Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD; Praise [Him], O you servants of the LORD! 2 You who stand in the house of the LORD, In the courts of the house of our God, 3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD [is] good; Sing praises to His name, for [it is] pleasant. 4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure. 5 For I know that the LORD [is] great, And our Lord [is] above all gods. 6 Whatever the LORD pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places. 7 He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries. 8 He destroyed the firstborn of Egypt, Both of man and beast. 9 He sent signs and wonders into the midst of you, O Egypt, Upon Pharaoh and all his servants. 10 He defeated many nations And slew mighty kings– 11 Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, And all the kingdoms of Canaan– 12 And gave their land [as] a heritage, A heritage to Israel His people. 13 Your name, O LORD, [endures] forever, Your fame, O LORD, throughout all generations. 14 For the LORD will judge His people, And He will have compassion on His servants. 15 The idols of the nations [are] silver and gold, The work of men’s hands. 16 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; 17 They have ears, but they do not hear; Nor is there [any] breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them are like them; [So is] everyone who trusts in them. 19 Bless the LORD, O house of Israel! Bless the LORD, O house of Aaron! 20 Bless the LORD, O house of Levi! You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD! 21 Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, Who dwells in Jerusalem! Praise the LORD!PSALM 135:1-21
A CELEBRATION OF GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY
The difference between Christian and pagan prayer is simple. In pagan prayer, you are trying to tell your god what to do. In Christian prayer, you are asking the real God for His will. In Christian prayer we don’t bend God to our will, if anything He bends us to His. It is like pulling a boat up to the dock. God is the dock, you are the boat, the rope is prayer. As you pull the rope (pray). The boat moves (you), not the dock (God… He is unchangeable).
The Psalm today celebrates God’s sovereignty. That is an attribute of God’s that is hard to imagine because we are really in control of so little in our lives, it is challenging to grasp that He can be in charge of so much. The Psalmist goes out of his way to note that God is in charge of the things that happen under the surface of the water (that mankind at that point could only imagine for no one could observe what was going on in the depths, there were no dive tanks, no submarines, no cameras to tell us about what goes on down there, no researchers with equipment to record the migration patterns of sharks!). God is also in charge of the weather in all of it’s benefits (mists) and terror (lightning). God is in charge of kings and kingdoms (Pharoah and others). This should cause us all to fear and worship God! He is awesome and other than us in a holy, holy, holy sort of way.
His being is significantly different than ours and yet he chooses to reveal himself to us. He demonstrated who he was to Egypt. He chose to love Jacob… and oh how we should love that name by now. Jacob was a trickster who snuck into a dark tent to steal a blessing from his brother, but God loved him anyway! Then we see Jacob’s name changed to Israel later in the verse (v. 4). God loved Jacob too much to leave him the same, so he wrestled with Jacob (Gen. 32), struck his hip and caused him to never walk the same again.
So what does God’s sovereignty mean for us today? We can rest knowing that God is in control of all things. Things we see and know about and things we cannot see from our perspective. He is in control of it all. We can know that He is more powerful than the storm and stronger than the nations that rage around us. He can do whatever He wants… And He wants you even though you’re a sinner from birth. He wants to show you the riches of His grace that you don’t deserve but He freely lavishes upon those who are His children.
Not only does He want you, but He loves you too much to leave you the same. When we come to Christ we repent of our sins and we trust Him to be the Lord of our life. We turn from what we were doing and we submit ourself to Him. You become a part of God’s people by responding to God’s call. Have you done that today? If you have, all this should cause you to marvel that God is so big and yet so accessible to you and I.
Father, Thank you for your sovereignty. Too often I am tempted to pray pagan prayers where I try and convince you to do things my way. What I really need is to see things your way. Like an ancient sailor observing life in the ocean from the top, I confess that I have no idea what is really beneath the surface of this world, I only know that you hold it all together. I am grateful that you care for even me and should love even me. You are worthy of all glory, honor, and praise. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.