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Praise the Lord, O My Soul

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
November 1, 2020 7:00 am

Praise the Lord, O My Soul

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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November 1, 2020 7:00 am

Worship is work! The world would have us believe that, if worship is to be worthwhile, it should be fun and engage our emotions. But to have any real value, worship must engage our minds as well as our feelings. Join Dr. James Boice as he explores Psalm 146, a psalm that implores us to praise the Lord for all the right reasons.

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One word that's recognized around the world and in any languages. Hallelujah word which simply means to praise the Lord. Psalm 146 implores us to praise the Lord and then goes on to tell us just how welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. Today's culture would have us believe that worship must be fun to be worthwhile. But Psalm 146 tells us that true worship must engage the mind as well as the emotions and requires a working knowledge of God's word join Dr. Boyce as he explores the depths of a song that tells us who to worship, how to worship and why we worship we been coming towards a very last Psalms in the Psalter for quite a while.

I've been saying that Bob today. We actually are coming.

The very last Psalms in the Psalter that is were coming the last definable block of the solvent as of the smallness last five, all of which, again, with a word hallelujah RNR translation. Praise the Lord and and where the word hallelujah or praise the Lord as well.

The Septuagint, which is the translation into the Greek of the Old Testament identifies these in the notes as Psalms of Haggai and Zechariah making them what is called a second Halal well means praise is an earlier group called the Egyptian Halal and so this would be a special walk of itself.

That identification doesn't add anything to our understanding of them and it's probably incorrect, but the fact that the Psalms all begin with the words praise the Lord and end with the words praise the Lord indicate they think in a remarkable way that that really is the chief end not only of the Psalter, but of our lives.

Westminster shorter catechism asked that question. What is the chief end of my hand, and the answer is man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. The earlier Psalms we had all kinds of subject matter week we come across the writers griefs shames guilt, discouragement, aspirations, desperate pleas for help at all that is behind us now. We don't have that kind of personal outpouring. The feeling anymore what we have instead are words which are entirely beginning to end. Praise God. Now that's the way it should be for us, especially as we move on in life. The beginning of our lives as we first become Christians were thankful to the Lord for the salvation we have much for which to praise them on experience increasingly more and more of his grace. It should be the case, we find ourselves praising God more. One of the studies of the Psalms I found helpful is by a contemporary preacher's name is Roy Clemens and he says when he gets to this point of the Psalm dealing with this word hallelujah that there are three words that are understood in every language on the face of the earth, a man hallelujah and Coca-Cola all.

Amen we know and Coca-Cola. We now what does hallelujah mean well we have a great tendency in our day to trivialize this word as we have so many other biblical terms from time ago Phil Reich and handed me an and that he had seen it was for Nicorette gum which is supposed to be effective for those who want to stop smoking. This particular ad showed a package of this, bursting through majestic clouds while the sun was shining through like an end time theophany and the company said Nicorette gum is now available. Rank without prescription hallelujah well I guess overcoming lifelong addiction is something to be happy about, but is certainly trivialization of the word. Praise the Lord to apply after the appearance of Dom hallelujah is a compound word is made up of two separate words Halal which I've already mentioned it's an imperative verb to praise means praise Yahweh, which is a contracted form of Jehovah, Lord, hallelujah really means praise Jehovah was often used apparently as a liturgical response in Jewish worship leader would say something like this Lord is God's love endures forever.

And then the people would say hallelujah the same sort of thing. You and I would do. Yet when we understand how this word is being used in these last Psalms, we realized that it's simply thrown in there as a meaningless response to less as a mantra is it the way you worship God is simply by repeating some magic goal, religious word, especially the come from Hebrew over and over again to make yourself get into a certain frame of mind. It's not doing that all what this almost is done here is sent these Psalms in parentheses both begun and ended buying the word hallelujah but what he says you should praise the Lord and in the Psalm tells you how intelligent things about God, for which you should praise them after it unfolds. All of that when you get to the end. It says hallelujah. Clements might just mention said you could regard.

