Psalms: The Praise and Worship of God
Open your Bibles, if you would, to the book of Psalms. The first Psalm we'll get into today is Psalm 41, so you can open there. But as you can imagine, we'll be in quite a few different Psalms this morning. If you have your Bible outline journal, one of these things, you can see in there: an outline of the themes, an overview of the book divisions, and also some of the major chapter themes as well. This week we put in there on the notes instead of just blank lines, a few things for you guys to consider: the Purpose, Main Points, What this book teaches about God, and the Application. If we don't get to the application, then we kind of missed the whole point of the preaching experience. The Psalms are about the praise and worship of God. And this morning it's a privilege in this Journey Through the Bible Series, to try and communicate what I think is one of the most life changing books in all of the Scriptures.
In his commentary, Steve Lawson, writes about Martin Luther. Of course you know, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the door of Wittenberg and sparked the greater reformation. Most people associate Martin Luther with the book of Romans, he was studying that book, in depth and was teaching it. But the first book that Martin Luther taught through, which he also continually dove into, was the book of Psalms. On August 16, 1513, he began lecturing on the first book of Scripture that he ever taught, which was the book of Psalms. Four years before the Reformation. So if you wonder, what book in the Bible is going to spark my desire, my worship, my love of God? For Martin Luther, which has changed the world (you are sitting in a Protestant church), it was the Psalms and Romans.
Romans fortified his doctrinal convictions. And his personal studies of the Psalms, Lawson says, were instilled with such a high view of God. Not a low view of God, but a high view of God, one in which God is over all things, one in which we submit to God in all things. Because he had this from the book of Psalms, it is really what gave him the fortification to take on the entire religious system. It's just hard to state how important the Psalms were to him. From his own words, in Luther’s difficult hours, he would turn to his beloved coworker, Philip Melanchthon, and say, “Come Philip, let us sing the Psalms.” They would often sing Psalm 46, set to music. You and I know this as, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Luther said, “We sing this song because it is God with us and his power is miraculously with us and preserves and defends his church and his Word.”
When you think about the Psalms, do you think of just a bunch of songs, all the different types that there are? There are laments, when you're down and you learn how to accurately express your sorrow. There are imprecatory Psalms, we're pretty good at just launching into those, even without knowing them, where you call down God's judgment on your enemies. We like to do that. There are songs of joy and praise. But Luther, Luther fortified his soul with these books. My prayer is that the book of Psalms would instill a bold and confident faith in you. Lawson writes, “though the Earth moves, and the mountains shake, and the seas roar, that those who trust in the Lord would be immovable.” He goes on to say, “May the Psalms fortify your hope in God because your hope is in him alone. And your life is geared towards adoring God. The only One worthy to be praised. Sol Deo gloria.
This morning, I just want to whet your appetite a little bit. For what I consider to be the greatest collection of praise in all the Scriptures. If you would, you can open to Psalm 41, if you're not there already. The question is, is how do we get an idea or how do we digest 150 Psalms, (not just this morning) but 150 Psalms that were written somewhere around over a span of 1,000 years to 1,200 years, from start to finish? How do we get our mind around that? How do we wrap our mind around that? Well, if you look in your outline journal there, you'll see book divisions. The book divisions are collections and they're put together in very specific ways. And I want to just point that out to you so that after you leave here today, even if your Bible doesn't have these book divisions, specifically, set forth in your copy of God's word, you will be able to recognize where the division should be. It's easy to spot. A doxology forms the conclusion of each of the books here.
So at the end of book  – they're not chapters, their books, their individual books, or writings, as they're called in Scripture. But at the end of each one of those book divisions there, there is an emphatic doxology. A doxology is just a form of praise that's given to be used specifically in public worship. Some of the more traditional groups call them liturgies. It just simply means something that we sing or recite together in formal praise, as a group, to God. So in Psalm 41, if you look at verse 13, it says this [Psalm 41:13], “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.” It's a concluding song of praise.
