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November 15, 2020 7:00 am
Mankind has an instinctive need to worship, but also that worship is misdirected.
If we don't end up worshiping some force of nature or nature itself. We end up idolizing ourselves welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically the natural world praises God by its mere existence, but man is to praise God because he has revealed himself to us not only through nature, but through his word as well. Let's join Dr. Boyce as he looks at Psalm 148 I saw that answers the questions of who should worship and whom we are to worship without asking a number of important questions about worship as we've made our way through these last Psalms in the solar trying to find answers to such things is what worship is how we should worship where we should worship all on we find more answers to questions we may have in Psalm 138 which is the Psalm that which we come.
Now this Psalm answers the question, who should worship and where the answer is this everyone everywhere should praise God, from the highest heavens, the lowest spots on earth not just human beings fish of the sea, wild animals, cattle, birds, angels, even the inanimate creation should worship God the sun, the moon, the stars lightning trail snow clouds, mountains, pills, fruit trees, great satyrs.
Everyone and everything should praise God. Kidner says, starting with the angelic host and descending through the skies of the various forms and creatures on earth and then summoning the family of man and finally the chosen people is called a praise unites all creation. Well, the preceding Psalm 147 told us why we should praise God for his care of his people is care of animals is the light in the godly, his provision for Jerusalem is rule over all creation. Above all, his gift of the written word here because on creation to acknowledge this God. All this is a great Psalm, and it's not surprising that it has been picked up by many poets, especially in the English language and put in the common verse one great example of it is John Milton who uses it in paradise lost in book 5 where Adam and Eve were in the garden, before their fall and they use in one way or another, somewhat loosely, the words of this hymn in order to worship God as part of their morning worship calling all the creation which they have been made vice regents to join them in their praise of the maker. It may be the last time in all history that all creatures of actually done that William Cullen Bryant lived in the last century, wrote a poem that expanded on verse six. Another lesser-known poet named Peter perhaps wrote her a poem similar to Brian's way back in the 15th century. Probably the poetry that we know best is that camp. It comes from the Bible. Song symbol of 1927 is worth going through the words of that song because it is a close poetic rendering of what the Psalm itself actually says goes like this. Hallelujah praise Jehovah from the heavens, praise his name, praise Jehovah in the highest all his angels praise his name always hosts together, praise him, Psalm and moon and stars on hi praise them all you heaven of heavens and new floods above the sky but them praises give Jehovah they were made at his command them forever. He established his decree shall ever stand from the earth. Oh, praise Jehovah.
All you sees you monsters all firemen hail and snow and vapors only wins but here is call all you fruitful trees cedars all you hills and mountains high creeping things and birds and cattle birds that in the heavens fly kings of earth and all you people princes great earth judges all praise his name young man and maidens agent man children small but them praises give Jehovah for his name alone is high and his glory is exalted far above the earth and sky as our God. That's what the Psalm is all about now. Psalms begins by looking upward and as he looks up the first two entities. He sees that he urges to praise God our first of all the angels and secondly the heavenly bodies are above man in the cosmic order in exactly the same way they are.
In Psalm eight call that Salome talks about God being exalted and looks upward to the moon and the stars in the heavenly beings which are called the Elohim, God's now far as the Angels are concerned. The problem here is that there has always been a basic tendency in human nature to worship them either fallen or unfallen rather than the worship God pagan worship of the gods and goddesses would be one example, but an even better example is a movement that was active in the early days of the church known as Gnosticism.
The Gnostics worship what they called emanations that is beings that somehow made their way out from the great high God. There was a whole series of them. The idea was this God himself being utterly above matter is unable not only to touch it easy, but unable to create it from the most high God came a God.
It was a little bit less, not God, and from that God gave another God. It was a little bit less than that God and so on through a long, long series of emanations until you finally got to a God who would descended low enough that he could actually make the earth now what these Gnostics said was that all of these readings are God's. To some degree. So what you have to do is know how to worship them and that's what this Gnostic philosophy was all about gnosis from which the word Gnostic comes means knowledge and the knowledge that was taught the disciples all had to do with the worship of these so-called semi angelic or demonic beings now sadly we had a somewhat of a revival of Gnosticism in our day, not exactly in that way. Of course, but in such new age movements as asked Scientology witchcraft channeling the oak called astrology the worship of a female deity under such names as Sophia great earth mother and Gaia and also in the deification of self, which is been popularized most clearly by Shirley McClain. How many people today by end of this Gnostic New Age out what sometimes not even realizing it.
