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PSALM 113

A LITTLE PSALM OF PRAISE!

 

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

"Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD."

This is all of Psalm 113, with its nine verses!

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 1:

It might not be proper say one is "excited" about studying a portion of Scripture. But, nonetheless, I am!

Psalm 113 is a short Psalm, but it's beautiful!

It, a complete unit of Scripture, a whole Psalm, is one of the Bible's 1189 chapters. In other words, these nine verses fulfill a great role in God's Word!

Oh! One day Jeremiah got excited about the Word! He said to God, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16

The 119th Psalm also reveals to us an unnamed brother who stayed excited about Scripture! Again and again he says so. "I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word." Psalm 119:14 and 16 here serve as early examples.

The first verse of Psalm 113 gives some good advice! Good for all of us in fact! Yet it is directed to a specific group of people. "Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD." Psalm 113:1

Three times the verb "halal" is used! It means "to praise," but in this sense: "to be clear (in sound and then in color), to shine, to make a show, to boast, to rave and to celebrate!" In this wide range of meaning it's quite easy to see the emotional nature of the Hebrew people and their beautiful language.

All three times "halal" appears it is framed as an imperative verb too! A command is being given!

Also the verb here is built on the "piel" stem, a Hebrew designation indicating great intensity is to be used in the expression of such praise! Loudly praise! Vigorously praise! With all your heart!

And the specific Name of God, "Jehovah," is also used here three times! Three times in verse one! Eight times in the whole Psalm! This is a Psalm unto Jehovah! That's God's Name emphasizing His eternality! He is the everlasting "I AM." It also seems to be the Name in which He enters into covenant relationship with His people. He is our Husband spiritually! The Bridegroom of the Church! So, Jehovah is God's "saving" Name!

Additionally, when "Jehovah" is spelled those three times, there's a slight variation between its first appearance and the other two! Initially "Jah," but eventually "Yehovah," both representations name the same God, in the same way really! It's just that the Holy Spirit here has "crafted" an interesting play on words, especially for us English readers! Using the shortened form of Jehovah, "Jah," the first two words in the Masoretic Text, the Hebrew Manuscript from which the King James Bible was translated, read like this: "Halal Yah." We of course would pronounce that "Hallel Yah!" Say it again, "Hallelyah!" It has actually become an English word, a "loan" word, Hallelujah!

Then notice that we are told not only to praise the LORD, but also to praise the NAME of the LORD! "Shem," the noun for "name," also suggests one's character and honor and authority! Who one really is! Glorify God for Who He is, for His Essence and Being! His "attributes" the theologians would say.

There is no Name like Jehovah!

Then, lastly for today, look who is advised to praise the Lord! "Ye servants of the Lord!" This little noun, "ebed," at its very foundation means "slaves!" It is built upon the verbal stem "abad," meaning "to work!" Maybe praise lightens the work load, making it joyful and fulfilling!

No doubt at first indicating the relatively few Priests of Israel or even the more numerous Levites ... now every God-called Preacher alive can consider himself commanded, conscripted to praise the dear Lord!

Here we probably see the power of example!

The impact of leadership!

A "dead" Preacher seldom leads a "live" congregation, not for long anyway! Someone once said that if we had more "fire" in the pulpit we would have less "ice" in the pews!

But, really, in this New Testament age of Grace, we are all blessed to be "servants" of the Lord, thus commanded to praise His sweet Name!

Praise the Lord!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 2:

"Popularity" is a fleeting thing!

Whenever election time comes, this premise is proved again and again. Last cycle's "hero" is this year's "villain!" Candidates for political office seldom have staying power.

But in Psalm 113 we meet Someone Who is different!

Of Him it is said: "Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore." And this is only the second verse of the Psalm!

The verb "blessed" is spelled "barak" in Hebrew. It basically means "to bow, to kneel, to salute." But here it is built as a "pual" stem verb. That, the Hebrew teacher might remind us, is the passive form of a "piel" verb. Both those terms reveal to us that the verb in question is to be expressed intensely!

In verse two the Lord is not blessing His Own Name! His great Name however is being blessed by multitudes! Best I can tell a command is not even being given here. A fact is being stated!

The Name of the Lord is being blessed! Right now! That's unquestionable! On earth it is! In Heaven too! And in the hearts of many who read here right now!

