PSALM 113 – Praise the name of the Lord!
Bible Background: “Psalm 113 is from start to finish a hymn of praise about God. It is a call to the people of God to remember who God is and what God has done. Under an arc of the sun’s transit across the sky, earthen landscapes rotate and people go about daily life. In the ordinary movement of each day they are called to praise God. Perhaps the Psalmist is encouraging the people of God to join in what the Apostle Paul would later call in his first letter to the Thessalonians, “prayer without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17)”. -Paul O. Myhre. Psalm 113 is the first in a series of 6 psalms used in the Jewish Passover celebration.
Digging Deeper: 1. “Hallelujah” is a summons to praise God! It demands that we put heart and soul and energy into this important act.
2. Remember the importance of God’s name in the Old Testament especially: Moses at the burning bush has to ask for God’s name. The 2nd Commandment protects the beauty and power of God’s name. God’s most personal name Yahweh (translated LORD in most English Bibles) is so special that some strict Jews would not speak it or spell it! The name of God or a person or an animal, was seen to incorporate the essence of that being. How do you like your name to be used? What are some names that are maybe more precious (or more offensive!) to others than they are to us?
3. The character of God, according to Psalm 113, is that God is so high and mighty, and yet stoops down to lift up the poor from the ash heap. Think about the incarnation….Jesus, laying aside his crown, and being born among us; to live and die among us!
4. The theme of lifting up the poor, and the childless woman, is also echoed very closely in Hannah’s Song (1 Samuel 2) and in Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46f). This is not so much the theme of our culture or of the world today. How willing are we to join God in lifting those who have nobody and nothing? Dare we praise God without seriously caring for those whom God cares for? Psalm 113 invites us to praise God all day long, and join in God’s work.
Psalms worth memorizing this summer: 1, 23, 100, 121. Will you take the challenge? What verse of Psalm 113 can you memorize today?