All Creation WILL Praise God (Psalm 145:10)

I have been reading over PSALM 145 a few times… meditating on the Song calling us to action, to praise of our Lord, and the like. Verse 10 stood out a bit to me, I will explain. But first, here are a few different versions of the same verse:

All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
    and all your saints shall bless you! (ESV)

All You have made will thank You, Lord;
the godly will praise You. (HCSB)

All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord,
And Your godly ones shall bless You. (NASB)

All creation will thank you,
    and your loyal people
    will praise you. (CEV)

All Your works shall praise You, O Lord,
    and Your godly ones shall bless You. (MEV)

I noticed a split here… almost a change in “who” was being spoken of here. The first section included ALL of creation… everything in it. The second section of that verse seem to delineate a separated people. In supporting the idea that this first part is speaking to every being within creation (even creation “itself”) is again noted at the very end of the Psalms:

  • Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Hallelujah! (CSB)

Everything that breathes are not regenerated. This includes, in my thinking, even the unregenerate — since the breath. I started to think of verses such as Revelation 5:13; Isaiah 45:23-24Philippians 2:10-11, and the like. Of course we are all familiar with this Philippians verse:

  • “so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (NASB).

Here is some in-depth commentary on this verse:

Ultimately, every creature in the universe will acknowledge who Jesus is. Two concerns must be discussed: the meaning of “at the name of Jesus” and the description of which persons acknowledge him. The phrase “at the name of Jesus” may mean that he is the object of worship, that he is the medium of worship,165 or that he provides the occasion and focus of worship. The context clearly reveals that Jesus is to be the object of worship, as the name “Lord” and his exalted position indicate. That rules out Jesus as a medium of worship, but more may be required by this expression. In fact, more is intended. Wherever Jesus’ name (and character) has authority, he will be worshiped. Since he is authoritative everywhere, as the next phrase indicates, he will be worshiped everywhere. The emphasis of this text, however, is not directly on the worship of Jesus. The language is that of triumph. The bending of the knee was a posture of submission, as was confessing “Jesus Christ is Lord.” The hymn, therefore, speaks to Jesus as the conqueror of all and should be seen as parallel to such texts as 1 Cor 15:24–28. Thus the hymn points out that everyone will acknowledge the position of Jesus in the universe.

The second concern of this first purpose clause is the persons who submit to Jesus’ lordship. The text states, “in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” The meaning of the text is that it is the knees of beings located in these places. Paul could and did use personification to speak of the relation of inanimate objects to Christ (Rom 8:19–22), but this context is confined to persons. Jesus’ lordship encompasses spiritual beings (those of “heaven”—good or evil), living human beings (those of “earth”), and dead persons as well (“under the earth”). Thus the hymn includes every conceivable habitation of personal beings.

The second purpose statement is that “every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” In a parallelism typical of poetry, both the universal nature of Jesus’ lordship and the acknowledgment of it are reemphasized. “Every tongue” includes the same beings as “every knee” which bows. The confession “Jesus Christ is Lord” encapsulates this aspect of the Christian faith and may well have been the earliest Christian confession.

Honoring Jesus in this way fulfills God’s plan. He elevated Jesus to the position of lordship (v. 9), and the confession is “to the glory of God the Father.” There is perfect unity in the Godhead. The actions of Jesus in his exaltation bring glory to the Father. Thus the Father honors the Son, and the Son honors the Father. In this dynamic, both display selflessness, and both receive honor.

This is an eschatological picture. The hymn brings the future into view by describing the culmination of history, when all persons will acknowledge Jesus’ lordship. No evidence states that such acknowledgment will bring salvation, however. That must be cared for in the present, before Jesus conquers his enemies. The church bears witness to Jesus’ lordship by confessing to the world “Jesus Christ is Lord” and offering salvation to those who accept that confession and make it the central part of their lives (Rom 10:9–10). Paul recognized, therefore, that some people will voluntarily accept the reality that Jesus is Lord and participate in his reign of glory. Others will deny that lordship and, in the end, be conquered by the Lord himself. For them, it will be too late to participate in the glory, and they will be destined to the punishment appropriate for those who resist the Lord.

Richard R. Melick, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, vol. 32, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991), 107–108.

Likewise, I was drawn to REVELATION 5:13 as connected to this Psalms and it’s future ruminations:

Then I heard every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that are in them, saying:

“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be blessing and honor and glory and power,
        forever and ever!”

