Wow, thanks for the thoughts on praise, Lori & MarySusan. Before this study I don't think I ever thought of praise as more than the simple act of recognizing something God had done. There's SO much more to it, though, huh? Philemon 6 makes that clear. I think it's so cool how the things God commands us to do are only for our own benefit in the end. How sad, then, that we sometimes act like He's just trying to "spoil all the fun" that we would have if we did things our own way. HA!
I LOVE how Psalm 147 juxtaposes the statements about God's enormity & power with statements about His love & care for the brokenhearted, the humble, & the little bird. It seems to really capture the essence of WHY God is so amazing, so worthy of our praise -- the same GOD that is supreme over EVERYTHING - "He gives a command to the earth and it quickly obeys him (v.15)" - is the same God that cares about us. Now that truly is an AMAZING kind of love. It's sad that we get so used to the idea of God's love for us that we don't often marvel at the concept of it.
I also really love the first part of Psalm 34:8 - "EXAMINE and see how good the Lord is." In other words, TAKE A LOOK. I dare ya! You'll find out how good He is!