Furthermore, since this stem is a "pual," we need to remember the intensity it depicts!

Really blessed!

Even adored!

Worshipped in fact!

By thousands, yea millions, really by innumerable hosts!

Zealously worshipped!

With loud voices!

And sincere hearts!

Yes, "Blessed be the name of the Lord!"

See the intensity?

Feel it?

Here's something interesting too. The little verb "be" is in Hebrew spelled "hayah." It's really the "heart" of God's Name Jehovah! Jehovah, the One Who is! The God Who always is! Eternally so ! Never ending! The same yesterday, today and for ever!

Often in Scripture the Holy Spirit lets the "to be" verb remain quiet, silent, at times even absent, just being implied. But not here! God's great Name, His Person, His Character, His Essence is to eternally be adored and blessed and worshipped!

We shall all, those who are saved, some day fall before Him and praise His Name! "And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia." Then, "And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." Revelation 19:4-6

But it's not only the little verb "be" that indicates eternality here!

Look at the rest of the verse: "Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore."

"From this time forth and for evermore!"

"From this time forth" is a representation of one word in Hebrew, "attah." It literally means "now." Nine times in the King James Text it is rendered "straightway," that is, immediately, quickly! Likely it's built upon the "adah" verb stem, "to advance, to pass on, to continue," just exactly what time does!

Here's the first "attah" in Scripture, watch for "now." This is the "now" of sin! "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken." Genesis 3:22-23

Here's the last time "attah" is used in the Bible, Malachi 3:15. "And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered." Still it's a "now" of sin!

But in Psalm 113, it is NOT a "now" of sin. It's a "now" of worship and praise and godliness and glory and purity!

"From this time forth," nothing wrong with that, "blessed be the Name of the Lord!

But such worship of God is not limited to the present! Not just to "this time!" No, it also extends into the future!

Again, let's read our brief Text, "Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore."

The term used here is "olam." It means eternity but in this sense, that which is "concealed," or has reached  "the vanishing point!" In other words, look into the future, He is still being blessed! Look further! It's still happening! Look until you can see no more, until your sight fails you, until what you're seeing vanishes ... even then, God is still being vigorously worshipped! No lessening of intensity! No slackening of diligence! "For evermore!"

By the way, again look back at the first passage to use "attah," Genesis 3:22-23. It is also the first passage to use "olam" as well! But, sadly,  still in the context of sin! Yes, sin has eternal consequences! "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken." Genesis 3:22-23

But, praise the Lord, those time references dealing with sin become the very same time references dealing with worship, pure worship of our great Lord God Almighty!

Hope I'm not repeating too much here!

"Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore."

Amen!

With all your heart, bless His Name!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 3:

Verse one says that God's Name is to be honored, especially at His House! In the days of the Psalmists that would have been the Jewish Temple.

Verse two says that God's Name is to be honored at all times, past and present and future!

Verse three says this: "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised." Now Psalm 113 just told us that God's Name is to be honored everywhere!

Using "halel," which means " to be praised" in Hebrew, the Holy Spirit both intensifies the action here and builds the verbal sequence as a passive unit. God does not praise Himself! We are to bring Him honor and glory and adoration. And we are to do so vigorously! Such are the implications of the pual participle in Hebrew.

The noun "rising" is "mizrach" and comes from a verb meaning "to shoot forth beams, to irradiate, to appear." Most often in the King James Bible it is translated "east" or "eastward," the direction from which the sun rises.

The noun "sun" is "shemesh" and is thought to mean "that which is brilliant!" Well named!

"Going down" is "mabo" and is derived from a Hebrew verb, "bo," that means "to come or to go." Obviously here the sun is "going." Of course the Lord knew that the sun's "going" from Israel meant its "coming" somewhere else, Greece or Italy for example.

Having read that verse a few times and subsequently hearing it used in a hymn, I've tried whenever possible at sunrise and sunset to take a bit of time and adore our dear Lord! When I'm driving especially! It's 6:15 AM as these words are being written.  Soon the sun, like a bridegroom leaving his chamber according to Psalm 19, will begin his glorious journey through the sky! And everywhere he "goes," someone will be worshiping Almighty God!

