"Not to us, but to Your name, we lift up highest praise!"
What a great declaration of praise from a new song "Love so Greath" we will be learning at 11:00 this week! This declaration of praise is derived from the 115th Psalm. This Psalm is a part of the "Hallel" psalms which were recited by the children of Israel on certain days of the year. This specific psalm focuses on God as the one true God against the idols made by the hands of pagan nations. J. Vernon Mcgee suggests this song was written by someone that was of the diaspora, the exile of the Hebrew tribes to live among ungodly people. You can somewhat sense that the author has been living in or has witnessed the practices of a culture that does not honor God, the creator of the heavens and earth. He feels ridiculed by the heathen in vs. 2 as he is asked where this "one true God" is. The author responds with a declaration that He is in the heavens, overseeing all the affairs of this world, even in the allowing of His chosen people to suffer in exile. He declares in subsequent verses that Yahweh is not man-made like the false gods and idols of the heathen, but He is ruling and reigning in Heaven. Vs. 9-11 remind Israel to trust in the Lord. From the lowliest of Israelites to the great priesthood, they have been beckoned to remember the goodness of God and to trust in His word. He has not left them. He has been "mindful" of them. Though they have been in exile because of their sin, God promises that He will not leave them there, He knows their plight and will send a rescuer. After these great reminders the psalmist utters the great praise of the benediction, "we will bless the Lord, from this time forth, and forevermore."
I'm not sure what has transpired in your life lately, but it is not uncommon for us to feel like we have been in exile. Maybe, like Israel, you have disobeyed the Lord or have fallen into some sin that has you despairing of life. This Psalm is a reminder to continue to trust the Lord. The idols of this world cannot and will not save you. If you have turned to some version of a false god today; unhealthy relationship, food, sexual immorality, depression, anger, success or any other functional savior, allow the words of this Psalm to encourage you today. Remind the enemy that you serve the one true God, Yahweh, the maker of heaven and earth. Remind yourself that you are chosen child of the King! Throw those idols away and let the Lord resume His rightful place in your heart.
Or maybe today, you are in a place of testing. God has placed you in a situation and you are seeking His guidance and wisdom. Do not grow weary friend, He did not leave Israel to wander forever, and He will not leave you. He is "mindful" of you and knows your heart. Be patient and He will lead you.
Whatever you situation today, take a moment and read Psalm 115. Let the word of God dwell in you richly and reap the benefits of trusting in the Lord today. And then together we can say, Not to us Lord, but to your name, be the glory!
Check out the new song here.