|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
115:1-8 Let no opinion of our own merits have any place in our prayers or in our praises. All the good we do, is done by the power of his grace; and all the good we have, is the gift of his mere mercy, and he must have all the praise. Are we in pursuit of any mercy, and wrestling with God for it, we must take encouragement in prayer from God only. Lord, do so for us; not that we may have the credit and comfort of it, but that they mercy and truth may have the glory of it. The heathen gods are senseless things. They are the works of men's hands: the painter, the carver, the statuary, can put no life into them, therefore no sense. The psalmist hence shows the folly of the worshippers of idols.
Verses 4-8. - The scorn of the heathen is retaliated. They scoff at the God of Israel. What, then, are their own gods? Silver and gold indeed (ver. 4), but the work of human hands. Fashioned into a human shape, as if they were sentient being - but absolutely devoid of all sense and intelligence. The satire is somewhat roughly worked out (vers. 5-7), but idolatry provokes rough speaking; and the tone here adopted is imitated in Psalm 135:15-18, and echoed in Isaiah 44:9-20. The inspired writers seem to have felt, that, when idolatry came under consideration, the criticism should be brief and trenchant. Verse 4. - Their idols are silver and gold. At the best - often mere wood and stone (Deuteronomy 4:28); but the idols of the Babylonians were mostly of the more precious materials (Herod., 1:183; Daniel 3:1; Ep. Jeremiah 1:4, 11, etc.). The work of men's hands (Psalm 135:15; Isaiah 44:12-17). To avoid this reproach, some images were said to have fallen down from heaven (Acts 19:35).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Their idols are silver and gold,.... The idols of the Gentiles; so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions. The gods they serve and worship are not in the heavens; but the matter of which they are made is dug out of the earth: and this is the greatest excellency and value that there is in them; and such as are made of these are of the greatest worth, and yet only for the matter of them, otherwise useless and inanimate statues; such are the idols of the Papists, Revelation 9:20.
The work of men's hands; the matter of them is gold and silver, which they owe to the earth as their original; the form of them they owe to men, and therefore can not be God, Hosea 8:6. If it is idolatry to worship what God has made, the sun, moon, and stars, it must be gross idolatry, and great stupidity, to worship what man has made: if it is sinful to worship the creature besides the Creator, or more than him, it must be still more so to worship the creature of a creature.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4-7. (Compare Isa 40:18-20; 44:9-20).
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