Turn to Psalm 72, verses 18 and 19. See if you can recognize a similar pattern here. Psalm 72:18-19, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! Look at Psalm 89:52, “Blessed be the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.” Seeing a pattern here. That we are creatures created to bless God. You say, “How could I bless a perfect being?” Well, it's not that you're bestowing on him something that he doesn't already need or have. What you are doing is you are giving him praise. That's what Scripture means when it says, to bless God. It's not like he sneezed, and you said, “God bless you.” It's a blessing. It is a form of praise and worship to the only God who is worthy.
Notice the theology you're seeing in here: from everlasting to everlasting, may his glorious name be praised forever, may the whole earth be filled with his praise. This is not just a continent-specific god. This is a God who is over all the earth, for all people. Everyone in every culture, all around the world, needs to submit to the only God. Notice the theology in the Psalms, they are replete with great theology.
Look in Psalm 106:48. Psalm 106 and Psalm 150 kind of transition from just, “Blessed be the Lord.” Now they're saying, “Praise the Lord.” Praise the Lord is a very unique word in Hebrew. And that word is only found in the Psalms. “Praise the LORD” is a form of “Hallelujah.” “Hallelu” in Hebrew means, “to praise.” “Yah” is a form of “Yahweh.” So it's, “Praise the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.” It's translated that way for us. Notice in Psalm 106:48, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’ Praise the LORD!” Let all the people say, “Amen! Hallelujah!” And we don't normally scream, “Hallelujah!” in here. But if you're so moved today, go for it. There you go, “Hallelujah!” It is not just something to be spoken. It is to be something that our whole heart and mind and soul, our whole body and strength, comes together and culminates in praise. And I want to try and prove that to you, at the end of the message, where we go over a Psalm that is unique, Psalm 150. And it is very unique out of all the Psalms.
We need to know a little bit about the context of all of these books. The author of most of them, 75 of them, is specifically King David. So, if you want to know what a heart after God looks like in praise, you would read the Psalms. That is exactly what it looks like. So, if you want your heart to be a heart after God, you would focus your attention on praising God. Using the vocabulary, the phrases, the language of the book of Psalms, there are some surprising authors. Solomon wrote two of them, Moses wrote one, the sons of Korah, a bunch, and some are anonymous.
Some of the themes of the Psalms you can see there, on your outline journal. In a broad way, there are “Songs of Praise, Blessing, and Deliverance,” those are more the happy songs. Then there are “Psalms of Lament” or, you know, sorrow; and “Psalms of Judgment.” What is unmistakable, though, is the faithfulness of God in the Psalms. The righteousness of God, the blessing of God. Almost 100 times do we see the word “blessed” or “bless” in the Psalms. “Love” is spoken of even more, 152 times. “God” is spoken of, with the name “God,” 436 times. And the memorial name of God, given to Moses from the burning bush, “Yahweh,” 795 times, in 150 Psalms.
So, when we sing, and we sing music, and you'll see the little scription at the bottom there, that tells where the words came from. Many times, you'll see that our songs actually come from this book. Now, if our songs come from this book, and this book is focused on the memorial name of God, what are our songs focused on at this church? God, right, very instructive for us. What do we sing about? If we sing a bunch of songs? You know, say from you know what I'm gonna say, right? From Hillsong or Bethel. And Mormons could sing those songs. Are those the best songs for us to sing? No, very good answer. No, they're not. Are they going to teach you heretical views? No. Most of them do not teach the heretical views. They're incredible, musically. But do they specifically woo you to the God of Scripture? No, they do not. That's why we don't sing them, ever. Just to be clear.
These Psalms, if you're a literary junkie, have just an incredible variation. And you think, “Okay, well I'm not a literary junkie.” Well, do you like to pray? Do you like to use different words when you pray? Or do you like to pray the same things every time, all the time? Which I know we all slip into. Well, the Psalms can help expand your description of a God that we believe in by faith, through truth. There's parallelism and repetition, metaphor, and all kinds of nerdy literary words, like inclusio. But the point is, is that they help direct us to God. Did you know that there are Psalms that actually have a chorus in them? A repeated phrase or refrain, after a certain section of words. A verse that goes to a chorus, a verse that goes to a chorus. The Psalms have that. Psalm 107 is one such song. “Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!” That verse is repeated a few times as a chorus in the book of Psalms.
