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Praise and Grace (Psalm 135,136)

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Psalm 135 Mar. 17  1Praise Yah! Praise the name of Yahweh! Praise Him, you servants of Yahweh, 2you who stand in the house of Yahweh, in the courts of our God’s house. 3Praise Yah, for Yahweh is good. Sing praises to His name, for that is pleasant. 4For Yah has chosen Jacob for Himself; Israel for His own possession. 5For I know that Yahweh is great, that our Lord is above all gods. 6Whatever Yahweh pleased, that He has done, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps; 7who causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the land; who makes lightnings with the rain; who brings forth the wind out of His treasuries; 8who struck the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and animal; 9who sent signs and wonders into the midst of you, Egypt, on Pharaoh, and on all his servants; 10who struck many nations, and killed mighty kings, 11Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan and all the kingdoms of Canaan, 12and gave their land for a heritage, a heritage to Israel, His people. 13Your name, Yahweh, endures forever; Your renown, Yahweh, throughout all generations. 14For Yahweh will judge His people, and be sorry for His servants. 15The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 16They have mouths, but they can’t speak; they have eyes, but they can’t see. 17They have ears, but they can’t hear; neither is there any breath in their mouths. 18Those who make them will be like them; yes, everyone who trusts in them. 19House of Israel, praise Yahweh! House of Aaron, praise Yahweh! 20House of Levi, praise Yahweh! You who fear Yahweh, praise Yahweh! 21Blessed be Yahweh from Zion, He who dwells at Jerusalem. Praise Yah! 


135:13 God’s Name refers to His essential character, which is distinguished firstly by His grace and forgiveness (Ex. 34:4-6). This is unchanging; God isn’t going to turn around and show us another face as it were. His Name is paralleled here with His renown, the reputation He has developed throughout Biblical history by acting consistently with His essential character. The Name of God isn’t therefore simply the word Yahweh or Jehovah. That is far too simplistic; the pronunciation and transliteration of Hebrew letters one way or another is irrelevant compared to the essence of the Name itself.
135:14 This parallels the Lord judging His people with His feeling sorry for them. In this sense judgment to come is a comfort not a threat.
135:19,20 This parallels all Israel with the priestly family. As it was God’s intention that Israel were to develop into an entire nation of priests to the rest of the world, so the new Israel likewise are to all discharge the priestly functions of teaching their brethren (Ex. 19:6 cp. 1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 1:6; 5:9,10). Under the new covenant, we should all teach and admonish one another (Col. 3:16), rather than just leave it to specialists.