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Bible Commentaries

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary
Psalms 135



Verses 1-21

Psalm 135:1-21 is one of those psalms that begins and ends with the word Hallelujah.

Praise ye the LORD ( Psalm 135:1 ).


Praise the name of Yahweh; praise him, O ye servants of Yahweh. Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise the LORD ( Psalm 135:1-3 );

So this exhortation of praising God repeated, emphasized, and repeated for emphasis. "Praise the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord. Praise Him all ye servants. Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise the Lord." And now He"s going to tell you why you should praise Him.

for the LORD is good ( Psalm 135:3 ):

How are you to praise Him?

sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant ( Psalm 135:3 ).

And again, why?

For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel as his peculiar treasure ( Psalm 135:4 ).

Now we are told in the New Testament that you have become His peculiar people, which we told you Thursday night was His people of possession. The word peculiar is the word possess. So you are the people that God has claimed as His possession is what it is. Now Israel was God-possessed, they were His treasure. He possessed them as His treasure. He claimed them. "I possess you as My treasure." God possesses you as His people. And so Israel is His possessed treasure, or the treasure that He possesses.

For I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is above all gods ( Psalm 135:5 ).

Now there are many gods that people worship and serve, but they are not living; they are not true. There is One true and living God, the maker of the heaven and the earth. And our Lord is above all of the gods that men have made.

Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in the deep places ( Psalm 135:6 ).

God"s pleasure, God"s will. Whatever He pleases. Who can say unto the Lord, "Why have you done thus?" He does what He pleases to do. I have no right to challenge Him. I have no power to resist Him. In the book of Revelation, chapter4 , when the elders fall down and cast their golden crowns before the throne of God, they say, "O Lord, Thou art worthy to receive glory and honor: for Thou has created all things, and for Thy good pleasure they are and were created" ( Revelation 4:11 ).

Now, like it or not, God made you for His own pleasure. He didn"t make me for my pleasure. Nor will my life ever be fulfilled if I seek only my pleasure. That can be a very empty, futile, frustrating life seeking my own pleasure. I can only find fulfillment when I bring God pleasure, because that"s why He made me. And to answer to the reason for my being, I must bring pleasure to God. He has done whatever He pleased.

He causes the vapors ( Psalm 135:7 )

And, of course, praise the Lord because of His power over the universe, His creation of the universe.

He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; and he makes the lightning for the rain; he brings the wind out of his treasuries. He smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast. He sent his tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, upon all of his servants. He smote the great nations, he slew the mighty kings ( Psalm 135:7-10 );

In other words, "Israel, praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord," and all. Why? Because He delivered you out of Egypt. He delivered the land into your hand. He smote,

The kings of Sihon, the Amorites, Og the king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan: and he gave their land for a heritage, a heritage unto Israel and his people. Thy name, O Yahweh, endures for ever; and thy memorial, O Yahweh, throughout all the generations. For the LORD [or Yahweh] will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants ( Psalm 135:11-14 ).

Now in contrast, here is God. Has done all of these marvellous mighty things, demonstrating His power, His authority, His love.

But the idols of the heathen ( Psalm 135:15 )

You see, He"s the Lord over all the gods. "The gods of the heathen," the idols that they have made,

are silver and gold, they are the work of men"s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: and so is every one that trusteth in them ( Psalm 135:15-18 ).

Now we had this same concept given to us in the one-hundred-and-fifteenth psalm where he said much the same thing in talking about the idols of the heathen. He makes these philosophical observations. Number one, men often make their own gods. They"ll carve them out of silver, gold, wood, stone. When a man makes his own god, he makes his god like himself. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, feet. Because I have eyes, ears, nose, mouth, feet. But he makes his god, in reality, the god that he has made, he makes his god, but the god that he has made is less than he is. For though he put eyes on the god, the eyes can"t see. Though he put feet on them, they can"t walk. Though he put ears on them, they can"t hear. So the god is less than the man who has made it. But the damning aspect of the philosophy is that a man becomes like his god. They that have made them have become like the gods that they have made. They that make them are like unto them. And so is every one that trusts in them.

In other words, a man becomes like his god. Thus, if you"ve made your own god, you made a god that is really less than you are, and thus, in worshipping that god, the projection of yourself, you are worshipping something really that is less than you. And then you become like it. Therefore, it is degrading. It"s downhill. It"s a degrading experience to worship your own gods of your own concepts, your own ideas, and all. It is a degrading experience, because your god is always too small and he is even less than you and you"re becoming like him. And so it is always degrading for any society or any man to worship anything other than the true and the living God that made the heavens and the earth. To worship any other God is degrading. You see, men are in the process of being degraded as they worship other gods. "They that worship them have become like unto them; so is every one that trusts in them" ( Psalm 115:8 ). A man becomes like his god. That can be a damning philosophy, or it can be a blessed philosophy. It all depends on who your god is.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, it doth not yet appear what we"re going to be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him" ( 1 John 3:2 ). Why? Because a man becomes like his god. That"s blessing. That"s glorious. I"m thrilled, because I"m serving the true and the living God. If I wasn"t serving the true and the living God, that would terrify me. To think that I was becoming like my god.

As I see men worshipping pleasure, living after sex, living after pleasure, becoming like their gods, being obsessed by lust. As I see men who are living after power, that driving ambition, destroying others, climbing to the top. Scratching, clawing, crawling over others. Disregarding others. Obsessed by power. And becoming like their god. How tragic. "But we, with open face beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed from glory to glory into the same image" ( 2 Corinthians 3:18 ). A man becomes like his god. It surely places a high priority and an importance upon worshipping the true and the living God.

Bless the LORD, O house of Israel: bless the LORD, O house of Aaron: Bless the LORD, O house of Levi: and ye that reverence the LORD, bless the LORD ( Psalm 135:19-20 ).

That should include all of you.

Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwells at Jerusalem. Hallelujah ( Psalm 135:21 ).

So the last of the psalms. We get to Psalm 145:1-21 on through to the end. They all begin and end with Hallelujah. It"s just one of those favorite words of exhortation unto praise. "


Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.

Bibliography Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 135:4". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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