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November 22, 2020 7:00 am
The picture of the family gathered around the piano to sing after the evening meal is one for the past we enjoy listening to others sing, but as a people we seldom sing ourselves welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Bortz preparing you to think and act biblically, though, if you break out in song these days.
For God's people singing is a way of expressing the truths of God's word and are passionate response to those words. Let's join Dr. Boyce as he examined Psalm 149 and the reasons God's people are exhorted to not only sing but to sing a new song unto the Lord. It's been quite a while now that we've been studying English final worship Psalms of the Psalter, but we haven't said much about singing is time to talk about singing I'll not the kind of singing that is performing before an audience way so I hope I never have to do that but the kind of singing away Dylan were alone because we're happy it's like singing in the shower and also the kind of singing that we do with other people as we do in church. Sad thing about our day is not many people singing the day was a time when people use to people with sing in their homes as they gathered around the piano in the evenings, but there's not much about the goes on anymore. Some of the best memories of my youth were singing songs with my friends, summer camp in Canada still think back on those days with very fond memories.
I enjoyed many times driving along on vacations with my parents and my sisters in the car singing all of those songs together everything that we knew because the time to pass, but I think that happens very often. The young don't sing much today. They listen to music, but they don't actually sing about the only place today that people really do sing is in church is a good thing we do because we're preserving something very very precious now. Psalm 149 encourages us to think about singing and what it means for the people of God because sing is the very first word after the word hallelujah what were told to go in this Psalm is to sing a new song by one way we might think about Psalm 149 is recognize a connection with the previous Psalm Psalm 148, the 14th verse of that song noted God special grace to Israel and the nation was urged to praise the Lord.
So here in the following Psalm. That's exactly what they do encourage do it by singing or we could look at it another way, in Psalm 148. The whole creation from heaven above to the earth beneath, has been praising God. But now it's time to hear specifically from God's saints of the word sing is repeated in the Psalm, but saints is another word that's repeated find it three times in each of the Psalms 3 stanza six. In verses 1 to 5 and minds are you might say that this is the Psalm of the singing saints.
I will later praise God. Well, the answer that's given at the very beginning is by singing a new song, sing to the Lord new song is praise in the assembly of the saints to sing a new song to God is not a new idea. You already come across it several times already in the Psalms. It's there in the third verse of Psalm 33 we find it in the third verse of Psalm 40 leaves off. Psalm 96 and 98 and again in Psalm 144, which is only a few Psalms before this and then it occurs again several times in the book of Revelation to ask since it occurs here in the final Psalms. Why here of all places.
Why are we purchasing a new song in this next to the last Psalm of the entire Psalter probably would be my suggestion is to call attention to the importance of singing in worship of God. But what's unique about singing, especially the singing of Psalms hymns and praise songs by Christian's that singing joins affirmations about God in the gospel expressed in words to an emotional response to that content which music both encourages and affords everything many times over in the studies of worship that worship is going to involve the mind, serious mental activity is because worship means acknowledging and praising God for who he is and in order to do that we have to understand who is in order to understandably as we have to know the Bible. The Bible is where God tells us what he's like and what is done for our salvation. So it's a mental activity.
It's not something that we can engage in mindlessly that we want to look at the Psalm in a little detail truths about God in which the writer of the Psalm takes delight in encourages us also to take delight are spelled out in the first stanza, and there are three of them.
Verses two through five. First of all, were told that God is our Creator understands it is referring to Israel as God's people and it's calling Israel God saying someone God is referred to as creator what that might mean is that God is the creator of his people at is the nation and our case it would be God's role in the creation of the formation of the church. Jesus said I will build my church, and so is the creator of the church. It might be that that's what the psalmist is talking about.
On the other hand, the previous Psalm, God has been described as the maker of all things, heaven and earth and the entire universe is praising him and as result of that, it might mean here that this almost as thinking of God as creator and the broader sense about whatever way we take it God is the creator God is the creator of all things.
He certainly the creator of his people and he created us as members of the church.
I've been very impressed. Recently, as I've been doing some thinking on other areas that this is where the Bible begin go back to the early chapters of Genesis. The very start, and what we find there is not what we would call the doctrine of salvation which comes later in the earliest chapters don't even mention Jesus Christ. He only comes in is a prophecy in the third chapter Bible begins with God is the creator and it's a way of saying this is what people have to understand first of all, God is the creator. He's the one who was made you and because he's made you, you owe him something you owe him worship going. Thank you owe it praising the problem of course is that we don't do that. So the sequence of thought that's developed for us in the Bible is first of all, the God is the creator. Our responsibility, our failure to live up to that responsibility because of our sin and therefore God's gracious promise of the Savior. I might add, we find the same thing in the New Testament is exactly what Paul does in Romans one is going to talk about the gospel. Now Jesus is Congress a great gospel to be announced even says in the first chapter, verses 16 and 17 that this is what is going to talk about that in order to talk about it properly, that we might understand why Jesus had the common wide-eyed begins with God is creator. So God has revealed himself in creation, he says, by the things that is made so that is invisible qualities are clearly seen problem, he says, is that we don't acknowledge that we repress that truth about God. As a result of which the wrath of God comes upon us for our sin. I think that's probably what we need most in evangelism the day because were living in an increasingly pagan world say when you live world or culture in which the basic truths of Christianity are more or less known. You can presume a lot of things begin to talk about Christ and the pagan culture you to begin to talk about God as creator and our responsibility to God as our Creator and the fact that we failed to do that were guilty before him just before one another in West before the state. Therefore, we need a Savior in any way that begins to come through in the song. Secondly, God is also praised as our king. This is true of the most basic level, God is King of the entire universe because he is the creator. He rules it and includes all nations and all peoples. It's one cause for their just judgment that they failed to acknowledge this is a matter of fact, the nations are in rebellion against God.
