A devotional on Psalm115
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
The Lord has promised us abundant glory – kabod kabod – especially in glory. It’s doubled because it’s going to be good good! When God sets up a principle, he enemy sets us up a perversion. Satan’s temptation to us today is that we don’t have to wait till we see Jesus face to face. Oh no, we can have our glory now. We can amass things and experiences that are for our exclusive pleasure till our dying breath. But pleasures and comforts swiftly render us fickle and faithless. We wrangle with God for what is his.
When God sets up a principle,
the enemy sets up a perversion.hannah tk
Scripture challenges the fleshly desire and says that the glory belongs primarily to God’s name. That is where the beauty is. That is where the splendor is. Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory.
2 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
5 They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.
6 They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell.
7 They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat.
8 Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.
We become much like what we spend time with and pour ourselves into. That includes the people we hang out with, the values of the pleasures we pursue, and whatever we put our hands to. We also become increasingly like those we trust in.
9 O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.
But we are called and set apart to be different. We look to God to be our pleasure and the soul pursuit of our hearts. We look to God to be our help and our shield. Today’s passage addresses three populations. The first is Israel. Their patriarch Abraham was the recipient of God’s seal of ownership and everlasting relationship as a chosen friend of God. Romans 9:8 says that “not all of Abraham’s children are children of God, but only those who believe the promise of salvation which he made to Abraham.” God is your hope and your shield, O Israel.
Second is the house of Aaron. An elaborate consecration service confirmed Aaron and his sons to represent the people to God as priests forever. This was through the sprinkling with blood upon themselves, their garments, and the altar. “There I will meet with the people of Israel, and it shall be sanctified by my glory. I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar. Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve me as priests. I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God,” Exodus 29:43-46.
Then God turns around and calls believers in Christ “sprinkled” and “priests.” “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy,” 1 Peter 2:9, 10. God is your hope and your shield, house of Aaron.
The third party is “those who fear the Lord.” Yesterday we talked about how the earth trembled at the presence of the God of Jacob, Jesus Christ, who was with the Exodus Expedition from Egypt to Canaan. All creation writhed and leapt in terror and praise of him. We were invited to be known as those who fear the Lord. God is your hope and your shield, you who fear him.
12 The Lord has remembered us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron;
13 he will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great.
Halal Yah! Those are they that Yah will stoop down to love on and cover with his favor.
14 May the Lord give you increase, you and your children!
15 May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
16 The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man.
What a grand blessing. May we speak that over ourselves and all those we come in contact with. Increase our faith, Lord. Increase our fear of you. Increase our obedience unto godliness. Increase our knowledge of you. Increase our hope in you. Increase our humility and our love for others. Increase the work of our hands and the brilliance of our minds. Thank you for giving us the earth. It is a beautiful earth. Help us tend it and use it to your glory.
17 The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence.
This was a common misconception among our ancestors who did not have knowledge of the afterlife. It was frequently perceived as a cessation of being in a place called Sheol.
18 But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!
Yet right here we see a declaration that our praise shall indeed be forevermore. Halal Yah!