PSALM 92 TALK: IT IS GOOD TO PRAISE THE LORD

PSALM 92 TALK: IT IS GOOD TO PRAISE THE LORD

 (A Psalm that explores why we should praise God always because he is good in so many ways. We should praise him because he is the exalted king of everything who made this world and universe and who in love has saved us and now wants to bless our lives if we but turn to him and praise his name.)

 THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide”.

 INTRODUCTION

 I have referred before to a hymn written by Henry Francis Lyte (1793 – 1847), “Abide with Me” in my Psalm Talk for Psalm 55. There is another hymn Lyte wrote that is also a favorite with me called, “Praise my soul the king of heaven”. The first verse of that great hymn goes like this:

Praise, my soul the king of heaven

To his feet your tribute bring;

Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,

Who like me his praise should sing?

Alleluia, Alleluia!

Praise the everlasting King!

I pointed out in my Psalm 55 talk that “Abide with me” was written around three weeks before Lyte’s death at the tender age of 54 which, came about because for most of his life he suffered from chronic asthma and tuberculosis. Even though he suffered series illness most of his life he still penned the beautiful hymn of praise, “Praise my soul the king of heaven”.

To show he praised God with his debilitating illness in mind I discovered in my research of his hymn a fifth verse which Lyte wrote and has been sadly dropped from the modern singing of this beautiful hymn of praise and this fifth verse goes like this,

Frail as summer’s flower we perish

Blows the wind and it is gone.

But, while mortals rise and perish,

God endures unchanging on.

Praise him! Praise him!

Praise the high eternal One!

Even though Lyte suffered greatly during his relatively short life he still continued to work for God in praise and service as a minister of a small church in England at a place called Lower Brixham, Devonshire where it is said he established a Sunday School that had over 800 children and of course he also enriched the lives of his community and generations to come with his wonderful hymns.

Lyte’s hymn was based on Psalm 103 but I find that the words of his hymn fit very well to the teaching of Psalm 92 and I will quote some of the verses of this hymn during my talk on it.

However the one missing element in the hymn “Praise my soul the king of heaven” is the concept of that praising God is good.

This concept opens the Psalm and I believe the Psalm teaches that God is good and it is good to praise him because of what he has done and will do for us out of his great love and goodness for us.

This “goodness” of God should inspire us as it did Henry Francis Lyte to praise God even in life’s difficulties because even in these God is with us seeking to help us.

The Hebrew heading for this Psalm simply reads,

“A Psalm. A song For the Sabbath Day”

 It seems that the ancient Hebrew people, probably the Levite priests allocated different Psalms for different days. Karen Hannah makes this interesting comment about this practice of a different Psalm for each day of the week,

“Every day, when the Temple of God was standing in Jerusalem, the Levitical choir stood on the platform located in the Court of the Women, where all public prayer and worship was conducted, and they sang the psalm of praise for that particular day. Every song was orchestrated by King David and has deep significance. The practice has been preserved in Judaism through the centuries and is continued to this day in private prayer and in synagogue”.

 Even though we know the Psalms of the week, Psalm 24 Sunday, Psalm 48 Monday, Psalm 82 Tuesday, Psalm 94 Wednesday, Psalm 81 Thursday and Psalm 93 Friday only this Psalm, Psalm 92 has a designated day of the week in its heading which is of course Saturday, Psalm 92 which is the Jewish Sabbath day.

Why was Psalm 92 chosen for the Sabbath day?

The answer to this is not clear but it could have to do with the obvious reference to the creation in verses 4 and 5,

“For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done.How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!”

Genesis 2: 1 and 2 says,

“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work”.

Throughout the creation story in Genesis one we read words like, “And God saw that it was good” (vs’s 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). Then finally in verse 31 we read,

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good”.

 Psalm 92, the Psalm allocated to the Sabbath day, the day of rest commences with the words,

“It is good to praise the Lord”.

 We cannot tell when this Psalm was written and we can only conclude two things, it is very old and secondly it appears to have been written after a great defeat by God over his enemies who were an enemy of Israel. This is because verse 11 says,

“My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes”.

Some have suggested this could refer to the defeat of the Babylonians by the Persians, which led to the Jews being able to return to Jerusalem, but I think it is older than this but I cannot pinpoint a particular defeat of an enemy of Israel for this Psalm.

If the previous Psalm, Psalm 91 was inspired by events in the time of King Jehoshaphat when God defeated a combined army of three Nations in 897BC recorded in (2 Chronicles 20) and because this Psalm is placed straight after Psalm 91 then maybe this Psalm could also fit this time period but we cannot know for sure,

With the theme of the first line of this Psalm namely,

“It is good to praise the Lord”

I have broken this Psalm into four parts under the following headings:

  1. 1 – 3   – IT IS GOOD TO PRAISE THE LORD
  1. 1a         – It is good
  2. 1b & 3 – It is good to praise the Lord with music
  3. 2          – It is good to praise the Lord with words
  1. 4 – 5   – WHY IT IS GOOD TO PRAISE THE LORD
  1. 6 – 9   – WHY IT IS NOT GOOD TO NOT PRAISE THE LORD
  1. 6 – 7   – They perish because they are fools
  2. 8 – 9   – They perish because they oppose the exalted king
  1. 10 – 15 – THE GOOD THAT COMES TO THOSE WHO PRAISE THE LORD
  1. 10 – 11 – Exalted to see God at work
  2. 12 – 15 – Flourishing and growing even in old age

Lets then have a close look at the first section of this Psalm:

  1. 1 – 3   – IT IS GOOD TO PRAISE THE LORD

 I have broken this first section into three parts and the first part looks at the opening words of the Psalm in verse 1 and the second looks as musical accompaniment in 1b and verse 3. While the third section looks at praising God with our words in verse 2.

