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The Last of the Acrostic Psalms

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 25, 2020 8:00 am

The Last of the Acrostic Psalms

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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October 25, 2020 8:00 am

It was Davids last psalma psalm that looked back over a lifetime lived with God, and a tribute of praise to the One who had never failed him. Its a psalm that provides a pattern for our praise, as well. Join Dr. James Boice as he explores Psalm 145, the last of the acrostic verses and the last psalm of David.

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David contributed much to the Psalter and he often uses poetic aptitude to cry out to God for help in the face of his enemies, but in this, the last of David Solms.

He had another very specific purpose in mind.

Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically sold 145 is a praise song. When that looks back over the experiences of a lifetime lived with the Lord, and one that forms a pattern that we might use in our own praise and worship. Let's join Dr. Boyce as he examines the last of David's contributions to the Psalter and acrostic Psalm of praise to a faithful and wonderful God getting close to the end of our study of the shoulder studying Psalm 145. Today we only have five more after this. So is not surprising as we come toward the end that come for the last of a number of things… They last of David's Solms and the Psalter is possible that others might be written by him, but they don't claim to be. This is the last one that is also the last of the acrostic Solms and acrostic Psalm is a Psalm in which the verses in sequence begin with the various letters of the Hebrew Bible and sequence of the first verse of a group of verses as in the case of Psalm 119 begins with half men.

The next verse, or group versus begins with a plan, gimbal, and so on.

Now, in most of the Hebrew manuscripts the letter and are known as missing. Which is why the Psalm only has 21 verses instead of 2222 letters Hebrew alphabets bought in some of the manuscripts in the old Syriac manuscripts and some of the Dead Sea Scrolls in a few late resurrection manuscripts. The endless supply appears in our Bible is the second half of verse 13 says the Lord is faithful all his promises and loving toward all. He is mine. I don't know whether that actually be long as there whether it was there in the earliest text or not but you're going out of our souls are not bad rooster with included Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made me know with biblical because a little later on in verse 17, you have virtually the same thing except for the change of one were to provide for the letter. Now if this is the last of David Solms.

Let me ask the question what you think David will be making the subject matter of the softness of the last words he is leaving with us what we expect David to be say we know anything at all about David's life and the kind of man he was. That answer is not very hard to find. You would expect David to be praising God. Of course, that's exactly what David is doing us a way to Solms introduced it's called a Psalm of praise. So what David is doing here is looking back over his experience with God over a lifetime and he's reflecting on the kinds of characteristics he has found to be in God, and Zoey provides a pattern for us on how we might praise God to this is an appropriate Psalm not only to close the collection of the Psalms. We have by David, but also an appropriate Psalm introduced the last exclusively praise Psalms of the Psalter, all of which begin and with the word hallelujah, which as you know, means praise the Lord. How does David begin begins by an opening statement in which he salutes Jehovah God of the Old Testament as my God and my king, I would be a significant statement for any of us, but that was particularly a significant statement in the mouth of David. It was Israel's great King David was the king but Jehovah is the King of Kings and Lord of lords. So this great King of Israel and see offers up his final word of praise acknowledges that God is his king or his Lord mouth that causes us to ask at the very beginning, whether God is our king as well.

Whether Jesus Christ is our Lord. That's the starting point. You can't praise God for his greatness toward you with your acknowledging that he is your king and your Lord, you can say all well II praise him as my Savior.

That's a wonderful thing. But the one I was the Savior is also the Lord. So if he is not your Lord is not your Savior. If he is your Savior. Use your Lord is because he is Lord and because he's paying because he's great and gracious of all these things that are going to be mentioned in the Psalm at you and I gather together and praise them. We asked the question, what does this great King deserve it was a custom in the ancient world. I suppose may even be true today in many places, that whenever you came into the presence of the king, you brought a present. We say here we are coming into the presence of our king and our Lord. We ask the question what kind of present can we get that we can give him anything he owns all things, even we ourselves are his possession.

What can we possibly offer up as a gift to our great King was only one answer it's praise and that's exactly what David says he will do.

I will praise your name for ever and ever.

Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever closer three more or less parallel lines characteristic of Hebrew verse that moves by way of parallel lines in parallel ideas again at the same time. Generally speaking, those lines vary slightly, introducing new elements and here we have three different statements about the kind of praise the David's going to offer up to God. First of all, he says, I will praise you. That's the simple statement. Secondly he says I'll praise you daily. That is, every single day and then thirdly rather strikingly says I will praise you for ever and ever so we need to ask the question of ourselves, are we aware that that's what God has called us to do.

We are creatures made in his image with the capacity for relating to God, finding his salvation in Jesus Christ and praising them for that. Not just here that we must do it here, but for ever and ever and ever. That's what were called to do is not wait for heaven get busy doing it now is practice what it really means to worship God now, let's do it.

What should we praise God for how should we worship all in this Psalm David stanza by stanza speaks of four main things.

First of all we should praise God for his greatness is a great God. Verses five through seven. And then secondly, for his grace. God is a gracious God praise him for that verses eight through 13, a first half of that verse.

