A PRAYER OF PRAISE
Thank You Lord for Your all-encompassing love which floods me with peace.
Read Psalm 135
1 Praise the Lord.[a]
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.
- Psalm 135:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verses 3 and 21
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn today’s reading, the psalmist looks to the past to remind God’s people of his faithfulness to them in the present. How has God been faithful to you in your life?
Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by present circumstances and so we ‘read’ our lives through a lens of despair. Walter Brueggemann talks about our ‘tendency to absolutize the present moment’.* Like the book of Romans, this psalm reminds us to look beyond the present moment by remembering well; that is, remembering that we worship a loving and compassionate God who has acted in history to deliver his people, and who will act powerfully in our own lives.
This psalm begins with an imperative: ‘Praise the Lord.’ Why should God be praised (v 3)? God is not only God of his chosen people (v 4); God is above all gods (v 5) – he is the God of the whole world (vs 6,7). Then the psalmist looks at the initiative God has taken to deliver his people in history, remembering how God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt through the Exodus (vs 8–12).
Finally, the psalmist, like Paul in Romans 1:21–23, reminds us that all false idols are impotent, and therefore a dependence on things other than God will not save us (vs 15–18).
Whatever our present circumstances, we need to remember that we worship a known God who has acted in history, ultimately in sending us his Son. Praise God for his compassion, mercy and grace.
I thank You Lord, that praise is therapy and gratitude is medicine for the soul. Today I offer my praise and thanks to You.
*Walter Brueggemann, Abiding Astonishment: Psalms, Modernity, and the Making of History, Westminster John Knox Press, 1991, p 26