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147. Psalm 147

Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

2The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.

3He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

4He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.

5Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

6The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.

7Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

8Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.

9He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.

10He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.

11The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

12Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.

13For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.

14He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.

15He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.

16He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoar frost like ashes.

17He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?

18He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.

19He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.

20He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord.

7. Sing to Jehovah in thanksgiving Again he exhorts to sing the praises of God, intimating at the same time that abundant matter was not wanting, since new proofs still meet our eyes of his power, goodness, and wisdom. First he tells us that he covers the heavens with clouds, and this change would awaken our attention, were we not chargeable with so much thoughtlessness. Various as are the marvels to be seen in the heavens above us, were the same serenity always to continue, we would not have so wonderful a display of his power as when he suddenly veils them with clouds, withdrawing the light of the sun, and setting a new face as it were upon the world. He afterwards hints that in this way provision is made for all living creatures, for thus the herbs germinate, and the earth is supplied with the moisture which makes it fertile. Thus in connection with the proofs of his power God sets before our eyes those of his mercy and fatherly consideration for the human family; nay, he shows that he does not overlook even the wild beasts and cattle. Philosophers discover the origin of rain in the elements, and it is not denied that clouds are formed from the gross vapors which are exhaled from the earth and sea, but second causes should not prevent us from recognizing the providence of God in furnishing the earth with the moisture needed for fructification. As the earth chapped with heat shows its thirst by opening its mouth, so God on his part in sending rain distills drink for it. He might in other ways of a more secret kind give it strength to preserve it from failing, but this irrigation is something which passes before our eyes to image forth the continual care which he has over us.


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