The creatures of men’s vain imaginations and the works of men’s hands have no divinity in them and to worship such things is the height of absurdity.
It is wisdom to trust in the living God who proves Himself the help and shield to all who humbly put their confidence in Him.
1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.
2 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?
3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
9 O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
11 Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
12 The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.
13 He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.
14 The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children.
15 Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.
16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.
18 But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 115 – Powerless Idols; Our Powerful God
Evidently this psalm was intended to be sung by various voices: Psalm 115:1-8 by the whole congregation in unison, while the sacrifice was being offered; Psalm 115:9-11, by a solo voice giving the first line of each couplet, the whole audience chanting the refrain; Psalm 115:12-15, by the priest as a benediction; Psalm 115:16-18, by the whole congregation, which now breaks into glad hallelujahs.
It was composed during the early days of the return from Babylon, when the small groups of settlers were surrounded by the jeers and scoffs of their enemies. This was their reply, as they brought out the scathing contrast between the idols of their neighbors and the majesty of Jehovah. We are reminded of Isaiah’s description of an idol factory. The idols had outward semblance and no power. Jehovah had no outward semblance, but all power. Let us take to heart the threefold invitation to faith in Psalm 115:9-11, and reckon on God as our help in the battle and our shield against our foes. The smallest may get his blessing as well as the greatest, Psalm 115:13. We can never impose a strain on the resources of God, however great our demands. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 115:8—They that make them are like unto them.
That men become like their ideals is a common-place; and that the heathen resemble their deities is notorious. Men first impute to their deities their own vices, as the Greeks and Romans to the gods and goddesses of their Pantheon; and then endeavor to honour them by imitation.
But, in another sense, this is gloriously true of our relation to the Lord Jesus. If we make Him our ideal, and trust Him with all our hearts, his beauty shall dawn upon our face, and we shall be changed into his image, from glory to glory. We know that when He shall be manifested finally we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is; and, in a measure, this process of transformation is taking place in those who see Him by the eye of faith, and are becoming like Him.
We are doing more by our life than by our words. We cannot always speak for Jesus, but we may always live for Him. Of a young girl, lately gone forth as a missionary, who cannot speak a word of the language of the foreign land to which she has gone, I was told the other day that her life, or rather the life of Jesus in her, was exerting a far wider influence than she knew. This is the Divine method: look and live; trust and be transfigured; abide in Him, and He shall abide in you.
Auskar, a missionary to the Scandinavians in the ninth century when asked if he could perform miracles, replied: “If God were indeed to grant that power to me, I would only ask that I might exhibit the miracle of a holy life.” But this is the most difficult of all. It is easier to die once for Jesus, than to live always for Him. Yet God’s grace is sufficient. He will keen us as stars in his right hand. —Our Daily Homily