A Christian Perspective on Psalm 135

v 1, 3, 13, The name of God makes known his character:

a. His name is good. Psa. 52:9“I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good.” Never forget this: God is good, even when bad things happen!

b. His name is majestic. Psa. 8:1, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” This means that His name, which stands for all that He is, is excellent and famous throughout the earth. There is no one else like Him. He is omnipotent and incomparable. Exd. 15:11 “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you–majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?”

c. His name is glorious. Psa. 115:1 “Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory…” The word “glory” encompasses all of His attributes. The word literally means, “heavy” and refers to the fact that God is weighty, or awesome. Sometimes we try to make a name for ourselves as we crave credit for what we’ve done. We need to remember that His name alone deserves the glory.

d. His name is holy. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray he told them to begin like this in Mat. 6:9, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” His name must be set apart because He is holy.

e. His name is near. God is high and holy and yet, amazingly, He is also close to us. Theologically speaking, He is both transcendent and He is immanent. Allow this truth to penetrate you. He is not distant, but has instead come close to each one of us so that we can get to know Him. Psa. 75:1 “We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.” God is powerful and He is also personal.

Praising the Lord’s name is “Pleasant”, v3, because he alone is good, Matthew 19:17. Before Jesus came, only The God of Israel was holy and to be ‘feared’. Isa. 6:3 & 8:13, all other nations had mere idols or stories of gods, but Israel boasted in a relationship with The unseen God that provided physical evidence of His omnipotent power over creation. The word Pleasant in Hebrew is “Naim”, meaning lovely, delightful and/or beautiful. When Jesus referred John to the necessity of his own baptism, he said that fulfilling righteousness (Matthew 3:15) was “comely”, “fitting”, “becometh” or “proper”. The Greek word Jesus used is “Prepo”, meaning conspicuously eminent and/or very appropriate. This is the same word the Hebrew writer uses to describe Jesus as a High Priest, in Heb. 7:26. Does our singing to praise God’s name give Him a beautiful demonstration of our love? Does our singing of God’s praiseworthy name seem pleasant? You might ask, does the music really fit appropriately with the words adoring God’s name?

v14 echoes Deut. 32:26-43, where Moses affirms that God mercifully relents from fully judging his wayward people. When the Hebrew writer quotes this fact, he is reminding Christians of God’s perfect justice, which is very well explained by Moses and will be fulfilled in the future judgment day of our Lord Jesus Christ, Hebrews 10:29-39, is where he replaces persecuting foes, with fake Christians that shrink back away from their faith in Christ and end up living worldly selfish lives.

The God-fearers of v20 are evidence of God’s mercy towards the Nations through Israel. In the  beginning, God’s intention for the Tabernacle was to live among the people, Ex. 25:8, while moving through the nations and into the promised land. When He eventually had Solomon build it into a Temple, it’s obvious from Solomon’s prayer of the Temple’s dedication of God’s intent. Read carefully 1st Kings 8:31-33 and 41-43. This was God’s original intent for the Temple, Mark 11:17, the center of God’s praise, Isa. 56:7.
v21, the Lord “DESERVES” Praise. Since he is deserving, then what is the quality of what he deserves? Nothing less than the best we can offer. Here are some ancient tips in improving our praise, which John Wesley gave in his “Seven Directions for Singing”. I find them as relevant today even though the English is worn and a bit inept, the truth is in today’s reality as the moment they were inked.

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