Keep in mind that the "sun" is also a type or symbol of Christ Jesus. Malachi 4:2 says, "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings." That's Jesus, the divine SON who is brighter than the astral SUN! Jesus is to be praised from his "rising" to the "sunset" of His Life! From the Incarnation and Virgin Birth all the way to His vicarious Death on Calvary for lost sinners, including His burial and Resurrection!

Name a place the sun does not rise!

Well, a few places exist where it does not rise as often during certain times of the year! But they sure are cold places! And dark!

Earlier this week I was reading a science article, written by an astronomer actually. He incidentally mentioned that fact that probably planet earth was the only place in the whole universe where it did not get "dark" immediately! Like one second plenty of sunlight, the next second none!

Due to such things as atmosphere and temperature earth has dazzling sunrises and sunsets! To us it's unique! Almost as if God "hand-picked" us to have a glorious glimpse twice each day of the sun! He said that only on earth is the sun's so-called appearing and departing accompanied by colorful displays of majesty!

All this is nearly too big to comprehend!

Where is God to be praised? "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised." 

Amen!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 4:

"The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens." So says Psalm 113:4.

Only once have I ever been to the United Nations. But, as the Lord would have it, the day I rode the bus across town, getting off to walk much of the way due to traffic congestion, there was an international conference in progress and the whole place was locked down ... no admission at all! Dozens of Heads of State were present, even including the notorious Fidel Castro! Not only could I not see anyone significant, I couldn't even get near the facility, really!

But one day I came across this verse, today's verse! "The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens."

I discovered that I know Someone Who is above ALL the Nations, united or not! He is the Lord!

Concerning Psalm 113, verse one talks about God locally, presumably in the Temple.

Verse three observes God from east to west, globally!

Then verse four, God is present universally!

He Who rules the Nations lives within my heart!

"The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens."

The specific Name of God used here is "Jehovah," in Hebrew "Yehovah." The Textbooks say it means "The Existing One." Actually, "The God Who Is." He always is!

According to the experts this Name for God occurs 6,519 times in the Bible! And that would have to be the Old Testament alone! In its shortened form, "Yah," add 49 more appearances.

It's God's "key" Name!

The adjective "high" is built from the root word "rum," pronounced "room." It actually means "rising up, being exalted, uplifted, extolled!" It here is a present participle, implying that ... to our perception anyway ... God is ever getting greater and greater! Of course the truth of the matter is that God can get no greater. He is already, as the Eternal and Omnipotent One, perfect, lacking nothing! It's just that to us He seems to be sweeter and sweeter and more and more awesome as each day passes! Relationally so.

The noun "nations" is spelled "goy," meaning nations or peoples, especially not Jews. Primarily Gentiles in other words! The Lexicons even tell us that "goy" flows from "gaah," a verb also meaning "to mount up, to rise!"

God is high and lofty and mighty! Man rebelliously seeks to be so as well, preeminently in control ...  usurping God's Position!

The adjective "all" is "kol" in Hebrew and means the whole unit! It is birthed from "kalal," meaning "to complete."

"Above" even has heavy meaning here, "al" being a main preposition. "Over, above, upon or against!' That would be the Greater against the lesser too!

Then comes "glory," or "kabod" to the Psalmist. Related to a verb meaning "to be heavy," this noun suggests that which is weighty in honor or splendor! God is Supreme! Here the Lord's glory is being made parallel to His rulership and sovereignty over all nations!

Even the noun "heavens," yes in the plural too, "shamayim," means "to be lofty." That's lofty like the clouds and sky and other regions far beyond! Even the "third heaven," using Paul's terminology from 2nd Corinthians 12:12, is included. God reigns there as well! Of course. He is omni-present, everywhere!

I know of no verse anywhere in Scripture that any more clearly exalts the Lord's position as King of Kings! And the Bible has 31,102 verses!

"The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens." So says Psalm 113:4.

Amen!

Worship Him today!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 5:

Some Bible questions are left unanswered. At least no specific answers are given. Not in that immediate context anyway. Yet the overall teaching of Scripture most often supplies the solution.

For example, Psalm 113:5 asks, "Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high?"

This Psalmist, whoever he may be, is praising God.

He feels, rightly so, that there is just nobody like God!

God Himself agrees in Isaiah 44:8, "Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any."

Today's Psalm 113 verse uses God's two major Old Testament appellations. "LORD," being the way the King James Bible translates "Yehovah" or "Jehovah," is found well over 6500 times in the Old Testament. And "God," English for "Elohiym," another 2600 or so times! "The LORD our God!"