  1. 1a         – It is good
  2. 1b & 3 – It is good to praise the Lord with music
  3. 2           – It is good to praise the Lord with words

 Lets have a close look at the first part:

  1. 1a       – It Is good

 So the Psalm starts with the words,

“It is good to praise the Lord”

 As I indicated in the introduction the word “good” appears in the opening chapter of the bible, Genesis one where it is used six times. The Cambridge Bible commentary explains the expression “It is good” this way,

“A tribute due to God; as a salutary and delightful occupation for man”.

 Leopold explains the expression this way,

”Good’ seems to be a rather colourless word for describing how “salutary’ and ‘delightful” is it to praise the Lord”.

 I like the idea that it is good for us to praise the Lord because it is our occupation or the reason why God made us. I have quoted a number of times throughout my Psalm talks the first question and answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism,

“What is the chief end of man?

  1. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever”.

Psalm 86: 9 and 10 speaks of how the “Nations” or mankind have been made to glorify God,

“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.10 for you are great and do marvellous deeds; you alone are God”.

 While Psalm 16: 5 – 11 speaks of how we find our ultimate joy in God alone,

“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. 11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand”.

Many other scriptures could be quoted on these two great reasons why we were made by God but I will give just one more that is Paul’s word on why we must praise God and particularly Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 5: 18,

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

Not how Paul says that praise or giving thanks in all circumstances is God’s will in Christ Jesus.

Tremper Longman 111 says that it is good to praise the Lord because it is “Right” and Spurgeon sums it all up with these words,

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, or Jehovah. It is good ethically, for it is the Lord’s right, it is good emotionally, for it is pleasant to the heart, it is good practically, for it leads others to render the same homage”.

The fact that the Jews used this Psalm as a major part of their Sabbath worship is clear because it is an instruction of “Good” or “Right” praise of the Lord which is the basis of all biblical worship.

  1. 1b & 3 – It is good to praise the Lord with music

The second half of verse 1 simply says,

“And make music to your name, O Most High”.

 Music was a major part of the ancient Hebrew worship and this seems to go right back to the time of Moses where the first thing he does after God leads him and his people across the red sea and after he destroyed the Egyptian army is sing a great song, Exodus 15.

David was a great musician and song – writer and he seems to be the one who set up detailed arrangements for music and he often speaks of praising the Lord with music in his Psalms, as David declares in Psalm 32: 11,

“Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart”!

 David wrote many new songs, that became Psalms after significant events in his life as 2 Samuel 22: 1,

“David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul”.

David attributes these “New Songs” of praise as coming from God himself in Psalm 40: 3,

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord”.

So right through the Old Testament we read of music as a means of praise and worship and even after the return from Babylon Ezra re- introduces praise and worship with music, Ezra 3: 10 – 11,

“ When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David king of Israel. 11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:

 “He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid”.

In the New Testament Paul wrote to two churches about praise and worship using music, Ephesians 5: 19 – 20,

“Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

And Colossians 3: 15 – 17,

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 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. 17 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”.

Finally verse 3 of Psalm 92 speaks of using musical instruments in the musical praise of the Lord,

“To the music of the ten- stringed lyle and the melody of the harp”.

These instruments are first mentioned in the time of David in 2 Samuel 6: 5,

“ David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbal”.

David himself is known even at a very young age as a very fine musician and is picked out as a good player of the harp to sooth the troubled soul of the rebellious King Saul in 1 Samuel 16: 17 – 18,

“So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”

18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.”

The book of Revelation has many references to musical instruments accompanying great singing and in Heaven and in Revelation 14: 2 – 3, we even have a reference to the sound of harps,

“And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders”.

Sadly some Christian churches over the years have banned the use of musical instruments in worship but this I believe comes from a false interpretation of certain bible verses. The bulk of the bible speaks like verse 3 in Psalm 91 of using musical instruments in our good praise of the Lord.

However the warning is that our use of musical instruments like our singing must be done in praise and worship of the Lord or to the glory of God as everything we do must be likewise as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10: 31,

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”.

This music is to be made for the worship of the God of the bible here called “Most High” which in Hebrew is the words “Elyon” and I came across this ancient biblical name for God in the last Psalm, Psalm 91 verse 1, so I will quote myself directly from my Psalm talk on that Psalm.

The words “Most High” is an ancient Hebrew name for God which in Hebrew is the word Elyon”. We first come across this special name for God in the remarkable encounter Abraham had with the ancient king of Jerusalem then called Salem in Genesis 14: 18 – 20,

 “ Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything”.

