So Great, Yet So Gracious
I dedicate this post to my mother, whose birthday was this past weekend. She would have turned 97 here, but instead she is celebrating her everlasting life with Jesus in heaven!
William MacDonald says: “The first five verses of this psalm present God as the One who is infinitely high, the last four as the One who is infinitely nigh.”
1 Praise the Lord!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! The cry is both a personal statement of praise and an encouragement to others to do the same.
Yes, give praise, O servants of the Lord.
Praise the name of the Lord!
2 Blessed be the name of the Lord
now and forever.
3 Everywhere—from east to west—
praise the name of the Lord.
“In the case of God ‘the name of the Lord’ is all important, for it has to do with the revelation of who God is. In other words, it is not just any God we are to worship. We are to praise the one true ‘Lord,’ who has revealed himself in creation, on Sinai, and more recently in the person of his only Son, Jesus of Nazareth.”
–James Montgomery Boice
4 For the Lord is high above the nations;
his glory is higher than the heavens.
5 Who can be compared with the Lord our God,
who is enthroned on high?
Mary must have known this psalm, for the ideas in the following verses are so similar to those in her song of praise in Luke 2:
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud
in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
6 He stoops to look down
on heaven and on earth.
“If it be such condescension for God to behold things in heaven and earth, what an amazing condescension was it for the Son of God to come from heaven to earth and take our nature upon him, that he might seek and save them that were lost! Here indeed he humbled himself.”
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon
7 He lifts the poor from the dust
and the needy from the garbage dump.
8 He sets them among princes,
even the princes of his own people!
9 He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother.
This verse has special meaning to me. I did not get married until I was 31, by which time relatives had long since stopped asking me if I had a boyfriend. In fact, it is a family joke that the marriage announcement in the newspaper might have read “Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Riskedahl are relieved to announce . . . ” 🙂 God, in his patient kindness, gave me a husband and three wonderful children. That husband left me years later, but I am still “a happy mother” to my precious kids and a grandmother, too! And a further kindness from the Lord: I was invited into another family and now am a happy wife to David Mitchell, a Psalm 112 man! I am blessed and I praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.