For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for Himself. – 1 Samuel 12:22
This passage reflects the profound and unique understanding that permeates the faith of those who follow the LORD of Hosts: it is the LORD’s good name, not the king’s, not Israel’s, that is at stake. We’ve seen this affirmed throughout the law, writings, and prophets, and today the Psalms will reaffirm it to the congregation of Israel and proclaim it to all who hear.
The first two Psalms today emphasize the LORD’s cosmic majesty and sovereignty over the earth. The LORD is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens! …Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the God of Jacob. Notice the emphasis: yes, the Psalmist is talking about the God of Jacob; but He’s not the God invented by Jacob or discovered by Jacob. He’s the preeminent God who has chosen Jacob. So, in Psalm 115, the author declares authentically to his time and place: Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness!
In Psalms 116 and 117 the focus shifts to celebration. Listen to the crescendo as the personal becomes the local, to the global, and the eternal: I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem…Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol Him, all peoples! For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
In our closing Psalm, follow the pendulum from third person calls to worship to first person declarations. You’ll have to pay close attention to follow who is being talked about, especially when it comes to affirming that: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Our verses for this week are Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalms 113 through 118. Now let’s read it!
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.