Shall we turn to psalm one hundred and twelve as we continue our study through the Bible? Psalm one hundred and twelve is a companion psalm to one hundred and eleven. Both of these psalms are known as acrostic psalms. That is, each phrase in each of the psalms begins with successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. If you were reading this in Hebrew each sentence begins with a successive letter. The first sentence begins with Aleph, the second with Beth and so on through the Hebrew alphabet. They would do that to aid in memorization. It’s like the streets in Corona Del Mar, they are named after flowers but they are in alphabetical order. It’s easier to remember the streets in Corona Del Mar because they are named after flowers in alphabetical order. So are these psalms, each sentence after a succeeding letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
They are companion psalms. The one hundred and eleventh psalm, which we studied last Sunday night, is a psalm that extols the works of the Lord. He speaks of the works of the Lord are great, they are honorable and glorious, they are to be remembered and the works of his hands are verity and judgement. He ends the psalm by declaring “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:” (Psalm 111:10). So the reverence of the Lord and doing of his commandments is how the psalm one hundred and eleven ends.
Psalm one hundred and twelve is the companion psalm and it takes off where psalm one hundred and eleven stops in that psalm one hundred and twelve talks about that man who fears the Lord and obeys his commands. It talks about the works of the Lord, how awesome they are and how that because of God and his awesome works he is to be reverenced by man, he’s to be held in great awe of wonder, reverential fear.
Now getting into chapter one hundred and twelve it talks about that man who has learned what it is to stand in awe and reverence of God. That man has committed himself to obeying God doing his commandments.
PRAISE ye the LORD, Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments (112:1).
So you see the tie with the previous psalm. We are going to talk about now that man that was mentioned in the last verse of the previous psalm, the man who has come to wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and good understanding those that do his commandments. That is God’s blessed man.
Psalm one hundred and twelve through psalm one hundred and sixteen are called the Hallel psalms. As we mentioned, Hallel is praise. So they are psalms of praise and these six psalms are the psalms that are sung during Passover. On the first day of the Passover feast they begin the Passover meal with psalms one hundred and twelve and one hundred and thirteen. At the end of the Passover meal they sing psalms one fourteen through psalm one sixteen. Those are all the Hallel psalms.
As we get to psalms one hundred and fourteen, one hundred and fifteen and one hundred and sixteen these were sung at the end, as I said, of the Passover feast. We read in Matthew’s gospel that when Jesus celebrated the Passover feast after the meal they sand the psalm before they went out to the Mount of Olives. When we get to psalm one hundred and fourteen, one hundred and fifteen and one hundred and sixteen just sort of close your eyes and imagine that you’re sitting in the corner of the room listening to Jesus and his disciples as they sang those psalms at the end of the Passover dinner before going out to the garden of Gethsemane. How would I have love to have heard Jesus sing, I will one day but I would imagine that he has a very powerful fabulous voice, the voice of the Lord.
PRAISE [Hallelujah] ye the Lord, Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, (112:1).
The word “blessed” we pointed out in the Hebrew is literally “Oh how happy is the man”.
that delighteth greatly in his commandments (112:1).
David began the first psalm with the words “Blessed is the man” or “How happy is the man who walks not in the counsel in the ungodly” but he goes on down to say “but who’s delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law does he meditate day and night”. Here, “the blessed man who delights greatly in God’s commandments”. Now it describes conditions and things that will transpire, that will come to pass, in and for this man.
His seed [children] shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed (112:2).
Posterity of the upright man, those children that follow him shall be blessed. In another psalm it talks about the blessedness of serving God and committing your self to him. It says, “You will see your children’s children, the blessings upon your children’s children”. Surely it is such a thrill to see my children’s children loving the Lord, serving the Lord following after the Lord and singing praises to the Lord. It’s just a great delight, the posterity; the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house: (112:3).
Psalm one declares concerning that man who delights in the law of the Lord that “he shall be like a tree that’s planted by the rivers of water bringing forth fruit in the season. His leaves also shall not wither and whatsoever he does shall prosper”.
and his righteousness endureth for ever (112:3).
Our righteousness really is that which God has accounted to us through our faith in Jesus Christ.
