Psalm 135 is a wonderful song of praise to God, lifting up God’s name. As I come near to completing my Memoirs (adding only finishing touches), it especially draws me to the 135th psalm for several reasons. Please read Psalm 135 before reading on.
- The power of God is displayed. As I write this, there is a massive cold front, beating all prior records, occurring in the midwest. The intellectuals attribute this to global warming, and offer “scientific” explanations. Dummkopfe! Verses 5-7 make very clear that weather is entirely in the hands of God. He controls the clouds, the rain, and the wind. He does whatever He damn-well pleases, to say it in street jargon. There is no other power in heaven or earth (the gods—and since we have established ourselves as gods, it would mean human activity on earth included) that controls the weather and seasons, but God alone. Hopefully, he will look favorably on me as I hike the PCT!
- He controls the kings and rulers of earth. Nothing escapes His control, and all bent like a cooked spaghetti to His will. We see global unrest and chaos in our government, yet I sleep at night, knowing that the Lord is Lord of the universe, all presidents, kings/queens, prime ministers, emperors, CEOs and petite magistrates do not escape his controlling hand.
- He controls history. My memoirs are history, and sometimes I am troubled why certain things in my life have happened, why the sorrow and grief, why the frequent misadventures and sins on my part, why the toil and sweat which sometimes seemed so futile, why it all happened. Was life just a dream? Am I really for real? Was everything that happened, my personality, my physical characteristics, my likes and dis-likes all a product of the hand of a loving, caring God. In Psalm 135, I can emphatically answer YES!
- It will be worth it all (verses 14,15). Those who love the Lord will be vindicated in the end. It really is worth walking faithful to God, even if you had momentary, or perhaps lengthy segments, of unfaithfulness. Returning to our Lord will more than pay off. We will be vindicated, if not partially on earth, then totally in heaven. Psalm 135 is an assurance that God really does love those that he has chosen and who trust in Him.
- Verses 15-18 show that the tendency of all mankind is to trust in anything and everything but God. How often I feel smug that I have a reasonable pension plan, and then fret because it could so quickly disappear, or be inadequate. How often do I depend on other idols, often just idols of the mind, to get me through. Schlossberg’s book Idols for Destruction show how so many other things in life that we would never think of as idols, truly are things that we worship and cast our care on. Verse 18 poignantly notes that those who trust in their idols become just like them, blind, deaf, and dumb. Perhaps that is why we see an entire nation, even an entire world, acting as though their eyes were wide shut.
- What should our response be? Praise! (verses 19-21) When I took systematic theology from JI Packer, he would open every class with a singing of the Doxology “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow”. Packer emphasized that all of our life, including doing theology, should result in praise. Psalm 135 ends with a command for all of the church (Israel) and all that fear God (the entire world) should bless the Lord. If you’ve read this far, please take a moment to do that right now.
Psalm 135 reflects on history to evoke praise for His goodness. I found that happening as I wrote my memoirs. I was just astonished as I documented my life story how often the Lord took me through the valley of the shadow of death, and lifted me high on the rock. His blessings are without number. I would encourage everybody, at some point in time, to take the time to write one’s life story. I do believe that you will be astonished at how often God has blessed you and directed your ways to an ultimate better end.