Read Psalm 113
1 Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, you his servants;
praise the name of the Lord.
2 Let the name of the Lord be praised,
both now and forevermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
4 The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
6 who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
8 he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9 He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord.
Think back to when you first learned to ride a bike, or to water ski, or to drive a car. Remember what it was like to approach that learning experience with excitement and a little bit of healthy fear? Then, you mastered it. You figured it out. A bike went from something to learn and respect to something that took you from Point A to Point B, the destination now more important than the vehicle used to get there.
Let’s apply that same logic to a difficult, 1000 piece puzzle. Once all the pieces fit together and the picture appears the same as the one on the box, there’s a sense of satisfaction in mastering something that was once impossible to figure out. Mission accomplished—and we simply move on to the next challenge.
Oftentimes, we approach God this same way. What if we could figure Him out? What if we could make sense of the ways He moves and acts, or the way He answers prayers, or His decisions to bless or judge? What if we had a god who we could master? Would we then rest in the satisfaction of self-accomplishment? Would we simply use that god as a means to an end, rather than the end itself?
Yet sometimes, we make this our goal—to make sense of something we can’t figure out. His ways are not our ways. And the truth is, we don’t need a God we can make sense of or figure out. We need a God unlike anything else, a God worthy of the weight of worship. Worthy of the weight of holding all things together. Worthy of the weight of mystery. Worthy of the weight of glory.
Psalm 113 reminds us that God is unlike anything else. He is worthy of all our praise. He is majestic and exalted and glorious, and He is near and He is good. The contrast between verse 5 and verses 6 through 9 can’t be lost on us. He is majestic and without rival or equal; still, He bends down to interact with us. Our humanity is not a problem for Him because He is the solution for the brokenness of it all. God is not a means to an end, He is the end, and all glory and honor and praise is due Him. We’d be wise to remember to approach Him with excitement and healthy fear, rather than make ourselves like Him by trying to figure Him out. There is nothing like our God. And that’s a good thing. He’s good at being God. He’s good to us.
- What characteristics and attributes of God do you observe in Psalm 113?
- The word “praise” is used six times in nine verses. Why do you think that is? What does it mean to praise something or someone?
- Do you try to figure out God? What if you could? How would that affect your praise of Him?
“With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all creatures.”
― A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy
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