Unto the upright (112:4).
That is the upright man that is blessed in verse two.
there ariseth light in the darkness: (112:4).
As we pointed out this morning Jesus Christ is indeed that light. He said, “I am the light of the world”. There are so many scriptures that relate to Jesus Christ as the light and the contrast between light and darkness; the kingdom of God verses the kingdom of Satan.
he is gracious, (112:4).
How glorious and how gracious is Jesus Christ? We think of what a gracious person he was, “A bruised reed shall he not break”. He was just so tender towards people in need. He was so gracious towards sinners. It’s a beautiful example for us, the graciousness of Jesus.
and full of compassion, (112:4).
Again, as we pointed out this morning, all through the gospels we read over and over how Jesus was moved with compassion towards people, towards individuals who are going through deep sorrow, towards individuals who had great infirmities and towards the multitudes who were sheep without a shepherd without someone to truly guide them.
They lived in a day of religious confusion, they lived in a day of religious hypocrisy where the religious leaders were corrupt when they had made the house of God a den of thieves and when there was all kinds of confusion in the minds of the people because of the corrupted religious leaders who were really just seeking to enrich themselves by making a prey of the people. Thus the people were without any real spiritual guidance; they were like sheep without a shepherd. When Jesus came along they recognized the genuiness of Jesus and they just pressed upon him.
So many times we read that the crowd was pressing upon him so much that he didn’t even have time to eat, he didn’t have time to sleep. The needs of the people were so great and he was moved with compassion towards them. He was angry or irritated that they would interrupt him. Always his heart was compassionate towards those in need.
and righteous (112:4).
What can you say? He said, “I do always those things that please the Father”. You can’t improve on that. He said, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father”. He was a perfect example of what God is, he is righteous. Now we are coming back to the good man, the man who fears the Lord, and the man who does and delights in his commandments.
A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion (112:5).
He is generous and yet he is discrete.
Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance (112:6).
The righteous may be moved for a time. All of us go through problems and trials where we are moved but not moved forever. We go through the trials but we come out, we don’t stay in despondency
We come out like the sister who was testifying of the tremendous trials that she was going through. She just didn’t know if she was going to be able to make it. She cried out to the Lord in desperation and said, “Lord you must help me. I just can’t handle anymore. It’s gone beyond my ability to cope.” She said, “Guide me Lord in the scriptures”. She opened up the Bible, closed her eyes and put her finger down on the scripture and she looked at it. It was Luke two one. So she was sharing and said, “He led me to Luke two one and oh how blessed I am, how happy I am. God has given me glorious victory”.
Well the pastor knew that Luke two one said, “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed”. He wondered what in the world can that scripture do for this poor woman in her desperate condition. So when she was finished with her testimony he said, “Sister I’m just a little confused. You said the Lord led you to Luke two one and it brought you such tremendous blessing. Tell me, how is that Luke two one spoke to you in this your hour of great trial and burden”. She said, “Well pastor it says, and it came to pass. It didn’t come to stay brother, it came to pass.”
You may be going through some trials but they have come to pass. They haven’t come to pass, they haven’t come to stay “the righteous will not be moved forever but shall be held in everlasting remembrance” (112:6).
This next verse speaks to me.
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting the LORD (112:7).
Through life, we are destined to receive evil tidings; tidings of a loved one who has died, he had been killed in an accident, tidings of financial setbacks, tidings of your wife had just had an accident and it was all her fault and the car is total and the premium just expired. As Christians, we are not immune from problems and troubles. As Christians we don’t fear evil tidings because we trust in the Lord and we know that all things are working together for good because we love God and he’s called us according to his purposes. So because of our trust in the Lord, our heart is fixed on him not on our circumstances. As a result, there is no fear in the day of evil tidings, when those evil tidings come, we are not destroyed by them and we are not devastated because our heart is fixed and we trust in the Lord.