Like I said, a metaphor, Psalm 23:1, “The LORD is my shepherd.’ Last time I looked, right, we don't have Jesus physically here with us, walking us around and whacking us when we're going off the cliff, right? It's a metaphor. He is our Shepherd. But he shepherds us in different ways, you are not actually sheep. They’re metaphors. They help us understand deeper, broader concepts, especially that beautiful psalm, Psalm 23. But I don't just want to talk to you about the Psalms this morning. I want us to get into some of these. And this was the most difficult part of preparing this message for you, which is, “How do I choose out of all of these, which ones to go over?” And fortunately, I've chosen not to go over all of them.
But if you'll turn to Psalm 19. I want to demonstrate from Psalm 19, and from others, some of the amazing things that you can learn from the Psalms. This one is just packed with theology. Some of you probably have it memorized. Look in Psalm 19, starting in verse seven. We would call this probably the greatest, if not one of the greatest, sections on the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. That Scripture is sufficient to guide you in all of life, as First Peter says.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean,
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Now, if I had a brand-new Bible over here, and a pile of gold, and I offered them to you, I think we would all take the gold. You would say, “Well, I could buy a lot of Bibles with it.” But the idea is that the Word is everlasting. It is more valuable and important than things that perish, like gold. So how do you create a desire for God? Have you ever wanted to know that? How do I make my desire for God increase? How does this happen? Psalm 19 answers that question for you. You don't have to wonder ever again. You feast on his Word. You begin to learn that the law of the LORD is not just kind of right. The law of the Lord is perfect. What else do you know that is perfect, in this world? And do not husbands, lean over and say, “You are, Sweetie.”
Right? The law of the LORD is perfect. It revives your soul. Do you ever have dry moments? Do you ever just feel overwhelmed? The Word of God is what revives you. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, enlightening the eyes, making us understand our direction. You don't have to walk through life confused. What should I do next? Where should I go? You don't have to wonder. It even makes wise the simple. Some people seem to have, you know, just this incredible, vast knowledge without studying. Students, you know, those other students that seem to get A's without much work? Yes, we know those students. But it can make you wise, not to get a 100 on your exam, but to know how to live. I mean, how cruel would it be for God to say, “Well, you know, that one's a few sandwiches short of a picnic. So, they're just you know, in another category.” God wants each and every person, no matter what IQ, no matter where you're from, no matter how many degrees, or how few degrees, no matter what education level you have, whether you're in first grade, or whether you just are a continual lifelong learner. He wants you to understand how to love and serve him every moment of your day.
Look at verse eight [Psalm 19:8]. What rejoices the heart according to verse eight? The precepts of the LORD. Right? The commandments, the truths. You don't have to wonder how to have a heart that rejoices in this life. When you find somebody that just, they just gush about the Word. It was said that you would just touch Spurgeon and you poke him or you cut him, he bleeds bibleen. He is constantly in the Word. That's why they call him the, “Prince of Preachers.” It just flows out of him. Why? Because that's what's in him. That's why his heart rejoices and why he is just incredible with the depth and the breadth of communicating God's Word. It's constantly saturating his mind and his heart. See that word in verse 10, “desire.” “More to be desired…than gold, even much fine gold.”
What would happen to the world if we all put that one into practice? I mean, you're talking about a global transformation. That's just a few words. People's lives and careers are made just to get money. How fleeting. Desire can lead to things that are good in Scripture, or bad in Scripture. Desire in and of itself is not a bad thing. Right? When you're trying to find an elder, he who desires the office, desires a good thing. It's a good thing to desire to want to serve God and pour yourself out as a shepherd to God's people. So, Psalm 19 instructs us. It instructs our desires and tells us what we're going to find if we will just pick up the shovel and do the work.