They do it whenever they dismiss the Christian brought God is cruel whenever they imagine Christ to be simply one of many lesser gods when they talk about man is fundamentally good and path to salvation as a discovery of one's self.
Now, Psalm 148 has nothing to do with this kind of paganism because it looks to the Angels is God's but as beings that were made by God and who themselves must worship God is all creation must do says he commanded, and they were created, so the Angels like man must worship their Creator. On the second thing he sees as he looks upward as the heavenly bodies of fallen men and women don't worship the Angels. The next thing. Sadly, we do is worship the heavenly bodies, the sun, the moon, the stars and the planets. This took place in the ancient world. Of course, and we are told not to do that because the heavenly bodies like the Angels have been made by God and therefore there to join in the praise of God, and they do the heavenly bodies glorify God.
That's what Psalm 19 says Psalm which really should be taken together with Psalm 148 when were studying either Psalm 19 says the heavens declare the glory of God the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech tonight after night they display knowledge there is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
Now, as I say that Psalm Psalm 19.
The first half of that especially helps us understand Psalm 148 because were not to suppose that the writer here actually imagines that the sun, the moon and the stars and so forth are allied beings and have voices so they actually articulate praise to God. That's not what he means by glorify God by their mere existence say something like the sun blazing away in its glory is to be pointed to a Creator, and so on. For the other beings as well, but they are models for our worship in two respects. First of all, their worship of God is always visible says in Psalm 19. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world is not hidden or secret. And then secondly in their worship of God is constant, doesn't vary.
It doesn't go away see it generation to generation. And that's what Psalm 148 verse six means when he says he that is God set them in place forever and ever. So we look upward and we begin to get some instruction as to how we should praise God now having look upward to the heavens was almost next looks downward to the earth, and he calls upon all things terrestrial to join in this great worship chorus worship on earth. In other words, is to be an echo of the worship of heaven now here he also turns to two entities she was looking to the Angels of the heavenly bodies when they look upward, now he looks downward.
What he sees.
Here is the animal creation and then finally human beings which of course is where the storm is moving. I've spoken of the animal creation, but strictly speaking, this part of the Psalm talks about in animate creation as well. This kind of the flow of thought here was almost began up and came down now and he begins to talk about the earth.
He goes down and comes up.
He begins by talking about the sea creatures. Those things that are found in the ocean depths upward to speak about lightning and hail, snow clouds and stormy winds in the mountains and the hills, trees, the cedars all the wild and domestic animals, and finally even the smallest creatures words before concluding with human beings. Then his point is that all of this that God is created must worship God as well. But here's that problem again.
The Angels worship God the heavenly bodies praise them by their mere existence created beings on earth. Praise God by their existence, but not man man doesn't do it man redirects his worship. He doesn't want to acknowledge the daughter was made in because he is in rebellion against God. And so what happens is what the apostle Paul describes in Romans one, he says, although they claim to be wise people in our day. Do they actually became fools in exchange the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. The sad thing that in our fallen state when return to nature we make either one of two errors concerning either we regard nature is something that's to be raped for our own benefit that is stripping the art for however it might benefit short-term forget that it's made by God and has a purpose of its own, apart from its immediate benefit to sort of.
We don't do that we tend to fall down and worship the earthquakes express it in different ways. Sometimes we talk about the force says they did in the Star Wars saga. Another kinds we talk about nature with the N rather than God.
With the G as of nature itself has the capacity for self-realization. So we worship this grade hidden force out there somewhere, but it's all up way of avoiding the worship of God. Opposition to what is really paganism in our day or in the day of this almost writer of the Psalm tells us that we must worship God.
Now we come at last to human beings is what he talks about in verses 1112 there the climax of God's creation there made in God's image were told in Genesis 1 verses 26 and 27, and therefore being made in God's image able to commune with God. Actually, to know him to hear from him and to praise him doing it with our minds, and by words, here's an interesting comparison that one of the writers brings out talking about the worship of the heavenly bodies as compared with the worship of human beings in verse five the celestial bodies are called to praise God simply by the fact of their existence commanded, and they were created, but in verse 13 we praise God consciously since he has revealed himself or his name has been revealed and exalted the same way God's glory in the natural world is the reign of law regularity which invites us to search out his works.
But when his people, his glorious redemptive love because he raises up a horn for them. It means a strong deliverer, and above all in bringing them near him.
That's the climax of the Psalm at this God. All of nature worships comes near to us and makes it possible for us to draw near him. Sad thing is that in our fallen state. We seek out substitutes for God and that we don't worship the Angels of the heavenly bodies or some force in nature. We end up selves in the final analysis, that's what we all do. Apart from the grace of God in Jesus Christ, we put ourselves in God's place.
