From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised.
Like the two psalms preceding it, this one is without title. Some commentators have ascribed it to Samuel, others to David. However the authorship is unknown. Whoever the author was, in his best journalistic style he answers the five key questions that any young reporter would ask when writing a story. He answers the five W's: who, what, when, where and why. Let's notice what excited this young reporter to write in such a way.
Who. To whom does the writer speak? To all of us. Anyone who reads this psalm is included in the "ye" of verse 1, most specifically, "O ye servants of the LORD." More than anyone else, the servants of the Lord ought to be involved in the exalted activity of praising God. Each of us who claims to serve the Lord must publicly discharge his or her responsibility. We are best acquainted with the reasons for praising Him, and we are also the best instruments to declare His praise.
What. The responsibility of the servants of the Lord is simply, "Praise ye the LORD . . . praise the name of the LORD." The repetition of this phrase in a single verse is not without significance. You would think that we who have been saved by His grace would automatically and consistently praise His name. However this is not the case, for we are frequently slow in praising God for His blessings. Therefore the psalmist finds it necessary to stimulate us, to cajole us; and the repetition of the stimulus calls us to perseverance in sounding forth the praises of God.
When. To indicate when the servants of the Lord are to be engaged in praising the Lord, the psalmist uses an expression that is more characteristic of the old Greek poets than of the Hebrew prophets. He says, "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised" (Psalm 113:3). This poetic expression indicates that there is never a time of the day, never a waking hour, never an inappropriate moment, when the servant of the Lord cannot praise His name. We are to begin His praise at the very rising of the sun, early in the morning, and we are to continue that praise until sunset. Praising the name of the Lord is a daylong, lifelong privilege.
Where. If we are to praise the Lord from the rising of the sun until the going down of the same, where is it that we shall engage in this exalted activity? Since "the LORD is high above all nations, and His glory above heaven," and yet He "humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth," it is incumbent upon us to see that His name is praised wherever His presence is known. Therefore we are to praise His name in the highest heavens and the lowest earth. Just as there is not a waking hour that is inappropriate to praise His name, there is not the slightest place on earth that is inappropriate to the praising of His name. As servants of the Lord, we are to praise Him continually, wherever we find ourselves.
Why. The reasons for praising the Lord are manifold. He is high above all nations, and His glory is above the heavens. Still He humbleth Himself to observe our affairs on earth. He raiseth the poor out of the dust and the needy out of the dunghill. He makes princes out of paupers and makes the barren woman a homemaker and the mother of children.
Today would be a good day for us to make a praise list. Just as we have a prayer list, Christians ought to have a praise list, a list of reasons for praising the Lord. Begin with His love for you, His death for you, and His salvation of you, and keep listing things for which to praise the Lord from morning to night. Don't be surprised if you have to make a second list, for we have much for which to praise the Lord. A praise list it's an idea worth consideration.
MORNING HYMN O for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer's praise, The glories of my God and King, The triumphs of His grace.
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