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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Psalms 115

Verses 1-18

Psalms 115

Low State of Idolaters

Scripture v. 1-18:

This Psalm contrasts the Living God with the lifeless

idol gods, worshipped in gloom, hopeless and helpless, to give aid, relief, or benefit of any kind to their devotees.

Verse 1 addresses the Lord, appealing, "not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake," for the honor of His name, because of who He is, Isaiah 48:11; Ezekiel 36:32. His mercy and truth are evident in His mercy on His people, and His truth in keeping His promises, which merit man’s giving glory to His name continually, Daniel 9:18; Psalms 79:9-10; Isaiah 43:22-25; Isaiah 48:11; Ezekiel 36:32.

Verse 2 inquires just why should the heathen sneeringly say, "where is now their God?" Though God, in wisdom, may chasten His children with affliction and withdraw prosperity, for a season, as a rebuke for their sins, the sneering of skeptics will surely be brought to vanity, Through God’s rescue of His own people, Psalms 79:10; Hebrews 13:5.

Verse 3 affirms "But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He pleaseth," based on His knowledge or omniscience (knowing all things) and His power or omnipotence and His own will or volition; Such separates Him from the idols, lifeless gods, described verses 48; See also Psalms 2:4; Psalms 11:4; Psalms 103:19; Genesis 18:14; Ephesians 1:5; Acts 1:6-7; Psalms 135:6; 1 Chronicles 16:26; Daniel 4:35.

Verse 4 certifies that their most respected idol gods are made and consist of silver and gold, lifeless, insensitive, irresponsive things, the work of men’s hands, without any human or Divine quality or life, as also asserted by Paul, Acts 17:24-25; Acts 17:29; Deuteronomy 4:28.

Verse 5 explains "They (these idols) have mouths, but they speak not," are speechless, dumb: "eyes have they, but they see not;" meaning they are blind, can see no devotee, none of their worshipers, in contrast with the living God who sees men, as they worship, 2 Chronicles 7:12-16; Psalms 16:4; Psalms 95:3; Psalms 96:5.

Verses 6,7 add "they have ears, but they hear not," can hear no prayer, praise, or plea of her devotees. They are stone deaf! "Noses have they, but they smell not," can not smell any incense or sacrifice smoke their worshipers burn or offer before them; for they have no olfactory (smellsense) organs of life, at all. It is added that "They have hands, but they handle not," serve not, for they are cold, lifeless hands; "Feet have they, but they walk not," can not lead, follow, or go any place. They are cold, dead cold! "Neither speak they Through their throat," for they have no speech, live speech faculties to speak, instruct, or respond to their devotees’ worship. Would you buy .a horse or a dog of this kind? Or accept that kind even if it were a gift? Then why try to worship before such idols? Contrast them with our God, Psalms 94:9: Job 28:10; Psalms 11:4; Psalms 34:15; 1 Peter 3:12.

Verse 8 asserts that those who make or produce them art similar to them, Jonah 2:8; Habakkuk 2:15, deaf, dumb, blind, lifeless-- spiritually, as well as each and all who trust In them as cold, dead, lifeless, Insensitive gods, Deuteronomy 7:25-26; Psalms 135:15-19. People do not rise above their gods. We strive to be like ours, Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 12:10; 1 John 3:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Verse 9 appeals "O Israel trust thou in the Lord, He is their help and shield," aid and protection, Psalms 33:20; Proverbs 30:5. From speaking to Israel, the Psalmist turns to speak of them.

Verses 10,11 continue "O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord. He is (exists as) their help and shield," as ministers, rulers of the sanctuary, as spiritual, guides to lead the people of God in paths they were to follow, Malachi 2:7. It is added, "ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and shield," the help of Jacob’s seed who held Him in reverence, Psalms 22:23, of all Israel, the priests and the laity, Psalms 118:3; Psalms 135:20.

Verses 12,13 declare "the Lord hath been mindful of us: He will bless us," both the house of Israel and that of Aaron, the priesthood, Ephesians 1:3.
Verse 13 adds that "He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great," as also certified Jeremiah 31:34; Psalms 128:1; Psalms 128:4. Blessed still are all those who "fear God and keep His commandments," Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

Verses 14,15 certify that the Lord will bless Israel, His chosen "more and more," increasing them and their children, as blessed of the Lord, the living God, "who made heaven and earth," Deuteronomy 1:11; Genesis 14:19. For He is able.

Verse 16 asserts that the heaven and the heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth has He given (doled out) for administration, "to the children of men," Psalms 89:11; Genesis 1:28; Genesis 11:1; Hebrews 2:7-9; Hebrews 2:15.

Verses 17,18 conclude that "the dead (dead bodies) praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence," a thing that the body only does, Ecclesiastes 9:5; David continued "But we will bless the Lord (extol Him as great) from this time forth (with our souls) and for evermore. Praise the Lord." Keep it up, Psalms 118:17; Psalms 6:5; Psalms 30:9; Psalms 88:10-12; Isaiah 38:18-19.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 115". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.