Sunday, November 6, 2011

Psalm 115

All scripture is intended to teach us, to guide us, to comfort us, to grow us in grace, to bring us nearer to God. But I have a special fondness for the Psalms. Even the ones that show a heart in pain, in deepest despair, there is always the knowledge that God is there, that He will bring mercy and truth and grace to every situation.

But, of all the beautiful Psalms, I have a special place in my heart for Psalm 115. The words are simple and powerful. They bring perspective to all of life.

Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
for we have done nothing of worth
But to Your name give glory
it is all about You, Lord
Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.
given to us when we have deserved neither
Why should the nations say,
"Where, now, is their God?"
and, truly, this is what they in their arrogance and ignorance say
But our God is in the heavens;
far above us and with a perspective we cannot have
He does whatever He pleases.
because His ways are just and right and above ours
Their idols are silver and gold,
cold, hard and unfeeling
The work of man's hands.
shaped to be what pleases us
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
they cannot whisper wisdom to our ears
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
they cannot watch over us
They have ears, but they cannot hear;
they cannot hear our cries for help
They have noses, but they cannot smell;
they cannot savor the fragrance of our prayers
They have hands, but they cannot feel;
they cannot save us from our trials
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
they cannot go with us as we travel through life
They cannot make a sound with their throat.
these gods, fashioned in our image, have no life and no power
Those who make them will become like them,
those who worship them will also be lifeless and powerless
Everyone who trusts in them.
the inescapable end of those who trust in something other
than the true God is lifelessness and powerlessness
O Israel, trust in the LORD;
trust in Him is never misplaced
He is their help and their shield.
He rescues us and protects us
O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD;
though others will fail, He does not
He is their help and their shield.
He never forsakes us
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD;
know that He deserves our trust as much as our awed reverence
He is their help and their shield.
He watches over His own
The LORD has been mindful of us; He will bless us;
past, present and future, He cares for us
He will bless the house of Israel;
out of His goodness, He gives goodness
He will bless the house of Aaron.
He delights in giving us His good gifts
He will bless those who fear the LORD,
respect the Lord and His ways, and He will reward you
The small together with the great.
we are all precious in His sight
May the LORD give you increase,
it is by His grace that we prosper
You and your children.
and His blessings overflow to those around us
May you be blessed of the LORD,
He is the source of all good things
Maker of heaven and earth.
and all good things belong to Him
The heavens are the heavens of the LORD,
He rules over us
But the earth He has given to the sons of men.
He has given us dominion over His earth
The dead do not praise the LORD,
and those who do not praise the Lord are dead
Nor do any who go down into silence;
if we do not worship Him, the very rocks will
But as for us, we will bless the LORD
we choose to recognize His glory and worth
From this time forth and forever.
at all times and in all circumstances
Praise the LORD !
because, knowing who He is, how can you not?

Amen. Selah.

Do you have a favorite Psalm?

DeAnna Julie Dodson has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. She is the author of In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered, a trilogy of medieval romances, and Letters in the Attic, a contemporary mystery. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with four spoiled cats.


  1. "Non nobis Domine, non nobis Domine, sed nomine tuo da gloriam"
    The first two verses of this Psalm form the Lyrics of My favourite Latin hymn, especially in the Version from the 1989 Movie 'Henry V' by Kenneth Branagh.

    A full Latin/Italian version is here

  2. I love the Psalms, too, DeAnna. Thank you for sharing this one with such depth.

    Anna - interesting that you picked this up in that movie- few people would! (Of course we know your tastes in books and movies, and I know this will come back to me when I watch it)

    Have a lovely day, all!

    A lot of good that "extra hour" of sleep was for me. I was wide awake at 3:30. But that's how you get the job done!

  3. Yes, it's Henry V's post-battle prayer. I've always loved it. So much, I had my Philip use it, at least the first part, at the end of my first book.

    I just like how it sort of covers everything in a nutshell. :D

  4. I have watched that movie so many times that I almost know some of the lines by heart, so there isn't much I have missed. I just love the song and its context in the movie its so poignant.

    I know that play is not entirely accurate, and the Morality of some deeds in the battle was questionable, but it is a wonderful prayer, and like Deanna says it 'covers everything in a nutshell.

    Personally I think as Normandy rightfully belonged to Henry the Agincourt capmpaign was justified, but perhaps not all the actions in it, still nobody is perfect, and who knows what people will do in time of war?
    That's my Historian coming out and harping on again, must put her back in the box.

  5. I posted at 3.30 in your time, but it was about 10am British time. So it wasnt such an ungodly hour for me Debra.

  6. Thanks for posting this lovely reminder of the Psalms, DeAnna!

    I don't think I've ever noticed (or at least I don't remember) this line:
    "if we do not worship Him, the very rocks will"

    I found that quite interesting.

    I especially love this verse:
    "But as for us, we will bless the LORD
    we choose to recognize His glory and worth"

    I also say, "Amen!"

  7. Actually, that comes from Luke 19:

    37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
    38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the
    Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
    39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
    40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

    Only the bolded bits in the post are Psalm 115. The non-bolded lines are just my comments. :)

  8. Nice, DeAnna. How important it is to center ourselves in the Word. And I love your comments.

    The extra hour didn't do much for me, either, Deb. Time changes disorient me a bit.

  9. I read this before I went to church but it wasn't until just now that one came to mind as being more special than the rest.

    When I was young, we sang a song in church that was based on Psalm 19 with the chorus as v10. I've spent so much time surfing the web today looking for this song, but can't find it. It may have been a local one we sang in Winnipeg only. But I've always remembered the words:
    Psalm 19:10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
    they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.

    Except we sang:
    You are more precious than gold, and sweeter than the honeycomb.

    Thanks, DeAnna.

  10. Now, DeAnna, I feel really dumb. :-( Either that or I need new glasses! Really, you interspersed everything so perfectly together.

  11. Nah, don't feel bad. I probably should have formatted it some way that wasn't so confusing. :)


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