August 18th Psalms 113
1: Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. 2: Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. 3: From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised. 4: The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. 5: Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, 6: Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! 7: He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; 8: That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. 9: He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.
1: When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; 2: Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion. 3: The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back. 4: The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs. 5: What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? 6: Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs? 7: Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; 8: Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.
1: Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake. 2: Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? 3: But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. 4: Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. 5: They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 6: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 7: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 8: They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. 9: O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. 10: O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. 11: Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. 12: The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. 13: He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. 14: The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children. 15: Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. 16: The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's: but the earth hath he given to the children of men. 17: The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. 18: But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.
Today we are reading Psalms 113, 114 and 115. Psalm 113 is the third of the Hallelujah Psalms and it begins and ends with praise the LORD. Then the hymn has two parts both of which have Praise to the LORD and both have a second part Praise his name and bless his name respectively. In the first verse the Command to praise the LORD is given and in the second part the command is obeyed. He begins by calling on all the servants of the Lord to praise the name of the LORD. Then he says bless the Lord from this time forward and forever more. I cannot help but be impressed by the call in these Psalms to praise the name of the Lord. This has made a deep and lasting impression on my mind and this has caused me to rethink my devotions, in which I will make praise to the Lord a specific act of worship every day. Having said that l now am reproved by the next verse in which the Psalmist says that from the breaking of the dawn to the close of day my mind is to be occupied in praise. Then the Psalmist gives the context to this resolve. He says the LORD is high above all nations and his glory is seen in the heavens. Of course this will be seen in reality in his Messianic kingdom. Then the LORD will in the person of Christ rule every nation and his glory will be seen like lightening from one end of the heaven to the other. Then he asks Who is like the LORD who lives on high (in his temple in Zion) and who humbles himself to look on things in heaven and earth. He is so glorious but his glory is seen best in his raising up of the poor out of the dust of the earth and taking the needy from the rubbish tip where they scavenge and he sets then among princes even the princes of Israel. And he makes the barren woman keep house as a mother full of the joy of children. Praise the LORD. Psalm 114 describes Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. And it is a song that begins and ends with praise to the Lord for his mercy on the children of Jacob. Then in two verses the Psalmist gives first two statements of the Lords deliverance in water and on land and then he asks two questions regarding water and land. He says when Israel came out of Egypt they escaped from a people who spoke a strange language and the tribe of Judah was the sanctuary of the Lord and the whole of the nation was his kingdom. He says when the Red sea (The gulf of Aqabar) saw Israel, it fled and the same thing happened at the River Jordan. The mountains were excited like rams that skipped and the hills were excited too like new lambs. I asked what is the matter with you Sea? And why river were you driven back? Why did you mountains and hills, skip for joy? And why did the earth tremble at the presence of the LORD the God of Jacob? He turned the rock (of Horeb) into a lake and the flint became a fountain of water. Psalm 115 is a famous Psalm in which the psalmist describes Israel’s deliverance from the idolatry of Egypt. The Psalm begins and ends with negative and positive statements first the praise that is given and then the praise givers. Then in the centre we have two double themes of contrast between Heathen theology and Israel’s theology. He begins says not to us but to you be glory given. May we never be tempted to bask in the glory that is due to God alone. The heathen says where is your God? There is nothing physical or tangible to touch. But Israel replies Our God is in the heavens and he is totally autonomous. The gods of the heathens are made of precious metals silver and gold the works of men’s hands. Idol worship is the religion of men who construct a god of their own imaginations. They have mouths but they cannot speak. They have eyes but they are blind. They have ears but they cannot hear. They have noses but they cannot smell. They have hands but they cannot touch and they have feet but they cannot walk. They cannot speak through their throats. Those that make them are like themselves. May God preserve us from making a god like ourselves. But Israel trusts in the LORD their help and shield. He calls on those who fear the LORD to trust in him, because he is your deliverer and protector. The Lord thinks about us all the time and he will bless the house of Israel and the house of Aaron. He will bless all those who fear him both small and great. And the Lord will increase you and your families. You are the blessed of the Lord who made the whole creation. The heaven of heavens is the Lords but he has given the earth to the children of men. The dead do not praise the Lord But we will live and bless the Lord for now and forever. This describes the particular relation Israel had with the Lord under law. They were delivered from the death from their enemies and by remaining faithful they lived long and had many children. And all these blessings were because they feared the Lord and keep his commandments. The Christian is not blessed in the same way. He comes before the Lord as a law breaker and as an unworthy sinner and finds that by faith in what Christ has done he is saved in his soul, though his body perishes.