There is only one Psalm that is almost universally known–the 23rd Psalm. I guess most of us have heard the familiar lines, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….” It is a great, comforting Psalm which reinforces God love, guidance, and protection. I suppose it deserves first place on most people’s list of favorite psalms. It’s not my favorite, though.
My new favorite is Psalm 113. Even though it may not make many top 10 lists, I think it should. Here’s why:
This psalm gives us a view of God that we so desperately need. The first four verses begin with a picture of a high and holy God. Theologians call this a view of God’s “transcendence.” But we need more than this, don’t we? Don’t we also desperately need a God who is within reach? A God who we can see and touch? Theologians call this a view of God’s “immanence.” The psalmist tells us that our God is both. He is high and holy, but He is also right where we are.
In verses 5-9 of Psalm 113, the psalmist tells us about this God who doesn’t separate Himself from us. Rather, He comes down amongst us and cares for those of us the rest of the world casts aside. God rubs shoulders with the poor, the needy, and those who feel dead inside. He’s got dirty fingernails and calloused feet. He’s not just a trophy God sitting high up on our shelves. He is real. He is alive. He is working amongst us to make this world a better place.
This is the God we need. This is a God worthy of praise.
For more on Psalm 113, see my 10-minute video sermon “We Need a Picture” at https://patrickbarber.wordpress.com/sermons/.