Who Is like the Lord Our God?
113 Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD!
Blessed be the name of the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the LORD is to be praised!
The LORD is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
Who is like the LORD our God,
who is seated on high,
who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the LORD!
Psalm 113 Commentary
by Hank Workman
On the night of Jesus’ betrayal the scriptures tell us:
“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”Matthew 26:30
During the Passover, there were several hymns sung that were connected to this Festival. Psalm 113-114 would be sung before the meal and 115-118 after.
As the practice in ancient times, this song would have been sung by Jesus, the hymn mentioned in Scripture on the darkest night of Jesus’ earthly life.
This puts into perspective the wonder of Psalm 113.
Opening and closing with praise, it is a proclamation in the honor of being part of the mysterious work of God. As Kidner writes, “It is the loving homage of the committed to the Revealed.” Not only does this psalm give praise for being His servants it the overall nature of God that is to be praised. The deeper we go within our relationship with God the more His character and beauty are shown. This is all the more reason to offer such magnificent praise.
For our God is above all the nations, His glory is in heaven and no other being is like our God. Boice adds weight to this. “What amazes the psalmist is that God is exalted so high that He has to stoop low to see not only the earth but also the heavens, yet at the same time He cares for the lowly.”
Consider simply these few insights in relation to this being one of the hymns Jesus sang that last night of His life. There is no doubt He knew what was ahead. He knew the horror of which His physical body would endure. In the midst of not only the emotional pain that was present, Jesus still gave praise to God as it would be Him who would lift Him from the dust of the grave. It would be His Father who would raise Him to the highest place sitting at His right hand.
Even before it all began He chose to praise.
What of our praise? Are we able to praise even before the storm hits? Are we willing to praise Him during the tumultuous waves that assault? Will we stay steady in our praise of our God who is over all, in control of all, and yes even if we are walking through the hardest time of our life?
More perspective to this is simply what Paul wrote to the Ephesians.
“Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”Ephesians 2:5-6
This is the praiseworthy of our God who has done and continues to do a great work in our life no matter what we have gone through or what we are facing.
Psalm 113 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Music connects with every person on the planet. More than likely, all of us can identify with a song or artist that inspires us in a personal way. Songs are easy to remember, well-situated to pass down through generations, and often teach us about life. This is especially true of music aligned with God. It is an effective tool to teach spiritual truth and draw us deeper into God’s character.
In the ancient world, the psalms were composed precisely for these reasons. The memories and stories about God were effectively passed down through music. Being easily memorized and sung often, they became timeless. Psalms 113-118 were composed to be sung around the supper table during Passover.
The themes of these six Passover psalms are:
- Psalm 113: Praising God for releasing the downtrodden.
- Psalm 114: Escaping from Egypt.
- Psalm 115: Praising God together as a people.
- Psalm 116: Thanking God personally and giving oneself to Him.
- Psalm 117: Calling non-Jews to praise God.
- Psalm 118: Recalling God’s steadfast, enduring love.
As you can see, they were foundational to Hebrew theology. Psalm 113 was specific in praising God for reaching down from heaven to those who were struggling.
Who is like Yahweh our God— the One enthroned on high, 6 who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?Psalms 113:5-6 HCSB
Back then, they praised God for stooping (NASB translates this ‘humbles Himself’) down to Earth. The incredible aspect to consider is that Jesus takes this statement to a whole new level. Jesus stooped (humbled) Himself to the point of becoming flesh and blood and walking among us. He stooped down to heal us and teach us. He stooped down to die for us and then was raised again conquering sin and death. The fulfillment of this verse means even more to us today knowing the great lengths God went to in order to save His people!