“For I know that the Lord is great;
our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases he does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.”
~Psalm 135:5-6 (NRSV).
There are some things that can be relied upon to never change, ever. The Lord, the God and Origin of all creation, has been intimately involved in the creative works of history, from beginning to end — as if time could be used as a worthy descriptor of history, a.k.a., ‘his story’. Nothing happens without God’s say-so.
As far as we’re all concerned, God’s acts will continue to endure (Psalm 135:13).
God of The Exodus
Like very many of the psalms there’s a short ode to the classic redemptive works of the Lord. Allusion is made of the Ten Plagues from Exodus 7–12 and of historical delivery of the Israelites throughout the pre-Christian era (verses 8-12).
Bridging contexts in teleported style, we can readily see that the Lord is the God of our exoduses too. Yes, we too have been delivered, and we continue to be delivered. Each breath we take is, of a form, a delivery of its own.
The Meteorological God
We can ‘blame’ God for the weather, truly. God makes all this (verse 7). But God is more; much more — our very meteorological God indicates something far bigger.
God’s creating something bigger than clouds, lightning and rain, yet these summon the glory of a God we’re wholly dependent upon for a living environment that will sustain us. What a fine balance the Lord provides via our climate in this earthly life.
The Facts of a ‘BIG’ God
We human beings don’t tend to think in terms of instinctual truth — or certainly not at the level of the Divine. And this is one truth we miss all the time. It’s normal for us to think small, egocentrically and internally. We miss so much of life from this limited spiritual aspect.
But so often we think our way is right, and often — in fact — we’re wrong. The more ‘right’ we are tends more to the grossness of our assumptions.
Putting our problems alongside this big God of ours, and the weight of the problem soon de-materialises and transforms.
Praise – Beginning and End
As do many of the psalms, this one commences with reminiscences of Israel’s praise and it ends with a renewed call to praise this wondrous God.
Anytime we’re found in a mood of praise we’re necessarily thankful, and thankfulness — via Cicero — is the parent of all virtue. God is virtue as much as love. Even better for us to be thankful, praising God, for the wonderful things he’s given us, and for just who this Divine Being is.
This psalm is one that has much pungent substance. This pungent substance is used as a hinge during the body of the psalm. The introduction and the conclusion of the psalm are adding their attribution of praise for the goodness and greatness of God, via the Divine acts and the mind-blowing nature of the God Most High.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Further Reading: Allan M. Harman, A Commentary on the Psalms – A Mentor Commentary (Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1998), pp. 422-24.