Verse 11 [Psalm 19:11], obedience isn't just for obedience sake. “Moreover, by them is your servant warned;” we're familiar with that, “in keeping them there is great reward.” “Great reward.” So it's not just like there's never a reward. And it's not just that you get Jesus here and now and that's your only reward. You will actually live in a utopia-like society. Except it'll be focused and geared towards the right worship of God. With no sadness, no sorrow, no pain, just joy. Hard to fathom. But that's in the future of all who believe and know and love Jesus Christ.
Psalm 19 teaches us we can trust the Word of God. If it has errors, how could you trust it? Nothing is more attacked than the sufficiency and the reliability of Scripture. And a close second to that, is the authority of God's Word. Yeah, I know it says this, but I don't have to do it. That's the authority of God's Word. The sufficiency and the reliability is that, this is actually the Word of God. It's the God-breathed Word. Psalm 19, can you have a book full of errors and agree with Psalm 19? It's impossible. They are right, they are perfect, they are true. And it's over and over again in the Psalms. And you can see why if it's right and true and perfect, it would lead you to a good place.
And friends, can I just encourage you to saturate your lives with the Word. Carve out the time for it. It's not just in the Psalms. Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God proves true.” “Every word.” It's not just in the New Testament that it says that. “Every word of God proves true.” It will not lead you into error, even. Praise God for that. Friend, there is a depth to Scripture that we have not plumbed. Like when you go to the depths of the ocean, you can find all kinds of new things that don't live anywhere else. There is a depth to Scripture. We should not be satisfied with the sunset view on the top of the ocean. There is a whole world to be explored underneath. And if we would just take the time to dive into it. I think you would come up with wonderful and magnificent things that you would find nowhere else. The Psalms give theological light to the knowledge of God. They bring clarity to life. We don't have to search the world over for truth. It's right here in the Word.
Many in history have been enamored by the Psalms. Charles Spurgeon didn't write many commentaries, but he did write a nice, big commentary on the book of Psalms, we have that back there. He thought of it so highly that he called it, “The Treasury of David.” Some people think David wrote all the Psalms. I don't know that that holds true. We do know the New Testament ascribes some specifically to David. The Lord Jesus, himself, does that in Psalm 110, and others.
But Spurgeon was just enamored with this. Psalm 23, is one of his favorite. Turn there with me if you would. And this is so familiar, we're just going to kind of go through this one quickly. But I had to just read this to you and just let the Word of God be a blessing to us this morning.
Psalm 23, a Psalm of David, this is out of the ESV,
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
[I mean, just put that one into practice, right? “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” I’ve got all my desires taken care of because I’ve got the greatest pearl, the pearl of great price. I’ve got everything I need.]
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
What is not often spoken of about the Psalm – and of course it is packed with theology, it's incredibly pastoral, it's read at most funerals, but I think it should be read often throughout life – But what is worth noting of this Psalm, is the position of the Psalm. See Psalm 22, right before it, sets up Psalm 23. Psalm 22, is a Psalm of the cross. No green pastures, no still waters. And it's only after we read [Psalm 22:1], “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” That we get to Psalm 23 and we see the Lord is my shepherd. See the arrangement of these psalms, they are wonderfully arranged and well thought out. You will notice that the sheep who follow Jesus, those are the ones that he leads beside still waters. The sheep who follow Jesus those are the ones that get their souls restored. The ones who are close by the shepherd do not have to fear evil, ever. Why? You’ve got God Almighty next to you. Why should you be afraid of a hard business meeting? Why should you be afraid of yet another afternoon of seemingly endless parenting? Why should we dread things in life that are truly difficult? If God is with us, you’ll be okay. Those sheep that stay near to God, do have goodness and mercy follow them.