Hallelujah, in each case as a kind of liturgical alarm signal to the sluggish in the congregation part of a way of saying listen out there, it's time to wake up.

We got serious business in Hamburg going to praise the Lord, and you say, praise the Lord. Those who are awake, say hallelujah now that implies a number of things about worship and let me just mention them before we actually plunge into the Psalm itself.

The first thing it implies is that worship is work mentioned some time ago a workable Lutheran woman whose name is Barbara Dawn wrote a book about worship which I found helpful called reaching out without dumbing down. I was intrigued by the title. I would've read it. For that reason alone, about worship and she's concerned with the dumbing down of worship in our Western culture in the same way were dumbing down just about everything. We live in an entertainment age where everything is supposed to be fun. Everything supposed to be effortless. Everything supposed to be easy.

We almost have a model that would describe our age goes like this.

If anything is worth doing. It must be fun.

That's the way people tend to think and so they think exactly the same way about worship of worship is worthwhile. Well, then it should be fun. Actually the things that are worthwhile usually are things that require work and that is true of worship to. She says in her book. Ours is a lazy Christianity and the church's problem today is not wrath, but slow off. I think she must've picked that up from an English speaker because it sounds much better if you pronounce those words in English way. Our problem today is not wroth but slow off now. Secondly, worship must engage our minds. If worship is praising God for who he is and we have to know who he is and understand something about it and also the worship is what John Stott was concerned about in that little book. Your mind matters was concerned. Some years ago when he wrote that about the mindlessness of our times and it was challenging Christians to actually put their minds to work you been given a mind by God, for heaven sake, use it and one way in which you need to use it is your worship order to worship God. You have to understand who God is and that means you have to think about it. What the Psalms are doing. You can't use the Psalms without thinking about what they actually say about God. Bert worship is possible because of God's prior revelation, worship God, we have to know who he is, but we can't know who he is, unless he first of all, chooses to reveal himself to us now is done. This course has revealed himself in Christ, and is also revealed himself in the Bible, which is how we find out about Jesus Christ. So for that reason, the Bible and the exposition of the Bible have to be central to our worship services and fourthly, worship has to be personal I mean by that is if you have to worship God, yourself, you can't do it by proxy. It's not something that you pass off on the professional clergy pass off on the spouse or somebody else is something you were to do Sunday by Sunday. Indeed, moment by moment in your life.

Now this is where the author of the Psalm starts off having called the congregation to worship in the very first word of the Psalm hallelujah praise the Lord. He then immediately declares his intention to worship God himself saying I will praise the Lord all my life I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Spurgeon said to support business.

If we slowly exhort others don't start up our own soul now.

At first glance when we move on from that opening the stanza that tells us about princes and not putting our trust in them. It seems that where dealing with something that is irrelevant to what is just been introduced something incongruous.

It doesn't seem to fit. There were told that we are not to put our trust in princes, but even if we consider that as a mere negative statement of something positive, but in the world is actually have to do worship answer isn't difficult to find. If you think about a little bit is the chief reason why we have so much trouble worshiping God and failed to do it is because we actually value others more than we value God that we don't know that God should be worship for Christian people we know we should certainly God is God and is important all of that gets right down to it is true that we often trust other people or value other people more than we value God at least forgetting the things done that we think need to get done. We do it politically, thinking that the president or Congress may error some other highly placed person will be able to solve our problems again even solve their own problems on the world and they solve our problems are just science or education or something else to be our ultimate Savior and the sad thing is that we don't actually trust God and worship him, so that's what this Psalm says do not put your trust in princes and mortal men of cannot say when their spirit. The parts they returned to the ground on that very day. Their plans, nothing. One of the old preacher's name was John King man lived in the 17th century preached a sermon on this on one occasion on the list of the number of reasons why we shouldn't put our trust.

