Yesterday, my brother Wes and I, climbed to the summit of Columbia Mountain in Western Montana near Columbia Falls – a challenging, but beautiful hike of about 12 miles round trip. The trail winds through beautiful forest, crosses a refreshing mountain creek, features a beautiful waterfall, and all along the way – but especially at the summit – affords a stunning view of the entire Flathead Valley in Western Montana.
About ¾ of the way up the mountain I just couldn’t resist it anymore… We stopped together at a turn in the trail, rested a moment, and I read the passage that happened to be a part of my devotions that morning… Psalm 148 – one of the great “Hallel (Praise the Lord!) Psalms!” We reflected on the wonderful truth it expresses… had a few moments of worship and continued on with praise in our hearts to the Lord the rest of the way up the mountain. Here’s the Psalm…
“Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created. And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away. Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven. 14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for His people who are near to him. Praise the LORD!”
So here’s the deal… Every morning when the sun pushes out the night and awakens the dawn… every evening when it sets and the night sky is filled with stars in doxology on the day… every squirrel that scampers across the path… every deer standing silently in a mountain meadow… every pine and poplar along the trail… the gurgling brook and the cascading water fall… even the delicate tapestry of a leaf on a mountain oak… and two brothers traversing a mountain trail heading to a summit where the view takes your breath away… these all become a reason… no, more than that, an imperative… to praise the Lord, our Creator God! And believe me, that is what we did!