1 Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory because of your faithful love, because of your truth. 2 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” 3 Our God is in heaven and does whatever he pleases. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. 5 They have mouths but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. 6 They have ears but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. 7 They have hands but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk. They cannot make a sound with their throats. 8 Those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them.
The subtitle for Psalm 115 in the New King James Version Study Bible by Thomas Nelson publishing is, “The Futility of Idols and the Trustworthiness of God.” Psalm 115 is the beginning of a group of Psalms that were either read or sung by the people of Israel during their captivity, after the completion of the Passover meal. These Psalms expressed the people’s trust in God instead of in the idols of the surrounding Gentile nations.
The anonymous author of this Psalm began by proclaiming where glory was to be given. “Not to us” Lord, but to You only does the glory belong, because of Your faithful love, mercy and truth. Their Gentile captors mocked the invisible God of the Israelites during their captivity. In verse 2 they asked, “Where is your God?” The reply in verse 3 was, “Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases,” implying that He is living and worthy of worship. In contrast, their gods of silver and gold were the work of man’s hands.
The characteristics of their man-made gods revealed how powerless, weak and ineffective they were. They had mouths that could not speak, eyes that did not see, ears but no hearing, noses that were unable to smell and hands but no feeling. They were not able to walk on their feet or do work with their hands. The Psalmist finished by pointing out that those who trusted in these lifeless, helpless and useless idols were like them. Their lives were plagued by futility and despair.
We are faced with the same choice today that the ancient Israelites faced. Do we choose to trust the Lord our God or the gods of the world?
Jesus warned us about the futility of trusting in idols. He taught the disciples about the dangers of storing up treasures on earth that can disappear as quickly as they are attained. Jesus encouraged them instead to store up treasures in heaven that will exist for eternity.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do I trust in the Lord God or in worldly gods?