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A Thanksgiving Psalm

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2021 7:00 am

A Thanksgiving Psalm

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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December 10, 2021 7:00 am

Our God is so great and wonderful that creation shouts for joy and sings of His glory. But what about His people? Do we echo nature’s praise? Dr. James Boice takes us through Psalm 66, where David urges God’s people to take a lesson from nature and tell God how awesome are his deeds.

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Psalm 66, urges us as God's people to praise our God, the Psalm instructs us and how to praise him and gives us an example in David of one who is praising him in the Psalm of Thanksgiving.

David reminds us that if we consider all the great things are God has done, we would tell the world that this is the God who made you come and praise the Lord.

Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically come in here and I will tell you what he is done for my soul declares the psalmist turn your Bible to Psalm 66, and let's join Dr. Boyce as he examines David's great Psalm of Thanksgiving reminds us of the reasons that God deserves both our thanks and our praise last week we were studying Psalm 65 and this week were studying Psalm 66 and there's a link between them. I wonder if you've seen it regards between the very last verse. Actually, the last line of Psalm 65 in the first two verses of Psalm 66 probably wire Psalm 66 is a place where it is in the shoulder of the very end of Psalm 65 days almost.

David is talking about the Meadows in the valleys and he says they shout for joy in saying that in the first two verses of Psalm are looking at now turns to the earth, and he says that Eric shout with joy to God all the earth, saying the glory of his name.

So you have that link each one of them talk about shouting for joy and singing. There is a difference, however, David is talking about the earth. Meadows Mullally assigned he's really encompassing all of God's inanimate creation, personal creation, he says that the creation does shout for joy does say when it turns to the world of human being to say you're doing any urges us to do it.

Obviously because it's hard for us to do that you and I automate praising God of all time. We have far more to praise him for that and the inanimate universe for the more we understand what were doing when you talk about nature praising God. It's only a poetic fallacy nature doesn't actually do that were the ones that should we don't and so we have to be urged to do it. That's what the Psalm doesn't urges us to diligent instructors. How we might do it and then it gives us an example of one is doing exactly that. That's where were going to look at it now before we plunge into it in detail. Let me just tell you something about that movement of the Psalm insulted understand how it goes little glimpse of that ahead of time. There actually are two overlapping movements in the song. The first is a movement from the praise of God on a large scale for the praise of God on a small scale with something in between is the way it works. First of all, in verses one through seven. All of the earth is everybody on the face of the earth is called upon to praise God, second section, verses eight through 12, the nation of Israel is called upon to praise God so it narrows down just a trifle, and then in the final section, beginning with verse 13, the individual's almost all by himself is praising God Derek Kidner who is one of the best of the modern commentators on the Psalms identifies those three sections like this. Number one God of all. Number two God of many number three got up one get the idea how it's moving is a sense in which the Psalm begins broadly land and widely an all-encompassing wave that ends narrowly what happens. It's right make can be illustrated by something interesting in using one of Joseph Haydn's symphonies and 45th Symphony. It's an F sharp minor and it's called the farewell symphony know anything about it, you'll know why it's called the farewell symphony is like this begins with the entire orchestra sitting on the platform they're all playing first movement that is a Symphony goes on. The sections begin to get individuals one by one to begin the walk off the platform and finally by trying to get to the end only people on the platform are two violinists I when I was first performed by understanding the MM 1772 is each instrumentalist got up from his place on the stage and walked off. He had a little lantern there that was illuminating his music. They didn't have electric lights and so as he got off his part being finished, he blew out his life so as that piece progress. Not only did the players get fewer and fewer, but that even began to get increasingly dark and finally to do violence without lights went out entire exit farewell symphony know something like that is happening here in Psalm 66 Psalm begins with the entire earth. All the inhabitants of the earth upon the stage. Then they begin to get dismissed one by one and then you got just the nation of Israel laughed and finally at the very end.

The psalmist standing there all alone. However, unlike the symphony which assertive fades away.

