Psalm 115

In the midst of a world hostile to the exclusivist claims of the God of Israel, the psalmist declares the pre-eminence of Yahweh. He longs to see Yahweh glorified above the many false gods and false claims of the surrounding nations. The vision of this psalm is that, as God blesses his people, his glory will shine through them. The appeal is one that is often repeated in various forms throughout the psalms: That blessing for God’s people would not exalt their reputation but God’s reputation. The writer of Psalm 88 makes the same appeal when he asks, “Do those who are dead rise up and give you praise? Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in oblivion.” In other words, the reason for God to bless us is that we might become vessels of praise to glorify his name. Do you long to see people know and glorify your God? Then this is the psalm for you to pray. Does it pain you to see people serving all sorts of causes over and often against that of God? Then this is the psalm for you to pray. Do you long for the light of God’s glory to shine through your life? Then this is the psalm for you sing.

Psalm 115 is a song of communal trust and committal to God’s purpose. It shows all the signs of having been used in a corporate setting since it appears to have a liturgical structure likely involving different parts. Both the appeal and the posture of this psalm is more relevant today than ever. Paul says to the Corinthian church: “You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols” (1 Corinthians 12:2), He goes on then to talk about how the Spirit of the living God speaks and acts powerfully through us to his glory. It is a wonderful application of the message of Psalm 115 by the apostle. We are the true image bearers of the real God, and we were created to enjoy God and glorify him forever.

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