Theme: God’s Power, Grace, and Renown
In this week’s lessons, we see why the Lord is to be praised continually.
Scripture: Psalm 135:1-21
Psalm 135 gives us at least five reasons why God is praiseworthy. Yesterday we looked at his inherent goodness and electing love. Today we continue with three other reasons.
3. God’s sovereign power (vv. 5-7). The third stanza of this psalm (vv. 5-7) refers to God’s power in creation, echoing similar expressions of praise in Exodus 18:11, Psalm 115:3 and Jeremiah 10:13. Verse 7 occurs word for word in Jeremiah 10:13 and 51:16.
It is amazing to me that anyone can look at the wonders of creation and not be led to praise God as their source, but so it is. In the popular television series Cosmos Carl Sagan looked out at the starry heavens in all their nighttime splendor and said, “The cosmos is all that is or that ever was or that ever will be,” missing entirely the most important thing that can be known about the cosmos. The psalmist had it right when he declared, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). In Psalm 135 the writer sees the glory of God in the heavens and the earth, the seas, clouds, the lightning, rain and wind. These declare that “the LORD is great” (v. 5) and that he should be acknowledged, praised and worshiped by the creation he has made.
4. God’s persevering grace (vv. 8-12). It is worth noting that most of the phrases in verses 8-12 also appear in the next psalm (Psalm 136:10, 18-22), where they are followed in each case by the words “his love endures forever.” In other words, what is involved here is God’s continuing grace toward those he has called by his electing love.
When did God call the Jews to be his chosen people? It was when he called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to know him. Yet that was not the end. Having chosen his people, God continued to bless them, first by setting them free from bondage at the time of the Exodus and then by bringing them into Canaan which was their promised inheritance. The possession of Canaan was accomplished by many great victories of which two are mentioned specifically: the victory over Sihon king of the Amorites and the victory over Og king of Bashan, stories recounted in Numbers 21:21-35 and Deuteronomy 2:24—3:11. In the same way, we praise God not only for our deliverance from sin but also for his persevering grace throughout the entirety of our lives and for many victories over spiritual opposition and oppression.
5. God’s everlasting renown (vv. 13, 14). The importance of these verses is that they look to the future, just as the previous verses have looked to the past, concluding that the God who has been gracious in past days will continue to vindicate his people and have compassion on them in days yet to come (v. 14). God’s love will indeed endure forever (Ps. 136, refrain). Therefore, his renown will also last forever (v. 13). God does not change. He is immutable, to use the proper theological word for his unchangeability. God is not only good; he will always be good. He is always the same in his eternal attributes. We will never find him to be less good than he has been to us in past days.
Give three reasons learned in today’s study for why God should be worshiped.
What is meant by persevering grace? How is it demonstrated in your life?
How is God’s persevering grace seen in the history of the Jewish people?
Reflection: Are you confident of God’s grace to you in the future?
Application: How do you observe God’s sovereign power being denied around you?
Key Point: God is not only good; he will always be good. He is always the same in his eternal attributes.