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Psalm 135

Jorine Johnson

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 have compassion on 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 All you Israelites, 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.

This is a psalm of praise to God for who He is and all that He has done for the sake of His people, Israel. This psalm looks back in Israel’s history and demonstrates the power and the might of God. The goal of this psalm is to demonstrate the praise and bring Israel in true worship to God. This psalm may have been written during the time of the kings or even in the exile when the nation of Israel were being oppressed by other nations. They have even been slandered for worshipping God as the gods of the nations were being credited for the success of defeating and oppressing the Israelites. This psalm is to bring back the people to praise God and a remembrance for all that God has done.

Verse 3 makes an incredible claim that the Lord is good. It may be sometimes difficult to see or experience the goodness of God especially in circumstances that don’t always seem to be good. But the psalmist looks to Israel’s past and demonstrates the goodness of God. God is in control of the nature such as the storms and wind. He is one who rescues Israel from slavery in Egypt, and redeemed them from the perils and oppression. He also made the way for Israel to reside in Israel despite opposition from other nations. 

And the goodness of God includes the election or the choosing of Israel to be God’s holy people. God has chosen Israel to be His treasures possession, a people to be holy (Deut 7:6, 14:2). And because He has chosen Israel, He will also redeem and show His mercy on Israel. No idols could do the same because they are unmatched for Yahweh, the God of Israel. 

This is great joy and hope for believers as we are counted as God’s elect and included in Israel as God’s holy and treasured people (Romans 9-11). Whatever crisis and problem arises, we have a great hope that the God who did so much for His people is also the same God who will do so much for us. And that includes the precious Son Jesus Christ who has been given for us. 

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