The saving One and the almighty One!

The Eternal One and the triune One!

These are the main ideas the Names embody.

The pronoun "who," instead of "what," reveals to us God's Person. He is not a thing! He is the Living God! With Personality! Communing within the Godhead! Father, Son, Holy Spirit ... One God miraculously manifest as a Trinity! Spelled "miy," this interrogative pronoun is almost always used of persons, God is alive!

"Like" serves as a preposition. Appearing just as a Hebrew "k," usually with a vowel attached to help it assimilate to its object, "ka" here works as an article of comparison.

Then one main trait of this unique God is mentioned. He "dwelleth on high." This verb, "yashab," means "to abide or remain or inhabit." Obviously a place is in mind. An infinitive here, "yashab" suggest ongoing residence! An eternal address! Actually the verb is built on the stem that means "to sit down!" God is now seated presumably! We know Jesus is! His Work is done! Calvary is complete! Potentially even the devil is defeated! It only remains that Jesus return and care for the "moping up" details! Psalm 110:1 quotes the Father saying to the Son, who just victoriously returned or ascended to Heaven from earth, "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." Calvary conquered it all!

The word "high" is derived from "gabah." It means "to soar!" In either its noun or adjectival form it suggests exalted, tall, lofty, above, upward. In the King James Text it's even a few times "proud" or "haughty!" The context determines some of these shades of meaning. Also, surprisingly, "gabah" is used less than a hundred times in Scripture. 

Our God cannot be limited to one locality. He is not merely the God of the mountains or the God of the valleys! The Syrians wrongly thought the God of Israel was localized. "And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they."

This false charge upset the Lord!

"And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD." 1st Kings 20:28

Yes, our God dwelleth on high!

Praise His good Name!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 6:

One truth today's verse advances is just astounding! It's nearly unique in what it says. Each of us believes that our great God is "in Heaven." Yet we also know that He is omni-present, everywhere at once!

Solomon was correct when he asked, "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?" 1st Kings 8:27

But now an even more thrilling thing is said!

Speaking of God, Psalm 113:6 advances this thought: "Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!"

Notice this is not a question. It's a statement of fact. Linked with its immediate context: "The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!"

Here we are told that God is so great that he would have to "humble" Himself even to see the things that are in earth ... and in Heaven!

That verb "humbleth" is spelled "shaphel" and is only found 30 or so times in the whole Bible! It means "be to low, to sink down, even to show abasement!"

Here's how it's often used: "The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up." 1st Samuel 2:7

This is a hiphil participle in Hebrew, indicating the existence of some specific "cause" behind God's action. It's participial influence adds linear action to the mix as well. God regularly "humbleth Himself" to see things in heaven and earth!

In other words, God is so awesome, so exalted, so transcendent, that He has to lower Himself even to investigate heavenly things!

"Who humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!"

A currently best-selling book in the West suggests that God is NOT great. I suggest that such rantings prove that God IS great! Otherwise, why would God be attacked so vehemently!

The thing that upsets many atheists today is just the fact that God cannot be squelched! 

He will not go away!

The more they fight Him, the stronger He seems to be!

Why, my concept of God is not diminishing, not at all!

It is growing ... nearly every day.

And Psalm 113:6 took care of that issue for September 11, 2007!

That's for sure!

I have a God who even has to "humble Himself" just to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

Amen!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

A brief postscript ...

By the way, that verb "behold" is "raah" in Hebrew. It means "to observe," much more than merely "seeing." God knows all that's being done, terrestrially or celestially!

This description of God parallels that of Psalm 139. "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."

The Psalm continues to say that God was even present with me while I was still in my mother's womb! He saw me as I was being developed in utero! In fact, He was the Architect!

Again I say, it's astounding!

God knew the very second Adam and Eve sinned, here on earth! God knew the exact moment Lucifer entertained that first thought of rebellion in Heaven! Both on earth and in the heavens ... God humbleth Himself to see such things!

Truly, going back to verse 5 of Psalm 113, this week's Text: "Who is like unto the LORD our God?"

There is none!

Amen!

