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Work and Praise

by | Jun 21, 2023 | Praise, Work

Praise Him, sun and moon, praise Him, all you shining stars! Praise Him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the Name of the LORD! For He commanded and they were created.

(Psalm 148:3-5 ESV)

On the second day of creation, God set the expanse of the heavens in place to separate the waters above the expanse from the waters below. On the fourth day of creation, He created “the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars” (Genesis 1:16 ESV). These lights—the sun, moon, and stars—were to rule over the day and night, giving light to the earth and separating light from darkness. In our psalm verses, the psalmist calls on these created things to praise the name of the Lord who created them.

We know what we do to praise God, but how do these things—the sun, moon, and stars, and the “waters above”—praise their Creator? Perhaps created things praise God in ways we cannot know or hear, but one way in which the waters and the sun, moon, and stars may praise their Creator is by doing what they were created to do! The great light of the sun rules the day and the lesser lights of the moon and the stars rule the night. God “made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting” (Psalm 104:19 ESV), and these lights do just that. The moon marks the changing of the seasons, and the sun rises and sets according to God’s design. When God sent a flood to destroy life on a world ruined by sin, “the windows of the heavens were opened,” and the waters above fell for forty days and nights (Genesis 7:11b ESV). More gently, God sends the rain and the snow to “water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater” (Isaiah 55:10b ESV).

Just as the rain and snow accomplish the purpose for which they are sent, the mighty, creating Word of God carries out its purpose. Jesus, the Word made flesh, the One through whom and for whom all things were created, accomplished the purpose for which He was sent, to suffer and die to atone for the sins of the world. Now the crucified and risen Lord reigns in glory and, at the exalted name of Jesus, every knee in heaven and on earth will bow in worship. Creation offers its varied praise, but how do we praise our Creator?

In word and song, in proclamation and witness, we praise the God who created and redeemed us. We offer praise as we trust in our Lord to save us and as we call on His name in prayer and thanksgiving. Like the waters above, like the sun, moon, and stars, we also praise God by doing what we were created anew in Christ to do—works of love and service in His name: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).

We Pray: My Creator, in words and actions I offer my praise to You. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on May 9, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved

Reflection Questions:
1. Do you know the names of any constellations where you live? Which ones?
2. Do you think God created everything for a purpose, or were some things made just to be beautiful and mysterious?
3. How can experiencing nature add a fresh perspective to our faith?