# 326 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 115. As a man thinks… so he is!

Proverbs 23:7 says: For as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he. (NKJV) Agreeing with the proverb, a few other famous people have also said a similar thing over the centuries since. One being Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor and philosopher in the 2nd century AD) who said “The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the colour of your thoughts.”   

But Psalm 115 adds another dimension to the proverb – you also become like the person/object you worship. In this particular case what the people of the nations around Israel worshiped were their idols [of] silver and gold, made by human hands. (v. 4) And the psalmist concludes,Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. (v. 8)

 Here is the complete description of the strange gods they worshiped:

Why do the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven;
    he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold,
    made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
    eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
    noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
    feet, but cannot walk,
    nor can they utter a sound with their throats.

Those who make them will be like them,
    and so will all who trust in them.

I read the following on the Desiring God website concerning “Greg Beale [who] titled his landmark book We Become What We Worship. His thesis is simple: “What people revere, they resemble, either for ruin or for restoration.” He traces the theme throughout Scripture to show that we are worshippers, and that our worship exposes us and changes us. We either revere the world and are conformed to the sinful patterns of the world, or we revere God and are progressively conformed into his likeness.”   https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/we-become-what-we-worship 

Therefore, the big question that we need to ask ourselves daily is, what or whom are we worshipping today? What do we ‘revere” and therefore are beginning to ‘resemble, either for ruin or restoration’?  Sadly, the options in our world are endless. A few possibilities, other than idols as mentioned in this psalm (and just visit a Hindu nation and you will discover the endless number of options there), are such things as other human beings (such as so-called celebrities whether in the fields of music, film, sport or business); money and wealth and possessions (remembering Paul’s words to Timothy – For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. [1 Timothy 6:10]); even beliefs, philosophies or political systems can become idols. Sometimes it is subtle, and we don’t even recognize that what we are doing is worship, but as Jesus said, where your treasure is, there your heart [and worship] will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

So, who then should be the object of our worship? The only One who actually deserves our worship, and that is the One who is the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (v. 15), rather than the objects of his creation! The psalmist reminds his people who they need to worship and trust in as follows;

 All you Israelites, trust in the Lord
    he is their help and shield.
10 House of Aaron, trust in the Lord
    he is their help and shield.
11 You who fear him, trust in the Lord
    he is their help and shield.

And then reminds them that:

12 The Lord remembers us and will bless us:
    He will bless his people Israel,
    he will bless the house of Aaron,
13 he will bless those who fear the Lord—
    small and great alike.

Paul in Romans speaks of those who are true worshipers of God and followers of Jesus as being conformed to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29), and later he speaks of the process:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (Romans 12:1-2)

Who/what are you revering today and therefore who/what will you resemble in the future?

And so, the psalmist finishes with a blessing as you offer your true and proper worship to the One true God today:

14 May the Lord cause you to flourish,
    both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.    Amen.

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