When was the last time you were stopped in your tracks by God’s holiness? Summer is that time of year when many take vacations to see the wonders of the National Parks. As a child my parents took me to Yellowstone National Park. Growing up in Oklahoma and Texas I was amazed when I saw the geysers, waterfalls, bears, and buffalo. Several years later when my wife and I saw the Redwood National Forest for the first time, I felt the same same sense of awe and wonder but if I was totally honest, that’s where my thoughts stopped.

Psalm 148 is written with this sense of grandeur but it includes a connection with the God of all creation that had been missing in some of my earlier trips. The psalm begins with a call to Praise the LORD and it follows with eight (8) reasons that creation above should praise Him including: heavens, heights, angels, hosts, sun and moon, and waters above the heavens. The psalmist ends this section with a simple statement, “He commanded and they were created.”

Section 2 of the psalm includes the reasons I should praise the Lord based on what I would see in my first visit to a new national park or a city on a visit. Hail, snow, clouds, storms, mountains, trees, beasts, birds, kings, old, young, women, men and children are listed for our praise of the Creator. Again the psalmist ends this session with a simple statement; “For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.”

Section 3 holds the surprise. The psalmist states, He has exalted the horn of His people…the children of Israel, a people near to Him.” The God who created the expanse of the heavens which can’t be explored even with the strongest telescope, and the Creator that makes every mountain on every world in every galaxy, He has stooped to show Himself to His creation and allowed those He loves to draw near to Him.

When you see those beautiful peaks at a new destination, or hold a baby, or take in a sunset, realize that the God of Heaven who created what is before you, has drawn close to you and given you the privilege of drawing close to Him. Better yet, for those who have trusted in Christ, His Son as the Christ, we will have all eternity to know Him and be known by Him.

by Robert Riggs, Elder

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