Vs. 1-3 call for man to give praise to God;
Vs. 4-6 because of God’s “glory;”
Vs. 7-9 remembering God’s grace toward men.
This is the third straight “Hallel” Psalm, so-called because each begins with “Hallelujah” (“Praise the LORD”). The Israelite “Passover” was an annual national holiday celebrating the death of the first-born in Egypt, when the angel of God would “Passover” the Israelite houses where doorways were stained with blood of a lamb (Exodus 12). This pictured Jesus’ sacrifice for those baptized into His death, so God would “Passover” a person’s sins (I Corinthians 5:7; Romans 6:3-7). The Israelites would sing Psalms 113-114 before observing Passover, and Psalms 115-118 afterwards.
Verses 1-3: (Verse 1) Who should “praise the LORD?” “Servants of the LORD.” That means that those who haven’t obeyed, or refuse to obey, the LORD, cannot properly praise Him. Only those in the kingdom of Christ by “new birth” (John 3:3-5) “are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28). (Verse 1) What should be praised? “The name of the LORD.” It represents power over life, loving concern for our lives, and the longsuffering in time while we change our lives. (Verse 2) When should His name be praised? “From this time and forevermore.” Praise should last as long as time. (Verse 3) How often should His name be praised? “From the rising of the sun to its going down.” Any time of any day is appropriate. Praising God’s name is not to be limited to, nor fulfilled by, an hour or two on Sunday, but not also home, school, business, government! Doing some good deeds does not cancel the need for worship gatherings (Hebrews 13:15-16).
Verses 4-6: (Verse 4) God is above the nations and heavens, and therefore untouched by human hands! That’s why no astronaut or space probe can ever “see” Him. (Verse 5) There is no “god” or “myth” equal to Him. Christians “know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:4-6). (Verse 6) There is no “god” or “myth” which intervenes in human matters, as Bible history shows.
Verses 7-9: (Verses 7-8) Years before, Hannah had praised God with these very words (1 Samuel 2:8), and was blessed with the son, Samuel; it was part of Mary’s appreciation for birthing Jesus (Luke 1:52); and happens when a sinner is raised from defilement (1 Corinthians 1:26-31). God has brought His people up from human dust and dunghill, and continues through the Gospel of Jesus Christ to call people from their miserable, sinful state (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38-41). (Verse 9) A “barren woman” who is granted the joys of having a child has feelings almost unmatched in human hearts. Just so, God blesses His people (then Israelites, now Christians) with “life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25), and “every good gift, and every perfect gift” (James 1:17), so that Christians now “do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.