“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. O house of Israel, trust in the LORD— he is their help and shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD—he is their help and shield. You who fear him, trust in the LORD— he is their help and shield. The LORD remembers us and will bless us: He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, he will bless those that fear the LORD— small and great alike.”
Perhaps you have laughed at a toddler as he proudly shouts out, “Look at me, look at me!” Or maybe you have given doting smiles and hugs to the child who asks, “Do you like it? Did I do good?” (I still smile when remembering how one of my boys would happily say, “Come outside and watch me swing!”) Do our needs for attention and affirmation ever really completely go away?
And here we have the psalmist reminding us: NOT us- but You LORD! May our strongest desires be for God’s glory—and he even tells us why: It’s because of God’s love and God’s faithfulness, not ours. And isn’t that a great thing? We already know we fail—often, while God fails—never!
But what about those big questions we may ask, or be asked by others?
“Where was God when __ happened?” (…Jesus said…and surely I am with you always—Matthew 28:20) “If God is so good, why did He let us sin?” (…God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone—James 1:13) “Why doesn’t God fix all of this?” (…the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world—1 John 4:14)
The psalmist asks yet another, but similar question: “Why do the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’” God’s Word answers all of these questions! Even when it seems that God is not there, or that He has failed, this psalm tells us that He does whatever pleases Him—He is always present (omnipresent) and He is always good. (The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. —Psalm 145:9)
We continue reading about the worthlessness of idols made by men, and then worshiped as God! To think that the very gifts and talents given to us by God are used to make replacement gods! Who would do that? Maybe we all do—maybe we are all guilty of trusting in something or someone before turning to the ever-present, good God. We are told there is a rather terrifying consequence: Those who make and trust these idols will become just like them! Do you want to become like the replacement gods we are capable of turning to? Ask our good God to remove your desires for replacement gods and fill you with the victorious desire to be more like our Savior, Jesus. (Be imitators of God…and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us…—Ephesians 5:1,2)
Those needs for attention and affirmation? They are then met and this psalm tells us how! The LORD remembers us and will bless us—-he will bless those who fear him—small and great alike. Praise the LORD!
Lord, thank you for your love and faithfulness. Thank you for your many blessings. Thank you that you continue to work in my heart, forgiving my wanderings and encouraging your straight path. May I welcome the desire to live more like my Savior, Jesus, as I repent of my weakness to run to idols. You are good! Amen.
– Debby Ulle