This verse drips with this distinction I noted in Psalm 145:10. Here are a [more than] few commentaries on Revelation 5:13 —

This movement is extraordinary. Joining the host of heaven apparently are all the beings created by God, including not just humans but other forms of life as well. Conceivably, this chorus of glory to the Lamb even includes those who are perishing, since, after all, Paul has promised that “every knee should bow … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10–11). Redemption has no specific mention in this final chorus, simply the worthiness of the Lamb to receive praise, honor, glory, and power, and his worthiness to receive this forever.

Paige Patterson, Revelation, ed. E. Ray Clendenen, vol. 39, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: B&H, 2012), 175.

Animals, birds and fish join with humanity in a great act of divine worship. Even the underworld, the abode of the dead and dwelling-place of evil, is involved. Clearly this vision does not reflect present reality from John’s perspective, for rebellion and injustice still exist in God’s world. Rather we catch a glimpse here of what creation was intended for, and what can be in God’s great plan, on earth, as it is in heaven.

Ian Boxall, The Revelation of Saint John, Black’s New Testament Commentary (London: Continuum, 2006), 102.

On that day every creature including the unsaved (cf. Phil 2:9–11)—will give the Father and the Son the glory they deserve.

Robert Vacendak, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” in The Grace New Testament Commentary, ed. Robert N. Wilkin (Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society, 2010), 1275.

Loud sevenfold praise for the Lamb spills over from the heavenly throne room and is joined by every creature … on the earth … under the earth … in the sea, as is seen in Pss. 148 and 150. Blessing and honor and glory and power: From the vantage point of heaven, these verses look forward to the climactic point when “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil. 2:11).

Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen, and H. Wayne House, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1999), 1743.

The entire created order now joins in the mighty chorus—everything in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and in the sea—in adoration of both God and the Lamb together (5:13)

Walter A. Elwell, “Revelation,” in Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), 1209.

Now the music becomes a diapason, a full, deep burst of harmonious song. Every creature … in heaven and on the earth joins in heaping eternal blessing and honor and glory and power on God the Father and on the Lamb.

This verse parallels Philippians 2:10 and 11, which insists that every knee will bow at the name of Jesus and every tongue confess Him Lord. No single, specific time is mentioned, but it will obviously be after the saved are raised to everlasting life and then after the unsaved are raised to everlasting judgment. Believers will have already acknowledged Jesus as Lord; unbelievers will then be compelled to honor Him. Universal homage to the Father and the Son is an assured fact.

William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 2363.

The universality of Christ’s work calls for this universal praise.

Robert B. Hughes and J. Carl Laney, Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary, The Tyndale Reference Library (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), 741.

All animated creation now joins in the ascription of praise. Those under the earth are probably the “spirits in prison” of 1 Pet. 3:19, though Vitringa understands the expression to be used of the devils “who unwillingly obey Christ,” and even declare his glory, as in Mark 1:24, “I know thee who then art, the Holy One of God.” The sea is meant literally; the apostle’s object being to include all animated beings wheresoever existing. It has been remarked that St. John’s exile at Patmos would render him familiar with the appearance of the sea, and account for its frequent use in the Apocalypse, both literally and symbolically. The things on the sea would signify, not merely ships with their inhabitants, but also those animals in the sea which are known to men by dwelling near the surface. “All things that are in them” serves to render emphatic the universality of the description, as in Exod. 20:11 and Ps. 146:6, “The Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.”

H.D.M. Spence-Jones, ed., Revelation, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 167.

Just try to imagine such singing. This, of course, means all intelligent life in the universe. In the strictest sense, this cannot happen until the final consummation (Phil. 2:10–11). However, in many places John’s visions record events yet future, so we should not be troubled by this anticipation of the Son’s universal worship. Note also the extreme chronological sweep of the throne room worship scene developed in chapters 4 and 5:

✧ The worship of the Almighty by the living creatures and the elders has been going on since their creation eons ago.
✧ The worship of the Lamb by the heavenly court and all the angels has occurred—at least in this manner—since he was slain.
✧ The worship of both the Almighty and the Lamb by all the universe’s creatures has yet to become a reality.

Kendell H. Easley, Revelation, vol. 12, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 96.

This scene anticipates the universal acclamation to be offered at the consummation of all things. If it represents universal praise in an absolute sense, then it issues not only from God’s willing subjects but also from his opponents, who will be forced into submission (as in Phil. 2:10–11; Col. 1:20). Rev. 5:9–12 and 5:13 are good examples respectively of the “already” and “not yet” time reference of chs. 4–5 in particular and of the Apocalypse in general.

G.K. Beale, The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1999), 365.