would wake up to the suffering we are causing to billions of animals every year, and that all forms of animal exploitation would end.
This also made us think about Psalm 148, where the psalmist calls upon the whole of creation to praise the Lord:
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 stars of light!
4. Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
5. Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.
6. He has also established them forever and ever;
He has made a decree which will not pass away.
The whole of the physical and spiritual creation beyond this earth is being called upon to praise the Lord.
The psalmist sees and understands that as God spoke creation into existence, He also endowed them with some kind of spiritual ability to praise God.
This is very similar to what Jesus told the Pharisees when they tried to have Him silence His disciples for telling the truth, as we are told in Luke 19:39-40…
39. Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40. “I tell you,” He replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Stones and rocks and heavenly bodies may not have souls and spirits like we and the other animals have, but they do have a spiritual component that is in connection with God.
With this thought in mind, let’s return to our psalm passage.
7. Praise the LORD from the earth,
Sea monsters and all deeps;
8. Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
This is very profound. Even the weather can and does fulfill the word of God.
9. Mountains and all hills;
Fruit trees and all cedars;
10. Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and winged fowl;
11. Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12. Both young men and virgins;
Old men and children.
All of the physical earth, all of the animals, all of humanity, including our world leaders, are being called to praise the Lord.
Then why aren’t they?
We believe that it’s because of the hardness of the human heart that has corrupted the whole earth, and caused so much pain, suffering, and death.
But the more we push back against this hardness and the corruption it caused, the more signs we are going to see that we are overcoming the evil in this world; and in those glimpses of hope, we are to praise the Lord.
13. Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above earth and heaven.
14. And He has lifted up a horn for His people,
Praise for all His godly ones;
Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.
Praise the LORD!
Praise seems to be a natural function when we are connected to God and filled with the Holy Spirit. We just naturally praise or thank God for the good things that happen.
Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was obviously not connected to God, or he could not have done the horrible things he did, especially after being in Jesus’ presence for over three years.
Nevertheless, Jesus never sent him away until the end; for He kept hoping that he would repent.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at John 13:31-35…
31. When therefore he [Judas] had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him;
32. if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.
Jesus knows that this betrayal by Judas is putting an end to both His earthly ministry and life, but through it God will be glorified.
So, without telling anyone about what Judas is doing, He lets the disciples know that the ministry is being put in their hands, and that through them many upon the earth will also be glorified with God.
33. “Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You shall seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, I now say to you also, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’
At least they will not be able to follow Him immediately, but because they are true believers, they will follow Him later into heaven.
And then Jesus tells them how He wants them to live.
34. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This is the love that praises the Lord.
This is the love that helps free the whole of creation from its present corruption into the glory of God.
This is the love that sets us apart from the wicked ways of the world, and gives others a glimpse of heaven here on earth.
This is what “praise the Lord all creation” really means, and we all should be a part of it.
But it doesn’t end here; it keeps going for all eternity, as we see with the creation of the new heaven and the new earth, as we are told in Revelation 21:1-8…
1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.
2. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
The bride is the believing church that lives in the heavenly will of God and does everything in their power to show that heavenly peace and love and compassion to the world around them; and the husband is Jesus.
3. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them,
4. and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
This is the heavenly will of God that we are to bring to earth in the here and now.
This is the heavenly will of God that stands against the evil in this world.
This is the heavenly will of God that can change the world and give it peace until God calls the believers home to be with Him forever and ever.
5. And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
6. And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
7. “He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.
This is the ministry that Jesus gave to the disciples and to us today, but unfortunately most people don’t seem to want it, for they continue to follow the ways of the devil.
Note what happens to them.
8. “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Because we have overcome the evil of this world in our belief and faith, we can continue to praise the Lord until that day when we join Him in heaven.