People are, it seems, constantly aware of the fact that here in California we live near the San Andreas fault line We are being warned all the time that we are facing here in California a monumental earthquake. It’s going to be a magnitude of somewhere in eight point three some of them are estimating. We can’t really imagine the devastation of an earthquake of that intensity. There are those that have visions of the earthquake and they see in their visions California sloughing off into the Pacific, everything that is west of the San Andreas fault line. Because of these prophecies they see the giant tidal wave inundating this whole coastal plain and they foresee all of these things and people get frightened and move from California. They then go back to the South where they have tornadoes, so fearful of earthquakes in California. They say, “Aren’t you afraid of a big quake?”
Surely when that day comes it will be a day of evil tidings as the whole place is shaken. If your trust is in the Lord, if your heart is just fixed on him. David said, “I will not fear though the mountains be removed and cast into the midst of the sea” because his trust is in the Lord. Put your trust in the Lord. “Trust in him at all times ye people for the Lord will sustain us”.
His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, (112:8-9).
That is he has been generous.
he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn (112:9).
Which is a symbol of power.
shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved [upset]; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish (112:9-10).
Psalm one hundred and thirteen is also one of the Hallel psalms. It is a short little psalm of praise.
PRAISE [Hallelujah] ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD (113:1).
Then he goes on to say,
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 (113:2-3).
I am certain that none of us are as faithful as we should be in our praises unto the Lord. I think that is one of our great weaknesses in faith is that we don’t praise him enough. “From the rising of the same to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is to be praised” (113:3).
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens (113:4).
The psalmist asks,
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! (113:5-6).
God is so vast and God is so great that to look upon the things in heaven or upon the earth it takes a humbling of God. He is high above all nations; his glory is above the heavens. It is incomprehensible. He is an infinite God. He is beyond our capacity to really understand or to conceive the greatness and the awesomeness. We sang “Our God is an awesome God” but we don’t know a tenth part of it, a fraction of it. He is so awesome and so great, he humbles himself. That’s really the sign of greatness is that of humility. He humbles himself to behold those 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 (113:7-9).
Hallelujah! I wonder if the thought was of David in verses seven and eight of raising the poor out of the dust and the needy out of the dunghill. David was nothing but a shepherd and God said, “I took you from the sheepgoat [from following after the sheep] and I made you the ruler over my people”. David never forgot that. He never forgot how marvelous was God’s grace towards him. He was nothing, just a simple little shepherd boy following sheep on the hillsides out around Bethlehem, yet God took David and placed him on the throne. God takes the poor out of the dust that he might set him with the princes, even with the princes of his people.
Then “he makes the barren women to keep house, to be a joyful mother of children” (113:9). You women who have been having difficulties with pregnancy, take that as a promise.
Psalm one hundred and fourteen, I like it, is a psalm that again is just sort of extolling the marvelous works of God. Speaks of him in a very poetic kind of a way, as he talks about God delivering the children from Egypt.
WHEN Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion (114:1-2).
God brought them into the land that became known as the land of Judah and the land of Israel. The nation was divided into to groups of Judah and Israel.
The sea saw it, (114:3).
In reference to the Red Sea.
and fled: (114:3).
They saw God’s people coming and it fled.
Jordan [the river] was driven back (114:3).
Two of the great miracles that accompanied the children of Israel and their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land was the dividing of the Red Sea and the parting of the river Jordan. They were able to cross the Red Sea on dry land and also cross the Jordan River during flood season on dry land.
The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs (114:4).
When they came to the area of Sinai when God gave to Moses the law there was a tremendous earthquake and the rocks were torn and so forth. These kind of supernatural sings accompanied the children of Israel in their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. The great earthquakes in the area of Sinai was perhaps volcanic eruptions that was taking place there also, the fire out of the mountains smoke and all. I like this next part.
What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? (114:5).
What was your problem that you fled?
thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs? Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob: Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters (114:5-8).
The mention of the water out of the rock, the pools that God made in the wilderness so that his people could survive.
Psalm one hundred and fifteen, this is one of the psalms sung by Jesus with the disciples there in the Upper Room prior to going to the Garden of Gethsemane.
NOT unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake (115:1).