Albert Barnes explains the meaning of the name “Elyon” this way,

 “Of the Most High – Of God, represented as exalted above all; over all the universe”.

 If the God of the bible is exalted over all or is over everything in the universe then his ability to protect those who are connected to him is enormous.

 Jesus in the New Testament is given great-exalted names that denote his unique power and strength and Matthew points out two of the great names for Jesus Christ and there meanings in Matthew 1: 21 – 23,

 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

 22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”)”.

Jesus is our Savoir who will save us from our sins and Immanuel – God with us.

Jesus is this “Eylon”, Most High God who came down to become one of us to save us from our sins and then he comes beside us and within us through his Holy Spirit to protect all who come to faith in him.

 John 10: 27 – 30,

 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

So right here in the first verse of Psalm 92 we have a reason for why it is good to praise the Lord because of who he is “The Most High” God, the supreme one over all things and Jesus is that God come to be with us, “Immanuel”, so we must praise him with our music, our words and our very lives.

  1. 2           – It is good to praise the Lord with words

 In verse 2 we have the reason why we must us words in our praise of the Lord but not just any words but words that proclaim God’s love and faithfulness,

“To proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night”.

 So good praise of God is not just a lot of noise as the message of God’s word must be able to be clearly heard. I have attended many church services both here in Australia and overseas where the amplifiers have been turned up so loud I cannot hear or understand the words being sung.

One private test for me of whether the music is turned up to load is whether I can sing my tenor parts and actually harmonise with other voices in the congregation. Sadly I have even stopped singing in some church services I have attended because the music was simply drowning out everyone except for the singers up the front who had microphones.

Verse 2 of this Psalm says that the essence of good praise of the Lord is the proclamation of the love and faithfulness of God, which is a concept right through the book of Psalms.

David spoke a lot about these two ideas in many of his Psalms and one Psalm of David, Psalm 57 features this wonderful concept. The essence of this concept in this Psalm is in verse 3,

“He sends from heaven and saves me; God sends his love and his faithfulness”.

 God inspired me to write a wonderful new song based on what I learnt from this Psalm and the first verse and chorus of that song go like this,

“Trust in God’s love and faithfulness

Because of Jesus Christ

Who came to earth to die for us

And rise to give us life.

No matter what life brings to us

Be sure to realise

That Christ is right beside us

To help us in our lives.

 Chorus:

 God’s love and faithfulness

In Jesus we see.

God’s love and faithfulness

He’s always with me”.

 Verse 2 says that this good praise of God should be in the morning and the night, meaning the whole day or at all times which again is what Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5: 18,

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

So the good praise of God’s love and faithfulness is in fact a way of life which is what Paul says in Romans 12: 1,

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship”.

 However this Psalm’s heading says that this Psalm was particularly directed to the Sabbath day when Jewish people gathered together to offer God the good worship He deserves. The last verse of my “Love and faithfulness” song speaks of this,

“My heart is steadfast trusting God

Who gives us all his love

And I will sing of what his done

And raise his name above.

I’ll go into this world and praise

God’s love and faithfulness.

Join the fellowship of praise

Proclaiming God’s the best.”

 In Christ, the New Testament tells us how God has ransomed us through his death on the cross. He has healed us of all our sins, restored us to be in a relationship with God again and finally has made this all possible because of his wonderful forgiving love.

Just as Paul declares, so beautifully in Romans 5: 6 – 11,

 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation”.

I close this first section with the words of Henry Francis Lyte’s first verse of his hymn

“Praise my soul the king of heaven”.

Praise, my soul the king of heaven

To his feet your tribute bring;

Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,

Who like me his praise should sing?

Alleluia, Alleluia!

Praise the everlasting King!

  1. 4 – 5   – WHY IT IS GOOD TO PRAISE THE LORD

In verses 4 and 5 the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 92 goes on to declare why it is good to praise the Lord with these words,

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!”

 I see three reasons why it is good to praise the Lord I these two verses:

  1. God’s deeds and works
  2. God’s handiwork
  3. God’s profound thoughts

I will now comment on each of these three reasons why it is good to praise the Lord:

  1. God’s deeds and works

Both verse 4 and five speak of the deeds or works of God which I think is more to do with what God had done and continues to do in our world in his acts of love and salvation. Tremper Longman 111 says this,

“No specific deeds are mentioned, but the Old Testament is full of accounts of God saving his people”.

 The big account of God’s works or deeds that stands out in the Old Testament is the saving of his people out of slavery in Egypt and in doing so the destruction of an entire Egyptian army at the crossing of the red sea. As I said before one of the first great songs of praise of the Hebrew people is Moses son in Exodus 15.

Moses opens his song of God’s good deeds of salvation with these incredible words of praise in verses 1 and 2 of Exodus 15,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.“The Lord is my strength and my defence; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him”.

Note how Moses says that “He”, namely God himself hurled the horse and driver in to the sea. Moses recognises that this great victory and rescue mission is a direct result of God working in real time history for his people’s salvation.

David speaks like this in many of his Psalms as he writes in the start of his Psalm 18: 1 – 3,

“I love you, Lord, my strength.The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies”.

Note why David believed God was worthy of praise, namely because he called to God for help and in real time history God worked and his deeds led to his salvation from his enemies.

