While we do not know, for certain, who the human author of this Psalm is, we find much reason to attribute it to David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel. David delights in the absolute glory of the one True and Living GOD, and we find him expressing the same at every opportunity. This Psalm is no exception to such glorying in the Sovereign RULER of the Heavens and the Earth. I think it fair to say that whoever wrote Psalm 135 also penned Psalm 115 since the exact same contrast (see Ps.115:3-8 and Ps.135:15-18) is made in both between the “idols of men’s hands” and the GOD who inhabits eternity and “hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”
It is needful to make this same contrast in the present day in which we live, since the predominant theme of modern religion (especially that which calls itself ‘Christianity”) is a reliance in a “god” who has no hands but ours and must wait upon men to fulfill HIS purpose and perform according to his will. Any supposed god who can only hope to see his purpose fulfilled is an idol which is hewn out in the stone of man’s darkened mind. He is no different than Dagon of the Philistines or Ashtoreth of the Babylonians regardless of what he might be called. There can be but ONE SOVEREIGN and HE is in need of nothing and no one can add anything to HIM or alter HIS determined purpose.
The Psalmist begins by extolling the LORD and exhorting the servants of GOD to “praise HIS NAME.” Then he points out the LORD’s choice of a people upon which HE has set HIS love and called “a peculiar treasure” (v.4). Many are of the mistaken notion that such should be seldom spoken of, while we find that the scriptures are full of this glorious truth which forms the very basis of redemption. Apart from having a particular people there can be no “redemption”. By its very definition, to redeem is to “buy back”. The whole of scripture centers around the REDEEMER and HIS “redeemed”. Those who are the “redeemed” are those whom HE purposed to “buy back” from the bondage into which they had willingly sold themselves. If anyone should doubt this purpose, they must turn a blind eye to that which the Angel of the LORD, revealed to Joseph of Nazareth, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat 1:21)
The absolute truth of a particular and definite “atonement” (i.e.; a redemption which is carried out for a chosen people and is alone completely satisfactory to accomplish HIS purpose) is revealed each time HE is extolled as the LORD of all lords. “For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.” (Psa 135:5-6) How foolish is it, of men, to attribute to HIM sovereign control over the forces of what we might call nature, and yet consider that HE does not exercise the same degree of control over the salvation of men.
We do indeed rejoice in HIS glorious rule over the seas and deep places, making the lightnings and bringing the wind out of HIS treasuries. For in these actions, we are comforted in knowing that the salvation of HIS people is as secure as HIS placement of the planets in their orbits and unfolding of the seasons which HE has determined to show in the Earth. Did not HIS disciples marvel at the same, saying, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Mat 8:27)? If HE clothes the lilies of the field, and watches over the flight of every sparrow, will HE not also bring deliverance to those whom HE loves?
HE who sent “tokens and wonders” in the midst of Egypt, did so to manifest the fact that HE put a difference between Israel and the heathen. HE smote the firstborn of Egypt that HE might remind HIS people of this truth, each time they observed the Passover. All of HIS dealings with Israel as a fleshly nation, were done to manifest HIS perfect love of that remnant which HE has hidden in the bosom of CHRIST from before the foundation of the world. This is the true Israel which is in contrast to that of flesh and blood. “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Rom 2:28-29)
HE smote great nations and slew mighty kings in the sight of Israel that they might know of HIS intention to deliver them from the jaws of death and give unto them a land flowing with milk and honey. In this, do we not see HIM who has “led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Eph 4:8)? “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col 2:13-15)
This is the ground for the saints of GOD to rejoice in HIM whose NAME is above every name. “Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.” (Psa 135:13) Herein is HIS “memorial” seen, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isa 53:11-12) “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:19-20)
The remembrance of CHRIST and HIM crucified, risen, and ascended back to the FATHER, from whence HE shall return to gather that purchased possession is truly the “pleasant song” of the redeemed in all ages. They delight to lift this chorus unto the glory of HIS NAME which is itself “pleasant” to them, and them alone. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” (Rev 7:9-10) “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev 5:9-10)
As sweet and pleasant as the prospect is of that future rejoicing in the glories of the SAVIOR, we are struck with an even greater amazement at this same privilege given to those who are caused to believe in that “pleasant NAME” at the present time. Who but those sinners, (who have been brought from darkness unto LIGHT), are enabled to sing this “pleasant song.” “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Cor 5:21) “All hail the power of JESUS’ NAME, let angels prostrate fall, bring forth the royal diadem, and crown HIM, LORD of all. Sinners whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall. Go spread your trophies at HIS feet and crown HIM LORD of all. (Ed. Perronet, 1780) Do you sing this pleasant song and magnify this pleasant NAME?