There is something within man, some more than others, that desires admiration and glory. Our flesh likes for people to admire us, to look up to us. I think one of the strong and powerful motivations for the athletes is the glory when you have caught a difficult pass, when you have sacked the quarter back. You see how they stand up to get the glory from the people? They are saying, “Come on, give it to me. Look at what I did”. They spike the ball and go through there little dances. It’s a strong powerful motivation in man, that desire to be admired, to be cheered and to be thought of as wonderful or strong or powerful or brilliant. In fact so much of what we do in life is done to receive glory from fellow man. Many times it’s done in a way to bring more glory. Yet the psalmist says, “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory” (115:1).
Paul the apostle said, “If any man has in the flesh causes to glory, I mourn” yet he declared “God forbid I should glory save in the cross of Jesus Christ”. The Bible tells that “No flesh should glory in his sight”. That’s a part of the flesh life that has to be reckoned dead and crucified with Christ, that desire for glory, that living for the glory and the applauds of man. I have to brought to place of living for God’s glory and seeking to do things in such a way as to bring attention and glory unto God.
Jesus said, “Take heed to yourselves that you do not your righteous deeds in front of man to be seen by man”. Don’t let that be your motive to be worshiped by man, to be praised by man and to receive man’s accolades. “But when you do your righteous deeds do them unto the Father”. Do them to the Father. When you pray don’t stand on the street corner, go in the closet and shut the door “pray to your Father who sees in secret”. Thus that seeking to bring to glory God.
NOT unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? (115:1-2).
This is the taunt that we as Christians all often times receive, especially when things go wrong. When something really bad happens there are always those around you that say, “Where is your God now? Look at what’s happened to you. You realize you’ve just been wiped out?” It’s sort of a taunt that the heathen throw at the Christian whenever something goes wrong that we don’t understand.
But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased (115:3).
Our God rules, our God reigns and my life is in his hands. He has done what he has pleased but what he has done he has done for my eternal good because he is interested in my eternal good much more than my temporal welfare. If God has stripped me from something it’s because he knows that that thing could come in the way of our relationship, it could hinder my walk so God has removed it. He’s in the heavens and he’s done what he pleased. The psalmist recognizes that God’s sovereign over my life.
Their idols (115:4).
Here’s the interesting thing. They are taunting me about my God but they have gods too. Every man has a god. You may say, “I am an atheist”. What you are saying is I do not believe in the God that’s revealed in the Bible. You are not saying that I don’t have a god because every man has a God. Your god is that master passion of your life, that which controls your life. People are controlled by money. Money is their god. They live for it, it’s the motivated drive of their lives. It’s all they think about and it’s all they want. Their whole life is deeply devoted to money. They give themselves sixteen to eighteen hours a day devoting themselves to their god to mass more money. In the Old Testament that man was called a worshiper of Mammon, the god of money or power. Because you don’t call it Mammon but you call it money, it’s just the English translations. It’s the same idea, you’re worshiping money.
There are some people who worship pleasure. Their whole life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure. That’s all they care about, that’s all they’re interested in. They only work because they have to have money to buy the things that they hope will bring them pleasure. They spend their whole five day work week planning the weekend of pleasure. That’s their god. In the Old Testament if you worshiped pleasure they would say “Well he worships Molech, the god of pleasure”. Just because you don’t call it Molech doesn’t make it any less your God, pleasure is your God.
There are those who worship their intellects and their whole life is devoted to the expanding of their knowledge and understanding of the world and things around them. They devote their lives to study the development of their intellect. In the Old Testament they would have said that they worship Baal, the god of the intellect.
Every man has a god. There are some people who worship sexual pleasures and their whole life revolves around pornography and various forms of sexual pleasures. In the Old Testament they would have said that they worship Ashtoreth, the goddess of sexual delight. So just because we’ve quit making idols doesn’t make it any less a god in your life. For whatever it is that is your master passion, whatever it is that is your great motivator in your life, that which keeps you going; that’s your God. Though you may taunt the Christian and say, “Where is your God now” in reality you have a god.
There are those that are busy writing their editorials and speaking their editorials now on issues that have come up the last week the negative vote towards the homosexuals in Irvine and San Francisco of all places. Can you believe that? Upset because the California State School Board decision that evolution can not be taught as scientific fact, which indeed it is not. So all of these editorials by these supposed more intelligent people who are worried that this is a through back into the dark ages of superstition when people believed in God. You see, they are beyond that. They do have a god, they worship their intellect or they’re worshiping power, they’re worshiping pleasure.