This message of God working or of God’s deeds of salvation continues in the New Testament with the message of God sending Jesus into the world on a great rescue mission for us, John 3: 16,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

This rescue mission of God for us took place in real time history and we can look back to God’s work of Salvation, his deeds of love for us and even today we can know his help in our lives as he continues to act in real time history for us.

So we can join the Psalmist and,

“Sing for joy at the works of your hands”.

 As Henry Francis Lyte’s second verse of his hymn, “Praise my soul the king of heaven” declares,

“Praise him for his grace and favour

To our fathers in distress;

Praise him still the same as ever,

Slow to blame and swift to bless;

Alleluia, alleluia!

Glorious in his faithfulness”.

  1. God’s handiwork

I think the works of God’s hands and God’s deeds could be also speaking of his work of creation. This makes a lot of sense if this Psalm was chosen as the Psalm to be sung on the Sabbath day when we stop work like God stopped work and praise God for his wonderful handiwork of creation.

David wrote at least two Psalms that praised God for his good and great work of creation, Psalm 8 and Psalm 19 and I like the opening 5 verses of Psalm 8 here,

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory
in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?  and crowned them with glory and honour”.

Note how even here in David’s praise of God’s handiwork in creation he speaks of his work or deeds in saving his people from their enemies in verse 2b,

“You have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger”.

God made all that is, he entire creation came from his hands and the opening words of the bible simply say,

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.

Science is still trying to figure out how God did it but I believe we will never fully understand how God made this world and this universe. All we know for sure is God spoke and things were created such is the awesome power of God and his word.

The opening verses of Johns Gospel speak of God’s creation through what John calls “The word”, John 1: 1 – 5,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.

A little further on John tells us who this “Word of God” is in John 1: 14,

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”.

Jesus is the one who as God in heaven made all things and it is his handiwork we should offer good and acceptable praise to.

The writer to the Hebrews says much the same thing but adds even more reasons why we should offer good praise to Jesus Christ in Hebrews 1: 1 – 4,

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs”.

Note how the writer to the Hebrews also includes the work of Salvation as part of Christ handiwork in verse 3b,

“After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven”.

One day everyone will acknowledge who Jesus is and what he has done for us as Paul states in Philippians 2: 9 – 11,

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

But for some this will be a fearful and terrible day for this universal praise of Jesus will be when he returns again and then the opportunity to turn to him in faith and obedience and praise will be over.

The third section of Psalm 92 will deal with this.

  1. God’s profound thoughts

There is no doubt that behind the wonders of the creation is a great intelligence so great is God’s intelligence our puny brains cannot really understand it as David speaks of God’s deeds and plans or thoughts in Psalm 40: 5,

“Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare”.

I am a firm believer in the theological / Science explanation of the creation of the world called, “Intelligent Design”. The centre Science and Culture defined intelligent design this way,

“The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection”.

 So verse 5 of Psalm 92 says,

“How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts”.

The intelligent designer then is none other than the God of the Bible who this verse is speaking of. His works are great and his thoughts or intelligence is profound.

The bible has much to say about this and I will refer to just three key scriptures on the thoughts or intelligence of God,

  1. Isaiah 40: 28,

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

  1. Isaiah 55: 9,

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

  1. Romans 11: 33 – 36,

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? ]35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” 36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen”.

When modern science discovers the wonders and complexity of life and the universe around us how can it ignore the amazing intelligent design behind it yet so many still cling to the silly idea that it all came about by accident over millions of years.

No the only real intelligent and reasonable explanation of the origins of life and the universe is that their was a creator behind it, a creator who’s thoughts are so profound we cannot really comprehend them.

However Psalm 92 says,

“It is good to Praise the Lord”

Because it is the Lord, the God of the bible who made it all and who through his love and faithfulness expressed and has given to us through The Lord Jesus Christ salvation and new life to serve him.

I close this second section with the third verse of Henry Francis Lyte’s hymn “Praise my soul the king of heaven”.

“Father – like, he tends and spares us;

All our hopes and fears he knows,

In his hands he gently bears us,

Rescues us from all our foes,

Alleluia, alleluia,

Widely as his mercy flows”.

  1. 6 – 9   – WHY IT IS NOT GOOD TO NOT PRAISE THE LORD

 We come then to the third section of this Psalm which deals with those who refuse to acknowledge the God of the bible as God and who in rebellion to him oppose those who seek to praise and worship him.

I have divided this third section into two parts:

  1. 6 – 7   – They perish because they are fools
  2. 8 – 9 –  They perish because they oppose the exalted king

 Lets look at these two parts a little closer:

  1. 6 – 7   – They perish because they are fools

It is true to say that the majority of mankind rejects the reality of a intelligent designer and because they do they are fools. They are fools because they fail to accept that the God of the bible is the very intelligent designer and this is expressed in verse 6,

“The senseless man does not know, fools do not understand”.

 Both Psalm 14 and 53 speak of the foolishness of the man that says there is no God, verses 1 of those Psalms says,

“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God. They are corrupt their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good”.