And thirdly, we should praise God for his faithfulness because he's a faithful God versus 13 B3 16. Finally, we should praise God for his righteousness, it means is up rightness verses 17 through 30 hours three starts by praising God for being great. Great is the Lord most worthy of praise his greatness. No, one can fathom what is in mind and that verse becomes clear in the following stanzas where David begins to speak about God's mighty works are actually missing that because the word works occurs three times in that stanza, and the synonyms acts and deeds per one additional time each. It's worth pointing out here. I think that verse three is the verse with which St. Augustine began the best known of all his works, his confession she took the first half of verse three from the solvent combined. It the second half of verse five from Psalm 147 just two verses on so his confessions begins great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.

His understanding has no limits really pause at that point we should say what are the great works are mighty acts for which we should praise God when we read here mighty action, glorious splendor, wonderful or awesome works great deeds is natural to think of God's works in nature and probably that's where we should begin. If you can look at the surge of the ocean are the only of the mountains of the splendor of the heavens on a star, a cloudless night and not be moved to praise God, you are greatly to be pitied. You were spiritually without sight some years ago I read something that Chuck Colson wrote of the time he was in one of the prisons he had given a moving address on the grace and mercy of God and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ when he was done land that was ahead of that particular present stood up and said to the inmates were gathered there. Now if that don't move you, you ain't got no switches and I suppose that's true, if you can look at nature and all its splendor, and you don't praise God is because the grace of God is not yet made itself known to you in Jesus Christ generally say that wonderful is God's works of creation are a person was come to know of God's goodness and grace in Jesus Christ can hardly stop there because the greatest of all God's works are his salvation works that as I see it is what history is all about is why things go on from year to year, decade to decade century to century as God brings people out of one position of the mother to faith in Jesus Christ. Most people, so I guess everything that was written about God in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.

We also found to be true.

We invite people to call by God in Jesus Christ and worship him along with.

Certainly that's what David is doing on the next stanza talks about God being gracious or good probably has reference to goodness in verse 7M to move on. Next to deal with God's compassion, patience and rich love. Stanza three now this verse in verse. The begins of the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love is the verse of the Old Testament that is most often quoted in the Old Testament comes from the book of Exodus and it has to do with that time when Moses asked to see the glory of God wanted to see the face of God, and God replied to him, but he can see my face, live Do that God set out I'll do the next best thing. I'll reveal myself to you in a special way. So God hid Moses in the cleft of the rock covered it with his hand and he passed by him as he passed by. Moses heard the voice of God and the voice of God said this, Lord, Lord, compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness and rebellion and sin the essence of this revelation is the definition of God's name Moses 1.1 of the no what the name of God was in God said my name is IL I am that I am. But if we go beyond that and say yes, but one is the great I am like the answer is here. I am compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin as I say that's the verse from the Old Testament the most quoted of the Old Testament. Why not are a large number of verses where you we find that you find it in numbers 14 and Nehemiah 9 you find it four times in the Psalms is there and Joel and it's also the book of Jonah. God is merciful.

Why should we focus on that you see are lots of things about God, we just should understand naturally God has to be sovereign to be God. God has to be all wise and all-powerful to be God we have every right to expect that, but we don't have any right to expect his mercy yet what we find is that in addition to being sovereign, powerful, all wise God is also a gracious and compassionate God. And that's what David is celebrating look and that stanza verses eight through 13.

The emphasizes mercy by speaking of gracious oneness and compassion twice while once in goodness once F also speaks of God's kingdom.

It's caused some of the commentators to say yes that's really the theme of the solvent has to do with the reign of God, especially because David starts at the beginning my God and my king. I don't think that's the best way of looking at it. I think he's actually rehearsing the attributes of God. But if you put the compassion of God together with God's rule. As David does in the stanza. What we have to say is that God's rule is a compassionate rule is one reason why people think they might be perhaps willing to have Jesus Christ as Savior without having Jesus Christ as their Lord is that they don't really trust him to be there Lord, thinking that somehow is going to be mean is Lord force them to do all kinds of things they don't want to do what is true is going to set a different standard before is quite different from the things that we would do apart from his grace, which is a is rule over us is a gracious rule was rule is a compassionate rule, our God is one of his very name is mercy, so you never surrender to the reign of God without finding him to be far more gracious farmer, loving, far more compassionate than you ever dreamed you never find anything like that in the world. The only place you find it is in God and his son Jesus on the next section 3rd of these main stanza stalks about God's faithfulness.

We ask when we consider this matter.

Faithfulness how it is that God actually demonstrates his faithfulness well. He doesn't like keeping his promises. Preparing for his creation. The things David mentions when we fall. He lifts us up you ever fallen shoe. Have we all have as God lifted you up as he kick you when you're down he doesn't do anything of the sort God delights in lifting up the fallen and you been down and God is lifted you up great cause of praise for that you want to be able to come to church and safe. Praise be to the bottom lifts up those who have fallen down. He says when, where, bow down by distress here restores assignment you ever overcome by distress something is bothering you so much.