But those sheep who are not nearby, they hear the warnings. They get, the hook wrapped around the neck to pull them back. “Well, I'm following these other good brothers right over the cliff.” Nope, [you] get the hook. “I can't really hear your voice.” Well, that's because you're a few thousand yards away from where you should be. “I'm not sure where I'm supposed to go.” Well, you stopped listening months ago. See the Psalms are at times so soft and subtle to woo you back to Jesus Christ. Though some are prone to wonder, his stern warning leads them away from danger. And when you get the stern warning from Jesus Christ, it’s not something a true believer disdains. When you get rebuked by God himself from his Word, it's a refreshment. It might sting. It might cause you to move quickly in another direction. But it brings you back to the fold, it brings you next to himself, it brings you into his comfort and mercy. Do not fear the discipline and correction of our Father because he disciplines those whom he loves.
You see this as you soak up the Psalms. Turn to Psalm 145, if you would. So we've gone over the theology of some of the Psalms, how it's very instructive. We've gone over the sufficiency of the Psalms, some of the doctrine. We've gone over the pastoral care to be found in the Psalms. And Psalm 145 is one of my favorites. And if you want to learn about the attributes of God and memorize a portion of Scripture, that's absolutely packed, this is your passage. As I read a few verses to you, see if you can pick out the attributes of God in this passage. An attribute is just simply a characteristic of someone or something. And for God, his attributes don't change. They are consistent. So you and I might be merciful one day and a pain the next. God never enters into being, “the pain the next,” he's always merciful and gracious, but just. Right? So his attributes, if they are true about him in one moment, they're always true about him, his characteristics. See if you can pick out some of his attributes as I read.
Psalm 145:1–13 (ESV)
A SONG OF PRAISE. OF DAVID.
1 I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
4 One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
8 The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The LORD is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.
10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and kind in all his works.
How many attributes did you see? It's packed. Let me list some of them, just from those verses. He's praiseworthy, that is his character is praiseworthy. He is of infinite greatness. He is eternal, he is mighty, he is majestic. His deeds are awesome. He has abundant goodness, righteousness, he is gracious, he is merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in love, good to all, he has mercy on the good and the bad. He has intrinsic power. He has eternal dominion. And that's just 13 verses from this one Psalm. I should think if we would know about all of God's attributes, we would not be able to list them in a lifetime. Have you ever wondered if God runs out of goodness? Or maybe to put it in a way that you and I think, have you ever wondered if he runs out of goodness for you? Maybe he has some for someone else. But not you. Maybe you're in the punishment category? Is that what we think? That God's abundant goodness is maybe too shallow for us.
I kind of like to look at nature, the things that God has made, and try and comprehend and compare something in nature, to the goodness of God. At one point, years ago, I worked to try and make things in computer graphics. And something so simple to make, or to look at, or to draw, would become incredibly complex when you try and get this computer to generate something so simplistic, something you and I have seen thousands of times, we see every single day of our lives, such as a tree. How complex is it to make something that replicates what God merely spoke into existence? So, I started to look into this and I'm not so sorry to bore you with some nerdy statistics on these things. Do you know how many leaves a maple tree has? Just in your mind, humor me for a little bit, okay. We'll get back to this, but how many leaves does a large, mature maple tree have? Maybe a thousand, ten thousand? Try a hundred thousand! Now try and take that maple leaf by a hundred thousand and have the computer follow all the coordinates for every single leaf, thousands of coordinates for every leaf. Now shine light on it. Now make every leaf bounce light to the leaf next to it. And pretty soon you get quite a few calculations and your computer chokes. Hence, thankfully, things have improved.
Consider a large, mature oak tree. One of those big ones that are around 30 to 40 years old, that are mature, and their branches go out 30 or 40 feet in each direction. Those can have up to a million leaves on a single tree. Just one tree. I recently went to Bears Den with my family and Miss Feldi. And we all stood on top of the rocks there. You should visit if you've never been there. It’s a beautiful view. So let's just say the view is about five to seven miles and you can see all the trees in those five to seven miles. You know where I'm going with this? How many leaves do you see with just five to seven miles? Right? A big number that some of you really smart people would probably be able to describe. Take McAfee Knob in Roanoke, Virginia. Said to be the greatest view, or one of the greatest, in all of the miles of the Appalachian Trail, over 2,100 miles. And you and I can drive to this view. You can easily see 15 miles in 180 degree, total panoramic, the cliffs jut out. And you're walking up like the Lion King thing, I know you can picture it. You walk out on the end and you can see all around, it's like that. I mean, how many lifetimes would it take to touch every leaf? More than you and I got. So we're not doing any trips to do that anytime soon. But we think God's goodness is like one of those trees, full of leaves. And you’ve got to get some goodness before the last leaf falls.