 Note here that that first verse of those Psalms not only states that a person who denies the existence of God is a fool but it actually tells us why they think this way. The answer is in a word, sin, which is described in the two Psalms as,

“They are corrupt their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good”.

 Paul gives a more detailed run down of how sin leads to people denying God and his claim as the creator Lord of their lives in Romans 1: 18 – 23,

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles”.

It works like this Paul is saying; the person who denies God’s existence is a person who does not want to acknowledge that God exists because they love their wickedness or at least the sense that they are in charge and not God. If they acknowledge God then they are answerable to someone higher and greater then themselves and that will mean they might have to stop doing things they want to do that the so called God might not like them to continue to do.

The minister at the church service I attend at the moment runs regularly Christianity explained courses and he has told me that some non believers who attend that course have said to him that they can see the truth in the Christian faith and what the bible presents but they are not willing to become Christians because don’t wont or are not willing to change their life styles to become one.

This is sad because I know myself that yes I did give up life style things in my life when I returned to Christ in my late teens after falling away but at the same time I gained far more better things then I ever gave up at the time. For instance I had to stop drinking alcohol as even a small amount of it made me very drunk and sick with migraine headaches but I gained fellowship and friendship with people all around the world. I gained peace in my heart that passes all understanding, I gained someone to turn to in the rough and tumble of life, and need I go on?

Verse 6 then merges into verse 7, which says what they fail to understand when they deny God in their lives,

“That though the wicked springs up like grass and evil doers flourish, they will be destroyed”.

That’s what Paul says in the Romans passage I quoted in Romans 1: 18,

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness”.

So even though for a while God deniers might seem to do well in this life in the end God will catch up with them.

Again we have another Old Testament writer using the analogy of grass, which we also saw in Psalm 90: 5 – 6,

“Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death— they are like the new grass of the morning:In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered”.

Peter in the New Testament picks up this popular image of the fleeting nature of human existence as compared to God’s eternal nature being like grass in 1 Peter 1: 24,

“All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever”.

 Here, Peter picks up the Isaiah 40: 6 – 8 reference to man being like grass which is contrasted to the eternal nature of God’s word. In Psalm 92 the grass image is used of the fleeting nature of wicked or God denying men and women success in life which will only last a short time and then will die or be destroyed by death and the judgment of God,

Only this week I went with my wife to a large graveyard in Sydney to visit her mothers grave and walking around that cemetery, one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere I thought of how all the people buried there once lived lives not thinking much of the certainty of death and for many they probably gave little thought to God and even some openly defied him but this was their destiny, death and the grave that probably came so seemingly quickly in their time in this life.

Others buried there, like my mother in law, we believe had a simply faith in God and particularly, the Lord Jesus Christ now enjoy eternal life with God in heaven as we read in 1 John 2: 17,

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever”.

 John could be so certain of this because he heard and later wrote Jesus great promise of the resurrection that Jesus gives to all who turn and believe in him, John 11: 25 – 26,

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

  1. 8 – 9   – They perish because they oppose the exalted king

 The writer of Psalm 92 then makes it clear why men and women are like grass, fleeting and fragile compared to the eternal nature of God by stating in verse 8 who the God of the bible really is,

“But you, O Lord, are exalted forever”

 The contrast is enormous, mankind is fleeting and fragile like grass but the God of the bible is exalted and lives forever. God is the exalted King of heaven and earth. Spurgeon sums up the contrast between sinful man and eternal exalted God this way,

“God is at once the highest and most enduring of all beings. Others rise and fall, but God is the Most High to eternity”.

 As Peter referring to the prophet Isaiah points out,

 “But the word of the Lord stands forever”.

 It is good to praise the Lord because he alone is the one who is over all and who forever is our exalted king. On my recent visit to Europe I visited as a tourist many famous and luxurious palaces of past and present Royalty but they cannot compare to heaven and the king who sits on the throne of heaven. They lived and died but God lives forever and those who oppose him are said to be in a very awful state according to verse 9, which simply says,

“For surely your enemies, O Lord, surely your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered”.

 The writer of Psalm 92, repeats the phrase, “surely your enemies” twice to emphasize that this is God’s rule or decree for those who oppose or deny to praise him. Their fate is to perish and be scattered.

The term “will be scattered” is the first phrase, I believe this Psalmist picks up from ideas expressed in Psalm 1 and in this case the description of the fate of the wicked is like verse 4 of that Psalm,

“Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away”.

Chaff is scattered by the wind and in Psalm 1 it is contrasted with the great fruitful tree that is planted by a stream of water, which is the faithful follower of the Lord. The use of these images from Psalm 1 become even clearer in verses 12 and 13, which we will look at in the next and final section of this Psalm.

The fate of the wicked or those who deny the exalted God of heaven is made even plainer in the New Testament particularly through the teaching of Jesus and we see this in a passage like Matthew 13: 37 – 42, which is Jesus explanation of the Parable of the Sower or Weeds,

 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

Jesus adds to this description of fate of the wicked or those who deny the God of heaven a word on the fate of the true believer in verse 43,

“The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear”.

  1. 10 – 15 – THE GOOD THAT COMES TO THOSE WHO PRAISE THE LORD

 We come then to the final section of this Psalm, which deals with the good or blessings God promises to those who have good praise for the Lord or for those who have true faith in him, that issues in true praise of him.

