September 29 2023
Today, Friday September 29
“Jehovah is Exalted Far Above All gods”
7 Let all be put to shame who serve carved images, Who boast of idols. Worship Him, all you gods.
8 Zion hears and is glad, And the daughters of Judah rejoice Because of Your judgments, O LORD.
9 For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.
The theme of Psalm 97 is the exaltation of Jehovah and His reign over all the earth! He is exalted on His throne, He is exalted over His enemies, He is exalted over idols and false gods, and He is exalted among His people! He is the Most High God! Oh, how we should love and worship Him and exalt Him in our own lives every day!
Today we are looking at verses 7-9 where we see “Jehovah is exalted far above all gods.” In the ancient Near East, when one nation conquered another, people interpreted the victory to mean that the gods of the conquering nation were greater than those of the defeated nation. But the Jews were taught that Jehovah was the God of all the earth and that the idols were nothing.
The psalmist repeats this truth over and over again throughout the Psalms. Psalm 95:3, “For the LORD is the great God, And the great King above all gods.” Psalm 96:5, “For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.” At least twice in the Psalms God reminds His people and us that the idols, that represent the gods of the pagan unbelieving people of the earth, are nothing more than a stick or a stone, or a piece of gold or silver. “Their idols are silver and gold, The work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. Nor is there any breath in their mouth. Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them.” (Psalm 115:4-8; 135:15-18)
In Jeremiah 10:3-5, the prophet mocked the people who would take a tree, cut it down with an axe, decorate it with silver and gold, and then worship it as their god and depend on it to protect them. He basically said, “How can you put your faith and trust in a piece of wood that you dressed up and have to carry around from place to place, when it can’t even carry itself.”
Th prophets predicted that God would allow Babylon to defeat the Jews because the Jews had greatly sinned against the Lord, not because Babylon's gods were stronger than Jehovah. The defeat of Babylon by the Medes and Persians was the work of the Lord and not of their false gods. Isaiah put it this way: “Truly You are God, who hide Yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior! They shall be ashamed and also disgraced, all of them; They shall go in confusion together, Who are makers of idols.” (Isaiah 45:15-16)
Israel's release from captivity was proof that Jehovah was in control (Jer. 25:1-14; 29:1-14). God's victories over the idolatrous nations put the idols and their worshipers to shame (v. 7; see Isa. 45:15-17). No wonder the people of Israel rejoiced, for God's victories were evidence that He alone is "Most High over all the earth" (v. 8, Psalm 83:18).
In America today, people may not bow down before ugly manmade idols, but there are certainly plenty of false gods for them to worship—money, power, possessions, sex, pleasures, recognition—for whatever people serve and sacrifice for, that is what they worship (Matt. 4:10). Anything that comes between you and God is an idol.
Is it any wonder that there is so much confusion and chaos in Washington DC and throughout our nation today? May the LORD lead us to repentance and cause us to turn back to the only true Most High God that is alive and can save us!