This verse is taken from:
Psalm 115
Thought of the day for:
19 March 2023

It is hard to understand how Israel, who knew the only God and saw His wonderful works, could have turned to idolatry. It happened, however, and consequently the nation went into captivity amongst the nations whose idolatrous practices they had followed, Jer. 2. 17; 44. 16-18. The seventy years captivity almost cured the nation’s proneness to idols, Hos. 3. 4. Though a veil of blindness still remains upon the hearts of its people, there has been no return to idolatry.

The psalm expresses the deep concern within the hearts of the returned exiles that God only should be glorified, cf. Isa. 42. 8; 48. 11. The idolatry witnessed in Babylon was still fresh in their minds. The answer to the taunt of the heathen, “Where is now their God?”, is answered by “our God is in the heavens”, v. 3. Moreover, He was sovereign: “he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased”. By contrast, the idols of the nations, though of gold and silver, were but works of men. Israel’s God, if invisible, was uncreated and therefore eternal. The title “Jehovah” (the Ever-Existing One) is used ten times, and “Jah” (the Eternal) twice (New Trans., J.N.D.). Their idols looked like men, but were lifeless. The psalmist adds, “They that make them are like unto them”, vv. 5-8. Paul makes the same observation, Rom. 1. 21-23. Conversely, Jehovah was Israel’s help and shield, and could be trusted implicitly. What confidence this inspired in the psalmist. It should inspire us too, for He is our God, John 20. 17.

The psalmist began with a confession of unworthiness, “Not unto us”. How differently the Pharisee began his prayer in Luke 18. 10-12; he went on as he began, drawing attention to himself as if God was obligated to him. The disciples were warned against this attitude, Matt. 6. 5. Paul rebuked the Corinthians for glorying in men. In discounting himself and Apollos, and attributing the work at Corinth to God who gave the increase, he was virtually saying, “Not unto us … but unto thy name give glory”, 1 Cor. 3. 5, 6, 21. The Lord did not seek His own glory, John 8. 50; 12. 28.

“Now unto the King eternal, incorruptible, invisible, the only God … be glory for ever and ever”, 1 Tim. 1. 17 R.V.