Psalm 92


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He is exalted for ever
Preached at South Sheffield Evangelical Church on 3rd April 2011

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Psalm 92

  1. 1. Psalm 92 <ul><li>He is exalted for ever </li></ul><ul><li>2011-04-03 pm </li></ul><ul><li>2011-04-03 pm </li></ul>
  2. 2. Taster <ul><li>My daughter used to have a picture in her bedroom that said: “I don’t do mornings!” </li></ul><ul><li>How do you find mornings? </li></ul><ul><li>I consider myself to be a morning person. </li></ul><ul><li>I like to get up and if its a normal day, be in work, in Nottingham by about 7.30am. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Taster <ul><li>When I wake up I go through a quick mental check. </li></ul><ul><li>I need to remember certain things to get the day orientated. </li></ul><ul><li>I need to know what day it. </li></ul><ul><li>I need to know where I am working today, is Nottingham, London, Birmingham, home, etc. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Taster <ul><li>For many of us morning a quite a rush. </li></ul><ul><li>Getting ready for for work. </li></ul><ul><li>Walking the dog. </li></ul><ul><li>Getting the kids off to school. </li></ul><ul><li>Sorting out food for the day. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Taster <ul><li>Our busy lives tend to drive God out of our minds. </li></ul><ul><li>You may be like me and do a quick Bible reading before we rush off to the activities of the day. </li></ul><ul><li>But this Psalm starts by describing what our attitude should be during the day. </li></ul><ul><li>We should be joyous about God. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Psalm 92:1&2 (The Message) <ul><li>“ What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks, to sing an anthem to you, the High God! </li></ul><ul><li>To announce your love each daybreak, </li></ul><ul><li>sing your faithful presence all through the night ” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Celebrate God <ul><li>How different our mornings would be if we announced God’s love each daybreak. </li></ul><ul><li>How different our lives would if we bracketed our days with celebrations of God’s love and faithfulness. </li></ul><ul><li>If we contemplated your works and accepted the profound nature of your thoughts. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Celebrate God <ul><li>Psalm 92 is the Psalm we are going to look at tonight. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a celebration of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>God’s love, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God’s faithfulness and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God’s sovereignty. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Outline – Psalm 92 <ul><li>Psalm 92 naturally split into three parts </li></ul><ul><li>Warren Wiersbe’s commentary proposes these sections as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A worshiping people: verses1 – 5 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An overcoming people: verses 6 – 11 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A flourishing people: verses 12-15 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Context of Psalm 92
  11. 11. Context of Psalm 92 <ul><li>We do not know who wrote this Psalm and we do not know when it was written. </li></ul><ul><li>The dedication of the Psalm is: “A song for the Sabbath day.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Law of Moses proscribed that there would be a daily sacrifice. </li></ul><ul><li>The instructions are in Exodus 29:38-46 and in Numbers 28: 9-10 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Exodus 29 <ul><li>This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. </li></ul><ul><li>Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight. </li></ul><ul><li>For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the LORD. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Context of Psalm 92 <ul><li>Every morning a year old lamb was sacrificed along with a grain-offering and a drink offering. This was to be a daily Whole – Burnt –Offering before God. </li></ul><ul><li>This was repeated in the evening. </li></ul><ul><li>On the Sabbath (Saturday) the sacrifice was doubled to two lambs morning and evening. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Context of Psalm 92 <ul><li>The passages stress the importance of the regularity and continuity of the offerings. </li></ul><ul><li>The Message captures the meaning by describing it as a regular sacrifice that is made generation after generation. </li></ul><ul><li>The sacrifice was made, with a number of breaks, for over 1300 years from the time of Moses to the time of Jesus. