Tehillim / Psalms 115, ספר תהילים קטו, You will become the Idol you set up in your heart
In this week’s study from Tehillim / Psalms 115:1-18, the psalm opens saying, א לֹא לָנוּ יְהֹוָה לֹא לָנוּ כִּי לְשִׁמְךָ תֵּן כָּבוֹד עַל-חַסְדְּךָ עַל-אֲמִתֶּךָ: 115:1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. (NASB) The Psalmist is ascribing greatness and glory to the Lord and directing the reader that it is not to us in his repetition of “lo lanu” (לֹא לָנוּ) Adonai. He continues saying, ב לָמָּה יֹאמְרוּ הַגּוֹיִם אַיֵּה-נָא אֱלֹהֵיהֶם: ג וֵאלֹהֵינוּ בַשָּׁמָיִם כֹּל אֲשֶׁר-חָפֵץ עָשָֹה: ד עֲצַבֵּיהֶם כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב מַעֲשֵֹה יְדֵי אָדָם: ה פֶּה-לָהֶם וְלֹא יְדַבֵּרוּ עֵינַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִרְאוּ: ו אָזְנַיִם לָהֶם וְלֹא יִשְׁמָעוּ אַף לָהֶם וְלֹא יְרִיחוּן: ז יְדֵיהֶם | וְלֹא יְמִישׁוּן רַגְלֵיהֶם וְלֹא יְהַלֵּכוּ לֹא-יֶהְגּוּ בִּגְרוֹנָם: 115:2 Why should the nations say, ‘Where, now, is their God?’ 115:3 But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. 115:4 Their idols are silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. 115:5 They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; 115:6 They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; 115:7 They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat. (NASB) The psalmist describes the idols as not having the ability to do anything. In fact, those who make them will become like them (Tehillim / Psalms 115:8). Our trust is to be in the Lord who is able to help and protect us (115:9). The psalmist calls to the priesthood to trust in the Lord (115:10). Why do you think that is? Could it be by reason of their not receiving an inheritance in the Land? The psalmist states, יב יְהֹוָה זְכָרָנוּ יְבָרֵךְ יְבָרֵךְ אֶת-בֵּית יִשְֹרָאֵל יְבָרֵךְ אֶת-בֵּית אַהֲרֹן: יג יְבָרֵךְ יִרְאֵי יְהֹוָה הַקְּטַנִּים עִם-הַגְּדֹלִים: 115:12 The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron. 115:13 He will bless those who fear the Lord, The small together with the great. (NASB) It may be that the house of Aaron had doubts on the Lord’s provision when the people became less faithful. The psalm concludes saying, יד יֹסֵף יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיכֶם עֲלֵיכֶם וְעַל-בְּנֵיכֶם: טו בְּרוּכִים אַתֶּם לַיהֹוָה עֹשֵֹה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ: טז הַשָּׁמַיִם שָׁמַיִם לַיהֹוָה וְהָאָרֶץ נָתַן לִבְנֵי-אָדָם: יז לֹא-הַמֵּתִים יְהַלְלוּ-יָהּ וְלֹא כָּל-יֹרְדֵי דוּמָה: יח וַאֲנַחְנוּ | נְבָרֵךְ יָהּ מֵעַתָּה וְעַד-עוֹלָם הַלְלוּיָהּ: 115:14 May the Lord give you increase, You and your children. 115:15 May you be blessed of the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth. 115:16 The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, But the earth He has given to the sons of men. 115:17 The dead do not praise the Lord, Nor do any who go down into silence; 115:18 But as for us, we will bless the Lord From this time forth and forever. Praise the Lord! (NASB) Interesting how praising the Lord is connected to the living and the physical body.