Psalm 115; Psalm 116; Psalm 117; Psalm 118
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Today in Psalm 115 verse 1 we will read – “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory.” (Chris Tomlin fans out there will recognize this as one of his many awesome worship tunes. . .) I don’t know how this verse strikes you, but it strikes me hard. Which is good. I think sometimes I do things for my own glory. And this verse, and really the entire Bible, is clear that the glory is God’s and not ours. Yeah, sure, we will live our lives full of “glorious” moments when we are loving God and loving people. But, we should not be living our lives to build up our own fame or our own glory. As Rick Warren states so well in the 1st sentence of the 1st chapter of his book “Purpose Driven Life”- “It is not about you.” And this is true. It is about God. And this is good news! Really. I have tried to live my life in the past where it was all about me. And this was a miserable way to live life. I pray that you see the incredible wisdom in this verse - “Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory.” How are you living your life? Are you living your life to advance the fame and glory of God? Are you doing this by loving God and loving other people with all that you are? Or, are you by chance living your life to advance the fame and glory of yourself? And if so. . . how’s this going for you?
Psalm 116 verses 1 & 2 are amazing- "I love the LORD because he hears and answers my prayers. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath!" How is your prayer life these days? Do you believe God bends down and listens to your prayers? And answers them? Will you pray as long as you have breath?
Psalm 117 is the shortest of all the Psalms - and the shortest chapter in the entire Bible. This Psalm is said to basically be one long Alleluia. :) Actually verse 1 has a very important message - "Praise the LORD, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth." This demonstrates that God was very interested in the salvation of the Gentiles and all the nations in the Old Testament. And not just in the New Testament as we get to the book of Acts. This was part of the plan all along...
I came across a wonderful speculation on Psalm 118! Zondervan's commentary suggested that Jesus and the disciples sung this psalm/hymn at the end of the Last Supper. Matthew chapter 26 verse 30 tells us - "When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." Adds a bit of a new dimension to this Psalm, no? The reason for this speculation is because this is the final Psalm in the Egyptian Hallel of Psalms 113 through 118. These Psalms were used in Jewish liturgy at the great religious festivals of Passover, Tabernacles, Dedication, Weeks, New Moon. At Passover Psalm 113 & 114 were sung before the meal and Psalms 115 - 118 were sung after the meal. Perhaps, even after the Last Supper by Jesus and the disciples? Below is Russian artist Simon Ushakov's "The Last Supper" from the year 1685 -
Verse 8 in this Psalm stands out to me big time: "It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in people." Kind of strong words I know... but what do you think? Might people, on occasion, let you down? Obviously, we know the answer to this one. People will let us down. Even our closest friends and family at some point will let us down. However - I don't think this means we give up on investing and loving friends and family! It just means we should not be surprised when someone let's us down. That's human nature. None of us is perfect this side of heaven - you will obviously let people down too. Realizing this, I think all of us should be prepared to forgive others and to ask for forgiveness of others. However, what do you think on this question: Will God ever let you down? Will Jesus ever let you down? Please know He won't! In fact, I believe that He's holding you up right this very moment...
Psalm 118 is the last half of the psalm possibly sung by Jesus and the disciples after the Last Supper - see yesterday's posting below for details. What an amazing Psalm... Verse 22 was quoted by Jesus in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10 and Luke 20:17 and he used this verse to refer to himself - "The stone rejected by the builders has now become the cornerstone." Do you believe this verse applies to Jesus? Is Jesus the cornerstone in your life?
Verse 26 was the chant of the crowds as Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday - "Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD." And verse 29 I'm pretty sure is a Michael W. Smith song - "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever." :)
Worship Video: Per Psalm 115:1 reflections above, here's Chris Tomlin's "Not to Us:"
Not to you? But to Your Name!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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