Psalm 113 Who Is like the LORD Our God? (1) Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! (2) Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! (3) From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised! (4) The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! (5) Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, (6) who looks down on the heavens and the earth? (7) He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, (8) to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. (9) He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD! ESV
With this Psalm begins the Hallel, or Hallelujah of the Jews, which was sung at their solemn feasts: we will therefore call it THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE HALLEL.
Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892
Psalm 113 is titled Praise for God’s Kindness (ICB), The Majesty and Condescension of God (NKJV), The LORD Exalts the Humble (NASB), and Who Is Like the LORD Our God? (ESV, above), among others.
The book of Psalms contains three collections titled Hallel, with Psalm 113-118 known as the Egyptian Hallel, mainly because of their connection with Passover celebrations, commemorating Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The Psalms of the Egyptian Hallel were sung as part of the Passover ceremony, with Psalm 113-114 sung before the meal and Psalm 115-118 after the meal.Pastor David Guzik, http://www.enduringword.com
Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! Psalm 113:1 NKJV
A call to worship. Psalm 113 is a call to praise at the beginning of the Passover celebration when all in attendance sing this song. The group lifts their voices together and call upon the great, covenant name of the Lord, Yahweh. They praise Him for deliverance from Egypt; they remember His saving miracles. They remember how their ancestors painted the doorposts of their homes with lamb’s blood and the Angel of the Lord “passed over” them to the homes without the blood, taking the first born of each family.
Praise the LORD.
Who is called to praise? The servants of the Lord.
What are the servants called to praise? The name of the LORD. The name YAHWEH. Even God’s Name is to be praised. Three times the people sing, the Name of the LORD, Yahweh or Jehovah. Charles Spurgeon had an interesting point here:
The name of Jehovah is thrice used in this verse, and may by us who understand the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity be regarded as a thinly veiled allusion to that holy mystery. Let Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all be praised as the one, only, living, and true God.Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892
Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its going down the LORD's name is to be praised. Psalm 113:2-3 NKJV
All of His servants are called to praise Him. To praise His Name, the Name Yahweh. Forever! From the rising to the setting of the sun, all day long, forevermore. Praise His Name.
Continual praise. God must always be in our minds and His Name on our lips. That is how we remember His faithfulness in times of worry and trials. That is how we teach our children and grandchildren of His love. That is how we keep His faithfulness in our minds, and that is how we lead others into His Truth.
Creation praises the Lord all day long. The earth cries out for Him. So must His children.
The LORD is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the LORD our God, who dwells on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth? He raises the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the ash heap, that He may seat him with princes- with the princes of His people. He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD! Psalm 113:4-9 NKJV
Jesus sang this song before He ate the Passover meal the last night of His earthly life. On the night He was betrayed and handed over to human authorities, He sang this song to God the Father. What would that have been like? He knew what was coming, yet He still sang “Praise the LORD!”
Yahweh, Jehovah, is greater than any nation that has ever existed or will exist. But more than that, He is greater than the heavens. Nothing exists or has existed or will exist that is greater or more wonderful than the LORD.
But our God “humbles Himself” to care for His creation. He is greater than anything we can imagine, yet He is real and present in our lives. King David stood in awe of this:
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Psalm 8:3-4 NIV
God even cares for the lowest of low: the poor, the needy who dig through the ashes for food. And especially for those who feel in their hearts that they are the lowest of low, mothers unable to have children? Our God cares. In ancient days, a woman without children was a disappointment to her husband, to her family, to herself. Even today, that pressure exists in the hearts of women, that being a mother is the greatest calling. God knows. God cares.
When Jesus sang this song before He ate the Last Supper, did He remember us? The lowest of low. Did He think about the poor and the needy and the barren mother and remember why He would suffer and die. That He would choose to suffer and die for us. No greater love than that of Jesus.
The Lord who stands above all things, who is greater than the heavens, cares. He cares for each of us. So much so, He would not leave us to suffer in our own sin. He sent Jesus. Jesus took our sin upon His shoulders and paid our price. And because of Jesus’s great love and sacrifice, our Father waits in heaven with open arms for His children.
Praise the LORD!
Father in heaven, you are good and faithful and full of grace for your children. You created the beauty of the heavens and yet you look down upon each of us with love. Give us strength today to do and to be all that you ask of us. We love you. Amen.