“Yahweh … will bless us; … we will bless Yahweh.” Psalm cxv. 12a, 18a.
Servants of Yahweh, the Living God, can at all times remain assured of His care and blessings because they choose to be loyal to Him even when they are surrounded by innumerable ‘gods’ of all hues.
Yahweh’s people who live in pluralistic or secular societies might be subjected to more scrutiny and ridicule than their brethren who live in homogenous faith communities. They might also face uncomfortable questions from friends of other faiths. Certain people who might have heard their proclamations about Yahweh, the Living God, and the risen Savior Jesus Christ, might walk up to them in times of illness, misfortune or failure, asking: “Where now is your God?” (Cf. v 2) Christians who keep their faith under wraps will not face such awkward moments; nor will they be able to testify about God’s glory.
How can Christians answer such barbed questions? What can they say in defence of their God for whom they had raised a banner? They might remain speechless for a while. At times such as these, they look up to Yahweh, “their help and their shield (v 9). They are truly convinced that their “God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes” (v 3). Yahweh, indeed, is the only God who reigns in heaven; He does not know of any other ‘god.’ In His sovereign power, He indeed can do as he wishes. Not so the ‘gods’ of the earth (v 4-8).
If Yahweh chooses to rescue, vindicate and honour His people who unashamedly lift up His name before their neighbours, He does it not for the sake of His children, but for the sake of His holy name. Israel knew this very well. For Yahweh had told them, “I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to graven images.” (Isaiah xlii.8) [When our God has a name, why then do our English Bibles refer to Him by a generic “LORD?” Today’s multi-religious scenario should encourage us to use the divine Name while referring to the God of the Bible.]
Even when Yahweh’s people had backslidden from the faith they once professed, He refrained from wiping them off the face of the earth lest His name should be profaned among the nations.
“For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, and for My praise I restrain it for you, in order not to cut you off.
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; for how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.” (Isaiah lxviii.9-11)
No wonder the psalmist prayed, “Not to us, O LORD, but to you goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.” (v 1)
In the midst of adversity, we who serve the living God can count on Him to save us because He is zealous about His glory. He will not let His name to be tarnished among the heathen. Not only will He rescue us, he will also bless us. It’s a privilege to serve/fear Yahweh.
All you who fear Yahweh, trust Yahweh! He is your helper; he is your shield.
Yahweh remembers us, and he will surely bless us. He will bless the people of Israel and the family of Aaron, the priests.
He will bless those who fear Yahweh, both great and small. (v 11-13)
The only way we can express our gratitude to this loving, caring and eternal Yahweh is by praising His name. “The dead cannot sing praises to Yahweh” (v 17). Those living on earth ought to praise and worship the living God! “We can praise Yahweh both now and forever! Hallelujah! (v 18).