Psalm 115: The Futility of Idols

(18 verses, 1:32 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Though idols are incapable of offering any help, the one true LORD rescues and blesses His people.


  • Introduction (1)
  • God’s Freedom (2-3)
  • The Futility of Idols (4-8)
  • Call to Trust the LORD (9-11)
  • The LORD’s Blessing (12-15)
  • The Living Bless the LORD (16-18)


  • How often does tragedy strike and one of the first things we hear from unbelievers is the question, “Where is their God?” This is the context for this psalm.  The unbelievers are mocking the people of God.  Tragedy has struck and they want to know why the God of the believers has done nothing.
  • Rather than getting into a debate the psalmist makes the good confession: “Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases.” The one true God is free to do as He pleases.
  • This is contrasted to the idols that are made by man and therefore incapable of doing the simplest of tasks – seeing, eating, hearing, smelling, speaking.
  • In fact, those that worship idols become just like the very thing they worship. Luther says, “A remarkable love of one’s own powers does all these things, a love which changes the lover into the beloved, as blessed Augustine says: “Love the earth, and you are earth; love gold, and you are gold; love God and you are God.” (LW 11:399)
  • The one true God is not absent, but as the psalmist declares is there helping and blessing His people – no matter how things look. Therefore, God’s people can trust Him.  He is able and willing to help and bless them.


  • The futility of idols is revealed fully on the cross.  For which idol of man’s imagination could ever suffer and die on behalf of your sins?  The cross reveals the futility of the idols and the love and ability of our God to save and redeem us.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Pastor Andrew Packer


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