This is another “Hallelujah Psalm,” but not to be confused with one of the “Hallel” (Psalms 113-118). It begins and ends by praising and blessing God. The praise covers several times and events in the history of Israel, beginning with God choosing Jacob (Israel) for His own (verse 4).
Verses 5-7 praise God for His majesty and power over earth wind, sea and sky. Verses 8-9 contain specific praise for God’s signs and works against Egypt and Pharaoh, while verses 10-12 speak of his victories over the kings in Canaan, giving their land to Israel. Verses 15-18 praise God, while pointing out silliness of worshiping idols, which are unreal, nonliving, and unintelligent.
The psalm is called a mosaic (Spurgeon said a “tessellated pavement) because there are so many parts of it that are found or quoted in other books of the Old Testament. Verses 1-2 are taken from Psalm 134:1-3, verse 5 from Exodus 18:11, verse 7 is like Jeremiah 10:13, and verses 15-18 are like Psalm 115:4-8. There are several others.
This harmonious and poetic arrangement of praise verses was compared also by one writer to flowers arranged in a bouquet. It is a fitting description, and a just reason for the servant of God to present such to the Lord. As Barnes said, “the whole design of the psalm is to excite praise to God, and to show reasons for doing so.” To this end, the psalm does a very good job indeed.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.