Non Nobis, Domine
Psalm 115:1-18
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for your mercy, and for your truth's sake.…

Every careful reader can see the connection between this 115th psalm and the one which precedes it. In the 114th psalm we see the gracious and grateful Jews sitting around the passover table, having eaten of the lamb, and singing of the miracles of Jehovah at the Red Sea and the Jordan. It must have been a very jubilant song that they sang, "What ailed thee, O thou sea," etc. When that joyful hymn was finished, and the cup of wine was passed round the table, they struck another note. They remembered their sad condition, as they heard the heathen say, "Where is now their God?" They recollected that, perhaps, for many a year there had been no miracle, no prophet, no open vision, and then they began to chant a prayer that God would appear — not for their sakes, but for His own name's sake, that the ancient glory, which He won for Himself at the Red Sea and the Jordan, might not be lost, and that the heathen might no longer be able tauntingly to say, "Where is now their God?"

I. A POWERFUL PLEA IN PRAYER: "Not unto us," etc. There are times when this is the only plea that God's people can use. There are other occasions when we can plead with God to bless us, for this reason or for that; but, sometimes, there come dark experiences, when there seems to be no reason that can suggest itself to us why God should give us deliverance, or vouchsafe us a blessing, except this one, — that He would be pleased to do it in order to glorify His own name. You may be emboldened to urge that plea, notwithstanding the vileness of the person for whom you plead. In fact, the sinfulness of the sinner may even be your plea that God's mercy and lovingkindness may be seen the more resplendently by all who know of the sinful soul's guilt.

II. THE TRUE SPIRIT OF PIETY. "Not unto us, O Lord," etc. That is to say, true religion does not seek its own honour. For instance, suppose, in preaching the Gospel, a man has, even as a small part of his motive, that he may be esteemed an eloquent person, or that he may have influence over other men's minds; — for it is lamentably true that this mixture of motives may steal over the preacher's soul. Ah! but we must fight against this evil with all our might. Somebody once told Master John Bunyan that he had preached a delightful sermon. "You are too late," said John, "the devil told me that before I left the pulpit." Satan is a great adept in teaching us how to steal our Master's glory. "Glory be to God," should always be the preacher's motto. And as it should be so with our preaching, do you not think that the same thing is true concerning our praying?

III. A SAFE GUIDE IS THEOLOGY. When I am going to read the Scriptures, to know what I am to believe, to learn what is to be my creed, even before I open my Bible, it is a good thing to say, "Not unto us, O Lord," etc. This is, to my mind, a test of what is true and what is false. If you meet with a system of theology which magnifies man, flee from it as far as you can. This is why I believe in the doctrines of grace. I believe in Divine election, because somebody must have the supreme will in this matter, and man's will must not .occupy the throne, but the will of God. The words of Jehovah stand fast like the great mountains.


1. This text will help you in the selection of your sphere of service. You will always be safe in doing that which is not for your own glory, but which is distinctly for the glory of God.

2. Sometimes my text will guide you as to which you should choose out of two courses of action that lie before you. What flesh revolts against, your spirit should choose. Say, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory. I will do that which will most honour my Lord and Master, and not that which would best please myself."


1. This is the spirit in which to live. Has God blessed us? Do we look back upon honourable and useful lives? Have we been privileged to preach the Gospel, and has the Lord given us converts? Then, let us be sure to stick to the text: "Not unto us, O Lord," etc.

2. Aye, and when the time comes for us to die, this is the spirit in which to die, for it is the beginning of heaven. What are they doing in heaven? If we could look in there, what should we see? There are crowns there, laid up for those that fight the good fight, and finish their course; but do you see what the victors are doing with their crowns? They will not wear them; no, not they; but they cast them down at Christ's feet, crying, "Not unto us," etc.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.

WEB: Not to us, Yahweh, not to us, but to your name give glory, for your loving kindness, and for your truth's sake.

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