Weds 8th July - Psalm 113
1 Praise the Lord.
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.
3 From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
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?
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.
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Meditation on Psalm 113
Here we begin a series of ‘the Egyptian Hallel Psalms’ from 113-118 inclusive. These Psalms were sung at the major Festivals – Passover (remembering the deliverance of Israel from Egypt) ; Festival of Weeks (also known as Pentecost and the Festival of Harvest when there were celebrations of joy and thanksgiving for the blessing of the harvest); Festival of Tabernacles (remembering the journey from Egypt to Canaan and giving thanks for this land ‘which flowed with milk and honey’); Festival of Dedication (or Festival of Lights, which remembered the purification of the Temple) and Festival of the New Moon (when a monthly burnt offering was made which was a voluntary act of worship and devotion and complete surrender to God. It also involved atonement for unintentional sins).
Psalm 113 and 114 would have been sung before the Passover meal.
Psalms 115-118 would have been sung after the meal.
When Jesus shared the Passover meal with His disciples in the Upper Room, they would have sung these Psalms.
Verse 1 Here is another Psalm that begins with ‘Praise the LORD.’
- a personal encouragement to praise the LORD.
- an encouragement for God’s people to praise Him.
We are the servants of the Most High God – we, His servants, should praise Him for who He is, for what He has done, what He is doing and what He is yet to do. Eternity will be filled with His praise – let’s get used to it now.
We praise the Name of the LORD. As the chorus puts it, His Name is wonderful……Jesus my Lord.’
When Peter preached to the Sanhedrin, he made it quite clear that the Name of Jesus is a powerful Name – Acts 4:12 ‘Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’
And Paul writes to the church in Philippi, ‘God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every Name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth… (Philippians 2:9-10)
Verses 2-3 He is to be praised forevermore and from east to west. Just think about that – every day of every week of every year there are people around the globe praising the Name of the LORD 24/7.
Verses 4-6 Why should we praise Him?
- He is exalted over all the nations. He is in control. He is Lord. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
- There is no-one like Him – ‘who is like the LORD our God?’
- He is on the throne
- He is interested and concerned about the heavens and the earth
Verses 7-9 He cares about His world and the people. Stay for a while in these verses once you have praised Him for who He is. Now see what He does.
- He raises the poor
- He lifts the needy
- He blesses the childless woman with a family (e.g. think of Sarah, of Rebekah, of Rachel, of Naomi, of Mary, the mother of Jesus)
- He gives them a place of honour.
And that is what the Lord Jesus has done for us. Ephesians 2:6 ‘God raised US UP with Christ and seated us in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.’
No wonder the Psalm ends where it began – ‘PRAISE THE LORD.’
Thursday 9 July - Psalm 114
Friday 10 July - Psalm 115
Saturday 11 July - Psalm 116
Sunday 12 July - Psalm 117
Monday 13 July - Psalm 118
Tuesday 14 July - Psalm 119