I have divided this final section into two parts:

  1. 10 – 11 – Exalted to see God at work
  2. 12 – 15 – Flourishing and growing even in old age

Lets look closely then at each of these two parts:

  1. 10 – 11 – Exalted to see God at work

The Psalmist now speaks of how God blesses those who practice good praise of the Lord and in verse 10 he speaks of God’s personal blessing in his life,

“You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured over me”.

 Alan Harman explains the poetic symbol of the expression “my horn” this way,

“An idiomatic way in Hebrew of describing elevation in position”.

 Which fits the use of the word exalted and the poetic image of this horn belonging to a wild animal gives the idea of strength which some commentators also say a horn can also mean as well.

He is obviously speaking of being strengthened to triumph over his enemies, which the next verse seems to suggest. The concept of oils Harman suggests is its connection with horns being used for carrying oils in ancient times.

However I like Leupold’s explanation of the poetic expression of “oils being poured over” a person,

“It may be possible that the anointing with fresh oil is to recall (as in Psalm 45:7) of some joyous occasion for which men would in days of old anoint their face (see also Matthew 6: 16 -18)”.

 So the Psalmist has been exalted over his enemies in some way and he is speaking in the first person to represent what goodness or blessing God will give those who rightly praise the God of the bible.

The prophecy of Jesus, we read in the previous section from Matthew 13, concerns the coming future final judgment but sometimes God executes smaller specific judgment on individuals and Nations in this life.

Evil wicked people are defeated and brought down like Adolf Hitler in more recent times and evil empires like the Babylonians or Romans in the past.

This is true for the writer of this Psalm as he speaks in terms of being an eye -witness to a recent judgment of God on his adversaries or enemies in verse 11,

“My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes”.

In my introduction I discussed the possible historical event the Psalmist is referring to here and I mentioned that some scholars point to the overthrow of the Babylonians but I think this is not the case because of the obvious reference to the Temple in Jerusalem in verse 13 and this was destroyed by the Babylonians when they conquered Judah around 70 years before the fall of the Babylonians.

I prefer the time of King Jehoshaphat when God defeated a combined army of three Nations in 897BC but I can only say this is pure peculation because it is an excellent example of God fighting for his people against a mighty enemy who sought to destroy God’s people and were caused by God to be defeated when God set a trap for the three armies attacking Judah and heading for Jerusalem.

It is interesting to note that this victory took place as the army of Judah approached their enemies singing praises to their God as we read in 2 Chronicles 20: 21,

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendour of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

 “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”

This fits into Psalm 92 central theme of “It is good to praise the Lord” and shows the power of praise for the great- exalted God of the bible.

So the Psalmist and of course anyone who truly praises the great God of the bible will be exalted in this life from time to time to see God’s victory over God’s enemies.

However in the final judgement of God all true believers of the God of the bible will be exalted to see God’s final victory over all evil forces as we read in Revelation 11: 15 – 18,

 “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”16 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.18 The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

  1. 12 – 15 – Flourishing and growing even in old age

 I see two aspects to this second part of this Psalm, which are:

  1. Flourishing in the Lord we praise
  2. Flourishing even in our old age as we praise God

Lets have a look at each of these:

  1. Flourishing in the Lord we praise

Some of the ideas in these last four verses are very reminiscent of Psalm 1 and this I think is not a coincidence as the writer of Psalm 92 wants to speak of the general good God wants to give those who are involved in the good praise of the Lord.

He speaks in verses 12 and 13 about how we will grow and flourish in this life using the Psalm 1 image of a tree. However he goes further than the Psalm 1 image of a tree unnamed to name two special trees in verse 12,

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon”.

 Psalm 1 verse 3 simply says,

“He (the man who walks in the counsel or word of God) is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does propers”.

 The naming of two trees in Psalm 92 has even more to say about how God blesses those who walk in his ways (follow his word) and offer him good or acceptable worship or praise.

The two trees are:

  1. The Palm Tree
  2. The Cedar of Lebanon

Lets have a quick look at what these two trees have to say about the blessing God has for those who walk in his ways (follow his word) and offer him good or acceptable worship or praise.

  1. The Palm Tree

The Palm tree Tremper Longman 111 explains,

“The Palm tree grows in the well – watered oasis and produces dates, and this is a symbol of life and fertility”.

 Fertility was an extremely important aspect of Ancient Hebrew life and the people of Israel’s great desire for it in the form of crops and human offspring led Israel into the prevalent fertility God’s of their day like Baal worship. These non bible based religions practised Tempe sex with Temple prostitutes as part of its worship and even went as far as offering up human sacrifice often of children.

However in Psalm 92 the God of the bible says that if people offer up good or acceptable praise or worship he will make them flourish like a fertile Palm tree.

Finally the symbol of the Palm tree is mentioned as part of the very inner decorations of the Temple as we see in a verse like 1 Kings 6: 29,

“On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers”.

Which could also explain the concept I verse 13 of this type of tree being planted in the house of the Lord or Temple,

”Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of God”.

Note how the images are not only of Psalm trees but angels (Cherubim) and open flowers again hinting that in God the man of God is heavenly blessed by God.

