The worshipers ask God to glorify Himself for His own sake. In v. 3, they then declare that God is sovereign. God does what He desires to do.
“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Ps. 115:3). In the Hebrew, it literally reads, “But our God in the heavens; all that he has pleased, he has done.” The Hebrew is Qal Perfect, indicating perfective action in the past. (The context in v. 16 shows a Qal perfect past action.) Hence, “all that he has pleased he has done.”
A man was looking for work without any luck for many weeks. . . While he was at the zoo, he asked the zookeeper if they had any openings.
The zookeeper motioned the man over to a tree and whispered, “Our gorilla just died last night, and we’re expecting a group of children to come this afternoon. They will be very disappointed if they don’t get to see a gorilla. If you’re willing to get into a gorilla outfit and just swing around in the cage, I’ll pay you $10 an hour.”
The man thought about the children, and he thought about the money, and then he said, “yes.” So he got into the gorilla suit and entered the gorilla cage. Just then, the children began to file by. The man decided he was going to give the children a show by swinging on a tire. He swung so high, that he landed into the next cage, the lion’s cage.
Immediately the man in the gorilla suit began to scream and rattle the cage. The children also began to scream as the lion slowly approached the gorilla. When the man in the gorilla suit thought all was hopeless, the lion said, “Mister, you better shut up before we both lose our jobs.”
Sometimes, we do things that we do not want to do. But God does all that God wants to do. God is sovereign.
Our God is in the heavens. But the statement, “Our God is in the heavens,” does not mean that God is up there, while your god is down here. The first line, “Our God is in the heavens,” is parallel in meaning to the next line in v. 3—“he does all that he pleases.” It means that God is sovereign. Our God is in the heavens—He is sovereign. He does what He pleases.
The place equals the power. The heavens signify power. Thus, our God is in the heavens. Our God is powerful; our God is sovereign.
This God in the heavens is the same God who made the heavens (v. 15). “Heaven and earth” signifies all existence. God made all that exists. Nothing exists outside of what God made. God made it all.
Gen. 14:22, “But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth.’’” The LORD, Yahweh, is possessor of heaven and earth. The psalmist continues this thought in v. 16. “The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man” (Ps. 115:16) In the Hebrew, it reads literally, “the heavens, the heavens belonging to Yahweh.” The heavens belong to the LORD because He made them. Then v. 16 goes on to say, “but the earth he has given to the children of man.” The very act of giving the earth to people is an act of sovereignty. But the children of man do not own the earth. They merely live and act under the overall authority of the LORD.