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A Bold Man's Praise

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
August 30, 2020 8:00 am

A Bold Man's Praise

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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August 30, 2020 8:00 am

Psalm 138 is a Psalm of thanks for a promise made and a blessing given: that the throne of David would endure forever, and that the Messiah would come from his line. Join Dr. James Boice as he examines a psalm that teaches us to praise God for His love and faithfulness in the keeping of His word.

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There are times we are to remain silent. Lest we cast our pearls among the swine, but there are also times were to rejoice with others and sing the praises of our God. In Psalm 138. David praises the Lord for his promise to establish the throne of David forever. Welcome to the Bible study the radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boris preparing you to think and act biblically in Psalm 138 demons, not just praising God for the assurance that his throne will endure. David's also looking forward to the promise of the one who is to come in the day when Jesus himself will sit on David's throne forever. Join Dr. Boyce as he studies this Psalm of David's great zeal for his Lord and his desire to make God known among the nations, and interesting contrast between Psalm 137 that we were looking at last week and Psalm 138 that we come to now in the previous Psalm Psalm 137 the Jewish people are in Babylon, and they say that they're unable to sing praises to God, and that foreign land. Now we come to Psalm 138 and we find that not only are praises sung, but the people singing are actually looking forward to a day when the praises of God will be sung by non-Jewish people, even by their kings.

I suppose that conjunction of the two Psalms is intentional and is there to make this contrast striking. There are times when we should be silent.

Lest we asked our pearls before swine. Other times we need to be singing and rejoice with those that sing the praises of God to now. Psalm 138 introduces us to a group of Psalms that are identified as being by David rate of the masses. The last little collection of Davidic Psalms of the Psalter.

About half of the Psalms, or by David. If you go by the titles. About 73 of the hundred and 50 Psalms and here we have the last one is now one thing that strikes this is that the Psalm introduces the enemies of the writer again and that's something that we found in virtually everyone, David, Saul, and there's also this interesting combination of zeal for God, on the one hand and humility before God on the other. That is so striking in the Psalms of David that is almost a signature. Now I only go into that to say that 138 is my David encourages us to look for a setting in his life for which it might, and we do that we find something that my judgment throws a great deal of light on the soul. It probably is. David's grateful response to the promise of God given to him in second Samuel chapter 7 that's the chapter in which the prophet came to him to announce that the throne of David would endure forever because God would send in his line 1 would be a messianic king of the commentators whose name is Lou bold suggested that's exactly what the Psalm is about because the promise that is alluded to in verse eight, the Lord will fulfill his purpose for me has to require something significance in the author's life. The authors David and the most significant thing is as great promise of a king that would sit upon his throne. Now that means that the Psalm is basically thanks to God for that great promise in a great blessing matter-of-factly word that is translated in verses 1214 as I will praise you more precisely means I will give thanks. Let's think about that a little bit. Since this is a praise.

Solomon fits in the section of the Psalter were learning what it really means to worship God. And since it is also chiefly a Psalm of Thanksgiving. One of the things this teaches us upfront as the Thanksgiving audibly part of our worship. Thinking about the definition of worship and we've seen that it has to do with acknowledging who God is praising ember's attributes. All of those things about God that are revealed to us so clearly in the pages of the Bible in the Old Testament and the New Testament is recognizing that Laura getting in that praising him for that. But now here we find. It also involves Thanksgiving because how could it be otherwise when we begin to think of who God is one) that is what God has done many of the things that God has done her blessings come into our lives so the natural response in such times of worship is thank God for those blessings, Saul does have a number of puzzling parts to it and we need to take just the moment to examine them before we get to go on.

See what it says about God and what it says to us. The first problem is the meaning of that phrase before the gods you find it right at the beginning Hebrew word is Elohim, which is a plural word and is naturally translated God's. And yet it is also a word that is used for God himself, as in the very first verse of the Bible in the beginning God is Elohim created the heavens and the earth, so it may be that that's what it means here.

