1 Praise the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD; praise him, you servants of the LORD,
2 you who minister in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession.
5 I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.
6The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.
7 He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
8 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt, the firstborn of men and animals.
9 He sent his signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings
11 Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan and all the kings of Canaan
12 and he gave their land as an inheritance, an inheritance to his people Israel.
13 Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, through all generations.
14 For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.
15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men.
16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see;
17 they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
19 O house of Israel, praise the LORD; O house of Aaron, praise the LORD;
20 O house of Levi, praise the LORD; you who fear him, praise the LORD.
21 Praise be to the LORD from Zion, to him who dwells in Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.
The key to understanding this psalm is found in verse 6 “The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth”. As one recalls the Lords’ prayer in Matthew chapter six “Thy kingdom come Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”. This Psalm is similar to Psalm 115. Verse six of this Psalm “The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.” compares to verse three of psalm 115 “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” Verse fifteen through eighteen of this psalm compares to verses four through eight of Psalm 115. Finally, reference is made in both psalms to the house of Israel, the house of Aaron, and those who fear the Lord.
These psalms help us understand how God uses the nation of Israel. It is not because of the greatness of Israel as a nation that God uses this nation, but to the glory of God. It is because of God’s promises to Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and many others that God uses the nation of Israel be bring Him glory. His dealings with Israel throughout history give the nations of this world examples of God’s love and faithfulness. It gives the nations of the world a view of God in action. Yet it leaves an open door for all to have a relationship with Him. This psalm speaks of praising him, whereas Psalms 115 speaks of trusting Him. But both Psalms include the phase “those who fear the Lord”.
As I read this psalm, I cannot help but focus on the word praise. Praise should be a very easy task for us in our relationship with the Lord; however, I believe because of the effects of “the cares of this world” on our life we lose our focus on the relationship we are to have with the Lord. We become so wrapped up in the everyday activities that we seem to forget the most important relationship we have is with the Lord. Praise is wonderful. Our relationship with our spouse is also an important relationship we have on this earth. I have come to realize how important praise is in this relationship. The simple, yet meaningful words such as my lovely beautiful, sweet, lovely young lady before I start a conversation can set the stage for a wonderful conversation. This is the type of praise we need to come before the Lord within our conversation. Once we have set in place who God really is than why would we ever question the path he has prepared for us each day. So as you start this day out start it out by praising the One who will lead you in paths of righteousness through the green pastures and still waters, and if by chance you happen to have to go through the valley shadow of death He will also be there.