/ Psalm 115 / Andrew Kerr

To God be the Glory - Psalm 115

Introduction

It rankles with Christians when false religions capture culture. Eyes sob with tears if pastor-failure hits the news. Zeal for divine glory loathes to learn of Gospel scandal.

And Yet...

Glory-theft is subtle! Flesh hob-nobs with wealth in order to take credit, steals fame from stars with whom we get a selfie, or plagiarizes ideas as if they are our own.

Context

Psalm 115 celebrates an end to pagans sneering at exiles -  shame days are past: God has brought them back. Saints are determined only Yahweh receives all plaudits.

Explanation

First Fanfare - Verses 1-3

No glory is given to Israel nor honor shared with idols! Returnees seek no credit or take praise in His presence! Salvation is of God so don't steal glory from the LORD!

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and faithfulness! Why should the nations say 'Where is their God?' Our God is in the heavens; He does all He pleases.

Say 'Well done, son!' Give limited credit (1 Cor 3:5-7) to an Apollos or Epaphroditus (Acts 18:24-28; Col 2:25-30). Reserve saving praise exclusively for God (Jon 2:9).

Falsehood - Verses 4-8

Idols, after all, are not all that they appear: deaf ears, blind eyes, lame feet, crippled hands, anosmic noses, speechless throats - costly art, yes, but very daft and dead.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see ...Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.

One sad fact of pluralism is blind souls swallow myths: addicted to sin, lies wipe their eye (cheat them). The Bible buried Egyptian and Persian idols long ago!

Faith - Verses 9-11

Yahweh did not betray Israel exiles' trust: people, priests and proselytes make their promise-making and oath-keeping God, as aid and shield, their only confidence.

O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and shield. O House of Aaron, trust in the LORD. He is their help and shield. You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and shield.

Traumatic experiences like exile or threatening pressure of error shake the faith of most - to trust God is a gift. Psalm 115 is a means of grace to stir and shore-up trust.

Fulfilled - Verses 12-16

When Abram got the Gospel, God gave a 3-part pledge: earth gets a fix of seed, land and bliss. God can't forget, all alike are blest, kids are increased, earth belongs to us.

The LORD has remembered us; He will bless us ...May the LORD give you increase, you and your children ...The heavens are the LORD's heavens, but the earth He has given to the children of man.

Family-worship with confidence. Feed sheep small or big. Share truth or post tracts, catching fish for Christ - In Him all blessing flows until all the world is God's.

Final Fanfare - Verses 17-18

Zombies and mummies are known for being mute. Corpses in coffins are incapable of praise. Exiles are graciously redeemed to offer up glad songs and never let it stop.

Our salvation is better - saved from guilt not bonds, freed by Jesus not Cyrus, home in heaven not Zion, worshiping in the Spirit and not at a site: will your song be less?

Conclusion

Don't get too depressed. The LORD is still King. His purpose won't fail. He'll have all the glory. Capture our culture? Pray Christ will foil evil and expose every idol!

To God be the Glory ...Great things He has done and great things He will do!
Andrew Kerr

Andrew Kerr

Pastor of Knockbracken in Belfast - Husband of Hazel, Dad to Rebekah, Paul and Andrew, Lover of Skiing, Walker of Lucy (our Bernese Mountain Dog), with a Passion for OT - in Deep Need of Grace

Read More