All Creatures of Our God and King

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let every created thing give praise to the Lord,
for he issued his command, and they came into being.
-Psalm 148:5

'All Creatures of Our God and King', is hymn, by William Draper, based on a canticle of Saint Francis of Assisi, called, 'Canticle of the Sun', written in 1255.  It is based on Psalm 148, which calls upon all creation to worship the Lord or Yahweh.

Francis was a rich young ruler, who forsook his family fortune to live in poverty and serve people.  He was never an ordained priest, but was a Friar.  Friars (the word means brother) are people to take vows to serve among the people.  Where monks turn inward, with silence, prayer, and study; while doing humble work together, friars turn outward and get among the hustle and bustle of people, physically touching lives.

Have you ever thought about the call for all creation to worship?  All of creation has a relationship to the creator.  The psalmist, and then Francis, picked up the idea of calling upon or exhorting all created things to worship God.  Francis emphasized animals, but in the Bible, all creation are worshipers.  The mountains and the hill sing and the trees clap their hands (Isa. 55:12).  The very last line of the last Psalm says, "Let everything that breathes sing praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord!"

Since God's very existence compels worship, the compelling is so powerful, that it becomes natural to see everything as the congregation, worshiping.  Another aspect of why this is so, is because God created all living things, as well as the sun, moon, stars, and angels.  He created the air, clouds, land, and sea.  All of the creation owes its existence to God, who is worthy of praise.

So, it is perfectly natural to look at part of the creation, and say to it, "praise the Lord!".  It is also wisdom and godly to care about the creation, as stewards, treating animals humanely, and the land respectfully.  God does care about how we treat animals (Prov. 12:10).  I know a little boy who was killing ants with the garden hose one day, for his entertainment, who was brought under conviction by God that his heart was in the wrong place.  I believe that God cares about the smallest creatures.