WORSHIP REFLECTS ON THE CHARACTER OF GOD DISPLAYED
IN HIS AWESOME WORKS!
Alphabetic Psalm = each verse starts with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet
(cf. Story told by daughter just starting at Univ. of Richmond: fellow student commented:
Isn’t Rousseau French?
But he wrote in such excellent English! No concept of the work of translation.
Sometimes we miss some of the subtleties that created extra beauty in the original language.)
I. HEARTFELT PRAISE EXPRESSES OUR WORSHIP (:1,10)
A. Praise and Thanks must Originate from the Heart
"with all my heart " (v.1)
the Lord is not fooled by external worship; by the hypocrisy of religious rites
B. The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Worship (:10)
it is certainly the beginning of Wisdom which is what we need to properly reflect on the character of God, to appreciate His awesome works, and to respond with heartfelt Worship
Obedience is the key to maintaining that proper attitude of the fear of the Lord and thus being continually blessed with more and more wisdom and
"A good understanding have all those who do His commandments" (:10)
C. Praise must be Voiced in the Company of God’s People
(not just a private matter) (:1)
1. "in the company of the upright" = smaller, more intimate cell group
2. "in the assembly" = larger gathering
D. Praise Endures Forever (:10)
Forever = a long time; what else can we participate in that has eternal value?
Steve Zeisler: Now, the NIV says, "To him belongs eternal praise," but that is slightly misleading. It is true that he will always deserve praise, but that isn’t the point the psalmist is making here. The point is that when his praise is uttered from the
heart, it lasts forever. A shout in a cave does not vanish into the air as quickly as a shout
made in an open field. It echoes and lasts longer as a result. This verse suggests that, in some sense, genuine praise never "vanishes from the air," becoming instead part of an everlasting song offered by the creation to the Creator.
So Praise starts with the Fear of the Lord and it never Ends!
II. WORSHIP REFLECTS ON THE CHARACTER OF GOD (:2,4,6)
A. Requires Diligent Study -- But Delightful Study (not burdensome) (:2)
"Great are the works of the Lord. They are studied by all who delight in them."
1. Diligent Study
2. Delightful Study
B. Requires Alert Memory (:4)
"He has made His wonders to be remembered"
C. Requires Response to Revelation (:6)
"He has made known to His people the power of His works"
III. THE CHARACTER OF GOD IS DISPLAYED IN HIS AWESOME WORKS (:2-9)
A. Displays of His Power and Majesty in Nature (:2-3)
cf. The seven wonders of the world
"Great are the works of the Lord" (:2)
"Splendid and majestic is His work" (:3)
B. Displays of His Grace and Compassion in His Providential Care of His People (:4-5)
1. Gracious and Compassionate
2. Illustration: takes care of the physical needs of His children
"He has given food to those who fear Him"
3. Based on His Faithfulness to His Covenant
C. Displays of His Truth and Justice (His Unchanging Nature) in His Program for History (:6-9)
1. Faithfulness to His Precepts
2. Deliverance through Redemption
3. Faithfulness to His Covenant
"Holy and awesome is his name"
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom"
"His praise endures forever"
* * * * * * * * * *
1) What does it mean to give all your heart to God in the presence of other Christians?
Does it involve interacting with them or just a testimony of encouragement before them?
2) It is always a pleasure to see God work. How can you actively seek out more of these opportunities? Will your pleasure increase if you are a participant in this work with God?
3) Does the fact of God’s eternity and changelessness affect the degree of trust you place in Him, more so than knowing that His holiness underlies every decision made?
4) Obeying God takes you places you wouldn’t go otherwise and allows your understanding to grow. What are the areas in your life that lack growth and are snares to you? Determine how you can respond to God obediently in these weak areas and purpose to do so.
Download the entire Psalms commentary in pdf format
(including notes on each psalm from other commentators)