Psalm 135 warns us about the idols we make for ourselves, and the way that they dehumanize us and contradict the life that comes from putting God first: "The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear, and there is no breath in their mouths. Those who make them and all who trust them shall become like them."
Reflect: what are the most seductive, powerful idols for you?
Psalm 135 begins with a phrase we say often and probably take for granted: "Praise the Lord!" What if every time we say "Praise the Lord," we make it a statement of resistance against those false idols that we worship, and a commitment to reorient our praise from "the work of human hands" to the God who "is above all gods"?
1 Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; give praise, O servants of the Lord,
2 you that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for he is gracious.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.
5 For I know that the Lord is great; our Lord is above all gods.
6 Whatever the Lord pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
8 He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both human beings and animals;
9 he sent signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings—
11 Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan—
12 and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.
13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.
14 For the Lord will vindicate his people, and have compassion on his servants.
15 The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
16 They have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see;
17 they have ears, but they do not hear, and there is no breath in their mouths.
18 Those who make them and all who trust them shall become like them.
19 O house of Israel, bless the Lord! O house of Aaron, bless the Lord!
20 O house of Levi, bless the Lord! You that fear the Lord, bless the Lord!
21 Blessed be the Lord from Zion, he who resides in Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!