“Praise the Lord!” The preceding fifteen psalms took worshipers on a journey from distant lands all the way to the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. What could be more fitting after following the journey of these songs of ascents than singing a great psalm of worship?
The people of God in every generation have been called by Him to bow before Him and to glory in His Name. Israel knew that God was good and that singing to Him was “pleasant.” They happily embraced the truth that they belonged to the Lord.
Those who gathered together so long ago on the top of Mount Zion were not to pursue all the religions of the world with an equal appreciation. They were to proclaim in their songs that their God was far above all the idols of the world.
The Lord’s greatness was especially expressed in His sovereignty. Israel’s God did everything that pleased Him “in heaven and on earth.” This one God who controlled the land, the seas, and the skies was unstoppable.
The Almighty was also the God of history. He intervened in the affairs of His people in order to accomplish His plans. He was more than able to defeat powerful adversaries and to deliver His chosen ones from the grasp of imperial powers. It was this great God who had given the land of Canaan to the descendants of Jacob.
The Lord was not a temporary phenomenon. His power would not come and go according to the working of some force that was beyond His control. His eternal purposes would surely be established forever and ever.
The idols of all the nations simply could not be compared to the Lord. They had no power for good. They could not establish their plans anywhere for any length of time. Sadly, those who worshiped idols would “become like them.”
The house of Israel no longer gathers for worship in the ancient temple built by Solomon. That great structure has been gone for many centuries. The priests in the line of Aaron and their fellow servants from the tribe of Levi no longer perform the duties of the Old Testament sacrificial system. A new temple of the Lord is being built throughout the earth based on the offering of one perfect sacrifice.
What was the Lord’s final plan for all the other people groups of the earth who once worshiped various idols? It is now the privilege of believers all over the world to call upon the Name of the God of Israel. Through Jesus, God has vindicated a great host of people and has had “compassion on His servants.”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
O Lord God, it is so wonderful to praise You. You are good. We are Your chosen people. How great is Your mercy! You are far above all powers and principalities. You have wonderful decrees. You will accomplish all of Your good purposes. You are working out all the great events of the story of salvation. The idols of the world are nothing. How foolish we are when we make a god. May all of Your people praise You forever in the holy city of Your heavenly church.