Our culture is in rebellion against God. Second Psalm describes it, kingdoms and kings of this world gather together against the Lord and against his anointed one, saying, let us break their chains and throw off their fetters the people of this world are hostile to God's rule. That's the culture in which we live, and they need to be taught that God is King in spite of their rejection of him is only in this way that they can be begin to understand something of the nature of sand and why it is we really need a Savior and Jesus Christ. The kind of Seder that only God himself can be and who provides people have to teach the black are those who have come to acknowledge Jesus Christ as their king that is the Christians, then at least to the third point of the sequence I've been developing last of these truths about God is that God is our Savior.
He saves us from our rebellion. Psalmist says in verse four, the Lord takes delight in his people. He crowns the humble salvation as I've been thinking about these three things it's occurred to me that you could write all theology based around God's creator God is King God's Savior God, the creator of all things slick king involving Providence and then you would have the Savior doctors. I think if I were constructing it I would do it that way and then I backed out again using the same outline I would do God's.
And I would do.
God is King have a section on God's Savior that have a section on God's kingdom.
Those were found in the Savior because you can have a Savior without a Lord. And finally, I would have God's creator again because the end of it all is that we might praise him as our Creator would not be a great theology, and extensive gives us what we would call a victory song and a victory song also plays a part in the worship of God by God's people going all the way back to the song of Moses and Miriam. After the Jews exodus from Egypt and their crossing of the Red Sea know how that happened.
There was a worship team if there ever was one. I got the people altogether and they began to worship God. And this is what they sign. I will sing to the Lord is highly exalted. The horse and its rider. He is hurled into the sea Lord is my strength and my song he has become my salvation. Strictly speaking, last stanza of Psalm 149 isn't so much a victory song as it is in anticipation of victory in a prayer for victory, but it's anticipation is so strong and it's prayer is so certain of being answered that we can almost visualize it happening almost see the soldiers marching out the battle singing their songs song of praise in their mouth and we might add verse six double edged sword in their hands is been a problem for some people, people who wonder how believers can be engaged in war in any sense war is sometimes necessary and a fallen world, and to be a soldier is not an unworthy occupation for the follower of God, of the great commentators exceedingly pulled Lutheran defenses view saying it's quite possible that one may have a high praises of God upon his mouth two edge sword in his hand.
I suppose that's a scholastic way of saying praise the Lord and pass the ammunition but now having said that, I have to offer some qualifications or what I've said to be misunderstood. I said that in the sinful world war is sometimes necessary and that being a soldier is not an unworthy vocation for a follower of God.
David was one but I didn't mean by that the Christians are to advance the work of God by killing their enemies Christian concert in the Armed Forces, but he does so as a citizen serving his country and its interest in Mott is the Christian battling for Christianity he can contend for the faith only does so yes to do it in a very different way.
I'm illustrated in terms of this law by historical incident punishments or use the Psalm Psalm 149 to incite the German farmers to military action and what has come to be known as the peasants war at the height of the Reformation was a sad abuse of Christianity, and it happened this way the war began their Schaffhausen in 1524 which was seven years after Luther had nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg and a drag on for two years to 1526. By the end of that first year there were some 30,000 German farmers in arms, refusing to pay taxes feudal church Pfizer feudal dues. In March 2015 25. They circulated a document that was called the 12 articles is their demand by the things they were concerned about. They were very just concerns. They claim the right to choose their own pastors.
They wanted to play only just times I wanted to be considered as free men rather than serfs going to Fairwinds or other reasonable demands, and to top it all off they were in favor of the Reformation unable to post of the Roman Catholic Church. Now peasants expected Luther to support their cause.
Luther was sympathetic, wrote about what was going on communicating with the nobles in the hierarchy of the church. He said it's your fault that all of this is come upon us because you really are behaving wrong in your treatment of the present yet Luther didn't endorse the rebellion and sometimes people looked on that and said that was a great failure. Luther's part. Here we had a national uprising should have been behind it, do it and had very good reasons for it. First of all, he had great fear of anarchy. Those who have always lived in an ordered society order for granted, but it's nothing to be taken lightly.
Luther understood that anarchy is bad. Any innocent people perish in such time.
Secondly, he was well aware because he knew the Bible that God is establish the authority of princes, including even of those that we don't like we didn't want to go against the teaching of the word of God there cheaply.
