Psalm 115 Glory To The LORD For His Mercy And Truth.
“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth.” (v. 1 Cf. Rev. 14:7) God will not give His glory to another (Cf. Is. 48:11). Fallen humanity gives all glory to itself. But God’s people pray that the name of the covenant keeping and covenant making LORD would be glorified. Here the psalmist gives us a most basic covenantal reason for this-with the LORD mercy and truth are inseparable. If all we had was truth, the truth is we are fallen and deserving of judgment. On the other hand, if all we had was mercy it would be pointless, for why is mercy needed if there is no truth about our condition? We pray for the LORD’s name to be glorified because His mercy is real, it takes into account the truth of who God is and our sinful condition.
The world asks, “So where is their God?” (v. 2 Cf. Ps. 42:3, 10) The nations have their gods which are neatly conceived and confined within the parameters of their own imaginations, which is idolatry (v. 4 Cf. I Chron. 16:26). To this we reply that our God is beyond humanity’s creation, and He is sovereign over all (v. 3). Their gods are symbols of the ironic futility of humanity’s projection of itself. They want a god who is less than human. They want a god who has a mouth but cannot speak, eyes but cannot see, ears that cannot hear, noses that cannot smell, and hands and feet that cannot handle or walk (vv. 5-7 Cf. Dt. 4:28; II Kgs. 19:18; Is. 37:19; 44:10, 20; Jer. 10:3). Like Adam and Eve, they do not want God walking in the garden and asking, “Where are you?” (Gen. 3:9) This is the irony-they ask where is our God?
Meanwhile, their gods are deaf, dumb, and lifeless in every way. Instead of glorying in the living God and being created in His image, fallen humanity creates gods which reflect the fallen marred image of humanity. Fallen man is out of touch with reality. These idols are monuments to the sinful self-deception of fallen humanity. “Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them.” (v. 8 Cf. Ps. 135:18; Is. 44:9-11) Fallen humanity does not want the living God of truth, and in constructing gods who are dead, they also keep themselves from His mercy. On the other hand, the LORD’s people trust Him, for in Him mercy and truth are inseparable, for He is our help and shield (vv. 9-11 Cf. Pss. 33:20; 118:2-4). We also call humanity to turn from their idolatry (Cf. Acts 14:15).
Contrary to the idols of the nations of the world, “the LORD has been mindful of us,” all “those who fear the LORD, both great and small.” (vv. 12-13) In mercy and truth He blesses us, and this blessing is as real and living as is our God. “May the LORD give you increase more and more, you and your children. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (vv. 14-15) This should be our words of blessing to each other. Our faith matters in this life, and in this world that God has made and continues to sustain, “the earth He has given to the children of men.” (v. 16) Neither the dead who are still alive, nor those in the grave, can praise the LORD in this life (v. 17 Cf. Pss. 6:5; 88:10-12). “But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!” (v. 18 Cf. Ps. 113:2)