Tuesday, February 27, 2024

2024.02.27 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 113

Read Psalm 113

Questions from the Scripture text: With what command does this Psalm begin (Psalm 113:1a, cf. Psalm 111:1a, Psalm 112:1a) and conclude (Psalm 113:9c)? What does Psalm 113:1b call its recipients? What, specifically, are they to praise (verse 1c)? Why (Psalm 113:2a)? For how long (verse 2b)? How continually will His Name be praised (Psalm 113:3a–b)? Above whom is He (Psalm 113:4a)? How great is His glory (verse 4b)? What rhetorical question does Psalm 113:5a ask? With what implied answer? Where does He dwell (verse 5b)? What does He do from there (Psalm 113:6a)? Why (verse 6b)? What does He do for whom in Psalm 113:7? Why (Psalm 113:8)? What does He do for whom in Psalm 113:9a? Like whom (verse 9b)? 

What is the point of redemption? Psalm 113 prepares us for the opening portion of public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these nine verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the point of the great God’s redeeming of lowly men is to be praised for it forever—especially by the redeemed. 

Who praisesPsalm 113:1-2a. The Psalm is especially for God’s slaves, God’s servants. “Praise!” it commands, three times. The Lord’s Name is blessed in and of itself (Psalm 113:2a), and He will be praised by all His works. But this is the special place of the redeemed: to praise their redeeming God!

WhenPsalm 113:2-3. The next section of the Psalm covers two “when” aspects of God’s praise: duration and persistence. He will be praised from this time, in the coming time, and forever. And this praise never takes a moment off: it is from the rising of the sun to its going down. Our view of things is short-sighted; we tend to be forgetful of eternity. And, it is narrow. We see some circumstances but forget that the God Who rules over all by grace is continually being praised in glory. This continual, forever praise is what we have been redeemed to participate in and lead!

How muchPsalm 113:4-5. Man is so impressed with himself, but YHWH is above all men taken together—indeed, high above them (Psalm 113:4a)! This is not surprising; man is a small creature when he views himself next to the heavens (cf. Psalm 8:3–4). 

For whatPsalm 113:6-9. YHWH has infinite greatness in Himself, but it is especially in helping lowly man that He most displays His glory. And all men are lowly. The Lord “has to stoop” way down (Psalm 113:6a) even to look at what’s in the heavens and in the earth (verse 6b). And upon whom does the Lord especially bend His redeeming eye? Upon the poor (Psalm 113:7a), the needy (Psalm 113:8a), and the barren (Psalm 113:9a). The poor is in the dust. The needy is in the ash heap. And the barren woman has no home—probably because she has been rejected by men, to whom she cannot bear offspring.

But the Lord’s people (Psalm 113:8b) do not have the same social structure as this world. YHWH, Whose glory is above the heavens, sets the poor and needy among the princes (verse 8) and gives the barren woman a home. A mother of children should have joy in the Lord, from Whom she receives her children, and Whom she serves in rearing them. But if the joy is in the Lord, then one doesn’t need children to have the joy; she only needs the Lord!

Dear reader, all creation will praise YHWH forever, but it is especially to lowly sinners such as yourself that He has given the chief place of praise. He stoops down to lift the lowly up to rejoicing in Himself. Find in Him your salvation, your purpose, your place, and your joy!

What place does praising God have in your schedule? What place does it have in your ordinary thinking and feeling? How big do people and nations seem in your thoughts? Who is bigger? How does He impress that greatness upon your heart? Upon whom does God look with mercy? What does He do for them? What do they have in Him? 

Sample prayer:  O Lord, blessed is Your Name, morning and night, forever and ever! You are high above all the nations, and Your glory above the heavens! But You have most displayed Your incomparable greatness in Your mercy to us who are lowly. There is no height greater than the height of rejoicing in You. Now, stoop down in Your mercy, we ask, and lift us to the height of rejoicing in You as Your princes, we ask through Christ, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP113 “O Praise the LORD” or TPH113B “Praise God, O Servants of the Lord”

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