Some people say it's just talking about God. That problem is it makes for a strange beginning because what the writer would be saying man is I praise you oh God before God. That sounds a little bit on and so people look around for another meeting of the word summary suggest some of the possibilities idea is that the word before God mean before the ark of God that is in the sanctuary, but that's unusual.

Also, Martin Luther and John Calvin thought the word refers to angels because that is the way the word is used in some places, as in Job, for example, when the Angels actually says sons of God and the Elohim present themselves before God.

It's understood that that's talking about the Angels of this case, also including even the fallen angels, so Luther and Calvin thought that's what it means. Here some of the older versions of the Bible as well as some of the newer interpreters suggest that it refers to kings or judges good biblical grounds for thinking that it might be that because Jesus quoted a verse from the Old Testament.

On one occasion understanding it that way. This one extension of that might be that it refers to the grade of the earth, before whom David is a king himself would naturally want to praise God. That's the view of one great old commentator Franz Della show a very fine German commentator or then a finer possibility in the last one is that perhaps it refers to false gods. The idols, before whom David would be declaring the greatness of the one true God and some of the other commentators say that now any of those as possible, I suppose, is not a great deal that hinges on the outcome, but it strikes me that two facts point in the direction of this actually being the grade of the earth, judges, rulers, and perhaps the king's and here they are first if the background of the song really is God's promise of a lasting dynasty for David is what we find in second Samuel seven and when we go back and read that chapter carefully. We find a verse that does explain the reference to the gods in Psalm 138. God said back there. I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth that explains what we have in the Psalm of David would be saying here is that he wants to praise God before other great man that is before his peers, and by extension the verse would teach us that we should be praising God before our peers, and then the second fact is a David mentions these kings explicitly in verse four he says my all the kings of the earth. Praise you on the words he wants to praise God before the grade of the earth so that they might learn to praise God do by following his example and out of my mind that gives the best meaning that phrase in the context of the soul, the second problem God's word being exalted above his name seems a strange thing to say that minds of many people, because God's name was Leah talking about all the God is his name is the highest thing that you can possibly think of.

Because God is the highest thing you can possibly think of. How can you say what God's word is to be exalted above that primly exalted now seeing that difficulty some of the commentators and scholars suggest emendations that means they think the text must be wrong. We actually have an example of that in the new international version of you have that in front of you, you'll see it.

They has assumed the letter is been dropped out of the texts a very small letter of the letter.

Wow, it means I am assuming that's been left out.

If you put it back in which they do, then you can get the translation like you have it there in the new international version you have exalted above all things, your name, your work Derek Kettner is a fine scholar and he takes that as being the right answer because he says Scripture doesn't encourage bibliology were not encouraged to worship the Bible remember RC Sproul saying one occasion. The big question is not whether people believe in God, whether people believe God is a God is spoken and God says what I want most of all is that you believe what I say now what's driving David and his Thanksgiving is gratitude for the great promise that God had given him through the prophet that there would be a Messiah that would rain and set up on his throne forever. Then the verse becomes very appropriate because what David is doing here is expressing his confidence in God's word is living in human life that suggest that what God promised it would be true. So if God is promising the kingdom that will never pass away. David is saying the only reason I can have any confidence in that kind of the promises that you are promise God you never break your word now. The reference to God's supremely exalted word may even refer to something that is set explicitly in second Samuel seven because what we read there in verses 20 and 21. Is this David is responding. What more can David say to you, he says you know your servant over the sovereign Lord, for the sake of your word and for your will. You have done this great thing that made it known to your servant so we begin to get a feeling for what is actually going on in the Psalm now enough of the problems. Sometimes problems worth dealing with. And sometimes they're not in this case are necessary because they help us to understand Islam.

What we really want to do analysis what David praises God for the answer to that is two things. He praises God for his covenant love meaning of the word that is translated love has said in Hebrew, and he praises God for his faithfulness. He does both in verse two.

