Summary: A sermon on Psalm 111
Sometimes fear of punishment motivates better than anything else. One mother decided she would put the fear of a speeding ticket in the speeding drivers going past a local elementary school. Every morning she would park her car in front of the elementary school and point her black hair dryer - shaped like a radar gun, out of the window at speeding cars. The effect was dramatic as drivers slowed down fearing they might receive a speeding ticket. “Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.” Psalms 34:9, NIV.
Start with Vs. 10- Fear. Two kinds of fear:
1. Fear in the sense of being afraid of God. This is not the original fear of God, this came to be because of sin. It is the fear of sinners before the all knowing God of wrath and judgement. Given the fact of sin, the fear of terror is a legitimate fear as experienced by sinners. This kind of fear will never completely leave us even after trusting Christ for salvation and this is a good thing. The fear of God is a strong motive for obedience and service. It is an incentive for avoiding sin and doing good.
2. This is not how God wants us to feel about Him. There is another fear that is more basic and more natural than terror, and which is the proper response of the creature to the Creator. This fear is a sense of reverence, respect, and awe. Vs. 9 says that awesome is His name. This fear is that the great and glorious Creator is a Being so awesome that we cannot help but be overwhelmed with an sense of awe at the very thought of Him.
“Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you--majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” Exodus 15:11, NIV.
Since our God is beyond us (transcendent) and invisible to the human eye, we need to see some of the things that God has done to appreciate Him. We need something tangible. “Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works on man’s behalf!” Psalms 66:5.
Why should we fear God? Because of God’s great wonders or works on our behalf. “O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?” Deuteronomy 3:24, NIV.
Thesis: Let’s look at 3 great works of God this morning
Glorious works (deeds) vs. 3
The glory of God is God’s infinite significance, the totality of His perfections, the fullness of God compressed into a single word.
God is called the King of glory, the Lord of glory, the Father of glory, and the God of glory.
No work of God displays His glory more intensely than His work of creation. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone” Job 38:4-7, NIV.
It is difficult to imagine a more impressive event than creation. Even though we were not there to witness this, we do see the results all around us. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalms 19:1, NIV.
Majestic works (deeds) vs. 3
Majesty speaks of supreme authority. God is the supreme authority. Still to this day when someone speaks to a king or queen they begin with “Your Majesty.” New Testament says this “God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,” 1 Timothy 6:15.
“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.” Psalms 8:1, NIV.
Powerful works (Vs. 6)
The greatest evidence of God’s omnipotence is creation. In 6 days God made all of it.
Think about the atom. Our minds cannot appreciate the minuteness of a single atom, nor the wonder of its construction. Electrons move around the atom’s nucleus at nearly the speed of light. By virtue of its construction, an atom is mostly empty space. The actual material in it amounts to only one trillionth of its volume. By using this one basic construction unit, God made the universe whose diversity and beauty stagger the senses.
If God can do this by His power, He can give the Israelites the lands of other nations.
Righteous works (Vs. 3)
“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”” Romans 1:17, NIV.