The New Testament has not got the image of the fertile Palm tree except when it is mentioned as the branches used in the celebration of Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem (John 12: 13). However the New Testament has many references to the incredible blessing of God on those who turn to him in Christ and I will only refer to one, 1 Peter 2: 9 – 10,

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy”.

Note what this blessing of God is for in verse 9,

“That you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light”.

  1. The Cedar of Lebanon

The Cedar’s of Lebanon were the largest known trees of Ancient Hebrew times and would like Palm trees represented fertility but also great power and strength. The Cedar of Lebanon are used a number of times as a image of fertility and strength and a great example of this is Hosea 14: 5 – 6,

“I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots; 6 his young shoots will grow. His splendour will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon”.

Cedars of Lebanon were used as the major timber for the entire Temple complex as we read in 1 Kings 5 and in verse 6 we hear Solomon’s order for timber to be cut for the Temple,

“So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me.”

From then on the word ‘Cedar” is used to describe the main timber used in the construction of Solomon’s Temple.

This again could explain why verse 13 speaks of Palm trees and Cedars of Lebanon being planted in the house of the Lord as there is no other mention of trees being planted in the Temple. We cannot tell for sure that no trees wherever planted in the Temple because all Jerusalem temples were totally destroyed a long time ago.

The poetic image of verse 13 is that in God, represented by his Temple, a symbol of God dwelling with his people, God’s people flourish and this is seen in spiritual terms in the New Testament, like Ephesians 1: 3,

“Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ”.

 Or, Galatians 5: 22 – 26,

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other”.

So far as what verse 13 says about,

“Flourishing in the courts of our God”

We have also in Christ the promise of being in heaven called in the book of Revelation the New Jerusalem or The Heavenly Jerusalem which we see in a passage like Revelation 21: 1 – 4,

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

There of course we will be involved in good or acceptable praise of God forever as we read in another passage in Revelation, Revelation 19: 6 – 8,

“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”

  1. Flourishing even in our old age as we praise God

The last two verses bring this amazing Psalm to and end and as has been the case throughout the Psalm these last two verses are full of informative surprises.

The line the Psalmist takes is that those who offer the Lord good or acceptable worship will flourish in this life and this flourishing like a fertile Palm tree will bear much fruit all its long life, as we read in verse 14,

“They will bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green”.

 This verse reminds me of another earlier Psalm I believe was written by David, Psalm 71, which I wrote a very popular Psalm talk on entitled, “Faithful to God even in our Old Age”. This Psalm appears to have been written by David in his later years as he writes in verse 5,

“For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth”

 And, verse 9,

“Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone”.

 David goes on to speak of great opposition from his enemies who could have been using his age or the fact he was now very old as a weapon against his right or effectiveness to rule as king of Israel.

However David, trusting in his Lord, the God of the bible is determined to be faithful to God even in his old age as he says this in verses 14 – 16,

“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all.16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone”.

So we can have the same resolve even if we face opposition or being treated as irrelevant because of our age and added to this resolve is God’s promise here and Psalm 92 verse 14 tells us we will bear fruit for God right into our old age.

In my Psalm 71 talk I told the true story of a women who was 75 when she came to Christ and soon after this she asked her minister if she could become a Sunday school teacher. The minister did not say no but wisely asked the women to pray and seek God’s guidance about what God wanted her to do for him.

The story goes that not long after talking with her minister she was working in her garden when a Chinese student from Taiwan walked by. He stopped to compliment the old lady on her excellent roses and she struck up a conversation with the young man and invited him in for morning tea. At morning tea she shared her testimony to the young man who became interested in her story.

The young man asked if he could come back to talk some more about the Christian faith and the bible and when he returned a few days later he brought a friend with him. The old women soon had a weekly bible study of up to 70 Chinese students and ended up bringing many of them to the Lord.

This story bears truth to what verse 14 says,

“They will bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green”.

 When I was a young believer myself I organized sunday afternoon visits to some local Nursing Homes. I led a group of around 12 or so young people who went into the nursing homes to sing, pray and encourage the old residence with God’s word.

Some residence could not come down to the common room to join others where we ran a short service of prayer, singing, bible readings and a short message. One very Godly lady we visited had been the faithful wife of a famous minster and preacher and this dear bedridden soul would not let us share in music and prayer unto we had got as many other residence as we could to join her in her room to receive the ministry we were offering.

I remember this frail and elderly lady testifying to us and other residence of the truth of the Gospel and the value of having God in our lives. That women showed me that even in our very old age we can still flourish and bear fruit for God.

The prophet Jeremiah picks up the idea of a tree bearing fruit like we read in this Psalm, Psalm 92 and in Psalm 1 with these words in Jeremiah 17: 7- 8,

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

 Note how Jeremiah speaks of the tree still bearing fruit even when the drought comes which I think is the day of trouble or difficulty which old age can be for many people. The bed ridden Christian women in the Nursing home still bore fruit for God and she continued to minister for God in her difficult life situation.

Paul says this in Philippians 1: 6,

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”.

 For some of us this good work of God in us will go on for a long time, if we live to a great age but we must not give up offering God the good or acceptable praise he deserves because according to Paul he will not give up on us.

