- Hallelujah! 1 How good to celebrate our God in song; how sweet to give fitting praise.
- The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem, gathers the dispersed of Israel,
- Heals the brokenhearted, binds up their wounds,
- Numbers all the stars, calls each of them by name.
- Great is our Lord, vast in power, with wisdom beyond measure.
- The LORD sustains the poor, but casts the wicked to the ground.
- Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; with the lyre celebrate our God,
- 2 Who covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, makes grass sprout on the mountains,
- Who gives animals their food and ravens what they cry for.
- 3 God takes no delight in the strength of horses, no pleasure in the runner's stride.
- Rather the LORD takes pleasure in the devout, those who await his faithful care.
- Glorify the LORD, Jerusalem; Zion, offer praise to your God,
- Who has strengthened the bars of your gates, blessed your children within you,
- Brought peace to your borders, and filled you with finest wheat.
- 4 The LORD sends a command to earth; his word runs swiftly!
- Thus snow is spread like wool, frost is scattered like ash,
- Hail is dispersed like crumbs; before such cold the waters freeze.
- Again he sends his word and they melt; the wind is unleashed and the waters flow.
- The LORD also proclaims his word to Jacob, decrees and laws to Israel.
- God has not done this for other nations; of such laws they know nothing. Hallelujah!
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Footnotes1 [Psalm 147] The hymn is divided into three sections by the calls to praise in Psalm 147:1; 7,12. The first section praises the powerful creator who restores exiled Judah (Psalm 147:1-6); the second section, the creator who provides food to animals and humans; the third and climactic section exhorts the holy city to recognize it has been re-created and made the place of disclosure for God's word, a word as life-giving as water.
2 [8-9] God clothes the fields and feeds the birds. Cf Matthew 6:26,30.
3 [10-11] Acknowledging one's dependence upon God rather than claiming self-sufficiency pleases God. Cf Psalm 20:8; 33:16-19.
4 [15-19] God speaks through the thunder of nature and the word of revealed law. Cf Isaiah 55:10-11. The weather phenomena are well known in Jerusalem: a blizzard of snow and hail followed by a thunderstorm that melts the ice.
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