"Praise the LORD!...
For I know that the LORD is great,
and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the LORD pleases, He does,
in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
He causes vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
Who makes lightnings for the rain;
Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.
He smote the firstborn of Egypt,
both of man and beast.
He sent signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt,
under Pharoah and all his servants.
He smote many nations,
and slew mighty kings,
Sihon, king of Bashan,
and all the kingdoms of Canaan;
and He gave their land as a heritage,
a heriatage to Israel His people.
Thy name, O LORD, is everlasting,
Thy remembrance, O LORD, throughout all generations.
For the LORD will judge His people,
and will have compassion on His servants."
(Psalm 135:1, 5-14)
We, the chosen people and prized possession of God, have been told to praise the good and lovely God. Here, in verses 5-14, we are extolled to praise the greatness of this good God.
Yes, our God is good. He is kind and His mercies are new every morning. But He is not merely some jovial old grandpa pouring forth blessings upon His children. No, our good God is a GREAT God. Mighty in power. Sovereign in all things. He "is above all gods and whatever He pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps."
Henry sums it up this way:
"The Lord is great, great indeed, who knows no limits of time or place. He has an absolute power, and may do with it what He will. This absolute almighty power is of universal extent; He does what He will in heaven, in earth, in the sea, and in all the deep place that are in the bottom of the sea or the bowels of the earth."God is great and greatly to be praised. Hallelujah!
The psalmist not only arbitrarily claims the greatness of our God, he goes on to give instances and examples of His great power. He does so in "the kingdom of nature" and in "the kingdoms of men".
He begins with God's great and sovereign control over the "kingdom of nature". Again I turn to Henry. His eloquence is worthy of more than a cliff note description.
"All the powers of nature prove the greatness of the God of nature, from whom they are derived and on whom they depend. The chain of natural causes was not only framed by Him at first, but is preserved by Him. It is by His power that exhalations are drawn up from the terraqueous globe.
"The heat of the sun raises them, but it has that power from God. It is He who, out of those vapors so raised, forms the rain. They are returned with advantage in fruitful showers.
"He makes lightnings for the rain; by them he shakes the clouds, that they may water the earth. here are fire and water thoroughly reconciled by divine omnipotence.
"Winds blow where they list, from what point of the compass they will, and we are so far from directing them that we cannot tell whence they come nor wither they go, but God brings them out of His treasuries with exactness and design."
A great God who works great things and rules all things exactly as He pleases in the kingdom of nature. Praise the Lord, you His people!
Secondly, the psalmist shows us the greatness of God and the awesomeness of His power in the "kingdoms of men." He gives us historical examples of God's dealings with
Pharoah of Egypt,
Sihon of the land of the Amorites,
and of Og King of Bashan.
These were mighty men who struck fear into the hearts of people. But their human power was no match for God's omnipotence.
Og was obliterated.
The greatness of the good God triumphed over all their schemes. The great God protected His prized people against the pestilent plans of these wicked warlords. God had given a promise to His possession and nothing - no power, no potentate, no principality - would stand in the way.
"No powers of hell or earth can prevent the accomplishment of the promise of God when the time, the set time, for it has come." (Matthew Henry)
O my sanctified siblings, praise the great God with me!! He is above all gods. He does whatever he pleases in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in the deeps. He rules nature. He rules kings. He rules us - and He seeks our greatest good!!
"His name is everlasting" and so is His dominion. "His remembrance is through all generations" and so is His love for you, O chosen child. "The LORD will judge His people" (thankfully through the merits of the Christ whom He has sent to redeem them) and "He will have compassion on His servants."
O, how can we not sing hallelujah?!!!
How can we not live hallelujah?!!!
Join me in praising the greatness of the good God. Praise the LORD!
In His great and glorious grace,