I have never written and published a blog post in the same day before (usually it takes me weeks to write and about 2000 words to get my point across), but that’s my goal today. Short, sweet, and to-the-point!
As we all know, it’s been a tough 14 months, with lots of unexpected curve balls being thrown at us. The past several days have brought some good news, but also introduced a bit more confusion and wrestling within my mind on certain topics. I figured that if I was getting tired of my own thoughts, then God is probably also getting tired of my less-than-eloquent, mumbo-jumbo prayers about the same things over and over again.
Enter Psalm 113.
I’m just going to include the full text below, because it’s only 9 verses, and you do need to read the whole thing to really get the context.
Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!
The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!
Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high,
Who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
To make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!
There are thousands of reasons that God deserves our praise, but what is it in this psalm that causes the psalmist to praise God so exuberantly and repeatedly, and to marvel at His uniqueness? The answer is found in verses 4-9. Although God is “high above all nations,” and seated on high with magnificent glory, He looks down at us and has compassion. He cares about our lives. Even the most lowly of people in human terms- the poor, needy, and barren women (who would’ve been in quite a state of misery, because of the emphasis on being able to bear children in those times)- are not too lowly for God to notice them.
I love the way my ESV Study Bible notes put it: “This provides an image of God’s tender care for his loved ones. God’s majesty never implies his remoteness from those who look to him; it implies instead his exhaustive attention to detail, and his inexhaustible ability to care for his faithful.”
This is why we should praise the Lord. Our majestic, all-powerful God, the ruler of all creation, is simultaneously involved in and sovereign over the whole universe AND the small details of our lives. He cares about your struggles. He cares about your needs. He cares about your desires. He cares about your situation. He is not too busy or uninterested to think that your life, thoughts, emotions, and circumstances are of no importance to Him. On the contrary, He is so loving and powerful that even though He is above the heavens in glory, the creator and sustainer of all, He knows and cares about the intricacies of your life. He has a never-ending supply of grace, mercy, power, wisdom, compassion, and love for those who belong to Him. This should bring us an enormous amount of relief and peace.
1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Verse 7 is frequently quoted, but we usually ignore verse 6 (even though it’s actually part of the same sentence!). Before we can really cast our anxieties on God, we have to humble ourselves. Even in our suffering, whatever it may be, we need to submit ourselves to His plan and timing for our lives, knowing that it won’t last forever. Whether He eliminates our suffering in this life or not until we stand in His presence, He will bring it to an end. And until then, we should entrust our worries, anxieties, and needs to Him, because the mighty God cares for us.
Praise the Lord!