Psalm 113 — The Almighty's Providential Rule Among Men
113:1 Praise ye Jehovah. Praise, O ye servants of Jehovah, Praise the name of Jehovah.
113:2 Blessed be the name of Jehovah From this time forth and for evermore.
113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same Jehovah's name is to be praised.
113:4 Jehovah is high above all nations, And his glory above the heavens.
113:5 Who is like unto Jehovah our God, That hath his seat on high,
113:6 That humbleth himself to behold (the things that are) in heaven and in the earth?
113:7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, And lifteth up the needy from the dunghill;
113:8 That he may set him with princes, Even with the princes of his people.
113:9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, (And to be) a joyful mother of children. Praise ye Jehovah.
- Call to worship (vss. 1,2).
- Vision of the converted (vs. 3).
- Jehovah enthroned in glory (vss. 4,5).
- Jehovah's dealings with men (vss. 6-9).
I. Call to Worship
In various psalms the call goes forth for the people of God to worship Him. The word, hallelujah, is rendered in verse 1 of Psalm 113 as, Praise ye Jehovah. Let us remember that this word is a Hebrew term and means literally, “Praise ye Yah” The name Yah is a shortened form of Jehovah, which occurs in the Book of Psalms frequently and once or twice in the prophets. God is indeed praiseworthy. It is for our good that we worship and praise Him. There is something more than simply the reflex influence which worship and praise has upon us. It puts us in touch with the Almighty and puts us in such a position that He is justified in pouring out His rich blessings into our lives.
In verse 2 the statement is made:
Blessed be the name of Jehovah
From this time forth and for evermore.”
The psalmist, realizing the praiseworthiness of the Lord, prays that God's name might be held in reverence and awe and that men might worship Him from his own day and even for evermore. I feel morally certain that there has never been a day when worship and praise and adoration have not been rendered to God. The Lord always has His seven thousand who have never bowed the knee to Baal. I recognize the fact that there have been periods of delinquency when the true worship of God was reduced to the minimum; nevertheless, even in such times, the Almighty has had His seven thousand true followers. Even in the darkest hours of the closing days of the present dispensation there will be those who will be left here and there and who will be true worshipers of the Lord. The Apostle Paul tells us that in the last days of this age those who will be left around, here and there, will be taken at the rapture of the church, and John informs us that in the beginning of the Tribulation the number of disciples will increase and develop into a mighty host which no one can number. This prayer of the psalmist that God's name may be held in reverence will be fulfilled. Of course during the Millennium worship and praise will be universal.
II. Vision of the Converted World
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same
Jehovah's name is to praised.” (vs. 3)
The kingdom of God was coextensive with the kingdom of Israel during the Old Testament days. This fact is seen in I Chronicles 28:5. In this passage David speaks of God's having chosen Solomon, his son, to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of Jehovah over Israel. In I Chronicles 29:23 Solomon is said to have set upon the throne of Jehovah as king instead of David his father. The knowledge of the fact that the kingdom of Israel was coextensive with the kingdom of God of that day and time lead many of the Jews to develop a spirit of exclusiveness. They lost sight of the value of the human soul and looked with disdain upon the Gentiles, considering them as dogs and as being unworthy of salvation.
There were however many in Israel who rejected such a bigoted spirit and who by prophetic insight looked beyond the borders of Israel and saw that there would be Gentiles who would accept the salvation of God. Moses clearly saw the Church Age and the Gentiles who would accept the Lord for he declared (Deuteronomy 32:21):
They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God;
They have provoked me to anger with their vanities:
And I will move them to jealousy with those that are not a people;
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.”
This passage is interpreted in Romans chapter 10, as being a prophecy concerning the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah 65:1 likewise is another prediction of the Gentiles' coming at the present time and accepting God while Israel who has developed a spirit of self-righteousness is rejected. Study Isaiah 65:1-7 on this point.
But certain of the prophets looked forward beyond the present age, during which God is taking out a people from among all nations for His name's sake, to the great Millennial Age when all nations will be brought to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Psalm 50:1 we have this language:
The Mighty One, God, Jehovah, hath spoken,
And called the earth from the rising of the sun to the going down of thereof.”
God calls people to Himself, but He has committed unto men the word of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18,19). It is quite likely that the calling mentioned in Psalm 50:1 is the proclamation of the gospel which we know will be carried on during the Tribulation Period by the Jewish evangelists of whom we read in Revelation, chapter 7. Following the great call to the nation to accept the gospel message is the marvelous prediction, in verse 2 of Psalm 50, that “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined forth.”
This verse refers to the personal appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns to the earth in glory at the end of the Tribulation Period. The Prophet Malachi also foretold the time when God's name will be held in reverence among all the nations.
For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the Gentiles, sayeth Jehovah of hosts” (Malachi 1:11).
Various psalms speak of the same time when all nations will go to Jerusalem and will worship the one true and living God. The prophets are unanimous in their testimony that that time will come.
III. Jehovah Enthroned in Glory
In verses 4 and 5 of our psalm we have this language:
Jehovah is high above all nations, And his glory above the heavens.
Who is like unto Jehovah our God. That hath his seat on high.”
