There is Only One True God

Psalm 115

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 115

Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible.

The notes explain some of the words with a *star by them. A word list at the end explains the other words that have a *star by them.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.


Jesus said, "Pray like this: Our Father, you are in *heaven. Your name is special. You are king (over everyone). What you want to happen will happen in the earth. It will happen (in earth) as it happens in *heaven. Give us today the food that we need (each day). *Forgive us the wrong things that we have done. (Do this) because we *forgive the people that have done wrong things to us. Do not lead us into difficulties, but take us away from bad places (and ideas). (Do this) because you are the king! You are powerful! You will always be *glorious! *Amen" (Matthew 6:9-13). (*Heaven is the home of God; *forgive means excuse; glorious means "shining very much"; and amen means "we all agree".)

Psalm 115

v1   Do not give to us, *LORD, do not give to us the *glory.
  (Keep) it for yourself! (Do this) because of your kind love (to us).
  And (do it) because you always do what you have promised.

v2   Why should people say, ‘Where is their God?’

v3   Our God is in *heaven. He does what he wants to do.

v4   (People) make their *idols with *silver and gold.
  Human hands make them!

v5   (Each *idol) has a mouth ... but it cannot speak!
  It has eyes ... but it cannot see!

v6   It has ears ... but it cannot hear!
  It has a nose ... but it cannot smell!

v7   It has hands ... but it feels nothing!
  It has feet ... but it cannot walk!
  Its mouth cannot make a sound!

v8   The people that make them will become like them.
  Also, everyone who believes what they say (will become like them).

v9   (People of) Israel ... *trust in the *LORD.
  He is their *help and their *shield.

v10   People of Aaron ... *trust in the *LORD.
  He is their help and their *shield.

v11   Everyone that is in awe of the *LORD ... *trust in the *LORD.
  He is their help and their *shield.

v12   The *LORD will remember us. He will *bless us.
  He will *bless the people of Israel.
  He will *bless the people of Aaron.

v13   He will *bless everybody that is in awe of the *LORD.
  (He will *bless them) whether they are important or not.

v14   (I pray that) the *LORD will give you more (good things).
  (I pray that he will) do this to your children also.

v15   I pray that the *LORD will *bless you.
  (The *LORD) made *heaven and earth.

v16   *Heaven is where the *LORD lives.
  He gave the earth to the people that live there.

v17   Dead people cannot *praise the *LORD.
  Neither can anyone that goes to the *Quiet Place.

v18   But we will *bless the *LORD, now and always.

The Story of Psalm 115

We do not know who wrote Psalm 115. And we do not know when they wrote it. It was a time when there were not many *Jews. But there were a lot of enemies. Perhaps it was before the *exile. The *exile was when Assyria or Babylon took them away from their own country. Perhaps it was when they came back to their own country. We do not know.

But the psalm tells people to *trust in the *LORD. This means, believe what the *LORD says, and wait until he sends you help. "He is their help" in verses 9, 10 and 11 mean "he will send you help". We learn what the *LORD says when we read the Bible.

The important thing that the psalm teaches us is this: there is only one God. All other gods are man-made, and cannot do anything to send us help.

What Psalm 115 means

In verse 1, *LORD is a special name for God. It is the *covenant name for God. A *covenant is when two people (or groups of people) agree. Here the *covenant is with God and the people of Israel. The verse says that God must keep the *glory for himself. He should not give some of it to his people. "*Glory" is a "big shining". Here it means all the good things that people say about God.

In verse 2, people are saying "Where is their God?" The people are those who do not believe. They do not believe that there is a God. So they say, "Where is God?" or "What is God doing to show that he is really alive?" The answer is in verse 3. God is in *heaven ... the home of God. And he is doing everything that he wants to do!

Verses 4 - 8 tell us about *idols. An *idol is a god that people make. It is not a true god. Often people make it from wood. But it cannot speak or see (verse 5). It cannot hear or smell (verse 6). It cannot walk or make any sound (verse 7). People make it from gold and silver. Silver is like gold, very valuable. People that have *idols will become like them (verse 8).

Verses 9 - 11 are about *trusting in the *LORD. To "*trust" is "to believe that the *LORD will send you help because he loves you". The people of Israel and the people of Aaron are the *Jews. But verse 11 says "everyone" ... and that includes us! "In awe" means "a bit afraid of someone that you love". "Their help" in verse 9 means "the person that gives them help". And the *shield is something that stops an enemy hurting them. A *shield was something a soldier used. He held it over his body, so that it stopped things hitting him.

In verses 12 - 16 we read about the *LORD blessing people. The word "*bless" now means "do good things to". But in Bible times, it meant "have many children". So in verse 14 "the *LORD will give you more" means more children. Also, he will give more children to your children!

In verses 17 - 18 we read about "*praise" and the "Quiet Place". "*Praise" means "tell someone that they are great". So "*praise the *LORD" means "tell the *LORD that he is great". Dead people cannot *praise the *LORD, because they are in the Quiet Place. This is another name for *Sheol. The *Jews believed that you went to *Sheol when you died. You could not *praise God in *Sheol. "We will *bless the *LORD now and always" means "*Jews will always *bless the *LORD and *praise him". But we know now that we will always *praise the *LORD ... if we love Jesus!

Something to do

Tell God that you think that he is the only God. And tell him that you love his son Jesus and want to obey him.

Word List

Amen ~ we agree!

bless ~ say good things, or do good things, to someone.

covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.

exile ~ away from your own country.

forgive ~ take away the results of *sin. (But look in the notes on Psalm 85:2.)

glorious ~ very, very lovely.

glory ~ something that shines very much. God has glory because his *righteousness shines from inside him.

hallelujah ~ say that the *LORD is great. (Jah is *Hebrew for *LORD.)

heaven ~ the home of God.

Hebrew ~ the language that the Jews spoke; they wrote the Psalms in Hebrew.

help ~ See notes.

idol ~ a false god that someone made out of wood or stone or metal.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

LORD ~ the *covenant name for God (in a *covenant you agree with someone).

praise ~ to say how great someone is; or, words that say how great someone is.

Quiet Place ~ another name for *Sheol.

righteous ~ very good (only God is really righteous). God says that the people who love and obey him are righteous. Sometimes we say they are "the righteous", meaning "righteous people". Look after Psalm 5 in Book 1 of the Psalms of David for more about the word "righteous".

righteousness ~ what you have when you are *righteous.

Sheol ~ *Jews believed that you went to Sheol when you died.

shield ~ what a soldier holds over himself to stop things hitting him.

silver ~ a metal of great value, like gold.

sin ~ not obeying God; or what you do when you do not obey God.

trust ~ believe that someone (usually God in the psalms) will be kind to you.


© 1999-2002, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

December 2002

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