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Context of Psalm 92 <ul><li>Christians see Jesus as the last of these sacrifices. </li></ul><ul><li>He is described as the lamb of God. </li></ul><ul><li>He was nailed to the cross at the time of the morning sacrifice. </li></ul><ul><li>He died on the same day at about the time of the evening sacrifice. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Context of Psalm 92 <ul><li>On six days of the week the sacrifice was made by the priest while the people went about their daily working lives. </li></ul><ul><li>But on the Sabbath day, those living in Jerusalem close to the temple, could walk to the Temple and share in the experience of the sacrifice. </li></ul><ul><li>The Psalm was write to be sung during worship at the Sabbath sacrifices. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>A worshiping people Psalm 92:1 – 5 </li></ul>
  18. 18. A worshiping people <ul><li>Worship has a broad definition and a narrower definition according to the theologian Wayne Grudem. </li></ul><ul><li>The broad definition of worship can be applied to the whole of a Christian’s life. </li></ul><ul><li>Everything in our lives should be an act of worship and should bring glory to God. </li></ul>
  19. 19. A worshiping people <ul><li>Worship can also be used in a narrower term. </li></ul><ul><li>In this definition worship refers an assembly of God’s people praising him together in words and music with the appropriate attitude of heart. </li></ul><ul><li>Worship is therefore the activity of glorifying him with our voices and hearts. </li></ul>
  20. 20. A worshiping people <ul><li>When God’s people are assembled together they should worship him. </li></ul><ul><li>I am not a football fan, but when fans from one team come together they talk about the team. </li></ul><ul><li>They discuss their victories. </li></ul><ul><li>They look forward to future victories. </li></ul><ul><li>They praise their team. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Paul <ul><li>I sat and watched the Manchester United vs. West Ham match yesterday with my son-in-law; Paul. </li></ul><ul><li>Well I spelt for about 25 minutes while Manchester United were loosing 2-0. </li></ul><ul><li>Then in the second half their fortunes turned. </li></ul><ul><li>I was rudely woken by wild cheering. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Paul <ul><li>Then the analysis started of each of Manchester United’s 4 goal. </li></ul><ul><li>A string of text messages from friends watching the goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Phone calls to his Father. </li></ul><ul><li>Phone calls to his fellow fans. </li></ul><ul><li>Praise of Wayne Rooney’s skills and talents. </li></ul>
  23. 23. A worshiping people <ul><li>When Christians come together they rarely behave like football fans. </li></ul><ul><li>They talk about the weather. </li></ul><ul><li>They talk about what is on TV. </li></ul><ul><li>They talk about the state of the nation. </li></ul><ul><li>They studiously avoid God. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Colossians 3:15-17 <ul><li>Paul encourages the Christians in Colossae: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. </li></ul><ul><li>Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. </li></ul><ul><li>And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” </li></ul>
  25. 25. A worshiping people <ul><li>When we genuinely worship God, truly giving him glory in our hearts and with our voices, several things happen as a result: </li></ul><ul><li>We delight in God </li></ul><ul><li>God delights in us </li></ul><ul><li>We draw near to God </li></ul><ul><li>God draws near to us </li></ul><ul><li>God ministers to us </li></ul><ul><li>The Lord’s enemies flee </li></ul><ul><li>Unbelievers know they are in God’s presence. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Christian Hedonism <ul><li>John Piper teaches the idea of Christian Hedonism. </li></ul><ul><li>He teaches that: “ God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him .” </li></ul><ul><li>We all make a god out of what we take the most pleasure in. Christian Hedonists want to make God, their God by seeking after the greatest pleasure—pleasure in him. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Christian Hedonism <ul><li>To be completely satisfied with God is to delight in him, is to draw near to him. </li></ul><ul><li>The results of such worship are God delighting in us, drawing nears to us and God ministering to us. </li></ul><ul><li>The results are the Lord’s enemies fleeing and unbelievers knowing they are in the presence of God. </li></ul>
  28. 28. A worshiping people <ul><li>To progress our own Christian lives and to get this church to grow both spiritually and numerically we need to worship God with all our heart and soul and mind. </li></ul><ul><li>He should be the topic of our every conversation with God’s people. </li></ul><ul><li>I know this is alien too most of us, me included, but we need to grow in this direction. </li></ul>