The last verse of the Psalm reminds us of the two main things this Psalm has been saying all through it:

  1. We are to praise and proclaim the Lord
  2. God is our Rock or loving protector

The last verse (verse 15) reads like this:

“Proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him”.

 Lets have a look at the two main things this Psalm has been saying which are summarized in this last verse.

  1. We are to praise and proclaim the Lord

The Psalm started with the words, “It is good to praise the Lord”

 It made it clear we should do this with music and the proclamation of God’s love and faithfulness. Now in the last verse it says that the flourishing God of the bible believing person should proclaim,

‘The Lord is upright”

 Allan Harman believes that proclaiming the Lord is upright is,

“Proclaiming the character of God”

 The Psalmist has made it clear that God’s character is love and faithfulness, verse 2, exalted, verse 8 and now “upright” which he makes clear by the final words of the Psalm,

“There is no wickedness in him”.

 God is “Holy” which means separate from sinful fallen man and as the final words say, “There is no wickedness in him” which is a phrase that expresses the meaning of righteousness.

This quality of having no wickedness in him or no sin in him or righteousness is a quality of his Son Jesus Christ and amazingly Paul says this about God in 2 Corinthians 5: 21,

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”.

Jesus achieved this of course on the cross and through his great act of sacrifice for us Paul says this in Romans 3: 22,

“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe”.

This then is the basis of all good or right praise of the God of the bible and this praise should come from us as an expression of our gratitude for what God has done for us as the Psalmist stated in verses 4 and 5,

“For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done.How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!”

Paul shows us how to have this “good” praise for God based on what Jesus has done for us in Ephesians 1: 6 – 8,

“To the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.

With all wisdom and understanding”, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ”.

  1. God is our Rock or loving protector

The last verse also picks up the other key idea of this Psalm, which is the idea of God being our protector, which was also the major theme of the previous Psalm, Psalm 91. The concept of God as our protector comes in the last verse in the simple phrase,

“He (God) is my Rock”

God being our rock is a favourite expression of David in his Psalms like Psalm 28: 1,

“To you call, Lord my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me, For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit”.

Or, Psalm 61: 2b,

“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I”,

 Another song God inspired me to write based on this Psalm has the simple chorus that says,

“Lead me, Lead me

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Help me, Help me,

Help me stand the storms of life I cry”.

 Psalm 92 spoke of God’s great deeds and works in verses 4 and 5 which were not only his deeds and works in the creation of the world but also in his deeds and works in entering real time history and saving his people as he did when he saved his people out of the slavery of Egypt.

He also did a great deed or work when he entered real time human history in the form of a man in the person and work of his son Jesus Christ. We all know the well known Gospel verse John 3: 16,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

 Psalm 92 also speaks of God’s protection in verse 11 where we read,

“My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the roar of my wicked foes”.

 This seems to be speaking of yet another God intervention into real time human history when he fought for his people and won a great victory for them, which protected them from the enemies who sought to destroy them.

We have seen our God entered into real time human history for us in sending his son who gave his life so that we should not perish but have eternal life as John 3: 16 declares.

This again should lead us to offer good or right praise to God as without Jesus and what he has done for us we are lost and without hope.

Paul says this about why we should give praise to the Lord Jesus Christ in Ephesians 2: 4 – 7,

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus”.

Psalm 92 speaks of how in God we are like a tree that flourishes and bears fruit when we are truly in God and are offering up to him praise and worship that is good or acceptable.

I close with an original poem and a prayer:

IT IS GOOD TO PRAISE THE LORD

(Based on Psalm 92)

It is good to praise the Lord

It is good to lift up his name.

Proclaiming his amazing love

To his wondrous vast domain.

To praise him in the morning

And tell of him at night

To use our musical instruments

To declare his strength and might.

 

Refrain:

Praise the Lord

O Praise the Lord

Declare his strength and might

 

Its is good to praise the Lord

For your great deeds bring us joy

Your works made all we see

And this is ours to employ.

Your thoughts we cannot fathom

Our minds could never know

For by your word you made it all

For through your love you now show.

 

Refrain:

Praise the Lord

O Praise the Lord

Yes through your love you now show.

 

Its is good to praise the Lord

But fools they just turn away

They fail to praise the God of all

One day they’ll surely fall.

God will judge this world one day

God’s enemies will be gone

But those who praise his name

Will rise to meet his Son.

 

Refrain:

Praise the Lord

O Praise the Lord

Yes rise to meet his Son.

 

Its is good to praise the Lord

Foe we all flourish in him.

In God we’re like a glorious tree

Bearing fruit in everything.

Praise the Lord all your lives

Proclaim his righteousness

For our God is like a rock to us

He gives us true happiness.

 

Refrain:

Praise the Lord

O Praise the Lord

For he gives us true happiness.

 

By: Jim Wenman

 

PRAYER:

 I praise you Lord for you deserve our praise and I will use my music and my words to praise you morning noon and night. I will sing of your wondrous love and faithfulness expressed in the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ who died for our sins on the cross. May I continue to praise you Lord all the days of my life knowing that your promise is that if we do praise you we will bear much fruit for you and know your eternal happiness. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.