Psalm 115 — Not unto us, Oh Lord — Reading the Psalms

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 nations say,
Where is now their God?
3 But our God is in the heavens:
He hath done whatsoever he 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 shall be like unto them;
Yea, 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 ye 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 increase you more and more,
You and your children.
15 Blessed are ye of the LORD,
Which made heaven and earth.
16 The heavens are the heavens of the LORD;
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 ye the LORD.

This psalm of confidence characterizes the order of our cosmos. The world we inhabit, and in which we operate, is not simply made, but governed and sustained by the Lord. When we realize his all encompassing power and influence we are able to recognize the glory due unto his name. Neither we, nor the creative idols we invent, warrant any glory or honor. Our idols are blind and dumb; so are we, their creators, in the face of God.

Yet God is not only one above, but he is one who sustains life here below. He does not only help the blind to see the foolishness of their idols, but blesses them with wisdom & understanding. As a help and shield, God gives order and calms the chaos of our cosmos. It is a powerful truth that the fear of the Lord brings courage & confidence to  one’s heart.

The Lord, sitting in heaven, indeed gave us stewardship of this earth. Yet he did not abandon us in helplessness below. His care covers all and sustains us through our legion of difficulties. Thus, we turn to God to offer praise & honor; we hold to none for ourselves. We turn to God for comfort & relief; we invent none for ourselves. We praise God in life, trusting he will keep us with his life.

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