You go around these men just watch them for a little bit and you’ll soon know what their god is. Some of them it’s a bottle but it controls their life. Whatever it is that is in control of your life, that is your god. So it’s sort of ridiculous to say, “You believe in God you poor thing”. Well you have a god to. Poor you because of your god. People say, “God is your crutch” well that’s true. Whatever is your crutch is your god, whatever you’re leaning on or depending on, that’s your god. Everybody has a crutch.
I had a fellow that I was talking to who is a plumber, rough as nails. He said, “Jesus Christ is just a crutch. I don’t need any crutches”. I pointed to the sink with all the bottles that were there and said, “What’s that”. He said, “I just like to drink” and I said, “That’s your crutch”. “Ya but my drinking doesn’t hurt anybody me” he said. But it did. One of his sons couldn’t handle it having his dad drunk all the time and he committed suicide. It was destroying his wife. It’s an illusion that it doesn’t hurt anybody but me.
I frankly admit that Jesus Christ is my crutch. I depend on him, I lean on him everyday but I will also testify he’d never let me down. You know I would have fallen had it not been for him. Can you say that about your crutch? Will it sustain you in the heavy times of life or will your crutch fail when you need it the most? I’m so thankful that Jesus Christ is there for me to lean on.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands (115:4).
He sees that everybody has a god and that if men reject the living god in heaven then they make their own gods. Now the Bible says that “God created man” but here we read of man creating gods. Many times they accuse us of that. They say, “Well God is just an invention of a man’s mind. He needed to believe in something and so he invented the idea of God”. Their gods are the inventions of their own hands. They made their own gods. Our God made us, we are his creation. We didn’t create him, he created us. On the other side they are creating their own gods.
The psalmist notes that when a person does create a god he creates his god like himself. All of us love ourselves so much that when we are going to make a god we are going to make him like me. My god, if I reject the true and living God, is the projection of myself and I worship that projection of myself. If I were God this is how I would live, if I were God this is what I’d do, if I would God this is how I would handle that. You see how that many times our problem with God comes because he isn’t like us. Why would God do that? Why would God allow this to happen to me? If I were God I would surely not do that. I would have worked this out differently. I would not have allowed these things to happen if I were God and if I were in control. There are some people who, because things have not worked out to their own liking as they would have worked them out, actually turn from God because they have really made their own gods. This is what I would be if I were God.
The Greeks and their concepts of God. Again are what I would be if I were God. So you study Greek mythology and see the Greek gods. These are just people who sit there and dream that If I were God I would live on Mount Olympus, I would use my marvelous powers to seduce the beautiful women on the earth. I would take them form this earth and they wouldn’t have a chance against me. So the various myths concerning the Greek gods.
So when a man creates a god he creates him after himself. He carves out the mouths, he carves out the eyes, the ears, the nose, and hands. You see the little carvings of their gods made many times in the likeness of men and many times made like some kind of weird king of creature. The people who are into spiritism or demonism has these grotesque looking gargoyle type of gods quite often with their tongue hanging out. That tongue hanging out and down is a sign of demonic possession. That is why you see it often in some of the idols, it is a sign of demonic possession. Once in a while when you see these wrestlers they go around with their faces, tongues they let them hang out. I think that tells you something.
The psalmist makes an interesting observation concerning those that have made their gods and have carved on them.
They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat (115:5-7).
In reality a man makes his god like himself but he makes him less then himself because when you carve a little idol the idol can’t see though you’ve carved eyes on him.
Turn for a moment to Isaiah forty-four. He really speaks of this issue of men making their gods. Verse eight we will begin for textual understanding.
“Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is not God; I know not any.” (Isaiah 44:8).
Talking about men making these other gods he says,
“They that make a graven image are all them vanity [empty]; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.” (Isaiah 44:9).
Look how foolish it is to worship a god that can’t see, that can’t feel and doesn’t know. Gods where people do worship the gods, the money and all.
“Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint” (Isaiah 44:10-12).
The molten gods, the little images molted out of gold and silver.
