Summary: The awesomeness of God makes us respect and fear Him, yet His love helps us to hope in Him. So, a look at this Psalm will help us remember it.
-Bible is a wealth of writing. Different types of literature: history, genealogy, parable, biography, gospel, prophecy, poetry: the Psalms.
-The Psalms give us more than just words for neat choruses. They give us the right words to use when we address God! They show us how to express our joy, our frustration, our fear, our trust in God. I want for us to learn to love God through the Psalms.
-note the command verbs in vv 1-3: sing joyfully; praise Him; make music; sing to Him; play skillfully; shout for joy (Our congregational singing needs freshness, skill, heartiness) The Psalms give us what we need to make early services sound just as alive as second services! They remind us of reasons to sing out in praise! Why? The awesomeness of God makes us respect and fear Him.
I. Praise Him because of the Wonder of Creation (vv 6-9)
-We owe something to God. Parents recognize that their children owe them obedience and respect simply because they came from their parents, if not for any other reason. God deserves our praise simply because He created us.
A. Creation ex nihilo
-the fact of creation is enough to make us step back in amazement. God did it all with just a word!? "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth....For He spoke and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm." But something about the creation even more wonderful:
Ill - (have 2 people come forward. Give each a margarine tub, one w/ nothing, one w/ playdough. Ask both to open the tubs and make a snowman with what they find inside.) Point: creation ex nihilo is amazing!
-big bang theory presupposes one thing: the existence of something! Granted! God existed!
-that means all things fall into one of 2 categories: Creator and created. Nothing else exists or ever existed apart from Him. The fact that all other things exist because of God and are sustained by God means that all other things are rightfully His and rightfully under His control. We are creatures and we owe God our service simply because He created us. It's His right.
B. The Vastness/Wonder of Creation
-the Bible stresses how creation itself shows that God is worthy of our worship:
"Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker" (Ps 95:6) "Worship Him Who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of water." (Rev 14:7) "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things..."(Rev 4:11) worship is the only response appropriate for the creation to the Creator.
-Not just the fact that He created it from nothing, but because of the size of it...
-Consider the size of creation: The sun is about 1 mil times bigger than the planet earth. There are stars in space that are 500 mil times the size of our sun. It is one of about 100 bil stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. There are somewhere around 100 bil galaxies w/in the observable universe.
Sun is 93 mil miles from here. The nearest star is Alpha Centaury. If a model were to be built to represent the earth and stars, and the earth were a 1" ball, Alpha Centaury would be 51,000 miles away! Our galaxy is about 100,000 light years wide. (a light year is about 5.9 trillion miles). The average distance between neighboring galaxies is about 10 mil light years!
He spoke, and it came to be.
(praise Him because of the wonder of creation)
II. Fear Him because of His involvement with man (vv 10-17)
-the idea of fearing God just doesn't seem to be in vogue anymore. Why fear Him? After all, what is there to be afraid of?
-the very natural response of the creature to his Creator is reverence and respect - that's the kind of fear we are speaking of here, not terror. And it is such an important attitude that John Murray calls it "the characteristic mark of God's people."
A. He watches and knows man
-*vv 13-15 -How does that make you feel?
-Ill - We worry about what people are going to know about us:
-I read somewhere that men are more than twice as likely to wash their hands after using a public restroom if someone else is with them.
-If you fall down or trip, what's one of the 1st things you do? Look around to see if anyone saw it happen!
-If you're going to run for public office, beware the person who can find out about you. Everything you ever did can and will be used against you!
-Think about it, and fear: God knows you. He knows exactly what you're doing, no matter where you are or how much you cover it up. -Some of us must think of God as a rather impotent being: "Don't lie, you're in the church building." Why do we get the idea that God doesn't hear what is said in the locker room, on the job sight, or behind the front door of our houses?