EBC Abridged: “The Hallel psalms are found in three separate collections: the “Egyptian Hallel” (113-118), the “Great Hallel” (120-136), and the concluding Hallel psalms (146-150)….The Egyptian Hallel and the Great Hallel were sung during the annual feasts (Lev 23; Nu 10:10). The Egyptian Hallel psalms received a special place in the Passover liturgy, as 113-114 were recited or sung before and 115-118 after the festive meal (cf. Mt 26:30; Mk 14:26). The concluding Hallel psalms (146-150) were incorporated in the daily prayers in the synagogue after the destruction of the temple (A.D. 70).”
Psalms 113:1 ¶ Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.
The psalmist opens with the shout of Hallelujah, “Praise ye the LORD.” He calls for all God’s servants to join him in praising the LORD, whose name sets Him apart; He is the great “I AM.”
Exodus 3:13–14 “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”
Psalms 113:2 Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.
Psalms 113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.
The LORD is deserving of praise forever. Words of praise should be on our lips every single day.
Psalms 113:4 The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
The glory of the LORD is above the heavens, far above our abode here on planet earth. Maybe he was thinking of the words that Solomon spoke when they moved the ark into the temple.
1 Kings 8:23 “And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart….”
Psalms 113:5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,
Psalms 113:6 Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
The psalmist is not asking a question in these verses; he is making an exclamation. Obviously, there is no other being like our God. When I read these verses, my mind immediately went to the words of the LORD recorded by Isaiah and the words of David.
Isaiah 45:5–6 “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.”
Isaiah 46:9–10 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure….”
Psalms 103:13–14 “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”
Psalms 113:7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;
Psalms 113:8 That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.
These verses are taken from Hannah’s song of praise to the LORD, thanking Him for giving her a son.
1 Samuel 2:8 “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.”
According to His purposes, the LORD can raise up a poor and needy man and make him a prince among his people—and/or a prince before the LORD.
We are so focused on the present that I think we often lose sight of the fact that God sees us differently than does the world. Those that are poor by worldly standards are often rich in the eyes of God. Those that are among the common folk here on earth will prove to be among the royalty in heaven.
1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
Revelation 2:8-9 “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write…I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich)….”
Psalms 113:9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.
The LORD is the one that opens and closes wombs. He can turn the sorrow and shame of a barren woman to joy when he gives her children.
Genesis 20:18 “For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife.”
Genesis 30:22 “And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.”
Spurgeon: “The glorious Lord displays his condescending grace in regarding those who are despised on account of their barrenness, whether it be of body or of soul. Sarah, Rachel, the wife of Manoah, Hannah, Elizabeth, and others were all instances of the miraculous power of God in literally fulfilling the statement of the psalmist.”
And the psalmist closes with another “Hallelujah!”
Spurgeon: “The Psalm is a circle, ending where it began, praising the Lord from its first syllable to its last. May our life psalm partake of the same character, and never know a break or a conclusion. In an endless circle let us bless the Lord, whose mercies never cease. Let us praise him in youth, and all along our years of strength; and when we bow in the ripeness of abundant age, let us still praise the Lord, who doth not cast off his old servants.”