Jehovah the God of Israel is supreme. He is the absolute monarch of the entire material universe. According to Genesis 1:1 God existed in that part of eternity which is called “In the beginning.” Finally at one point He created the heavens and the earth — brought into existence the material worlds. They are the result of His creative activity. As the potter is higher than the clay, which He molds, so is the Creator on a higher plane than the things which He has brought into existence.
Because of the fact that God is the creator and the one in whom we live, move, and have our being, the psalmist declared that He is high above all nations. Many of the nations feel their independence of God. The time will come when atheism will cover the earth. Finally the Antichrist will banish all worship from the face of the globe and demand that men worship him. At that time God will be practically ignored. The nations, under the antichrist, will feel that they can work out their own problems, that they are masters of their own fate. They need to learn the lesson set forth in Isaiah 40:15-17:
Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are accounted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt-offering. 17 All the nations are as nothing before him; They are accounted by him as less than nothing, and vanity.”
God can deal with the nations just as easily as one can blow a particle of dust from his hand. The nations are no more than a drop in the ocean in God's sight. He can therefore deal with them as He sees fit but we praise Him that He is a righteous and a just God and that all of his works are done in righteousness and holiness of truth. It is well for us to bear in mind, however, that He is the Sovereign of the universe, that He has a plan which runs through the ages, that He is guiding the course of history according to His will, and that He will bring glory out of every act of man, even making the wickedness of men praise Him (Psalm 76:10).
Who is like Jehovah our God,
That hath his seat on high.” (vs. 5)
The throne of God is in the north. This fact one can see from Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel, chapter 28. According to Ezekiel, chapter 1, God's throne is supported by a pavement which is resting upon stones of fire. There are cherubim and seraphim who are in His presence as we see in Revelation, chapters 4 and 5. Vast, innumerable hosts of angles come into His presence, rendering adoration and worship to Him. One catches a glimpse of this heavenly scene in the narrative found in I Kings 22:13-23. Again we catch another vision of heaven and its mighty host in Psalm 89:5-18. Once more we snatch a glimpse of the heavenly throne in Daniel, chapter 7, vs. 9 and 10. There are ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of angles that are obedient to Him. Thus our psalmist, in vs. 5, says that of all the heavenly hosts there is not a single being who is comparable to Jehovah our God. He is the uncreated, eternal Being, whereas all the angels are created and depend upon Him every moment for their very existence.
Let us always bear in mind that the word, Jehovah, as defined by Moses is the Holy Trinity. “Hear, O Israel, Jehovah, our Gods, is Jehovah, a Unity” (Deuteronomy 6:4 lit. trans.) There are three persons of the Holy Trinity: Jehovah the Father, Jehovah the Son, and Jehovah the Holy Spirit. Each of these three divine Personalities is equal in power, might, wisdom, and glory, to the others. They are three, viewed from one point; and they are one, when considered from another angle. But of all the sons of the mighty there is not one who can compare with anyone of the three persons constituting the Holy Trinity.
IV. Jehovah's Dealings with Men
Though the Lord is high and Holy, being enthroned in holiness, yet He humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and that are upon the earth. There are many things in heaven. We know that there is a Temple in which worship is carried on. This is seen in the Book of Revelation. What other things are in heaven we are not told but the Lord considers all of them. He humbles Himself to behold them. He also considers the things that are in the earth. We can know some of the things that are in the earth because we are here present with them. There is nothing that is so very insignificant that it escapes His eye and consideration. The Lord Jesus emphasizes that thought by calling attention to the fact that two sparrows are sold for a farthing and yet not one falls to the ground without your heavenly Father. The very hairs of our heads, He said, are numbered. He is therefore very much concerned about everything no matter how insignificant it may appear in the sight of men from the least to the greatest. The Lord works providentially among men. He looks upon the heart and not upon the outward appearance. In fact, we are told that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of them whose hearts are perfect toward Him (II Chronicles 16:9). There maybe some poor, unlearned, insignificant person occupying a very humble place in this life. If his heart is perfect toward God, the Lord will in His own good time call him forth and will shower blessings upon him and will work through him for his good and for the glory of God. Thus we are told that He raises the poor up out of the dust and the needy He lifts up from the dunghill. In His doing this, He has a plan and a purpose as is expressed in verses 7-8:
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, And lifteth up the needy from the dunghill;
That he may set him with princes, Even with the princes of his people.”
The language of vs. 8 reminds one of Hannah's prayer found in I Samuel 2:1-10. When one sees these words in the connection in which they appear in Hannah's prayer, one comes to the conclusion that they refer to those whom God picks up from humble positions in life and whom He makes to sit with princes in the great Millennial Age. Those who take their one pound (according to the parable of the pounds in Luke, chapter 19) and gain five pounds or ten pounds will be rewarded accordingly.
He maketh the barren woman to keep house,
And to be a joyful mother of children.” (vs. 9)
God especially conferred the blessing referred to in vs. 9 upon the Jewish mothers who really desire children. In answer to prayer God gave Hannah her son Samuel. Isaac was granted as a child of promise. Many others have been. The coming of children into the home is one of the greatest blessings that God can bestow upon any family.
Lo, children are a heritage of Jehovah;
And the fruit of the womb is his reward.” (Psalm 127:3)