Luther knew the power of the sword has not been given either to the church or to the individual Christian and that our weapons are not the world's weapons and that they are actually arguments which alone have power to demolish strongholds. So yes, the question can Christians use dilatory language in the answer is yes. The Psalms do we can sing onward Christian soldiers we can talk of advancing the banner of Jesus Christ. But we have to understand as we do, we do so in the words of that other battle image song that goes not with swords, loud clashing, nor role of stirring problems, but with deeds of loving mercy. The heavenly kingdom comes only put it this way are equivalent of this latter half of Psalm 149 would be the spiritual warfare of the Christian life because as Paul says in Ephesians 6 our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm or is it says in Revelation 12 will conquer, but will do it by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony brings us back to this matter of singing in the psalmist called for a new song new song we love the old songs. Of course this is we love the old doctrines on a walk in the old plans, but each generation has fresh experiences of God's grace and each experience of the grace of God calls for new songs is real and experience God's goodness in bringing the people back from their bondage in Babylon and then perhaps giving them victory over their enemies, and so they wrote the Psalm about and so it is continued when Jesus was born. Knowledge of the salvation that has come to us in Christ called for new songs first new song was the song of the angels in the sky over Bethlehem they cried. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests really on the Christians, wrote Psalms 1 of them probably is preserved in the second chapter of Philippians beginning who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped so believers who thought that Trinitarian and Christological battles early centuries of church history have left us songs from this. Celebrating the Trinity and the deity of Christ, the Gloria Patri but we sing dates from this. Glory be to the father and the son of the Holy Ghost.
Fourth century Latin hymn begins. All glory be to the most high, that the all adoration grace and truth out draws my offer us salvation same century. Ambrose of Malan Road all splendor of God's glory right from light eternal bringing wiped out light of light lights living spring crew all days illuminating recovery of the gospel of the Reformation led to powerful new songs by the reformers, especially by Martin Luther.
We sing many of them best known of course a mighty Fortress is our God for never failing but he also wrote all praise to the eternal Lord close in a garbled flesh and blood, and he wrote great God, what do I see and hear the end of things created prepare my soul to meet him.
A few centuries later, John and Charles Wesley wrote hundreds of hymns, especially Charles is left as such hymns as O for a thousand tongues to say the servants of God your master proclaim Hark the Herald Angels. Jesus Christ is risen today. Arise, my soul, arise, shake off my guilty fears and one we like best and can it be that I should gain an interest in my Savior's blood about the same time, Nicholas von Zinzendorf compose Jesus by blood and righteousness by beauty are by glorious drafts and flaming worlds of these arrayed with joy till I lift up my head. Those hymns reflect something of the spirit of the revival movements of days in church history, and I ask what about our time experiences of God's grace led to the writing of new songs today. Yes, I think they have not all good. Many of them are quite trite terms of their lyrics and their music. Many are badly man centered, but not all of them are good hymns and their good hymn writers Michael Blanc contemporary English writer, wrote a beautiful setting of Psalm one Margaret Clarkson, an English woman now living in Canada, wrote. We come oh Christ to you true son of God and man. Another when our God is mighty worthy of all praising Daniel Iversen died in 1977, wrote spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me about David Clooney who wrote God. All nature sings like glory. All I works proclaim my mind or his father, Edward P. Cleverley, former president of Westminster seminary Road vastly immensity mirror majesty galaxies spread the curtain of light treasure that is all the way back to the various earliest years of church history coming all the way up our own time. Well, so I asked about her own time and asked about us, but you you have a new song praise of God's glory.
Most of us don't have the ability to write new songs will be sad about that that's the case is been a new song written for you, you're going to sing it one day because it tells us about it in the book of Revelation where all the saints gather around the throne, and here's what you are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on the earth basing other songs to but I don't think will ever get tired of father we thank you for the joy and privilege not only of knowing you, praising you and song. We thank you for those who have been given the gift of music to write lyrics and compose tunes that throughout all the centuries of church history have lifted the hearts and minds and spirits of your people as they have handed together to praise you before the angels in the world. Thank you that were part of that company. We rejoice in it we ask that your blessing might be upon us even as we can and you are worshiped by singing of hymns.
We pray in Jesus name, amen you listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce. It might seem that worship would have little to do with the doctrine of assurance. However, in our free CD offer this week entitled worship and assurance teacher and seminary Pres. Jonathan master shows us that our worship has much to teach us about our assurance in Christ is free CD offer is just our way of saying thanks for listening. Call us today at 1-800-488-1888 we be happy to send you a copy of worship and assurance as God's people, we express our heartfelt gratitude in song and we also express that gratitude and giving to his work as we are able. Would you consider supporting the Bible study hour with a gift today. You can make a one time tax deductible donation work become a monthly supporter of this ministry by calling us directly at 1-800-488-1888 or you can visit us online at the Bible study our data work. If you prefer.
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Glad you listen to the last song of the Bible encourages everyone everywhere with all means and at all times to praise the Lord and to do it loudly joined Dr. James Boyce as he concludes his study of the Psalter with a song that encourages us to praise the Lord without reservation next next time one Bible study hour bearing you to think and act biblically