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FRAMEWORKS: Psa 115: Worship God, not idols


[Preliminary Comments: The psalm comes as a challenge to idol-makers [v.4-8] and peoples who deride Israel [v.2]. The psalmist asserts that all glory belongs to the Lord [v.1], the Sovereign God [v.3], and he calls Israel to trust in the Lord [v.9-11] and reminds them that the Lord blesses those who respect and honour Him [v.12-15] having given us the earth [v.16], so we should praise Him [v.17,18]. It is a call to honour and praise and glorify the Lord – and stay away from idol worship!]



v.1 Acknowledging the Lord's glory


v.1  Not to us, Lord, not to us
     but to your name be the glory,
     because of your love and faithfulness.


v.2 The folly of deriding nations of Israel


v.2  Why do the nations say,
     ‘Where is their God?'

v.3 Declaration of God's sovereign power


v.3  Our God is in heaven;
     he does whatever pleases him.

v.4-7 The powerlessness & helplessness of idols


v.4  But their idols are silver and gold,
     made by human hands.
v.5  They have mouths, but cannot speak,
     eyes, but cannot see.
v.6  They have ears, but cannot hear,
     noses, but cannot smell.
v.7  They have hands, but cannot feel,
     feet, but cannot walk,
     nor can they utter a sound with their throats.

v.8 The folly of idol makers


v.8  Those who make them will be like them,
     and so will all who trust in them.


v.9-11 A call to all in Israel to trust the Lord (only)


v.9  All you Israelites, trust in the Lord  –
     he is their help and shield.
v.10  House of Aaron, trust in the Lord  –
     he is their help and shield.
v.11  You who fear him, trust in the Lord  –
     he is their help and shield.


v.12,13 Assurance that the Lord will bless all who trust Him


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


v.14,15 Desire for God's blessing on them


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


v.16 Dwelling in heaven He has gifted us with the earth


v.16  The highest heavens belong to the Lord,
     but the earth he has given to the human race.

v.17,18 The dead can't praise him, it should be us, for ever and ever.


v.17  It is not the dead who praise the Lord,
     those who go down to the place of silence;
v.18  it is we who extol the Lord,
     both now and for evermore.

Praise the Lord.



[Additional Comments: This is a very general call to praise and honour the Lord that, unlike some other psalms, does not refer to the Lord's works but instead just focuses on His sovereign power and lordship as our Creator.]




Continue to Psa 116