psalm 135 image






7 Reasons to Praise the Lord

A Psalm that just praises and blesses the Lord

Psalm 135

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 30, In the year of our Lord, 2018


  1. Why do we exist?
  2. Psalm 135 exhorts us to do something
    1. that if you do what it says,
    2. you will know why we exist.


  1. Psalm 135.1–2 | Praise the Lord

    1 Praise the LORD!
    Praise the name of the LORD;
    Praise Him, O you servants of the LORD!
    2 You who stand in the house of the LORD,
    In the courts of the house of our God,

    1. Praise the Lord!
      1. The Psalm will end with the same words, for
      2. it is the theme of the Psalm and
        1. answers our question of why we exist.
        2. We exist to praise and glorify the Lord.
      3. It is when we fail to do this that we sin:

        23 …all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… (Romans 3.23).
    2. Praise the name of the Lord.
      1. Do not use His name in vain,
      2. as the world does constantly, but
        1. hold it in reverence,
        2. remembering that He means everything to you.
          1. How do you treat the names of those precious to you?
          2. Should we not do the same with the name of the Lord?
    3. The servants of the Lord should praise Him.
      1. What is the job of a servant?
      2. Servants honor their masters.
        1. We are the servants of the Lord God.
        2. We are here to do His will.
          1. Servants do not make themselves standout, but
          2. they draw the attention to their master.
    4. The psalmist specified further
      1. that those who stood in the house of the Lord, the priests,
      2. should praise Him.
        1. Don’t you know what we are today?
        2. We are the priests of the Lord today.

          9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light… (1 Peter 2.9).

          1. The basic job of the levitical priests
          2. is also the basic job of Christian priests.
            1. They praised the Lord.
            2. We praise the Lord.
  2. Psalm 135.3–12 | 7 Reasons to Praise the Lord

    3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
    Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant.
    4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself,
    Israel for His special treasure.
    5 For I know that the LORD is great,
    And our Lord is above all gods.
    6 Whatever the LORD pleases He does,
    In heaven and in earth,
    In the seas and in all deep places.
    7 He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
    He makes lightning for the rain;
    He brings the wind out of His treasuries.
    8 He destroyed the firstborn of Egypt,
    Both of man and beast.
    9 He sent signs and wonders into the midst of you, O Egypt,
    Upon Pharaoh and all his servants.
    10 He defeated many nations
    And slew mighty kings—
    11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
    Og king of Bashan,
    And all the kingdoms of Canaan—
    12 And gave their land as a heritage,
    A heritage to Israel His people.

    1. We praise the Lord because of who He is.
      1. He is the awesome glorious God who created us.
      2. Do you not agree with Revelation 15?

        3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:

        “Great and marvelous are Your works,
        Lord God Almighty!
        Just and true are Your ways,
        O King of the saints!
        4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
        For You alone are holy.
        For all nations shall come and worship before You,
        For Your judgments have been manifested.”
        (Revelation 15.3–4).

    2. Praise the Lord because
      1. 135.3 | He is good.
      2. 135.4 | He chose Jacob as a special treasure.
      3. 135.5 | He is great and above all gods.
      4. 135.6 | He does whatever He pleases,
        1. whether in heaven or on the earth,
        2. in the seas or any deep place.
      5. 135.7 | He causes the hydrologic cycle.
      6. 135.8–9 | He destroyed the first born of Egypt.
      7. 135.10–12 | He defeated many nations.
        1. Those reasons cover
          1. His nature,
          2. His choices,
          3. His greatness,
          4. His will,
          5. His creation,
          6. His judgment, and
          7. His wrath.
        2. Use those same areas to find things for which to praise Him.
  3. Psalm 135.13–14 | His Name and Fame

    13 Your name, O LORD, endures forever,
    Your fame, O LORD, throughout all generations.
    14 For the LORD will judge His people,
    And He will have compassion on His servants.