Adam and Eve did it in Eden. Nebuchadnezzar did it is the great King of Babylon, and we do it to, sometimes subtly, but we do it nonetheless. I suppose in our day. The worship of man directly is most visible and some of the statements of the New Age movement that I mentioned earlier I mentioned Shirley McClain she did a television special. Some years ago based on her book out on a limb. She is shown cavorting on the beach in Malibu, and she runs down the beach.
Gaily she's holding her arms in the air and she saying I am God is what you wrote in another place great awakening is taken place individuals across the world are popping in their internal power to understand who they are and are using that knowledge to elevate their lives or circumstances to a higher octave of happiness and productivity is actually deifying man in his ability other New Age writer's name is Carol Chris Grote I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely well that's why we have the last stanza of Psalm 148 throughout the Psalm. The writer's been calling on the entire creation to worship God, which the animals Angels in nature, do this almost is no fool.
He's called on the kings of the earth, all you nations. You princes send all rumors of earth young men and maidens, all men and children, all the worship God, but he knows the kings, princes, and people as a whole don't do that though they should. So in this last few lines of the Psalm returns to those who have actually experienced God's salvation and he holds them out as ones in whom the heathen may actually see God's saving acts of learned worship him. Verse 14. That word horn is a biblical way of talking about strength. What is thinking about here is probably the restoration of strength Israel after their days of exile. In other words, he saying God is working through Israel.
That's where God is to be seen and therefore Israel praises him. That's where we need to see ourselves in the picture we come to know God through Jesus Christ because that's the importance of Israel. The fact that God called this people as a nation, through whom he would eventually send the Messiah who was the Savior.
You want to know who God is like, you find them in that descendents of Israel. You find them in Jesus and it's in the church the gods to be seen and worship now because the church does them and the church proclaims them no we been talking about angels in the natural creation peoples of this world is significant of the Bible talks about the church that it's in the church. Each of these entities of the created order is actually to find out something about God and worship God about the Angels. First of all Paul writes about them in Ephesians is talking about the church.
He says God's intent was that now, through the church the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. That is, to the Angels, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. The Angels are worshiping God at this moment that's their business. They do it constantly. But what Paul is telling us in Ephesians is a look at the church and see what is being done and the people of God by God for his glory.
The Angels constantly find more and more, for which they should praise God that true view demonstrating something of the grace and power of God in your life so that even the angels look on the site is not wonderful what God is doing in that person.
Or, again, the natural creation.
Paul writes about that in Romans eight he's describing the creation as being in bondage as a result of human sin and God's judgment on it for man's transgression. Then he says this, the creation waits in eager expectation of the sons of God to be revealed. The creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought the glorious freedom of the children of God seems to be saying like human beings. The creation itself will one day experience something like a resurrection as God blesses it as well. It will share in our redemption.
And finally, what about the kings from the princes than the people of this world. At the present they're not worshiping God. On the contrary, there taking a stand against the Lord and against his anointed. They're saying let's cast off their fetters. Let's break their bond and be free. God only laughs at that he knows the day is coming when Jesus whom he has appointed as his kingdom will rule from Zion and rule.
Even these kings with an iron scepter is established, a day when every knee will bow and every one in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Every time confess Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the father of the Psalm brings us to this final point in the final question is this. Are you among a great company who have confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.
If not, this is the time to do it to leave the company of those who are resisting him human beings alone in all of creation, and instead joined the company of those who rejoice in Christ death send them his resurrection is the proof of their eternal life and who began to serve him. These are the people who are close to God's heart is what verse 14 talks about a look forward to the day and every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and all that is in them will sing as it says in Revelation 513. To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever going to join that great chorus that I don't we begin by taking part in it.
Even now, much prayer father were thankful for this long for the way points us to join the rest of creation worship you was the only wise and glorious God and to do so through Jesus Christ who saved us from our sin. Yes, if you would bless us as we try to do that in church by our worship and our singing. Also, as we go from this place and bear testimony before the world of your grace.
Pray in Jesus name you listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce heaven, the ultimate destiny for the believer, a place of immeasurable peace defined by God's presence and secured for us by his son, a place where our thoughts can dwell especially in troubled times. You can learn more about your eternal home from ICD offer entitled heaven. It's also by Dr. Boyce. This free CD offered is our way of saying thanks for listening. Call us at 1-800-488-1888 and we will be happy to send you a copy of that CD called heaven.
Again, our phone number is 1-800-488-1888 as the world looks to man in nature rather than the word of God for direction, it's critical that the clear teaching of God's word continues to be heard.
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