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Read Psalm 115

Not to us, Lord, not to us
    but to your name be the glory,
    because of your love and faithfulness.

Why do the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven;
    he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold,
    made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
    eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
    noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
    feet, but cannot walk,
    nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
    and so will all who trust in them.

All you Israelites, trust in the Lord
    he is their help and shield.
10 House of Aaron, trust in the Lord
    he is their help and shield.
11 You who fear him, trust in the Lord
    he is their help and shield.

12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us:
    He will bless his people Israel,
    he will bless the house of Aaron,
13 he will bless those who fear the Lord
    small and great alike.

14 May the Lord cause you to flourish,
    both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

16 The highest heavens belong to the Lord,
    but the earth he has given to mankind.
17 It is not the dead who praise the Lord,
    those who go down to the place of silence;
18 it is we who extol the Lord,
    both now and forevermore.

Praise the Lord.

Go Deeper

As we read through Psalm 113-118, commentaries tell us that these chapters were songs of praise sung by the Jews during Passover. This is important to understand because Jesus sang these songs on the night before He was crucified. This is the same night Judas betrayed Him and He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

 Let’s look again, then, at the words Jesus was singing (v. 1) as He alone knew what the next few hours would hold: “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to your name give glory, because of your mercy, because of your truth.” In light of verse 1, why should the Gentiles say in verse 2: “So where is their God?”

We know from Luke 22:42 that Jesus asked God to spare Him from death. Jesus was not asking where God was at the moment. Jesus certainly was asking God to show up and change things. Don’t we all feel like that at some point, even when we have faith in who God is and where He is? Our prayers can easily become a plea for deliverance from struggle and pain.

But in the midst of those prayers, are we also giving God glory? Jesus understood exactly what torture He was facing. Yet He knew God to be merciful and truthful and believed His Father to be worthy of praise and glory. As the Enduring Word commentary explains: “Singing these words must have moved Him in a way beyond our comprehension. No soul—neither that of the composer of the song, nor that of anyone who employs it—ever entered so completely into all its deep spiritual significance, as did the soul of Jesus, as, before passing out to Olivet, to Gethsemane, to Calvary, He sang it with that little group of men.”

When we face struggles, even those that seem insurmountable on our own, we can remember who our Father is. He never changes (Malachi 3:6). He is all-knowing (Isaiah 46:10). He is with us wherever we go (Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 23). He walks the road with us to the very end. No matter what happens on earth, he is worthy of our praise and glory. He knows what is ahead, because He has already been there. We can trust Him completely.

Questions

  1. When you read this chapter again, how does it change your perspective to think of Jesus singing these words just hours before His crucifixion?
  2. What fears, doubts, or attitudes might be keeping you from giving God glory in the midst of your struggles?
  3. What attributes of God resonate the most with you in the midst of trials? Write those down so that the next time you are struggling you can return to the list and remember who your Father is.

By the Way

Psalms 113-118 are known as the Egyptian Hallel psalms, which means Praise Yahweh. They were written to be sung before and after the Passover meal, and were sung excitedly by the Jews each year as a promise of the Messiah that would save them. How amazing that the Messiah himself sang these words as He brought God’s promises to fruition!

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1 thought on “Psalm 115”

  1. I will never cease to be amazed at the beauty of scripture, how each story, verse & chapter is connected to the Savior of the world. That God purposefully chose to redeem brokenness through His Son is beyond my imagination. I take comfort in knowing that though at times it may seem like we are forgotten, the Lord remembers us (v12). My posture as I head into this day is overflowing with praise, knowing our God is trustworthy, a help and shield. I will delight in Him!

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