Mere human beings and went like this. First, because there mere man, no different from ourselves. Second, because there we command unable to give us the kind of help we need third because their dying man will be around for very long. Forth, because when they die they are subject to dissolution. Returning to the earth and fifth because their thoughts is transitory as their bodies verses three and four making that point but they do it in the Hebrew way they're doing it by play on Hebrew words to place on Hebrew words. Actually the first has to do with the word man abdominal which first man named Adam. Adam and Eve that really means earth dearth. God said to Adam you are earth that is Adam and earth, Adam, you will return as what this particular stands of the Psalm is playing on any Jew red that understood in Hebrew would know exactly what is being said. The second play on words has to do with the word spirit or breath, which is actually say word in Hebrew.

It's a word relock.

So what it's saying is somewhat the way.

Isaiah 222 speaks when it says that we really just a one breath being God bring some of his breath into us and were alive. But when we breathe our breath out were gone were dead and we returned to dirt. That's what the Psalm is saying why should you be trusting human beings are only led by a breath at a time when God withdraws the breath die. I returned to the dust.

What we need to learn to do is trust the eternal God was the one great eternal spiritual breath who gives life to all ballots. One reason why we don't worship God is good to deal with the problems of the beginning is another one. However, not only is it the case that we value other people more than we value God.

It's often also the case, we value ourselves more than we value God in the sense that we think we are the ones who were able to get things done. William the Conqueror Mormon who defeated Harold at the battle of Hastings in 1066 and change the whole course of English history died in the year 1087 I was in circumstances that caused his biographer, undoubtedly a monk's name was Derek SP Thomas to moralize on William's death. In the language of our song. What happened was this. King Philip of France and claimed lands border country of Normandy that William considered to be his own and so we crossed over the channel to engage Philip in battle he was doing very well in the war as a matter of fact he was on the verge of celebrating a complete triumph when his horse stumbled and he was thrown forward upon the iron pommel of his saddle and received fatal injury. They carried him to the Abbey of St. Germain around where on the morning of September 9. He died when he died his nobles immediately mounted their horses and rose off to secure their own possession and his servants after stripping the body of the dead king of his valuable clothes and jewelry made off to leaving the naked body of the conqueror of England to lie there on the floor of the Abbey and the historian roach put not your trust in princes, which are nothing of the sons of men but in the living and true God who is the maker all riches increase. Do not set your hearts on them for all flesh is grass and all the glory of it is as the flower of grass. Grass withers, flowers fade away. The word of the Lord stands forever only being in the universe that you can depend on unconditionally is God so worship God. That's the connection between verses three and four and the rest of the Psalm and why they occur at the start of the spinal collection of race homes are saying man cannot say much is this almost blessed as he was help the God of Jacob, whose hope is Lord his God. Now the longest section of the Psalms, verses five through nine a belongs together. Maybe even the very ending as well and it begins with a beatitude. The last beatitude in the Psalter altogether 24 of them what it promises is blessing for those who have learned not to put their hope in human beings. Mere man who perishes, but rather open God instead stands is all about God.

What praise really is all about. Here God is called the Lord Jehovah and this great name for God occurs seven times in the stands are once each four of these verses and three times in verse eight alone in each verse tells us something good about God. I this briefly first Ward is our hope. Verse five. This means that if God alone can save us and contrast to the important people of this world who cannot and wouldn't do it even if they could we say well save us from what love from our enemies.

Of course, Psalm always has that in mind, but also from all kinds of calamities, including our sin.

God saves us from our sin through Jesus Christ. So put your hope in God. Secondly, the Lord remains faithful forever. That's verse six. Again, it's not merely that God saves this, he remains faithful to his after ASA. Is this what usually called the perseverance of the saints. We asked the question why do the saints persevere. The answer is because God perseveres with them.