Certainly no greater qualities of God where the people of God are concerned how strikingly these two attributes the love of God and the faithfulness of God, or that the truth of God's faithfulness to his word are things that are under attack today and for that matter. They always been under attack.

People don't want to believe in the love of God because it has to do with the unmerited love of God at the mercy of God, and somehow we want to stand before God and say that we deserve better.

Are we deserve everything we got as far as the faithfulness of God is concerned. People don't want to believe that either because it has to do with his promises in his word and we want to set word over against God is the very first pack that took place back in the garden of Eden when the serpent began to tempt the woman he first attempted in terms of doubting the love of God and Satan said God really say you must need many of the trees of the garden. He was suggesting that God did the eating of even a single tray if there's even a single thing in your life or my life were not allowed to do what men God can't really love us because of the did he give his absolute autonomy, freedom to do everything we want, and so he began to attack the love of God and then after the woman responded explaining what it was a God had actually gotten Satan attacked the word of God and he did it explicitly and directly God and said the day you eat of it shall die. Satan said you will not surely die. David learn better than that he had learned that God does not lie all the slots all his actions toward us slow from his love.

Not only that, they persists because of his faithfulness.

God is good and God is always good. Therefore, David wanted to thank God for his goodness and praise them. Covenant love and his faithfulness before everyone is one thing more. David was a practical soul what he says here is that God has expressed that love toward him and proved his faithfulness by answering his prayers. He needed things and he needed them. God provided it. Moreover, he did it immediately. He read cards that he called on God and the God answered them right away. Moreover, not answered any, made him bold and stouthearted about the face of the attacks that are being made by his enemies which he mentions a little further on in verse seven, the Psalm because it talks about one was going to sit on David's throne forever is indirectly if not explicitly messianic because is looking forward to that one who should, and it comes in here in the way David envisions the kings of the earth worshiping God in some future day. He hadn't seen it in his day don't really see it in our day. But that day is coming because David is a king himself.

He was concerned for kings, even though we didn't see the kings of his day bowing before Jehovah, he took the promise of God at face value and he looked forward leaving to a day that would come, day will come.

We find it in the New Testament as well.

I think of that very well-known passage in Philippians 2 for the him it probably was sung by the early church as a him, his wife printed in verse in our Bibles that tells us that God is given to Jesus. The name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess heaven and on earth that Jesus is the Lord of the glory of God the father. Now they was thinking along the same lines in the song because he's looking forward to that day when all these will bow and God will be glorified in his desire. Even then, is that the kings of the earth might learn to sing God's praises and noticed one of the thing about this, we asked how is this not happen in the answer to that is well when God sends his Messiah course by the grace of God and by the power of God, and that's absolutely true, but that's not what David says we find something else here.

David says that the kings of the earth will praise God when they hear the words of his mouth.

Verse four. Now that might mean when they hear God himself on the day when he thunders forth from Zion setting his kingdom upon his holy #before him. It might mean that might also mean I would argue that it probably means when those who do know God, declare his words to them other words at this point the Psalm becomes a missionary Psalm, and it encourages the people of God to be missionaries. This puts the context of the solvent which David is making a bold confession of God's love and faithfulness himself and yet it is at the same time. What makes the Psalm so relevant to opposite is true that God has exalted Jesus.

