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Devotional

(From Scripture Union)

Pray

Lord, my trust is not in a god whom I can see but rather in one whom I can’t.

Read

Psalm 115
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. 2 Why should the nations say, "Where, now, is their God?" 3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; 6 They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; 7 They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat. 8 Those who make them will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them. 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. 12 The Lord has been mindful of 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, The small together with the great. 14 May the Lord give you increase, You and your children. 15 May you be blessed of the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth. 16 The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, But the earth He has given to the sons of men. 17 The dead do not praise the Lord, Nor do any who go down into silence; 18 But as for us, we will bless the Lord From this time forth and forever. Praise the Lord!

Meditate

Consider

"The Lord remembers us and will bless us… he will bless those who fear the Lord—small and great alike… It is we who extol the Lord… Praise the Lord" (Psa. 115:12,13,18).

Think Further

There are various voices in this psalm. First, Israel addresses God in what is generally understood to be a communal lament, calling out to God because she is being mocked (1,2). Second, the psalmist mimics the taunting voice of the enemies quoted by Israel (2). The voice of Israel then continues until verse 9 when another voice breaks in, possibly a priest providing encouragement. Some consider that a prophetic voice takes over at verse 12, though it may be the continuation of the priestly one. The different tone in verse 14 may suggest another voice (Leslie C. Allen, Word Biblical Commentary 21: Psalms 101–150, 143–150). The reason for the trust expressed in this psalm is the covenant; whatever her circumstances, Israel knows that God is there and will remember her (12). Even when he seems absent and others mockingly ask where he is (2), the people are confident that he is in heaven and is sovereign (3). At the same time, he can be relied upon as their shield and helper (9–11). Not only does the psalmist assure them that God will bless those who fear him (12,13), but he pronounces blessing on them (14,15). It is a privilege to be able to bless others in the name of the Lord. The satirical polemic against idols in verses 4–8 purports to boost Israel’s own faith and monotheistic position. It is also an answer to the mocking in verse 2. The nations say, "Where is their God?" and Israel answers that her God is in heaven whereas the nations worship impotent images of silver and gold. Although we may also disparagingly dismiss such practices, we might remember that many of us live in societies where silver and gold are worshipped without needing to be fashioned into images.

Apply

Everyone who serves God wants him to step down from heaven and reveal himself personally to their enemies. Isaiah felt the same way (cf. Isa. 64:1,2). What do you want God to do?

Pray

Father, You are the one, true God. You are our help and shield, the source of all blessing. I will extol the Lord both now and for evermore. Praise the Lord!


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