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSE 7:

The first part of the Psalm, Psalm 113 that is, talks about the greatness of God. He is high above all nations! His glory is above the Heavens! He dwelleth on High! He is so majestic that He must "humble Himself" to see things occurring on earth or in Heaven! Perhaps as in no other place in all Scripture, GOD IS shown to be GREAT!

Yet verse 7, almost surprisingly, adds: "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill." Psalm 113:8

So big that He transcends all creation, yet so personal that He visits the dunghills of earth, looking for sinners to save and cleanse! Such is our ineffable God!

"Raiseth" is a hiphil verb, spelled "qum." It shows "cause" in its action. There is a reason God "lifts up" the poor out of the dust! He loves souls! His nature is to save the poor and downcast! More than just "lifting up," it also suggests "making firm, establishing, causing something to stand!"

"Poor" is just "dal" and means "weak or thin or low." It's from "dalal" which means "to slacken, to be feeble, to dangle down!" In the King James Text "dalal" is rendered various ways; "dried up, emptied, failed, impoverished, made thin" are some examples.

"Dust," in Hebrew "aphar," is powdered clay, earth or mud. It's verbal root pictures that which is "pulverized." Again in the King James Bible; "ashes, powder and even rubbish!"

Ecclesiastes 3:20 says, "All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." So, realizing that God created man out of the very ground, or the dust of the earth, Psalm 113 here implies even more. Man has fallen into sin; debasing himself, lowering himself, digressing, regressing, not evolving but devolving! He now finds himself "in the dust" again! In the dirt! Maybe that's where the woman "taken in adultery," the one shamefully brought to Jesus in John chapter 8, was living ... "in the dirt!" Perhaps that's even why Jesus wrote on the ground that day! Our Lord then lifted that poor woman out of the muck and mire of sin and gave her a new life! "He raiseth the poor out of the dust!"

Amen!

Also He "lifteth the needy out of the dunghill." Psalm 113:7 again is being quoted here.

Using another key verb,"rum," God "lifts" us up out of some vile places. "Rum" three times is translated as "heave," to "throw" someone, to "grab and toss" them out of a bad situation! Still "causative," God's action here is based on His Love and Nature and Grace!

Both God's "raising" us up and "lifting" us out are ongoing actions! Linear or durative in scope! He is still doing such things!

The "needy" are those in "want." In fact, "ebyon" once is rendered as "beggar" in the Old Testament. Many today will not admit to such spiritual poverty. They, like the Laodiceans of old, are: "rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." Yet, still quoting Revelation 3:17, "knowest not that they art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked!"

The "dunghill" is "aspoth" in Hebrew. Only used 7 times in all the Bible, it is "dung" four of those times and "dunghill" the other three. No variation of meaning here at all! Grammatically in the Psalmist's day, "aspoth" could also mean a pile of garbage. Or an ash-heap; burned embers, wasted potential, trash! And that's exactly where God found us too!

Talk about a God Who cares!

A Lord Who rescues!

One Who is "mighty to save!"

That's Jesus indeed!

Today, by all means, thank God for your salvation!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Additionally, let it be mentioned that two very godly ladies used words like these in their personal testimonies! One from the Old Testament, the other from the New, Hannah and Mary the Virgin certainly knew God's Word!

Hannah: "The LORD bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them." 1st Samuel 2:7-8

Mary: "The Lord hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away." Luke 1:48, 52-53

And both these ladies were rejoicing over the fact of newborn children, little boys destined for godliness! One of them, very God of very God, come in human flesh! Jesus is His Name!

Hannah and Mary ... praising God for physical birth!

Psalm 113 ... praising God for spiritual birth, the New Birth, being "born again!"

What a God!

"He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill."

Amen!

 

 

LESSON 8, VERSE 8:

Often the Bible gives good news, only to be followed by more good news!

An example of this pattern can be found in Psalm 113, especially in verses seven and eight.

Good news: "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill." The Pronoun "He" has reference to the Lord.

More good news: "That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people."

See it?

It's thrilling to be lifted out of the dunghill, raised out of the dust! But, then, to be "set with princes" is absolutely astounding!

Both actions are indeed motivated by the good Grace of God! But the second is "amazing" Grace! Or, as Peter says, "manifold" Grace! That word "manifold" is spelled "poikilos" and means "many colored!" Variegated! Beautiful!

Today we study the second half of this twin verse beauty! "That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people."

