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January 30 – Near to God

“Let them praise the name of the Lordfor His majesty is above earth and heaven. …He has raised up a horn for His people, praise for all His saints … who are near to Him.” – Psalm 148:13, 14 

Scripture reading: Psalm 148:1-14

When I was a kid, our family ate breakfast with our state governor. I was surprised that he shared this close setting with so few. I felt honoured to be one of fifty. When you read Psalm 148, I want you to feel the surprise and honour of eating breakfast with God. That’s the punch line in verse 14 – “praise … for the children of Israel who are near to Him.”

First, His nearness is surprising because of Yahweh’s majestic reputation in the heavens. He commissions the angels (2), keeps the heavenly bodies in motion (3), and holds the heights of heaven in place (4) (Read verses 1-6).

Second, Yahweh’s nearness is surprising because of His majestic reputation on the earth. He designed and still maintains every detail of creation – from weather patterns (8) to landscape (9) to the animals (10) to political powers (11) to the smallest child (12). (Read verses 7-13. Compare verses 5 and 13. Think of the name as Yahweh’s reputation.)

All this builds to the surprising honour of verse 14. A horn symbolizes the power of an ox (Psalm 92:10). More specifically, the horn of David refers to the line of David’s kingdom (132:17; 89:20-24). Jesus is the horn. Jesus is the praise for all His saints (14). By forgiving our sins, He makes us near to God legally. At His ascension, Jesus receives the name above all names (Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 1:9). Yet by His Spirit, He draws us nearer than a breakfast guest (Ephesians 2:6).

Suggestions for prayer

Praise God by naming specific creatures and features of His creation in both heaven and earth. Marvel by observing their function, their artistic beauty, and their wise design. Ask for a greater awareness of His nearness through His Word, Son, and Spirit.

Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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