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Psalm 115:9–18

“The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!” (vv. 17–18).

Yahweh, the one true Creator and covenant Lord of Israel, is not one deity among many others. He is unique. He is so different from the gods worshiped by those who do not know Him that there can be no real comparison. This Yahweh, whom we now know in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, “does all that he pleases” (Ps. 115:3). He does not subject His eternal plan to His creatures for scrutiny and input. He does not throw up His hands and give up when others oppose Him—in fact, any opposition that rises against Him does so only according to His wishes, for He works out all things in accordance with His sovereign will (Eph. 1:11). The God of the Bible is independent of His creation and able to do all His holy will. He does whatever He pleases to do.

The false gods, which are all the deities worshiped by those who do not know Christ as Savior, cannot do whatever they please. They are ultimately powerless and lifeless, as Psalm 115:3–8 colorfully describes. Moreover, all those who impenitently worship them will become like these gods—spiritually dead and without any ability to enact their will.

On the other hand, those who worship the one true God will share in His life and in His power. This is the chief lesson we learn from today’s passage. After revealing the impotence of the false gods in verses 1–8, Psalm 115 goes on in verses 9–11 to call on the people of God to look to Him for their help and defense. In seeking for the Lord to bring glory to His name by delivering us (vv. 1–3), we will receive great blessing. In fact, His gifts will be so abundant that they will extend even to the generations after us (vv. 12–15). As we teach our children to depend wholly upon our Creator, we can know with certainty that God will continue His faithfulness to them. The Lord who made heaven and earth will give us and them good things, including deliverance from our enemies, and the power to enjoy them.

We know this to be true because God has given His creation to us. The earth and all its stores are ours to steward unto the Lord’s glory and for our enjoyment (Gen. 2:4–17; Ps. 24:1). All of this was given to us to show us that He is our good Father and so that we would trust in Him alone (Matt. 6:25–34; 7:7–11). As John Calvin comments on Psalm 115:16, “The Holy Spirit declares that all things were created principally for the use of men, that they might thereby recognize God as their father.” If we so recognize Him by approaching Him through Jesus His Son, we will live forevermore to bless His name.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

God gives us good things not as ends in themselves but so that we will see His generosity and be moved to worship and serve Him. It is not a sin to desire good things from our Lord; the problem comes when we desire those good things more than we desire our Creator. Let us not turn the things we have into idols, but let us always remember God and His goodness, using our enjoyment of His gifts as an occasion to thank and praise Him.

For Further Study
  • Genesis 9:1–7
  • Deuteronomy 33:13–17
  • Luke 11:1–13
  • James 1:16–17

Glory to the Name of the Lord

The Certainty of Deliverance

Keep Reading Contentment

From the December 2015 Issue
Dec 2015 Issue