Psalm 147: God's Word is Among Us

Read Psalm 147

Open the translation of your choice...

 

 

 

 

In the stories of the Older Testament and for Jews today, God is very present also.

 

In the Psalms, the people of Israel praise God and long for God in Jerusalem. God is embodied in the Temple. It’s very much an analog to how Christians consider Jesus Christ the embodiment of God.

Listen

 

 

 

 

A five minute overview from the legendary Psalm correspondent of the Pulpit Fiction podcast.

Psalm 147 podcast nugget - Pulpit Fiction
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A Happy Little Psalm

 

Psalm 147 was probably written post-exile, though no one knows for sure. It's a joyful song praising the Holy One for compassion, justice, wisdom and strength.

 

Most of all, it sings of God's presence with creation.

 

In Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, Christians celebrate God present in Jesus Christ as Emanuel-- "God With Us." 

Pic by Riesma Pawestri

Word, yo.

 

One interesting bit in Psalm 147 is the word word.

 

Since Psalm 147 shows up in the lectionary around Christmas, let's consider how this song of ancient Israel resonates with the prologue of the gospel of John, written centures later.

 

In John's community, God's word that came to "dwell among us" is Logos-- the immense idea, presence, and eschatological communique' of the Holy One. In the Christian tradition, this is how Jesus Christ is introduced in the latest of the four gospels written.

 

In Psalm 147-- written a thousand-ish years earlier, God’s “word” (as it reads in English, verse 15 and 18) is different than Logos.

 

Here, “word” is ruach. Ruach can be translated wind, breath and spirit of the Holy One. It’s this ruach spirit that in Psalm 147 enacts God’s presence and purpose. See Genesis creation story number one, see Jesus’ baptism, see Day of Pentecost, etc., wherever pneuma and ruach play in our pages.

 

In both the Psalm and John's gospel, God is celebrated as being unquestionably present in the world.

Pic by Craig Toron

The Thawmeister

 

Who can send snow, hail and frost and then with a word (a breath) melt it all into a flowing river?

 

That's be God.

 

(See verses 15-18).

 

In the world of ancient Israel, there were ideas about how weather worked, and in fact, how different geographical areas were governed by the gods. Across the scope of the Hebrew Bible, theologies are evolving:

 

Sometimes there are many gods, the best of which is YHWH, the God of Israel. Other moments, there is no God but YHWH-- the rest of them are frauds people are foolish to believe in.

 

Silly, I know. From "A Year Without Santa Claus,"1976.

In Psalm 121, for example: "I lift my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from?"

 

One way to read that is the Psalmist scaning the horizon and knowing that YHWH is present in this particular location, the holy hill. In the Psalmist's imagination would be the traditional stories of other hills being claimed by other gods. 

 

In Psalm 147, the God of Israel claims God's people in a most powerful way (verse 19-20). God's word comes directly to them, and with it a beautiful, solemn covenant to be celebrated. 

Singing the Psalm

God's Word Is Among Us is on the "Shout For Joy" album.

Album songbook available here.

 

 

God's Word is Among Us Charts:

  • piano score

  • ​lead sheet

  • guitar/bass chart

  • jpg of congregational line

  • songleader's notes

 

                                         God's Word is Among Us Charts

                                         $10.00

Music Resources

God's Word is Among Us (Psalm 147)

A Gospel Acclamation for Christmastide

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Word is among us
Hallelujah!

 

 

©2012 Augsburg Fortress Publishing www.AugsburgFortress.org

Contact: Richard@worldmaking.net

God's Word Is Among Us Accompaniment Pack:

  • all charts above

PLUS:

  • powerpoint & keynote lyric slides

  • original recording

  • instrumental accompaniment track

 

                                         God's Word is Among Us Accomp Pack

                                         $12.00

Praise and Thanks to You (Psalm 147)

An upbeat song of praise

 

 

 

 

 

 

Refrain
Praise and thanks to you, Holy One
Praise and thanks to you, our God
Praise and thanks to you, Holy One
Praise and thanks to you, our God


Verse 1
For God is rebuilding the holy city, 

     gathering the outcasts disowned
And God is healing the brokenhearted,

     giving us all a home, giving us all a home

Verse 2
For God the creator has named the stars,

     raining on the mountain grass
And God’s giving courage to the downtrodden,

     calling very one of us back, calling every one of us back

Verse 3
Our God doesn’t value strength, speed and power

     when God sends the Word
And God blesses all who trust in the LORD,

     waiting on God’s perfect love,

     waiting on God’s perfect love

 

 

 

©2012 Augsburg Fortress Publishing

www.AugsburgFortress.org

Contact: Richard@worldmaking.net

Music Resources

Praise and Thanks to You is on the "Shout For Joy" album.

Album songbook available here.

 

 

Praise and Thanks to You Charts:

  • piano score

  • ​lead sheet

  • guitar/bass chart

  • jpg of congregational line

  • songleader's notes

 

                                      Praise and Thanks to You Charts

                                      $10.00

Praise and Thanks to You Accompaniment Pack:

  • all charts above

PLUS:

  • powerpoint & keynote lyric slides

  • original recording

  • instrumental accompaniment track

 

                                       Praise and Thanks to You Accomp Pack

                                       $12.00

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