Use this word, we can say we remain faithful to God because God remains faithful to us. Number three the Lord sets the prisoners free verse seven this verse and next verse take us to the New Testament where Jesus announced that the purpose of his mission was quoting from Isaiah 61 one other things, to free the prisoners spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight to the brine to release the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. It's always struck me as significant as far as we know from the Gospels, Jesus Christ never actually freed anyone from a literal prison, that reason will probably understand this spiritually as we ought, but literal physical prison but literal spiritual prison.

That's the kind of freedom we really God sets the prisoners free number for the Lord give sight to the blind. That's verse eight. It's the same as this matter of freedom.

This is not so much a physical blindness, physical site, though, when we get to heaven we will all see as we cannot hear only seeing through a glass darkly here but has to do above all was spiritual sight. When God gives a spiritual site, we understand who God is.

We understand ourselves weak come to know something about the misery of sin, we turn from it and we find God's mercy in Jesus. Number five the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down verse eight many things in life bushes around her like this down but it says that God cares the downtrodden when were beaten down the… Again, many can testify to that.

Why does God act in a trustworthy way toward us. Why does he uphold the oppressed by Desi free the prisoners. Why does he give sight to the blind, and lift up those were cast down, the answer is because he loves us because we are righteous, because he loves us the righteousness that we find in Jesus Christ imputed to us by his grace is because of God's love men finally verse seven the Lord watches over alien verse nine. Three cases that are listed in this verse, the alien, the fatherless and the widow are often cited in the Old Testament as examples of those who were defenseless. What this verse tells us is that God watches over those who are defenseless, he protects them from the wicked will do that with you now very last verse of the song is one in which the writer declares that Gandhi has been describing and praising is going to rain for all generations. That means forever and ever going to reign forever and ever.

It follows from that that he must be praised forever never to so here's a question will you praise we begin first of all by putting your hope in God and worshiping God is the only utterly trustworthy and reliable. Being in the universe, or will you continue with your ultimate hope in human beings do going to be disappointed in the final analysis, you're going to become; because people will always let you down.

Politicians will let you down by intellectuals will let you down.

The scientist will let you down. Everyone but God will let you down.

Jonah says in a great prayer second chapter of the book that bears his name. Salvation comes from the Lord, and he was absolutely right. God alone is utterly good, utterly powerful, utterly trustworthy.

So why settle for less is only being in the universe, about whom we can rightly say hallelujah.

Father, we thank you for this long minutes introduction to what it really means to worship its reminder why we failed to do its trusting ourselves rather beings instead. Father, we would ask for instruction, godly instruction help for the reordering blessing of our lives.

As a result of this study today. Also, as we one to finish up our study of the Psalter blessings things to our hearts. We need the blessing do it. We pray for Jesus sake and for your listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce. How do we you or how should we praise our God, he's there right and wrong way was worshiped.

Always good. If it's from the heart Dr. Phil Rankin answers these and other questions about true worship in our free CD entitled giving praise to God. This free CD offers our thanks to you for listening today. Call us at 1-800-488-1888 will be pleased to send you a copy of giving praise to God that number again is 1-800-488-1888. Our listeners are a vital part of this ministry. We depend on your generosity to keep Dr. voices messages on the air and on the Internet you can make a one-time tax deductible donation or become a monthly supporter of this ministry by calling us directly at 1-800-488-1888 or you can visit us Our postal address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601 in Canada. You can reach the Bible study our at PO Box 24097 RPO Josephine North Bay, Ontario P1 be zero C7. Thank you. We appreciate your support. Dr. voices impact reach far beyond the pulpits, our Bible teacher, was a prolific author and articulate spokesman for the reformed faith around the world, audio, and print materials from Dr. voices special event broadcasting writing ministries are that's reformed hi Mark Daniels, I'm glad you listened if it's been said that much of what we called worship today is not really worship at all. The glorification of self with high as the dominant subject its alleged worship.

It's taken on the characteristics of our age.

Join Dr. James Boyce as he explores Psalm 147 and what it means to truly praise the Lord for who he is and what he has done.

That's next time one Bible study hours preparing you to think and act biblically

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