Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
2 The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
6 The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
7 Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
8 Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
9 He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
10 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
13 For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.
14 He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.
16 He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
17 He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?
18 He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19 He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the Lord.
What makes the difference between an animal and a pet? My uncle ran a dairy farm. He had lots of cows that came and went over the years. All of them had an identifying ear tag for record-keeping, but a few of them had names. These were the special cows. They were the ones with whom my uncle had developed some kind of relationship. These were the cows that didn’t end up on the dinner table. Having a name matters.
Psalm 147:4 tells us what kind of a God we serve, “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.” (emphasis supplied). That means that none of the stars are throwaways. Each one is important to God. The psalmist cites this as an illustration of God’s character and as an example of how much God cares for his people, Israel. After all, it was Isaac who called his son Jacob, but God named him Israel and assured him of their special relationship. As he said to Israel, he says to us, "Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1, GNB
Karen D. Lifshay
Chorister, Hermiston Seventh-day Adventist church, Oregon USA