Psalm 115:8
They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
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(8) Every one that trusteth . . .

“Who moulds in gold or stone a sacred face

Makes not the god; but he who asks his grace.”

Psalm 115:8. They that make them — And trust in, or worship them as gods, are like unto them — Are as ignorant and stupid, and void of all sense and reason, as those images themselves, inasmuch as they do not make a proper use of those faculties which God hath given them, but, having eyes, see not, having ears, hear not, and having hearts, understand not. They see not the invisible things of the true and living God in the works of creation. They hear not the voice of his providence and grace, or that of the day and the night, which, in every speech and language, declares his glory, Psalm 19:2-3. They understand not that an inanimate image, which their own hands have made, must be weaker, and every way inferior to themselves, and cannot afford them the least help in the time of their necessity.

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.They that make them are like unto them - Stupid; senseless; irrational. See the notes at Isaiah 44:9-20.

So is everyone that trusteth in them - People who do this show that they are destitute of all the proper attributes of reason, since such gods cannot help them. It is most strange, as it appears to us, that the worshippers of idols did not themselves see this; but this is in reality no more strange than that sinners do not see the folly of their course of sin; that people do not see the folly of worshipping no God. In fact, there is less of folly among the pagan than there is in this class of men. The worship of an idol shows at least that there is some religious tendency in the mind; some conviction that God ought to he worshipped; some aspiration after a proper object of worship; some appreciation of the true dignity and rank of man as made for worship; but what shall be said of the man who evinces no such tendency - who has no such aspiration or desire - who endeavors to extinguish in his nature all that was designed to express the idea of worship, or to lead him to God - who never starts the inquiry whether there is a God - who never prays for light, for guidance, for pardon, for a preparation for death and eternity - who never even testifies so much interest in religion as to set up an image of gold, or wood, or stone, as indicative of the fact that he is made above the brutes? There are multitudes of the pagan less stupid and foolish than people in Christian lands.

8. every one that trusteth—they who trust, whether makers or not. They that make them; or, they that observe or worship them. For the psalmist’s quarrel was not so much with those few artists who formed the images, as with all the adorers of them. And the word here rendered make doth sometimes signify to worship, as some understand it, not without probability, Exodus 32:35, because they made (i.e. worshipped) the calf which Aaron made, and as in other languages words answering to this do signify, as hath been oft observed by learned men; and it oft signifies to observe; as when men are said to make (as it is in the Hebrew) the sabbath, Deu 5:15, and the release, and the passover, and the feast of weeks, as Deu 15:1 16:1,10.

Are like unto them: this is a sharp reflection, either,

1. Upon the idols, whose highest preferment it is to be made like unto man, a mortal, weak, and miserable creature, infinitely inferior to the true God. Or,

2. To the makers or worshippers of them, who by this absurd and foolish action show that they are as ignorant, and stupid, and void of all sense and reason as their images.

They that make them are like unto them,.... As stupid as the matter of which they are made; as sottish and as senseless as the idols themselves, see Isaiah 44:9. Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret it as a petition, "let them that make them be like unto them"; and so the Targum, the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions: they liked not to retain God in their knowledge, let them be given up to a reprobate mind, to a mind void of all sense and judgment; and which indeed is their case, Romans 1:28.

So is everyone that trusteth in them; more especially they that worship them: for an artificer may make them for gain, and have no faith in them; but a worshipper places confidence in them. Or this clause may be explanative of the former, and be rendered, even "every one", &c. for "to make" sometimes signifies to serve and worship, Exodus 32:35.

They that make them are {f} like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

(f) As much without sense as blocks and stones.

8. Like unto them shall their makers become,

Even everyone that trusteth in them.

Such gods drag down their worshippers to the same level of senseless stupidity: they must perish, for their protectors are powerless. Cp. 2 Kings 17:15; Isaiah 44:9-10; Jeremiah 2:5; Romans 1:21-23.

Verse 8. - They that make them are like unto them. Equally vain, futile, and power less (comp. Isaiah 44:9; Jeremiah 2:5). So is every one that trusteth in them. To "trust" in an idol is an almost inconceivable folly. Yet there is abundant proof that the heathen actually did so trust (see Herod., 5:80; 8:64, 83). Psalm 115:8The poet, with "And our God," in the name of Israel opposes the scornful question of the heathen by the believingly joyous confession of the exaltation of Jahve above the false gods. Israel's God is in the heavens, and is therefore supramundane in nature and life, and the absolutely unlimited One, who is able to do all things with a freedom that is conditioned only by Himself: quod vult, valet (Psalm 115:3 equals Psalm 135:6, Wisd. 12:18, and frequently). The carved gods (עצב, from עצב, cogn. חצב, קצב) of the heathen, on the contrary, are dead images, which are devoid of all life, even of the sensuous life the outward organs of which are imagined upon them. It cannot be proved with Ecclesiastes 5:16 that ידיהם and רגליחם are equivalent to ידים להם, רגלים. They are either subjects which the Waw apodosis cf. Genesis 22:24; Proverbs 23:24; Habakkuk 2:5) renders prominent, or casus absoluti (Ges. ֗145, 2), since both verbs have the idols themselves as their subjects less on account of their gender (יד and רגל are feminine, but the Hebrew usage of genders is very free and not carried out uniformly) as in respect of Psalm 115:7: with reference to their hands, etc. ימישׁוּן is the energetic future form, which goes over from משׁשׁ into מוּשׁ, for ימשּׁוּ. It is said once again in Psalm 115:7 that speech is wanting to them; for the other negations only deny life to them, this at the same time denies all personality. The author might know from his own experience how little was the distinction made by the heathen worship between the symbol and the thing symbolized. Accordingly the worship of idols seems to him, as to the later prophets, to be the extreme of self-stupefaction and of the destruction of human consciousness; and the final destiny of the worshippers of false gods, as he says in Psalm 115:8, is, that they become like to their idols, that is to say, being deprived of their consciousness, life, and existence, they come to nothing, like those their nothingnesses (Isaiah 44:9). This whole section of the Psalm is repeated in Psalm 135 (Psalm 115:6, Psalm 115:15).
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