God to be praised for his mercy. (1-4) For his power and judgments. (5-14) The vanity of idols. (15-21)
Verses 1-4 The subject-matter of praise, is the blessings of grace flowing from the everlasting love of God. The name of God as a covenant God and Father in Christ, blessing us with all spiritual blessings in him, is to be loved and praised. The Lord chose a people to himself, that they might be unto him for a name and a praise. If they do not praise him for this distinguishing favour, they are the most unworthy and ungrateful of all people.
Verses 5-14 God is, and will be always, the same to his church, a gracious, faithful, wonder-working God. And his church is, and will be, the same to him, a thankful, praising people: thus his name endures for ever. He will return in ways of mercy to them, and will delight to do them good.
Verses 15-21 These verses arm believers against idolatry and all false worship, by showing what sort of gods the heathen worshipped. And the more deplorable the condition of the Gentile nations that worship idols, the more are we to be thankful that we know better. Let us pity, and pray for, and seek to benefit benighted heathens and deluded sinners. Let us endeavour to glorify his name, and recommend his truth, not only with our lips, but by holy lives, copying the example of Christ's goodness and truth.
Psalms 135:1-21 . A Psalm of praise, in which God's relations to His Church, His power in the natural world, and in delivering His people, are contrasted with the vanity of idols and idol-worship.
1-3. In the general call for praise, the priests, that stand in the house of the Lord, are specially mentioned.
4-7. God's choice of Israel is the first reason assigned for rendering praise; the next, His manifested greatness in creation and providence.
6. heaven, and . . . seas, and all . . . ends of the earth--denote universality.
8, 9. The last plague [ Exodus 12:29 ] is cited to illustrate His "tokens and wonders."
10-12. The conquest of Canaan was by God's power, not that of the people.
13. heritage--or, "possession."
name . . . memorial--Each denote that by which God is made known.
14. will judge--do justice ( Psalms 72:2 ).
repent himself--change His dealings ( Psalms 90:13 ).
15-18. (Compare Psalms 115:4-8 ).
18. are like unto them--or, "shall be like," &c. Idolaters become spiritually stupid and perish with their idols ( Isaiah 1:31 ).
19-21. (Compare Psalms 115:9-11 ). There we have "trust" for "bless" here.
21. out of Zion--(Compare Psalms 110:2 , 134:3 ). From the Church, as a center, His praise is diffused throughout the earth.