Psalms 113 Commentary

Psalms 113-114 When hope seems gone

Psalms 113 to 118 form a collection called the Hallel. Israelites sang the Hallel at various annual festivals, the most important of which was the Passover. They sang Psalms 113 and 114 before eating the meal, and Psalms 115 to 118 after (cf. Matt 26:30).

From east to west, now and for ever, God is worthy to be worshipped by those who serve him (113:1- 4). Although he is enthroned in the highest place, he is concerned about his creatures on earth (5-6). He helps those who are downtrodden and gives new life and purpose to those who have given up all hope (7- 9).

The merciful salvation of God was seen in the events of the exodus. God released his people from the humiliating slavery of Egypt and gave them new life by dwelling among them (114:1-2). In the course of doing this, he divided the Red Sea, stopped the flow of the Jordan River and sent an earthquake on Mount Sinai (3-4). All was the work of God alone. Not only did he rescue them from their hopeless situation in Egypt, but he also looked after them throughout their journey to Canaan (5-8).

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