  29. 29. An overcoming people Psalm 92:6-11
  30. 30. An overcoming people <ul><li>A people who assemble to worship God with all their heart and soul and mind will attract the attention of God’s enemies. </li></ul><ul><li>But the Psalm pulls no punches in describing God’s enemies. </li></ul><ul><li>They are “senseless”; “fools”; “lacking understanding”; “wicked”; ‘evildoers’. </li></ul>
  31. 31. An overcoming people <ul><li>They are likened to grass. </li></ul><ul><li>Grass in hot countries springs up early in the year, but is rapidly burnt off when the summer heat reaches it full. </li></ul><ul><li>If you have ever been to a warm country like, Spain, Greece or Italy you will have seen how bare the soil looks compared to England’s permanent green grass. </li></ul>
  32. 32. An overcoming people <ul><li>The Psalmist is telling us that God’s enemies will perish as grass is burnt off by the sun. </li></ul><ul><li>They are not permanent, however they appear. </li></ul><ul><li>They a transient and there will be no trace that they ever existed when they are gone. </li></ul>
  33. 33. An overcoming people <ul><li>God is exalted for ever. </li></ul><ul><li>His enemies, who build up their own small dominions, will vanish and be forgotten. </li></ul><ul><li>God is eternal. </li></ul><ul><li>His enemies vanish and are largely forgotten. </li></ul>
  34. 34. An overcoming people <ul><li>Let me illustrate </li></ul><ul><li>How many of you have ever heard of Baron d’Holbach? </li></ul><ul><li>He was Europe’s first celebrated atheist and lived between 1723–1789. </li></ul><ul><li>He is best known for his atheism and for his voluminous writings against religion. </li></ul><ul><li>He was a leading figure in the French enlightenment. </li></ul>
  35. 35. An overcoming people <ul><li>You can simply imagine the sermons against his writings. </li></ul><ul><li>You can imagine the shock he caused among many Christians. </li></ul><ul><li>You can imagine the letters to the news papers. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet now only a few academics know who he is? </li></ul>
  36. 36. An overcoming people <ul><li>I am sure a similar fate awaits England’s most eminent atheist: Professor Richard Dawkins. </li></ul><ul><li>The God Delusion may be a best seller; today. </li></ul><ul><li>But is will soon be forgotten as other enemies of God spring up, before they in turn wither away. </li></ul>
  37. 37. An overcoming people <ul><li>In stark contrast God has been worshiped in heaven since before the earth was created. </li></ul><ul><li>He has been worshiped by humans for thousands of years. </li></ul><ul><li>He will be worshiped on earth until the return of Jesus and then we will all join the continuing heavenly worship. </li></ul>
  38. 38. An overcoming people <ul><li>The Psalmist expresses the certainty of the destruction of God’s enemies. </li></ul><ul><li>He reinforces the his earlier words. </li></ul><ul><li>God’s enemies will perish </li></ul><ul><li>The evildoers will be scattered. </li></ul><ul><li>There is literally now hope for God’s enemies. </li></ul><ul><li>They should be pitied as the truly hopeless. </li></ul>
  39. 39. An overcoming people <ul><li>Again, in contrast to the previous verse, God blesses his worshipers. </li></ul><ul><li>They have been strengthen and blessed, their adversaries have been defeated. </li></ul><ul><li>This part of the Psalm becomes very personal because the writer has seen and hear these acts of God himself and is testifying to them here. </li></ul>
  40. 40. An overcoming people <ul><li>This is the only hint in the Psalm to authorship. </li></ul><ul><li>The Psalmist has seen the defeat of his enemies and heard their rout of my wicked foes. </li></ul><ul><li>This could be David’s account of one of the times God strengthened him and gave him victory. </li></ul>
  41. 41. A flourishing people Psalm 92: 12-15
  42. 42. A flourishing people <ul><li>God’s worshiping people are described in the last four verses of the Psalm. </li></ul><ul><li>They are contrasted against the wicked, who like grass, flourish briefly. They leave no substance, leaves or roots. </li></ul><ul><li>They vanish before the heat of the sun and there in no trace that they ever existed. </li></ul><ul><li>They perish and are scattered as dust. </li></ul>
  43. 43. An overcoming people <ul><li>In contrast to the wicked, God’s people are likened to palm trees or the cedars of Lebanon. </li></ul><ul><li>The grass only grows a few centimetres and burns off in a few weeks. </li></ul><ul><li>In contrast the date palms can live for 100 years and the cedar’s of Lebanon can live for 350 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Both date palms and cedars are large trees. </li></ul>