“The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. He heweth [cuts] him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea he maketh a god, and worshippeth it: he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god” (Isaiah 44:13-17).
He shows how totally senseless it is. You take a tree, part of the tree you cut up for firewood and you put it in the fire to warm the house. Part of the tree you fire up in the oven to bake your bread and to roast your roast. Then you take a part of it and carve out a little idol and set it in your house. You bow down to it and pray to it and all and say, “this is my god”. How foolish.
I’ve often said that I am amazed at what foolish things man will do when he has rejected the truth of God. I look at the Hara Krishna’s through their finger symbols and robes and I watch them as they go through with their little ceremonies and I say, “Oh my, how foolish”. What foolish things a person will do when he rejects the truth of God. The Bible says, Because they did not want to retain the truth of God, God lets them believe a lie. God isn’t being deceived. “Professing themselves to be wise” God said “they become fools. They make their gods, which are insensate; gods that can’t see, gods that hear, gods that can’t feel and gods that can’t talk.
They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them (115:8).
When a man makes his god he makes it like himself, only less than himself, but the truth is man becomes like his god. So here’s a fact that you cannot escape, no matter who or what your god is you are becoming like your god..
It is interesting that when we have men as our idols we seek and almost subconsciously mimic them, we become like them. We admire them and we find ourselves becoming like them. There was a minister that I admired very much. He was a tremendous teacher of the word of God. He had peculiar little idiosyncrasy, a noise that he made deep in his throat after he’d made a good point. I don’t know how he made that noise, it was way down deep in his throat but after he had made a good point he would make that noise. I admired this man so much I found myself making that noise. I still don’t know how I did it but I made that noise after the good points.
You watch these little kids who have their little baseball heroes. You watch them swing the bat and it’s just the same style that their hero swings the bat. They’ll wind up and pitch the ball just in the style that their hero does. You watch them and you learn the little idiosyncrasies and usually it’s some peculiar idiosyncrasy that you pick up, something that is unique to that person. You pick up these strange idiosyncrasies from the people you admire.
Smith Wigglesworth was quite an evangelist in the early twenties. He came to the United States, he was a man of faith. He has sort of a handle bar mustache and he had a habit as he was talking of sort of twisting the end of his mustache. It was interesting that after his evangelistic meetings in the United States, which were successful, how many ministers you saw as they were talking would have their hand up like this without the mustache but just a strange idiosyncrasy of a man.
A person becomes like his god. If your god is false you are becoming false, if your god is insensate you are becoming insensate; you are becoming blind to the spiritual realities, you are becoming deaf to the voice of God as he speaks in nature, you are becoming like your god. That is just a fact that you cannot escape. John said, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God it doth not yet appear what we are going to be but when he appears we are going to be like him, we shall see him as he is”. What a glorious truth that is if you’re serving the true and the living God, the God as who the psalmist said who is gracious and full of compassion and righteous. As you serve him as he is your God you are becoming like him. That’s just human nature. A man becomes like his god. That is a truth that can be blessing to you or could be a curse to you. It all depends on who is your god because you are becoming like your god.
The interesting thing that we pointed out is that when a man makes a god he makes his god less than himself. Thus becoming like your god you are actually in the process of degradation, you’re going down. If you are serving the true and the living God who is greater than us then worshiping him is always elevating, is always lifting a person up. So you are on the way up or you’re on the way down and it’s according to what your god is. Becoming like your god; you are going down or you are going up, it all depends on who your god is.
O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. The LORD hath been mindful of us: he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men (115:9-16).
So blessed by the creator, God who made the heavens and the earth, the heavens still belongs to him but he did give the earth to man. Look what we’ve done with it. Tragic the way we’ve polluted it, the way we are defiling and destroying it.
The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD (115:17-18).
Imagine Jesus singing this psalm. God dwelling amongst men singing of the glory of God.
Father we thank You again for the opportunity of learning about You, that we might know You, that we might worship You and that we might serve You, the true and the living God. Father turn our hearts away form the idols of this world that would attract us and draw us after themselves. May we turn our hearts towards You, worshiping You, as we become like You. Lord, as we behold Thee, may we be changed from glory to glory into that same image as Your spirit works in our lives, in Jesus name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7204