The verb "may set" is "yashab" in Hebrew. It means "to dwell, to remain, to stay, to dwell, to live" in a place! Here are people who, totally due to God's Goodness, have been moved from the pits to the palaces! Moved there permanently too!

"Princes," the noun, is spelled "nadiyb." It means the "nobles" of society! But in this sense, those who are generous, voluntary or magnanimous! The root used here, "nadab," adds that sense of "giving freely." In the King James Text this word is translated as "willing" 3 times and "free" 2 times and "liberal" (generous) 4 more times.

Truly God's people overall are the kindest, most gracious folks you will ever know!

This is all good, but it gets even better.

The Lord sets us with the princes "of one's own people." Not with strangers! Not with the heathen!

See the compatibility here!

"People" is "am" in Hebrew, the tribes or clans linked to one's own family, kinsmen! "Am" specifically means one's compatriots, one's own country-men.

Spiritually speaking, this two verse duo reminds us what God did for us negatively, saved us from Hell ... and what God is going to do for us positively, take us to Heaven!

Yes, "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people."

This all reminds me of 1st Corinthians 2:9. "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

And Paul was quoting Isaiah even there. "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." Isaiah 64:4

One preacher wrote a book and titled it "Live Like A King!"

If you are saved, indeed you already are royalty!

Princes with God!

Of the Lord Jesus Revelation 5:9 says, "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."

Praise His Name!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, VERSE 9:

Did you ever read a verse of Scripture again and again, then days later the Holy Spirit revealed some truth to you that you had missed all that time?

Wondering for weeks how verse 9 fit into the overall pattern of Psalm 113, today I see it! Or at least part of it!

This verse applies much of what we've already been taught in this great chapter.

"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD." Psalm 113:9

The verb here is "maketh to keep," just one word in Hebrew. And "yashab" means "to sit down!" Thus, "to dwell, to remain, to settle, to abide, to tarry" and even "to marry."

This Psalm is full of hiphil verbs, all showing causative action. There's a reason God does this for the ladies! The participial action "yashab" possesses here also suggests incomplete labor on God's part. He is still making godly ladies keep house!

Perhaps in the time of the Psalmist, as well as yet today, dwelling at home seemed boring to the women. Mostly they had no choice. Today ladies certainly do! During Paul's lifetime certain younger women anyway, "wandered from house to house." Idle they were, busybodies too according to 1st Timothy 5:13.

Yet to stay at home, especially without any children, might have been all the more trying. Yet God's Word here is clear! The Lord "maketh the barren woman to keep house." It is not a demeaning job to be a "keeper-at-home." Paul agrees. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit he instructed the young Christian wives in the Churches "to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:5

To you ladies who work outside the home and are having "trouble" here, or to you men whose wives have to work for financial reasons ... remember that we are not today studying Proverbs 31. There a virtuous woman does all kind of things, several of which take her away from the house! And she is praised by her family as well as the Lord! See Proverbs 31:30.

But, back to Psalm 113:9, notice that once the lady in focus settles into her "house keeping" role, though she is barren, God blesses her! He blesses her with the supreme reward for Old testament wives!

With children!

"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children."

See?

I capitalized "AND" for a reason.

Obedience ended her season of barrenness!

Following God's Will somehow opened her womb and "children," plural here ... two or more ... were born!

The word "barren" is "aqar" and means sterile. But its verbal background is based upon an action word meaning "to pluck up by the roots," implying that her reproductive organs were "gone!"

But God, the divine Physician, can take care of all that!

The woman-at-home now becomes the "mother" of children! In Hebrew "ab" means father and now "em" means mother! Both are basic words with a wide latitude of meaning.

The adjective "joyful" is "sameach" and means joyful in a "bright" and cheerful sense. Its root verb: "to brighten up!"

Children make one joyful only if this Biblical attitude is adopted: "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Psalm 127:3

The word "children" here technically is "ben," a masculine noun. Boys specifically! But the word is often used in the Old Testament for "children" of either sex, generically so. But still it is never translated as "daughter." Yet it's certainly clear that God respects womanhood immensely.

Look at what Psalm 113 has done!

Beginning with the awesome greatness of God, His omnipresence and omnipotence and sovereignty, the Lord now humbles Himself to view happenings on earth ... even in a simple home!

He cares about that lonely wife!

He will meet her needs too!

