A devotion on Psalm 113
1 Praise the Lord.
WHAT & WHO: Halal Jah!
Praise the Lord, you his servants; praise the name of the Lord. 2 Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.
BY WHOM: Servants – abad– are laborers who work for another. Servants literally or figuratively till and may be enslaved in bond-service. Even as bondmen, the abad are to praise or halal Jah.
HOW: Remember that to halal means to shine, to flash forth light, to boast and glory in, to rave, to celebrate, to make a show, to act madly. So we are invited as slaves of Jehovah, because of whose we are and because of the glorious service in which we are involved, to do some crazy celebrating. Just dance like a little kid.
We are to make a show of his name and commend it greatly to those around us. We are to boast of it and brandish it like a flashing doodad, We are to brandish it clamorously. We are to make some noise and cause a commotion. Folks a’ gotta know there’s something goin’ on here! The more we know him, the more there is to love and celebrate so we will carry on with this spree from now till the vanishing point of the future.
3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.
WHEN: As the children’s song goes, we are to halal Jah “all the live long day.” From the time he rouses us from deep slumber with the brilliance of his sunlight, we are to reflect that light and project it with our halal. We laborers are as those in a parade whose job from sun-up till sun-down is to be about this praise business. We are like a broken record, only it’s broken to the most amazing tunes. The world is hungry for it. Serve it. we are to serve it no matter what the day brings. Good and bad, halal is a fitting response. In the sunrise of our lives when we are young and full of life and as our lives prepare to set we can move just as nimbly if halal has been our lifelong anthem. We can be as our spiritual ancestor. “Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished,” Deut. 34:7. Those are the amazing spiritual genes we have. Someone flash a halal Jah!
4 The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high,
6 who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?
Jah is a contraction for Jehovah – I Am. He is the self-existent one who does not need us. He has no need of food or a father or a mother. He has no need of a job or a nap or a skill. He doesn’t need education or a doctor or a friend. Everything I need, he has never needed in his entire existence. He is everything he needs. He is higher than anything in all creation. He is high above all things. “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen,” Rom. 11:36. He is unique and all others pale and bow in his presence.
But O, this mighty king wants us. He wants to call us friends and to treat us as such. He desires to engage with us, to thrill us. He wants for us to know him and to fall in love with him. We learned in the last couple of lessons that he is tender and compassionate and stoops down to where we are and embraces us there. He constantly deigns to love us. “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,” Heb. 11:2.
7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
8 he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.
9 He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.
Jah has regard for the down trodden and the hurting. For that reason, he works miracles for those who most humans have no use. When life banishes them face-down in the dust or in the ash-heap, spent and discarded, left for dead, along comes our valiant savior in answer to their cry. They call, he answers. They call, he answers. He holds their dirty bodies close in comfort, then he sets them on their feet, cleans them up and regales them in princely garb and in positions of honor.
He hears the cry of the destitute woman and settles her in her home. He hears the cry of the hungry womb and works the miracle of life within it and the pitter-patter of happy little feet squealing in delight. What has he done for you lately?