A Bible Lesson on Psalm 113

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.  Copyright 2000; 2001, by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

This is a Bible lesson on a passage outside the current ISSL schedule, Psalm 113.

Psalm 113:1 Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord!

These calls to praise are more than just repetition.  They give specifics.  It is those who know the I AM who are to praise Him.  It is His servants.  And they do so from knowledge of His name, of  His nature and who He is.  It’s not in ignorance that they speak, but because He’s graciously revealed Himself to them.

2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!

3 From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!

And those who know Him, who gather to worship Him in any one time and place are just a small part of a multitude who extend in both time and space.  You and I stand in a long line of faith, with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, David, Daniel, Isaiah, John the Baptist, James, John, Peter, Paul, Athanasius, Calvin, Luther, Cranmer, Wesley, Ryle, Lewis and on the list goes.  We stand presently related to believers around the entire world.  God’s name has been praised and is to be praised by those who know Him in all times and all places.  Blessed be the name of the LORD!  To praise is to acknowledge with joy who our God is.  To bless has the added meaning of kneeling humbly in worship.

4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!

And this praise and blessing is only appropriate, for He is far above us.  He stands far above our grandest conception of height.  He superintends the vastness of His creation without the slightest strain.

5 Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high,

6 who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?

Who, indeed, is like Yahweh, Jehovah, the I AM, our God?  He’s so “other,” so far beyond us, so transcendent that the heavens are almost out of sight below Him.  The Jerusalem Bible renders 5 and 6 that He’s “enthroned so high that he needs to stoop to see the sky and earth.”  But here’s the amazing thing: this utterly “other” transcendent One is right here beside us!

7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,

8 to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.

Our God cares for the most humble of His people.  This transcendent One is simultaneously immanent,  lifting the downtrodden and needy.

9 He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!

This One who is above all, is simultaneously merciful and full of grace right here beside even a solitary forlorn barren woman.  That was Sarah’s experience.  That was Hannah’s experience.  That was Elizabeth’s experience.  Indeed, who is like Him???  The psalmist ends as he began: Praise the LORD!

Here is a .pdf of this lesson.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.  Copyright 2000; 2001, by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

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