A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.
It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.
For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
how profound your thoughts!
Senseless people do not know,
fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed for ever.
But you, Lord, are for ever exalted.
For surely your enemies, Lord,
surely your enemies will perish;
all evildoers will be scattered.
You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox;
fine oils have been poured on me.
My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries;
my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,(Ps. 92:1-15 NIV)
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.’
It is good to praise, to make music and to proclaim the Lord’s love (hesed) and faithfulness morning and evening. This praise is an appropriate response to the acts of God. All of God’s acts are associated with His name. The occasion of the praise is the evidence of the Lord’s love and faithfulness. As the morning and evening sacrifices were prepared, the Levitical singers led God’s people with musical instruments in worship and praise.
The work of the Lord has made the Psalmist’s heart glad. There is much in life that can contribute to sadness or disappointment. The unfortunate makeup of our temperament is that we can dwell a lot on those causes of sadness. If we can discipline our minds off the trials and disappointments onto the great works of salvation that the Lord has done for us, then praise and thanksgiving can be more spontaneous with us. The works of the Lord in salvation are great so think how profound are the thoughts of the Lord in planning salvation! God knew that we would react in disobedience after having blessed us with salvation, yet He still planned to make us heirs of salvation.
The wise take time to contemplate what God has done, but the insensitive man, the fool, just doesn’t understand what it is that God has done. To be surrounded by such testimony of what the Lord has done and to give it no thought, is a concept hard to grasp. The wicked appear for a brief moment in time, they spring up like grass, flourish for a time and then are forever destroyed. To have enjoyed the life that God the Creator had given, to be sustained by the Most High God who sustains all life, and never to have availed of the redemption provided by God will be a source of eternal regret. Following on from the study of the catechism on the subject of eternal judgement last Thursday, it is a grave matter for those who have heard the Gospel and still continue outside of Christ. While we praise God for salvation, we plead for His mercy for our loved ones who are still outside of Christ.
The exaltation of the Lord is not impacted by the unbelief of the wicked, because He is glorified both in salvation and judgement. The defeat of the enemy is inevitable. There is no question of any power rivalling the power of the Most High God. The enemies of the Lord will surely perish.
The strength of God’s people has been exalted by the Lord. Already in life the Psalmist has witnessed the judgement of the wicked. It is but a foretaste of the ultimate defeat of all that is evil.
While the wicked are swept away like grass that springs up to wilt in the heat of the sun, the righteous will flourish like the palm tree and the cedar. The palm tree provides shelter and the cedar strength. They are planted in the presence of the Lord, and thus sustained by the presence of the Lord. The people of God will flourish in the presence of the Lord and will continue to bear fruit in old age. We looked at this in a previous Psalm commenting that there is no retirement or redundancy in old age. A number of elderly folk have said to me that there is not much to look forward to in old age. One person said that when social isolating was introduced that it was no problem to them because they had been socially isolating for years, unable to leave the house and one day seeming much like the next. But the Psalmist here has a different view. Rooted in the presence of the Lord, the believer still bears fruit in old age. We have to allow the Bible to determine for us what is meant by ‘fruit’. Fruit is more than busyness, fruit is the product of a life of holiness, a long obedience in the same direction!
The Lord does not disappoint His people, the Lord is upright, our Rock, dependable and there is no wickedness in Him to eventually let us down.
Lord God, there is no god like the Most High God. We dwell in Your shelter under Your shadow, close by Your side. Lord there are many words of security that come to mind. It encourages our hearts just to meditate for a moment on Your character, which is so clearly revealed in Your work of Salvation. Lord we have the joy of salvation in our hearts, but we also have some sadness because there are people we love who do not know the Saviour. Lord step in in mercy and compel our loved ones in the day of Your power to surrender to Your love. Lord have mercy for Christ the Saviour’s sake. Amen