Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
give praise, all you his hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens,
you waters above the heavens.
Let them all praise the LORD’s name;
for he commanded and they were created,
Assigned them their station forever,
set an order that will never change.
Praise the LORD from the earth,
you sea monsters and all the deeps of the sea;c
Lightning and hail, snow and thick clouds,
storm wind that fulfills his command;
Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars;
Animals wild and tame,
creatures that crawl and birds that fly;
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all who govern on earth;
Young men and women too,
old and young alike.
Let them all praise the LORD’s name,
for his name alone is exalted,
His majesty above earth and heaven.
He has lifted high the horn of his people;
to the praise of all his faithful,
the Israelites, the people near to him.
A friend of mine commissioned this painting because some friends of hers were getting married, and the theme of their wedding was Psalm 148. (Isn’t that beautiful?) She wanted to give them a gift they would cherish, so she asked me to paint Psalm 148.
I have to admit, I have never been more intimidated by what I was asked to paint. The first image that came to mind was the opening scene of the Lion King, which is great, but not exactly what I wanted! Anything I came up with was nothing but cheesy and gaudy and just generally way overdone. So I decided, okay God, I’m just going to read the psalm one more time and let You show me what to paint. (Generally a good way to start anything from the very beginning, if you remember to do so!)
This image came to my mind. I knew it was right. When I showed my friend the sketch I made, she exclaimed that it was exactly what she imagined. I am confident that God took her dream and placed it in my imagination.
I very regularly find that when I turn a painting over to God and just be His paintbrush, it comes out so much better than if I were the artist. On a painting that scared me because it was such a big idea, that experience was magnified unbelievably. I didn’t feel like I made anything.
I listened to music at random much of the time, and was astounded that songs constantly came on that were about creation praising God. I didn’t even know I had that many such songs! My favorite is Rich Mullins’ The Color Green, in which even the rocks are crying out–so I had to paint in the rocks.
Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise
It’s so powerful.