PRAISE GOD for His GREATNESS and GOODNESS: "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant. For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure. For I know that the Lord is great, and our Lord is above all gods" (Psalms 135:3-5)
Psalm 135 is one of the “Hallelujah” psalms (similar to Psalms 146–150) that exhorts us praise lifted up to the Lord because of His worth and works (vv. 1-3). This psalm appears to be directed to Israel, particularly to the tribe of Levi and the house of the High Priest Aaron (vv. 19-21). God chose Israel as His own people and for this He alone is deserving of praise (v. 4). His works as Creator also speak of His glory, as does His miraculous deliverance of Israel from bondage and subsequent conquest of their enemies in Canaan (vv. 8–9, 12). In comparison to Him the gods of the nations are impotent and useless (vv.15–18). No wonder all should praise the Lord—people and priests alike (vv. 19–21).
However, we are exhorted to praise God due to His two wonderful attributes: He is GREAT (v. 5) & He is GOOD (v. 3).
How can we say that our God is GREAT?
When we look around in nature, we will soon realize that our God is GREAT in maintaining order (vv. 6-7). Our God has created everything. He displayed His greatness in the lives of the Israelites as He delivered them from the bondage in Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land that He had promised to their father Abraham (vv. 8-12). His greatness is beyond our human understanding – all we can do is to praise Him for His greatness.
How can we say that our God is GOOD?
Our God is essentially good, and He let Moses see His goodness, and this is what God told Moses: "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." (Ex 33:19) Later on, Jesus clarified that no one is good, except God alone (Matt. 19:17). God’s goodness extended to Israel in that He chose Israel for Himself (Psalms 135:4) just like He chose us as well (John 15:16). His goodness is beyond our human understanding – all we can do is to praise Him for His goodness.
- Understanding the greatness of God should send us to our knees in humility as we thank Him for saving us from destruction.
- Understanding the goodness of God should lift us back to our feet to offer Him our grateful praise as He used His goodness to reach out to us and save us.
"The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him." (Nahum 1:3, 7)