Summary: This series of sermons outlines the covenantal relationship between God and His people. Over the next few weeks, I intend to address the Covenant Lord, The Covenant People, Worship, Sacraments, Family, and the Future.
SUMMARY: The people of the covenant Lord should make praise to the powerful creator God. Because he is the Sovereign Covenant and controlling maker and frustrator of the nations.
In 1992, when the Mississippi Govenor, Kirk Fordice, stated unreservedly “America is a Christian nation” the response bordered on hysteria.
But before that ... Congress, declared 1983 to be the “Year of the Bible” — stating that the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the US as a distinctive and blessed nation....Biblical teaching inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the US (Public Law 97-280, Stat. 1211, approved 10/4/1982).
But before that ... Former Chief Justice Earl Warren, 1954, said, the history of our country and the documents/charter exhibit the same objective: “A Christian land governed by Christian principles...”
But before that ... Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863, appointed a National Fast Day and declared, “It is the duty of nations as well as men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”.
But before that ... George Washington Oct 3, 1789, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly implore his protection and favor.”
But before that ... Mayflower Compact 1620 was a covenant “in the presence of God,” “In the name of God, Amen...by the Grace of God...have undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith.”
But before that ... Calvin wrote to the King of France in 1536, "Now, that king who in ruling over his realm does not serve God’s glory exercises not kingly rule but brigandage [oppression]. Furthermore, he is deceived who looks for enduring prosperity in his kingdom when it is not ruled by God’s scepter, that is, his Holy Word; for the heavenly oracle that proclaims that ’where prophecy fails the people are scattered’ (Prov. 29:18) cannot lie."
But before long before that Psalm 33:12 says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD!"
Bruce Metzger describes this Psalm as "The Greatness and Goodness of God." It is classified as a “hymn of praise” and the movement of psalm is praise to hope.
Its outline is:
The Response of Praise to the Sovereign Covenant Lord (1-3)
The Reason of Praise to the Sovereign Covenant Lord (4-7)
The Resolution of Praise to the Sovereign Covenant Lord (8-17)
The Rejoicing of the Praiseful/Hopeful in the Sovereign Covenant Lord (18-22)
1. The Response of Praise in the Righteous to the Sovereign Covenant Lord (1-3)
Verses 1-3 are an invitation to the righteous to praise God.
Make time for joyful praise: Psa 33:1 Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones. J.A. Alexander says, “the Hebrew verb...originally means to dance for joy, and is therefore a very strong expression for the liveliest exultation.”
Prince of preachers, Spurgeon says, “To rejoice in temporal comforts is dangerous, to rejoice in self is foolish, to rejoice in sinis fatal, but to rejoice in God is heavenly. He who would have a double heaven must begin below to rejoice like those above.”
“Righteous ones” reminds us of Hab. 2:4, "Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith." This the same term.
Cloth yourself with praise, the clothes of the righteous: 1b Praise is becoming to the upright. (Heb. yasar, Gr. euthus) “the straight and narrow.”
The Psalmsist appreciates the use of musical instruments in praise: 2 Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; Sing praises (PLAY / MAKE MUSIC) to Him with a harp of ten strings.
The verb [rmz] "make , music, melody." We are called here to learn new praise: 3 Sing to Him a new song. Joseph A. Alexander again says, “A new song implies the continual recurrence of fresh reasons and occasions for the praise of God, and also the spontaneous ebullition of devout and thoukful feelings in the hearts of those by whom the praise is offered.”
Don Wyrtzen, a contemporary Christian composer and commentator on Psalms says, “The very nature of music is to change — and true artists, by definition, grow steadily, change constantly, and create regularly.”
Moreover, we are to "Praise skillfully" - 3b Play skillfully with a shout of joy. An example of this is 1Sam 16:17, David played “well."
Knowing truth brings praise to the heart. The knowledge of God is the air that the worshiper must breath.