Monday, May 9, 2011

Psalm 135

1 Praise the LORD.

Praise the name of the LORD;
praise him, you servants of the LORD,
2 you who minister 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 praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob to be his own,
Israel to be his treasured possession.

5 I know that the LORD is great,
that our Lord is greater than all gods.
6 The LORD does whatever pleases him,
in the heavens and on the earth,
in the seas and all their depths.
7 He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;
he sends lightning with the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

8 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
the firstborn of people and animals.
9 He sent his signs and wonders into your midst, Egypt,
against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He struck down many nations
and killed mighty kings—
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan,
and all the kings of Canaan—
12 and he gave their land as an inheritance,
an inheritance to his people Israel.

13 Your name, LORD, endures forever,
your renown, LORD, through all generations.
14 For the LORD will vindicate his people
and relent concerning his servants.

15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
made by human hands.
16 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
17 They have ears, but cannot hear,
nor is there breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.

19 House of Israel, praise the LORD;
house of Aaron, praise the LORD;
20 house of Levi, praise the LORD;
you who fear him, praise the LORD.
21 Praise be to the LORD from Zion,
to him who dwells in Jerusalem.

Praise the LORD.

Questions to consider:

  • For you, which is the most profound image that the psalmist offers?
  • How do you think the psalmist knows that "the Lord is great"?
  • Who does the psalmist call upon to praise the Lord?
  • Does this psalm reflect your feelings toward God? Why or why not?
Possibilities for prayer:

As I read through this psalm, one of the things that was most striking to me was the comparison between our God and the "idols of the nations." They were portrayed as completely ineffective, while God "does whatever pleases him" and is capable of making "clouds rise from the ends of the earth," among many other things. The psalmist uses some rather lovely imagery in describing what God can do, has done, and will do; imagery that likely leaves one feeling rather inspired and awed by the greatness of the God we serve. That greatness seems magnified many fold in comparison to the utter lack of ability the other idols have. Today, let's take some time to simply praise our God, the God who sends lightning and makes wind, who is capable of both creating and ending life, and who will vindicate his people.