1 Praise the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD; praise him, you servants of the LORD, 2 you who minister in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant. 4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession. 5 I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.
6 The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. 7 He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. 8 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt, the firstborn of men and animals. 9 He sent his signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants. 10 He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings— 11 Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan and all the kings of Canaan—12 and he gave their land as an inheritance, an inheritance to his people Israel.
13 Your name, O LORD, endures for ever, your renown, O LORD, through all generations. 14 For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.
15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. 16 They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; 17 they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
19 O house of Israel, praise the LORD; O house of Aaron, praise the LORD; 20 O house of Levi, praise the LORD; you who fear him, praise the LORD. 21 Praise be to the LORD from Zion, to him who dwells in Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 135—Praising God: why and who?
(Verses 1-2) The word ‘praise’ occurs five times in four verses. This Psalm is full of reasons to ‘praise the LORD’. It starts by urging the ‘servants of the LORD’, the priests and Levites mentioned in Psalm 134, to do so. We will end this psalm by seeing who else should praise Him.
(Verses 3-5) The initial reasons given for praising God are given here. Praise is not just emotional, though our emotions should be involved fully, but there are good solid reasons why He deserves praise and why we should give it. Here are some reasons given to praise the LORD:
- He is ‘good’, not malevolent.
- It is ‘pleasant’ to ‘sing praise to His name.’ It pleases both Him and us.
- He chose Israel as His. He chose Christians too! (Ephesians 1:4-8)
- He is ‘great’ and ‘greater than all gods.’
(Verses 6-14) Why claim that the LORD is ‘great’ and ‘greater than all gods’?
- He does whatever pleases Him. We are very glad that our God is good.
- He is in charge of the heavens, the earth, the seas—even the deepest.
- He is over all weather.
- His ‘signs and wonders’ cause Israel to leave slavery in Egypt.
- He gave Israel victory over strong nations in the Promised Land.
- From no possession, He gave His people the Promised Land to inherit.
- His name is eternal and He is known through all generations.
- He will ‘vindicate His people.’ He will justify them with ‘compassion’. Bear in mind that the Lord Jesus Christ did that for sinners when He died on the cross, bearing their sins and God’s wrathful punishment on them. His greatest miracle of rising from the dead meant those who repent and receive Him as Lord and Saviour are justified by their faith alone in Him alone.
(Verses 15-18) Now compare the greatness of the living LORD with mute, sightless, deaf and lifeless idols which other nations vainly and ignorantly worship.
(Verses 19-21) So who should ‘praise the LORD’? The Israelites, the priests, Levites, and ‘you who fear Him’, including you if you know Jesus as your personal Saviour.