Psalm 113 — Praise for one who listens — Reading the Psalms

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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,
That hath his seat on high,
6 That 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 up the needy from 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.

The first of the Hallel psalms, 113-118 shared & sung in times of Hebrew festival and celebration, this psalm at once lifts the Lord on high and brings him down to our level. First and foremost, it is in praise of God that we read this psalm. We could invent no better words of praise than the simplicity of reading the words of this psalm aloud to the Lord.

He alone is on high. Holy and sanctified above the globe we inhabit, higher even than the heavens we behold. He is above our petty nations & desires. There is no one nor any thing that can compare with the Lord.

And yet, despite his heights, he condescends to listen to our little voices. He hears our cries of pain, our words of praise. He hears our pleadings for mercy, comes down to where we are, and lifts us up. The lowly, the empty, even the barren are filled in God by God. Language here, borrowed from Hannah’s own words of praise found in 1 Samuel 2, demonstrate that prophets, priests & kings are not the only ones heard by God. He hears us all.

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