Psalm 135 - God Is Good
Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD! Praise him, you who serve the LORD,
you who serve in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; celebrate His lovely name with music.
For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His own special treasure.
I know the greatness of the LORD – that our Lord is greater than any other god.
The LORD does whatever pleases Him throughout all heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths.
He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from His storehouses.
He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home, both people and animals.
He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt against Pharaoh and all His people.
He struck down great nations and slaughtered mighty kings –
Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, and all the kings of Canaan.
He gave their land as an inheritance, a special possession to His people Israel.
Your name, O LORD, endures forever; your fame, O LORD, is known to every generation.
For the LORD will give justice to His people and have compassion on His servants.
The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands.
They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see.
They have ears but cannot hear, and mouths but cannot breathe.
And those who make idols are just like them, as are all who trust in them.
O Israel, praise the LORD! O priests-descendants of Aaron-praise the LORD!
O Levites, praise the LORD! All you who fear the LORD, praise the LORD!
The LORD be praised from Zion, for He lives here in Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
Do we struggle to appreciate God when things are not working well for us? Have we wondered why God allows bad things to happen to us?
Psalm 135 is a mosaic psalm, made up of scriptures from other parts of the Bible.
The Psalmist called on all the Levites serving in the house of God and all others in the temple courts to praise the name of God. We need to know why we should praise God and not do it just because we were told to. As the Psalmist said, one of the reasons he praises God is because “the Lord is good”.
If we don’t know the nature of God, how can we praise God sincerely from our hearts? Praising God as we focus on the names of God is one way to appreciate God genuinely, as we understand how good God really is. The world does not praise God because they cannot believe that God is wonderful. For example, they do not understand why there is still violence and suffering in the world if God is good. We need to help the world understand the nature of God.
“The LORD does whatever pleases him”; this is one of the characters of God. We may read the actions of God in the verses and not properly understand how these acts are pleasing to Him. For example, how does striking down “great nations... mighty kings” please God? It may not make sense from our humanistic understanding. But understanding the omniscience of God, that He is all knowing, helps us to appreciate the acts of God better. He knows what will produce the best outcome for His people.
The Bible says in John 3:16, that “God sent His one and only Son to die for us”. How does this please God? Sending Jesus to die must have broken God’s heart, but it pleases Him that we can have eternal life if we believe in Him.
Jesus offered prayers and petitions through loud cries to God (Hebrews 5:7), and that pleased God. Again, how does that please Him? I would compare that with how mothers find the energy to wake up early in the morning to prepare breakfast while everyone else is sleeping, so that their children can go to school with their stomachs satisfied? How about parents who work hard to put food on the table? None of these acts are pleasurable, but they are pleasing to the parents when they see their children satisfied. In the same way, the things that God do may be unfair to Him, and sometimes tough on us, but He is pleased to do them because it will work out best for us.
And because God always plans for the best outcome for His people, He is not like the “idols of the nations” that “have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see” and “ears, but cannot hear”. Unlike the false gods, our Lord is alive and real. He sees and hears us. And He speaks to us too. We are important to Him and He wants a relationship with us.
This is why we “Praise the LORD”. This is also why the message of Jesus is called the Good News. In everything, God plans for the best outcome for us. We just need to believe in God, that He will deliver us. Learn the names of God to understand how good God is, and our praises to Him will come straight from our hearts. God is good.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.