Tuesday, March 19, 2024

2024.03.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 115:9–18

Read Psalm 115:9–18

Questions from the from the Scripture text: Whom does Psalm 115:9a call upon? To trust in Whom? What two things is He to them (verse 9b)? Whom does Psalm 115:10a call upon? To trust in Whom? What two things is He to them (verse 10b)? Whom does Psalm 115:11a call upon? To trust in Whom? Whom is He to them (verse 11b)? Who has remembered (Psalm 115:12a)? Whom will He bless (verse 12b)? Whom else (verse 12c)? Whom else (verse 12d)? Whom else (Psalm 115:13a)? Which ones of them (verse 13b)? What blessing does Psalm 115:14a pronounce? Upon whom (verse 14b)? By Whom (Psalm 115:15a)? What else has He done (verse 15b)? What does He reserve to Himself (Psalm 115:16a)? But over what has He given oversight, to whom (verse 16b)? But who do not praise Him there (Psalm 115:17)? And who will bless Him (Psalm 115:18a)? For how long (verse 18b)? With what command does the Psalm conclude (verse 18c)? 

What has God saved us for? Psalm 115:9–18 prepares us for the opening portion of public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these ten verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that God has saved us in order to help us, protect us, and multiply us unto praising Him all this life long and forever. 

Trust in the One Who is an actual help and shield (Psalm 115:9-11)! The first half of the psalm closed by warning about the result of trusting in an impotent idol. Everyone who trusts them will be like them (Psalm 115:8). But there can be no neutrality; we must place our trust somewhere. Merely trusting in oneself is the source of all idolatry (cf. Psalm 115:4b). Now, Psalm 115:9-11 give us a triply emphasized command for where to put our trust: in YHWH. Psalm 115:9 addresses Israel, the covenant people. Psalm 115:10 addresses the house of Aaron, an anointed people. Psalm 115:11 addresses “you who fear YHWH,” a godly people. A Christian is all of these: covenanted, anointed (e.g., the priesthood of all believers), and godly. He has a triple reason to trust in YHWH and a triple promise that YHWH is his help and shield.

The God Who remembers to bless (Psalm 115:12-15). Psalm 115:12a is just two words in the Hebrew. YHWH (has)remembered. God Who gathers us to Himself, anoints us in His service, and sanctifies us by His grace… He will remember. He will bless us (verse 12b)! That first declaration is repeated by another triplet, this time of blessing (Psalm 115:12-13a). No one will be left out. There is not much distinction between small or great by comparison to YHWH, and He stoops down equally to bless each one of them (Psalm 115:13b). 

In Psalm 115:14-15, the psalmist becomes the mouth of the blessing prophesied in Psalm 115:12-13. Implied here are all the blessings of creation and covenant for those whom the Lord is saving. Being fruitful and multiplying is a creation command/blessing, and “you and your children” is especially a covenantal way of speaking (and idea with corresponding multiplication, cf. Genesis 13:16, Genesis 15:5, Genesis 22:17, etc.). The blessings of creation and covenant continue in Psalm 115. God remembers! And now He has brought all of that blessing in Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:20). 

The people who must remember to praise (Psalm 115:16-18). In the heavenlies, YHWH has established His own display of His glory, and praise (Psalm 115:16a). But verse 16b reminds us that the Lord has commissioned man as His agent in the earth. For those who are in their sin, they miss the only chance that they had to praise (Psalm 115:17). But for those who are His Israel, His anointed priests, His godly ones… they not only bless YHWH now (Psalm 115:18a) but forever (verse 18b). 

Dear reader, what is it that you’re concerned not to miss out on in life? Move the praise of the Lord to the top of that list! Praising Him in this life, in this world, is a limited time opportunity. If you do not take it now, in dependence upon grace, you will miss out both on a lifetime of praise now and an eternity of praise later. So, heed the command that sums up this entire psalm: Praise YHWH (Psalm 115:18c)!

What opportunities do you take for stirring up trust in the Lord? For praising Him? What opportunities does your household have? If you are its head, how easily do you let them be deprived of these opportunities? What opportunities do you have for praise with your congregation? Which ones are you not taking?

Sample prayer: O Lord, we trust in You! You remember us and bless us. And You have promised to multiply, more and more, us and our children. Now, bless us to be able to praise You on earth as they do in heaven. Make us to bless You our whole life long and forever, we ask through Christ, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP115A “Not unto Us, LORD” or TPH115A “Not to Us, LORD, Not to Us”

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