Psalm 145:5 says, “on your wonderous works, I will meditate.” God created these things to show his greatness to you. They're not just created for pictures, or aesthetic purposes, solely. They are created to demonstrate the vast beauty of God. The greatness of God. Link all of the most powerful computers together in the world. And they would crash if we simulated just real light, with just the trees. Instantly crash. We're talking about billions of leaves, and God in his infinite purpose put those there, why? So you and I could breathe. We need trees to breathe. I think there are so many examples of the greatness of God, that if we just, “on your wondrous works, I will meditate,” if we just follow what the Psalms give us instructions to do. That you won't have a problem trying to comprehend the greatness of God. I mean, it says [Psalm 145:3], “his greatness is unsearchable.” But it's more like you can look out over the trees and see all the leaves. But it's unsearchable, that you can't count every one, but you can still see it and know it's there.
God has abundant goodness. He is good all the time. And all the time God is good. And I just want to encourage you to savor these things. Don't read them so fast that the depth of truth passes you by. If you just have to read one verse in one Psalm each day, that would be enough to fill up the beauty and the wonder of God in your mind.
I want to go over a couple more things with you, quickly. Turn to Psalm 110. There are Psalms that are Messianic. In other words, they speak of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter attributed Psalm 110 to King David. So we know he wrote that. Jesus, himself, also attributed King David to Psalm 110, as recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke. I would say that it's fair to say then, that the title in Psalm 110 is accurate. Though liberal scholars would say that's not true. They would have a problem, discoursing on Psalm 19 about the truth of God's Word.
Psalm 110. The title, “A Psalm of David,” “The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” Now, just to put this into perspective, Jesus quotes this Psalm when he's sharing the gospel. “Who is this? Stop trying to ask me hard questions,” he's telling the Pharisees, “you just explain this one. I'll just give you one verse.” The LORD, that is Yahweh in the Hebrew, says to my Lord, that's Adonai. The LORD, Yahweh, says to Adonai, (different persons, oops, now that's a problem for Jewish theology), says to my Lord, so it's not David. So who is the Lord of lords? We've got Yahweh, this Lord, and David, that just leaves Jesus. The LORD says to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool, who sits at the right hand of God? Jesus does. Right? Remember, it's either the Bible or Jesus every time a question is asked. That's all you got, it’s the Bible or Jesus.
Acts 7:55, Stephen, “full of the Holy Spirit,” Holy Spirit concurs with Stephens assessment, “gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Scripture says, Jesus is at the right hand of God. Scripture also says, that Jesus is forever. Psalm 110:4, “The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” All very inquisitive questions about Melchizedek can go to Gary and Adam after the sermon, but “You are a priest forever.” What priest lasts forever? Jesus Christ. How do we know that? Hebrews 6:19-20. “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” Who had no beginning and end in Scripture. Jesus is eternal. Jesus is the Forever Priest. Jesus is the one that you need to draw close to, to have life change. Jesus is at the right hand of God. Jesus has gone before us, on our behalf, behind the curtain, it means to the Holy of Holies, where the sacrifices for sin were made. That's why we don't have that anymore. The Jews don't have that anymore. If you want forgiveness, you need Jesus.
Psalm 110 points you to Jesus, a priest forever. One who sits at the right hand of God that is not Yahweh and not David, who could that be? The Jews cannot answer that. The Psalms magnificently, magnificently, reveal Jesus Christ! And there are other Messianic Psalms.
