Up from the dust!

Psalms decorative
He raises the poor from the dust     
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,     
with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,     
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord! Psalm 113:7-9 ESV


Derek Kidner, in his Tyndale Old Testament Commentary on Psalms, writes …

“Verse 7 and 8 (of Psalm 113) anticipate the great downward and upward sweep of the gospel, which was to go even deeper and higher than the dust and the throne of princes: from the grave to the throne of God (Ephesians 2:5f.).

“Consciously, however, these verses look back to the song of Hannah, which they quote almost exactly (cf. 7, 8a with1 Samuel 2:8). Hence the sudden reference to the childless woman who becomes a mother (9), for this was Hannah’s theme. With such a background the psalm not only makes its immediate point, that the Most High cares for the most humiliated, but brings to mind the train of events that can follow from such an intervention. Hannah’s joy became all Israel’s; Sarah’s became the world’s. And the song of Hannah was to be outshone one day by the Magnificat. The spectacular events of our verses 7 and 8 are not greater than the domestic one; the most important of them have sprung from just such an origin.

“But it would distort the psalm, and its values, to make verse 9 simply a means to an end. The psalm finishes with what seems an anti-climax, and it must not be disguised. It is here that God’s glory most sharply differs from man’s: a glory that is equally at home ‘above the heavens’ (113:4) and at the side of one forlorn person. There is plainly much more than rhetoric in the question of 113:5, ‘Who is like the Lord our God?’…”

From Derek Kidner in his Tyndale Old Testament Commentary on Psalms 73-150.

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