Psalm 148 is part of a series of Hallelujah psalms that bring the Psalter to an end. What is interesting about this psalm is that the invitation to praise God starts wide and continually narrows down to Israel. In that respect, it echoes the creation story in Genesis 1, where God created the heavens, then the earth and all that was on it, and finally, humanity, in the form of Adam and Eve.
Notice, too, that when the psalmist finally arrives at humanity, it is with all peoples. Everyone is included in this praise; no one is left out. It is only then that God’s special relationship with Israel is underscored; they are the people who are close to God. This, too, echoes the movement of the Hebrew scriptures and indeed the Bible as a whole. If we work backwards in the psalm, we move from Israel to the world, which pretty much was God’s plan from the beginning. God chose to save the world through Israel; “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed,” is how Genesis 12:3 puts it.
Jesus is Israel personified. In and through Jesus, God rescues the world. The resurrection was God’s stamp of approval, Pentecost, God’s guarantee.
Lord God, marvelous are your works. Praise the Lord! Amen. — DAB