Okay, now, let's go back to praise, right. I said Psalms were about praise. I want to kind of conclude with tying Revelation – your favorite book that I know you read all the time – Revelation to the Psalms. Because they are connected in very significant ways. Revelation 19 uses the word in Greek, “Hallelujah,” which is translated in English, “Hallelujah.” Okay, so now you know Greek, right? You just tell everybody, “I know Greek.” Revelation 19:1-6. Now this is climax leading us to the end. It leads us to the millennial reign of Christ, it leads us to the new heaven and new earth coming down. This is a magnificent passage. And the only places “Hallelujah” are found in the New Testament, are right here. It's significant. Revelation 19:1-5,
1 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2 for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
3 Once more they cried out,
The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”
5 And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
small and great.”
Praising God is a command. Praising God, with the most significant term for praising him, Hallelujah, is going on in heaven. It is a command for all who fear him, great and small. No one is exempt from giving God praise. Do you ever lift up your hands to God, in praise? You can do that. Do you ever get on your knees and praise God? Just put your face on the ground, a very humble submissive posture. Do you ever praise God like that when you're alone? Do you ever sing to God when you're alone? You know, we see you sometimes going down the road, singing. Right? You know you sing and whether you're on tune or off tune or it doesn't really matter. You're just singing, hopefully praising God. Right? You're joyful. You're having fun. Whether you like the hymn-like songs or you know something with a little more beat and rhythm. It kind of gets us going. Do you sing really loud? With great force? Or is that okay? Right. We've got one church in town that doesn't even have instruments. They don't think that's okay. Do you? Is that okay to praise God?
Look at verse six [Revelation 19:6], “Then [after the command] I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder…” Does that sound loud? “…crying out, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.” Heaven is going to shake with thunderous praise to God. Where's the only other place “hallelujah” is mentioned in Scripture? The Psalms. Turn to Psalm 150. It's used about 23 times in the book of Psalms. This is the most significant. This is the climax, the final doxology, the grandest expression of praise in the Psalms. Psalm 150 begins and ends with, “Hallelujah.” Now you know Hebrew. That's what the word is in Hebrew, “hallelujah.” Verse one,
1 Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and [Baptists brace yourself, and] dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
[and those of you who are volume sensitive]
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!
This is Hallelujah. This is Hallelujah. Praise him in verses one through six. Praise him is, “hallelu.” “Hallelu.” Praise the LORD” in the first verse, that's “Hallelujah, Praise the LORD.” The very last phrase, “Hallelujah” in verse six. And then it's, “Hallelu, Hallelu, praise ye the Lord,” you getting the picture here of where that song came from? Right? If you grew up singing all those songs. Yeah, “praise the Lord.” Where do we praise him? That's verse one, “in his sanctuary.” That literally is, “holy place,” here. That’s the word, “holy place.”
[Psalm 150:1] “Praise him in his mighty heavens.” So, in his sanctuary on Earth, praise him in the heavens, praise him everywhere. That's where you praise him. Verse 2, what do we praise him for? “His mighty deeds… according to his excellent greatness!” Verse three, four and five, with what do we praise him? Wait till this box drum turns into a drum set. It's really going to challenge “the frozen chosen,” right? Yeah, praise him with all these loud things. Three, four, and five. Who praises God? “Everything that has breath.” Don't tell me your dog breathes. Please don't do that. That's not what it's, it's talking about people here, right? But if you want to go there, everything that has breath as they operate in the way God has designed them, then they give praise and glory to God. You can read that about how all Creation sings the praise of God. But here it's focused, focused on me and you. The where, the why, the how, the who. It's all right there in that Psalm.
Won't you feast? Feast, on the Psalms. That your life might be filled with the praise and worship of God. Hallelujah!
Lord God, we give you praise. We sing, Hallelujah, to you. We love you, Lord God. We want our lives to be full, and that you would grow us, and that you would help us to know you more. Lord, I pray for the guests, the students, the regular attenders, the members. Lord, I pray for everyone here, that you would make us worshipers of you.
Friends, just take a moment and ask God to get a hold of your heart this morning and infuse it with Psalms of praise.
Father, we thank you for this. We know that you will answer prayers according to your will from your people. We pray that you would help everything that has breath to Praise the Lord. Amen.
other sermons in this series