  44. 44. A flourishing people <ul><li>The same sun that burn the grass up, and causes it to vanish, enables the date palm and the cedar to prosper and grow. </li></ul><ul><li>The contrast is stark, yet clear. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who worship God are the ones who flourish in the end. </li></ul><ul><li>They will flourish in the courts of our God. </li></ul>
  45. 45. A flourishing people <ul><li>These blessed worshipers will still be bearing fruit into their old age. </li></ul><ul><li>They will stay fresh and green. </li></ul><ul><li>They will continue to show the blessing they have and they will continue to be productive long after their time. </li></ul><ul><li>They will not take credit for their blessing but will assign it to their God. </li></ul>
  46. 46. A flourishing people <ul><li>They will say: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no wickedness in him. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They acknowledge in their worship that God is sovereign. </li></ul><ul><li>Everything comes from God, and however the world perceives it, we know that he is not wickedness or perverseness. </li></ul>
  47. 47. A flourishing people <ul><li>If David is the author of this Psalm we know that his life had its highs and lows. </li></ul><ul><li>He was chosen by God to be King, yet the existing King, Saul, hated him for this. </li></ul><ul><li>He was pursued and hunted. </li></ul><ul><li>He became King but saw conflict in his family that lead to civil war. </li></ul>
  48. 48. A flourishing people <ul><li>Yet the Psalmist writes that God is my rock. </li></ul><ul><li>He says he can find no wickedness in God. </li></ul><ul><li>God is sovereign and the writer proudly proclaims this in his worship of God. </li></ul>
  49. 49. Conclusion
  50. 50. Conclusion <ul><li>A number of themes run through this Psalm. </li></ul><ul><li>They are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The importance of worship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God’s sovereignty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The futility of opposition to God </li></ul></ul>
  51. 51. Conclusion <ul><li>Worship should be at the heart of the Christian faith. </li></ul><ul><li>It is good to worship God and to proclaim his love and faithfulness to his people. </li></ul><ul><li>It is good to do this in an assembly of believers. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to praise God and declare his goodness to each other. </li></ul>
  52. 52. Conclusion <ul><li>Those who worship God are blessed in many ways and are closer to him, and he closer to them. </li></ul><ul><li>John Piper’s idea of Christian Hedonism is a valuable concept: </li></ul><ul><li>“ God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him .” </li></ul>
  53. 53. Conclusion <ul><li>Warren Wiersbe says that it is God’s Sovereignty that is at the true heart of this Psalm. </li></ul><ul><li>He says everything revolves around verse 8. </li></ul><ul><li>The ESV translates it as: “ but you, O Lord, are on high forever; ” </li></ul><ul><li>Whilst the NKJV translates it as: “ But You, Lord, are on high for evermore. ” </li></ul>
  54. 54. Conclusion <ul><li>God is over everything. </li></ul><ul><li>God is in control of everything. </li></ul><ul><li>We may not understand why things happen. </li></ul><ul><li>That is because we don’t know God’s thoughts and plans. </li></ul><ul><li>But we do know he is sovereign. </li></ul>
  55. 55. Conclusion <ul><li>We do know that he is the rock on which we stand. </li></ul><ul><li>We know there is no unrighteousness in him. </li></ul><ul><li>We know that we only flourish when we are relying totally on him for everything. </li></ul>
  56. 56. Conclusion <ul><li>The proof of those statements is in the life of the wicked and unrighteous. </li></ul><ul><li>They are the grass that burn up in the heat of the sun. </li></ul><ul><li>They flash into existence to be swept away. </li></ul><ul><li>A green flourishing hillside baked to dust by the glare and heat of the sun. </li></ul>
  57. 57. Conclusion <ul><li>The self-glorification that evildoers seek is swept away. </li></ul><ul><li>It is nothing compared with the palm trees and cedars planted in the house of God. </li></ul><ul><li>They endure and continue to produce fruit. </li></ul>
  58. 58. Conclusion <ul><li>Heart felt worship is the key. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to give thanks. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to praise. </li></ul><ul><li>We need declare his love. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to trust our sovereign God. </li></ul>
  59. 59. Praise God Amen