Saints of the Most High God,
In Psalm 135, we read and encouraged to sing of God’s covenant faithfulness to His beloved people, chosen and preserved by His extraordinary grace. The Lord’s faithfulness informs and motivates us to worship especially in contrast to the vanity of foreign gods, idols of men. There is only one true God, who does whatever He pleases, and He delights in showing mercy and upholding the lives of His people. This is why His “nation,” the Church endures, while all the nations who worship idols perish. That God has shown loving kindness, patience, sovereign choice, covenant faithfulness to those who would otherwise perish in their sins is reason to worship.
Let’s look at the progress of this Psalm of Ascent, one sung by the people of God on their way to the place of covenant worship:
3 | Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
4 | For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.
8-11 | He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast; and Og, king of who in your midst, O Egypt, sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants; who struck down many nations and killed mighty kings, Sihon, king of the Amorites, the kingdoms of Canaan,
14-15 | For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants. The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
19 | Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.
21 | Blessed be the LORD from Zion, he who dwells in Jerusalem! Praise the LORD!
The beginning an end are a call to worship, and what lies in the middle forms the reason for why we are to worship the Lord and bless His name, the One who dwells in Zion, the One whose life-giving presence is distinct from the the cursing corruption of vain idols (15-18). The worship of idols leads to death, the worship of God leads to life. The psalmist’s point is quite clear - idolatry is suicide. Trusting in the Lord is the only way to life, so worship and adore the only Lord of life.
This Sunday we have opportunity to embrace the One who has life in His hands, and to come together as a people to receive for ourselves and to declare who have not yet found it, that which the Lord alone is able and so willing to give.