Dec. 25. Psalms of Praise Continued

Ps. 115:1-117:2

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” That was the first of ten commandments that God laid down in the Law of Moses in the wilderness after freeing Israel from Egypt. All through the journey with His people, the greatest displeasure from God came through their failure to obey that one command. He is to be NUMBER ONE. There is no second god to be worshipped. He is unseen in heaven, but He sees all; hears all and knows all. Manmade gods can be seen and may look like they have the strength and vital senses to perform, but the psalmist stated emphatically that they do not speak, see, hear, smell, handle nor walk. Those who trust idols are like them in that they also are false and without power. He called upon Israel to trust in the true God and to reject those manmade idols. They can do nothing, but all blessings come from God. We should praise Him while we are still alive because the dead are in speechless silence.

Sometimes it takes tragedy or near death for a person to realize his need and dependence upon God. The psalmist seems to have experienced a time in which he was at the point of death. However, God heard his cries and spared his life. The writer expressed his thanksgiving and praise for God’s deliverance and vowed to walk in His ways. How often do we make similar vows and after a period of time fall back into our old habits of sinful living? Pleasures of sin are temporary, but unless one repents, his separation from God is eternal.

In a time when only Israel enjoyed special blessings from God, the psalmist called upon all people, including the Gentiles to praise Him. Today, it is not only Jews, but Gentiles as well who are called to obey. There is no respecter of persons with God. All who obey Him have equal access to His salvation. “Praise the Lord!”