Today: [Psalm 113-114] Did You Know that God is Humble? In Psa. 113 we learn something of the Hallel to God as a praise activity. We also see that God in His most basic nature is humble. He is humble because He condescends to involve Himself with lower creatures and even fallen man Himself. Because of this He moves (in Psa. 114) to redeem us out of the slavery of our own personal Egypt and bring us into the destiny promised to every believer from the foundation of the world.
[Psa 113:1-9 KJV] 1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. 2 Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. 3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name [is] to be praised. 4 The LORD [is] high above all nations, [and] his glory above the heavens. 5 Who [is] like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, 6 Who humbleth [himself] to behold [the things that are] in heaven, and in the earth! 7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; 8 That he may set [him] with princes, [even] with the princes of his people. 9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, [and to be] a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.
Psalm 113 is very similar to an earlier passage known as the “Song of Hannah” found in 1 Sam. 2:1-10. It is one of six passages used in the Jewish “Hallel” often sung during the feast of tabernacles and the Passover as well. Christian sources from antiquity have believed that this is the hymn that Jesus and the disciples sang at the conclusion of the last supper. It is a song of praise for the church and also makes eschatological reference to the millennial reign of Christ when worship of God will be universal throughout the earth.
Verse 1 declares “Praise ye the Lord” employing the original Hebrew “Hallelujah”. When you break this word down you will see the name of Jehovah in truncated form thus rendering the interpretation of this word as “praise ye Jehovah”. This origin of the praise portion of the word means to make a unique sound described as to “trill”. To trill is a word describing the action of warbling or quavering with your voice, something akin to the warbling of a cricket or a cicada. If you have ever heard primitive tribes in Africa making a sound similar to this it is very haunting. The closest thing we can compare it to in renewalist, Pentecostal/ Charismatic circles would be the spontaneous singing in tongues that is done in some churches.
We see from this then that praise is to be directed to God. It is to be a primary activity of those considering themselves to be the servants of God. In addition due to the description of the Hallel, it is to be continuous in tone and delivery. The chapter goes on to specify why in this psalm’s expression that God is to be praised. Verse 4 says He is to be praised because He is high above the nations and His glory is over all the heavens. This is God’s position. There is none like Him. One verse even describes God searching out His own environment and making the conclusion “beside Me there is no other”.
In verse 6 we praise the Lord because He has humbled Himself to become involved with lower creatures of the earth including man in His fallen condition. Have you ever considered the fact that God is humble? If we are to be like God we also should follow the exhortation of Paul in Romans 12:16:
[Rom 12:16 KJV] 16 [Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Have you ever found yourself in Christian society, in church or some other activity and you were left feeling small? Perhaps you were slighted, or talked down to, or ignored altogether. Let this be your consolation that there is no high mindedness in God. It doesn’t matter how lofty the title of the person who disparaged you in their demeanor or made you feel insignificant – if it was intentional it was not God’s character to have you regarded in such a way. God in His most basic nature and character is humble, loving, inclusive and supportive. Therefore we praise Him because He is humble to such a degree as to even involve Himself with us.
Lastly in the psalm we praise God because of His activities in our midst. He raises the poor up out of the dust. He restores those that are needy from the dunghill. Have you ever been in a situation that stinks? God will not despise you in your need. He will raise you out of the dunghill. Likewise as is the case with Hannah and her child Samuel, God causes the barren woman to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children. God is all about making up the deficits in your life. Many people because of bad doctrine in Christian theology live with aching need in their life and are not convinced God wants to rectify their suffering. This last verse assures you that the ache in your heart is the prophecy over your life.
[Psa 114:1-8 KJV] 1 When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; 2 Judah was his sanctuary, [and] Israel his dominion. 3 The sea saw [it], and fled: Jordan was driven back. 4 The mountains skipped like rams, [and] the little hills like lambs. 5 What [ailed] thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, [that] thou wast driven back? 6 Ye mountains, [that] ye skipped like rams; [and] ye little hills, like lambs? 7 Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; 8 Which turned the rock [into] a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters.
Psalm 114 is also one of 6 psalms used in the Jewish Hallel. In all days it is employed it is cited in Jewish festivals in its entirety. In some Jewish traditions it is recited on the 1st and 8th day of Passover. From the 6th century it has been used at graveside services in Christian traditions. It is often read at Easter services using Israel’s deliverance from Egypt as a metaphor of the believer being delivered from the tyranny of sin. It is also quoted in classical literature at the beginning of Dante’s Purgatorio.
Every person has their own personal Egypt and their own inner Egyptian. It speaks of the thing you want to go back to when you are under pressure. When living for God doesn’t seem to be working out or the steps of faith you have made are faltering what do you look back to? Perhaps you are tempted to take matters once more into your own hands that you once rested your case in God concerning? Jesus spoke often about the caution of not looking back.
[Luk 9:62 KJV] 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
When you are under pressure it is important to stay linear in your thinking and in your decision making. What do I mean by this? Don’t look back. Do not look to the right hand or to the left. Keep your mind stayed on God. Do not rescind commitments you have made to Christ. A righteous man swears to his own hurt and changes not. There is a turbulence in following God. Acts 14:22 tells us we enter the kingdom through much tribulation (or pressure). We are often tempted to give up. This creates unnecessary delay and if not repented of failure that has nothing to do with God’s original plan for you. Always remember that the God who makes the mountains to skip like rams and the sea to flee away is with you. He will be the water from the rock and the manna on the ground every morning until you reach your own personal Shiloh.
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