He is already given him a name that is above every name, and one day every knee will bow before him, but in the meantime you and I have the opportunity of declaring that before the nations were called to do on the authority of Jesus Christ go everywhere and teach all men and women everywhere everything he is commanded is by the grace of God, the respondent bow before him, bring them into the fellowship of the church and continue to teach them. Knowing that Jesus is with us always. As we do that, even unto the very end of the age now in the last stanza writer comes back to his own needs. David knows that God is great knows that he has compassion on the lowly disdain was those who exalt themselves. Instead, knows that God reserves his life that he stretches out his hand in anger against his supposedly saves them by the power of his strong right hand verse seven. But nevertheless, David still is walking in the midst of trouble, and he knows he can't survive unless God preserves his life and stands by. So we praise do not abandon the work of your hands in verse eight that important line is translated very well in the King James Bible part of verse eight there, it says the Lord will perfect that which concerns me. You carry it on to completion its customer version about Paul, I suppose, possibly reflecting on it says in the first chapter of Philippians. Recall that he says he who began a good work and you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ. Context of the Psalm. What is David thinking of always thinking of God's promise. God's purpose for David is to establish his throne forever to send the Messiah, he says, you're certainly going to do that you're going to accomplish your purpose concerning me. We look at that, we say well yes, but what is God's purpose concerning us and return to the New Testament that we read in Romans, for we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. Those who have been called according to his purpose. Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his son. He might be the firstborn among many brothers and those he predestined he also called those he called he also justified those he justified he also glorified. In other words, God's purpose for you if you're a Christian is to make you like Jesus Christ and he is certainly going to do which wine because his love endures forever because his faithfulness embraces and expresses his love toward his people. David says your love endures forever is picking up on Psalm 136. That phrase occurred again and again. Remember 22 times. Those who know God, like David and people today are not confident in themselves. How could we possibly be confident in ourselves.

We only are sinners saved by grace, apart from the persevering grace of God where you are all certain to fall away and perish our confidence is not in ourselves.

It's in the one who loved Dawson who gave himself for us, so we remind ourselves, as David does the Lord will fulfill his purpose for me and we say your love Lord and yours forever, and we pray, do not abandon the work of your hands knowing that God will not abandon his work here if you quotation Trevor Lockyer roach are hope of final perseverance is the final perseverance of the God we love and serve because his mercy endures forever. His work in us and for us will continue until we are perfected when we see him in all his perfection. Martin Luther was very strong and perseverance, but he knew that he should also pray that God will continue his work and so he often prayed confirm all God in us that which thou hast walked in perfect work, that thou has begun in us dust his top lady. One of the greatest hymn writers wrote this work which is goodness began the arm of his strength will complete his promise as gay a man and was ever forfeited.

Yet here's a final quotation from a very old writer quoted by Spurgeon. God's creating hands formed our souls. At the beginning his nail pierced hands redeemed them on Calvary's glorified hands will hold our souls fast and not let them go forever. Therefore unto his hands.

Let us commend our spirits sure that even though the works are hands made void the work of his hands in his hands will again make perfect. All that are hands, made and it's true for listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce of all the issues that tend to divide the church worship is certainly in the forefront. Some fight to maintain an liturgical style allow others believe worship must be contemporary to attract the masses, what is God's word had to say about the subject. Find out in our free CD offer entitled giving praise to God by teacher and author Philip Rieke is free CD offer is our way of saying thanks for listening. Give us a call at 1-800-488-1888 will be happy to send you a copy of giving praise to God again.

Our phone number is 1-800-488-1888 God's promises are a wonderful thing to give us hope for the future. Would you partner with us and sharing that hope with others. We depend on loyal listeners like you to keep this listener supported ministry on the air and on the Internet you can make your contribution by visiting our website at the Bible study. Our daughter work.

You can also call us at 1-800-488-1888, and our mailing address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Thank you.

We appreciate you and all of our listeners and supporters. Dr. Boyce's impact reach far beyond the pulpit, our Bible teacher, was a prolific author and articulate spokesman for the reformed faith around the world, audio, and print materials from Dr. Boyce's special event broadcast and writing ministries are that's reformed hi Mark Daniels thanks for listening.

In Psalm 139 is been called theology of the very best sort this all addresses some of the weightiest concepts of theology get wonderfully personal and speaks to our heart as well as our mind, join Dr. James Boyce next time as he studies the Psalm celebrating the omissions omnipresence and omnipotence about God. That's next time one Bible study hours preparing you to think biblically

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