And what's the "cause" behind all of this goodness? Remember that the opening verb in the verse is "causative." Again, "He MAKETH the barren woman TO KEEP house, and to be a joyful mother of children."

Plainly, that men and women would praise the Lord!

Look how the verse ends: "He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD."

Amen!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10, CONCLUSION:

We have been studying Psalm 113 for the past ten days. It is divided into nine verses. Having now concluded its verse-by-verse exposition, here are some summary words, in conclusion.

The Psalm starts with some Preachers, "ye servants of the Lord," and ends with some ladies, "joyful mothers of children!" Both groups however are praising the Lord!

Also it begins and ends with the same Hebrew formula, "haleluyah." That's our word Hallelujah! It literally means "Praise ye the Lord!"

This Psalm, with its unique ending focus on ladies and motherhood and children, is placed between the lives of two great Bible women, women who sincerely praised God for their special children! Hannah and Mary the Virgin both spoke words similar to Psalm 113:7-9. Hannah would have looked forward to these words being inserted into Israel's hymnal of worship, Mary would have looked back on the event! Psalm 113 may actually be alluding to Hannah's great words of praise, first uttered in 1st Samuel chapter two.

 To me the most astounding verse in the whole Psalm just might be verse six where God "humbles Himself!" See here: "Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!" What a thing to say! I can think of no other Old Testament place where God "humbles" Himself! Then, yesterday, Paul's great Philippians 2 Passage came to mind. Jesus, God the Son, did humble Himself! Paul writes of our Lord: "Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." What a thought! What a Truth! Calvary, the Cross where Jesus died for sinners!

And this classic Psalm of Praise concludes ... in an humble home! Mom, Dad and the children, all worshiping the Lord! That should be a picture of the Triune Godhead, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, communing together for all eternity!

Psalm 113 begins a group of Psalms which end at Psalm 118. They are called the "Hallel." They were sung by the Jews at certain special occasions throughout their calendar year. The Hallel was cited eighteen times a year back when the Temple stood in Israel, during public worship!

When verse 4 says that God is "high above all nations," similarities to Isaiah 40 can be heard. "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?" Isaiah 40:15-18 gives us God's "foreign policy!" He's King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Higher than the Highest!

God's glory is said, still in verse four, to be "above the heavens!" Even the sun and moon and starts and galaxies and comets and planets and asteroids and all the rest cannot properly and completely tell the story of God's Glory! We know that "the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork," yet still God is beyond them all! Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard!

The saints you know are compared to "princes" in verse eight! We are children of the King! The root word there for "princes" is "nadiyb" and at its heart means "generous, magnanimous, voluntary!" Freely and willingly ready to serve! The most generous and gracious people on earth are God's people! For sure!

We shall spend eternity with such princes too! God saved us and is going to take us to Heaven! "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people." We are going to be "set" in the presence of such great men and women! "Yashab" means "to sit, to dwell, to remain, to dwell!" Think of spending eternity with Paul and Jeremiah and Ezra and Isaiah and all the rest!

Psalm 136 is also called a "Hallel" Psalm, but it's better known as the "Great Hallel." Remember "halel" means praise! Psalm 136 uses the great clause "for His Mercy endureth for ever" over two dozen times, 26 to be exact!

But getting back to Psalm 113, this astounding Chapter of Praise has special "linkage" throughout all its nine verses. The Hebrew teachers say that it's unique to all the Bible in its use of connecting vowels, especially i, o and u. That being so, the great almighty God of the Scriptures is described in glowing universal terms ... yet the scene here concludes in a small home with a little newborn baby boy! Is this not a foreshadowing of Jesus, the God-Man come to earth? Surely so!

Paul, in 1st Timothy 2:15, said this of a godly lady, a mother: "Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." The greatest "childbearing" that ever occurred was the Birth of Jesus!

Now here's how Jeremiah described it: "For the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man." A birth without a man being involved? That is what the Prophet just implied!

And one day a lady did have a Baby, virgin born too! Without a man so much as touching her!

That Baby ... He is the Saviour, grown and sinless and crucified and risen and coming again!

Jesus is His Name!

Praise ye the Lord!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

                                                                        

PSALM 113, VERSE-BY-VERSE! I HAVE ONE MORE THING TO SAY, "PRAISE YE THE LORD!"

 

 

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