You simply feel oppressed by it. You hardly know which way to turn. But in the midst of that experience you found the grace of God was restored Juno a better frame of mind, experience lap, and you can come to church.

You can say praise be to restores those are down by distress I've ever been hungry. Well, maybe not Moxley is not in the sense of those who were starving we got hungry from time to time, and we wouldn't God were not providing what were told here is that it provides food and praise him for that. That's a very important thing just because we get booed so naturally in our kind of society doesn't mean that we should forget that God is gracious in that way to when we look to him with her hands open, empty and held out satisfies us with all good things God does that for human beings. Of course, but what David seems to have in mind here is one evidence of the grace of God is that he doesn't for all creation is for the animals as well because what he talks about all he has made verse 13 and every living thing. Verse 16. I suppose that means that one of the promises that David has in mind. In verse 13 when he says God is faithful to his promises is the promise God made to Noah at the time of the great plot God said never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done as long as the earth and your seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. So we read that we say is a great promises of wonderful but God is faithful to his promises generation after generation after generation is a wonderful universality in these last verses goes all the way through verse 20 of seen in the word all which is repeated 11 time you notice that as you read it carefully. David writes about all his promises. All he has made all those who fall all who are bowed down all look to you all his ways. All he is made all who call upon him. He mentions that twice. All who love him and all the wicked means means nothing else because God is good to all auto.

Praise him all don't do it. Billions of people out there in the world of our day loudly have a thought for God at all. Certainly the people of God will come to know him to do it.

We should be praising them for all of these things now. Last stanza refers to God, being righteous, the Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made a righteous ear, doesn't mean morally upright. Though God is that is the only upright source of all morality, it means rather than God is upright or Johnston responding to those who have needs and who call upon him. Those who are in peril. Those who seek salvation.

Verse 18 says that God is near to all of call on him. It means that he answers their prayers when verse nine team says that he fulfills her desires and saves them. It means the same thing. Verse 20 ads the Lord watches over them. In other words, what he saying here is that throughout our entire lives God shows himself to us to be a good, caring, saving, and persevering God. Verse 20 for the first time in the Psalm. The wicked come into the picture. Lord watches over all the love him all the wicked he will destroy interesting incident that David hardly has a Psalm that he doesn't mention his enemies.

Those were trying to destroy him. What he says is that in the final analysis, God will destroy them. Well, it's a reminder that while were praising God, we nevertheless do it in a very wicked and sinful world. And we need God's protection.

Praise God know what worship is. That's enough to keep us busy for a lifetime.

Speaking of a lifetime. Isn't it interesting that this is David's last song. These are David's last word. You might call it David's last will and testament of David. It said nothing else in his long, long life, this would be in itself a marvelous legacy pass on to the people of all generations, until Jesus comes again.

What is he do he praises God himself and having praise God himself.

He calls upon others to join them and praise God to last verse says my mouth will speak in praise of the Lord that every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever. What will your legacy be money that will be used on believe houses they'll decay leave a reputation will forget about that greatest legacy anyone of us can ever leave us exactly what David left and that is praise to God because others will hear it.

Others will come to praise God to even if they don't remember that the Angels are looking on their looking on. According to that third chapter of Ephesians to see the manifold wisdom of God displayed in the church as you and I are experiencing the greatness and the goodness and the fullness in the righteousness of God say yes he is, in fact proved to be so in our own experience. The Angels that yes praise God to because God is all of those things and even more so don't wait. Praise God now, get others to praise God along with you prayer father. We are thankful for this great Psalm of David's which is such a model for us of how we might worship you in a pleasing, effective and meaningful way.

We don't always do it. We would like to do it more and we pray that you use that to provide the kind of instruction we need so that we might be increasingly appraise to the honor of our God.

We pray in Jesus name for listening to the Bible study hours between the teaching of Dr. James Boyce, do you worry about the future in light of all the problems and circumstances in the world today. Do you sometimes wonder if God's promises are really true. We like to send you a free CD entitled the greatness of God. By the late Donald Gray Barnhouse, Dr. Barnhouse assures us that God will bring to pass all that he has promised.

Because the promises of God are as certain as the greatness of God himself is free CD offers our way of saying thanks for listening. Give us a call that 1-800-488-1888 will be happy to send you a copy of the greatness of God.

Our number again is 1-800-488-1888 we can express our praise and thankfulness to God. In many ways and one of them is through giving back in honor of all the Lord has done for us. If you appreciate Dr. Boyce's messages would you consider giving back by supporting the Bible study our 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 visit us online at the Bible study our God work. Our mailing address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Thank you. We appreciate your support Dr. Boyce's impact reach far beyond the pulpit are 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 resources God hi Mark Daniels thank you for joining me today worship his work. The world would have us believe that if worship is to be worthwhile should be fine and engage our emotions to have any real value worship must engage our minds as well as our feeling.

Join Dr. James Boyce next time he explores Psalm 146 Psalm that implores us to praise the Lord for all the right reason. That's next time on the Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically

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