    1. Note the differences of translations on verse 13, but
      1. I like the New King James Version because
      2. of the rhyme and it still conveys what the other translations say.
    2. His name is His fame and His fame is His name.
      1. His name endures forever.
        1. How many billions of people have lived on the earth?
        2. Yet how many names of history do you know?
      2. His fame endures throughout all generations.
        1. As He worked in previous generations,
          1. so He works in ours and
          2. so will He work in future generations.
        2. The earth will have forgotten us, but His fame will live on.
    3. See His name and fame in
      1. His judgment on His people and
      2. His compassion on His servants.
        1. He will render judgment for them against their enemies.
        2. However, upon His servants, He shall show His compassion.
    4. To understand how His name endures
      1. try to remember any gods of the past,
      2. such as any that people worshiped in America before Christianity.
        1. Do you know of any of the gods of the Europeans before Christianity?
        2. Do you know of any of the gods anywhere in the world?
          1. If you do know their names,
          2. can you name any group of people who worship them?
    5. To understand His fame throughout all generations,
      1. consider that He is just as popular today
      2. as in the day that the psalmist wrote Psalm 135!
    6. You have heard the name of Ra, a god of Egypt?
      1. Listen to what a poet said of Ra:

        The great god Ra whose shrines once covered acres
        Is filler now for crossword puzzle makers.
      2. So can it be said of any other god made by man!
    7. You can go to Crater Lake and
      1. watch a movie about the gods who fought one another
      2. with Crater Lake as the result.
        1. What? You do not know the names of those gods?
        2. You do not know what happened?
  4. Psalm 135.15–18 | The Nature of Idols

    15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
    The work of men’s hands.
    16 They have mouths, but they do not speak;
    Eyes they have, but they do not see;
    17 They have ears, but they do not hear;
    Nor is there any breath in their mouths.
    18 Those who make them are like them;
    So is everyone who trusts in them.

    1. Contrast what men call gods with our God.
      1. Men make idols of silver and gold.
      2. Our God made the silver and the gold.
        1. Men make their idols with apparent senses.
        2. Our God made our senses that actually work.

          12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
          The LORD has made them both.
          (Proverbs 20.12)

          1. Men become like their idols.
          2. Our God became like us.
    2. If you follow idols,
      1. you may have a mouth but not speak the truth,
      2. you may have eyes but you will not see the truth,
      3. you may have ears but you will not hear the truth,
      4. you may have lungs but you will cease breathing.
        1. We become like that which we worship.
        2. Think about it.
          1. A boy “worships” his father and imitates him.
          2. A girl “worships” her favorite singer and imitates her.
      5. We truly worship Jesus and we become like Him.
    3. Charles Darwin thought that the eye argued against evolution.
      1. The ear also, for it is more complicated than I thought originally.
      2. I have been telling people that for me,
        1. hearing aids do not help my hearing
        2. as much as glasses help my seeing.
          1. The eye amazes us because we can see it move and work.
          2. The workings of the ear are hidden.
            1. Both the eye and the hear testify to creation.
            2. Even their placements on the body show design.
              1. Why would they evolve at the same spot on both sides?
              2. If we evolved, Picasso had it right.
  5. Psalm 135.19–21 | Bless the Lord

    19 Bless the LORD, O house of Israel!
    Bless the LORD, O house of Aaron!
    20 Bless the LORD, O house of Levi!
    You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
    21 Blessed be the LORD out of Zion,
    Who dwells in Jerusalem!
    Praise the LORD!

    1. May Israel, especially, the priestly tribe and the high priest family,
      1. bless the Lord.
      2. Yes, the Hebrew Bible shows Israel sinning, but
        1. it also shows some of the greatest praise ever offered to God
        2. by the children of Israel,
          1. such as Psalm 135.
          2. I can’t wait to get to Psalm 148.
    2. May you who fear the Lord, bless the Lord.
      1. If you fear Him you will bless Him.
      2. If you bless Him you know what it means to fear God.
    3. Blessed be the Lord out of Zion.
      1. He dwelt in Jerusalem.
      2. He dwells in New Jerusalem, the church.
        1. First Corinthians 3 shows where God dwells:

          16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3.16).
        2. And people say that church membership is not necessary!
    4. Look at that last line: Praise the Lord.
      1. The Psalm ended the same as it began.
      2. So should we begin by praising the Lord and end by praising the Lord.


  1. See the thinking of the psalmist:
    1. He began with five exhortations to praise the Lord:

      1 Praise the LORD!
      Praise the name of the LORD;
      Praise Him, O you servants of the LORD!

      3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
      Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant.
      (Psalm 135.1, 3)

    2. He ended with five exhortations to bless the Lord:

      19 Bless the LORD, O house of Israel!
      Bless the LORD, O house of Aaron!
      20 Bless the LORD, O house of Levi!
      You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
      21 Blessed be the LORD out of Zion,
      Who dwells in Jerusalem!
      (Psalm 135.19–21ab)
  2. Learn to do what the psalmist did.
    1. He never made one request!
    2. At least once a day, praise and bless the Lord without asking anything of Him.