Summary: In Psalm 95 David mentions 3 things we should be thankful for and 3 ways we should express our thanks.
Come Before His Presence with Thanksgiving
November 19, 2012
TEXT: Please turn in your Bibles to Psalm 95
Illus. – A man was lost in the desert for five days and he came to the home of a preacher. Tired and weak, he crawls up to the house and collapses on the doorstep. The preacher takes him in and nurses him back to health. Feeling better, the man asks the preacher for directions to the nearest town. The preacher directs him, and offers to lend him his horse to make it. “But,” the preacher warns, “there’s something special about this horse. I’ve trained him to be a CHRISTIAN horse. You must say ‘Thank God’ to make him GO, or TO INCREASE HIS SPEED and ‘Amen’ to make him STOP or he’ll look at you like a dumb old mule.”
Anxious to get to town, the man says, “Sure, whatever” and gets on the horse. Testing the horse, he says, “Thank God” and sure enough, the horse starts trotting. A bit later he says again, “Thank God” and the horse speeds up. Feeling really brave, the man says, “Thank God” a third time, and the horse is soon up to a full run!
Suddenly he sees he’s heading straight for a huge cliff and in a panic yells “Whoa!” But the horse doesn’t even slow down, because you see, he’s a Christian horse! The cliff is looming ever closer and he’s doing everything he can to make the horse stop, yelling all the wrong words: “Whoa! Stop! Hold on!” Finally he remembers the correct command and shouts, “AMEN!!!”
The horse comes to s screeching halt a mere step from the cliff’s edge. The man, panting with his heart racing, wipes the sweat from his face; leans back in the saddle; and gasping for air he says with relief, “THANK GOD!”
This Thursday will be the American Thanksgiving, and I hope for you it’s more than a time off from work and a time for turkey and football. It ought to be a time to THANK GOD for all His goodness to you. Thanksgiving should be such a part of our daily lives, that the word thanksLIVING better characterize our lives.
Psalm 95, attributed to David, exhorts us to be thankful and to give praise to God. David begins this way in verses 1-2 – “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.”
Let’s see what truths David has for us about thanksgiving in this Psalm:
I. FIRST, DAVID MENTIONS THREE THINGS WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL FOR:
• The first one is for God’s POWER – Verse 3-6
David mentions two realms God manifests His power:
1) One is in the SPIRITUAL realm – Verse 3 – “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.”
He says that God is “a great King above the gods.” This is not an admission that other gods actually exist, but a statement that God is supreme above ALL, even above vain idols that are imbued with importance or power by mankind’s corrupt imagination.
2) Second, God is all-powerful in the PHYSICAL realm.
Verse 4 says, “In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.” – God rules over the deepest recesses of the earth, and also the highest heights of the mountains.
Verse 5 – “The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.” – He’s the creator of both the sea and the earth.
Verse 6 – “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.” – He is also OUR maker as well as the maker of earth and sea.
David is saying that God is the greatest and most powerful Being in the universe. There is NOTHING and NO ONE more powerful than He. This Thanksgiving, be thankful for such an all-powerful God—one who is supreme; is more powerful than all; is greater than all; who created it all.
This is all very wonderful and amazing…but it’s a little of intimidating, isn’t it? I mean, He’s this incredible, all-powerful, supreme Being, right? Yes, but that’s not all He is…
3) David also says we should be thankful that God seeks a PERSONAL relationship with us – In verse 7 David says, “For he is our God…”
God is not just some great, big, impersonal Being in the sky; He’s a God who is PERSONAL, who is there for us, who has intimate care for His children. So David feels comfortable with calling Him “OUR God.”