In the case of the Psalm. The passion and the intensity builds the widest scope sort of is called upon to praise God doesn't really doing very well.

Israel has a lot to praise God for they do it but and finally the psalmist is there all alone with passionate intensity. He tells God that is going to fulfill his files and then he gives a testimony everybody will listen to, hear what God is done for so that's the way it goes. The first movement. The other overlapping movement is only a goes like this, you notice the stances if you kind of study them get the theme you'll find the first of all, and a group or an individual is told to praise God and then that same individual or group is called upon to praise God, and praise God's appraising, or the way it alternates now you see that the first stanza uses the word shouting saying that the word praise except at the end of all earth is being told to praise God and then as a dozen doing very well. I would suspect in verse five is an invitation to come and see what.is.that you might have something to praise God for stanza again now talking to the Jewish nation praise our God, all people, then the third next section. The fourth one is almost himself says well I'm going to come and praise God and then finally at the end he talks to everybody and he says not listen to what God is actually done for me.

So those are the movements that's the way it operates per section then deals with this call that the entire earth to praise God. Most people know most Bibles know at least that after the Babylonian captivity. The Jews came back from their captivity in Babylon. They tended to become religiously exclusive didn't have a great deal of concern for the other nations are probably very good reason for that date thought they had to narrow down focus on Israel as a whole and Israel's religion in the floor all of the other religions of the world and the peoples of the world in order to preserve their own identity is surprising, therefore, in view of that we normally think of Judaism operating that way is that you find something quite different. In the song quite often in the Psalm. This this broad kind of an inclusive view which has in mind the fact that this God of Israel that was done such wonderful things for his rep is actually the God of the earth, so the whole earth is called upon to come and praise him right here is blocking Psalms that do this.

From 65 which we looked at before this one. 66. Also 67 and 68, four of them altogether okay to have this particular biblical kind and proper kind of universalism. All the nations of the world. I just Israel were called upon to praise God. Now that's understandable listening is a kind of universalism in our day.

Very popular.

Unfortunately, even among evangelicals kinda says well you know God can't disapprove of anybody and in the end, everybody's going to be saved and therefore anybody's particular view of things is okay we have a certain relativism in our time that says well has to be okay because after all week really have the religious opinions and because we don't in any way of validating one over the other your opinions. Good for you my opinion good for me.

All are equally valid unless the wrong kind of universalism Bible doesn't encourage that at all.

So you can understand why because if there is a non-Bible of course assumes the risen everybody out. Another is for fools if we think otherwise of the risen God and God is what God is going is something he's not just whatever your opinion makes it so the question on to me at your opinion but is your opinion that this is my opinion is my opinion valid Audi answer that the only way you can answer a question like that is when God himself reveals what is really like, and Judaism, Christianity claims that's exactly what God is done in the Bible is something we may not is not our opinion, is God saying this is what I might not get there is a God, then there is a certain kind of narrow nest by definition what is the same time there is is broader kind of biblical universalism which says this nevertheless is not Israel's God sent America's God the God of a particular class of a particular race is the God of the whole earth. He made all. Therefore, our task if we actually do know him through the Scriptures work of the Holy Spirit making that live in our hearts is to say to the whole world. This is the God of his major God. I was blessed to come and praise the Lord that's exactly what is happening here. Setting the courses of the world doesn't do it very fact that in the second stanza of the Psalm.

David has to urge people to come in and see what the Lord is done betrays that God is given people everything I have given their very lives given them health food. The such a thing as common grace. The very fact that people are alive because of the grace of God that they don't naturally praise God. Romans one says what they do. They try to suppress the knowledge of God and so David is calling upon the whole world, and actually find out what the true God is like. I can't help but think that there's sort of an illustration of what goes on here in the earthquake that took place at Southern California this this winter was by estimates made afterwards. The most costly national disaster that is ever overtaken America even greater than the hurricane in Florida some years ago and I struck some people as significant, especially since it followed on a number of other disasters out in Southern California where the riots that a lot of distraction where the brushfires fall. I got the earthquake is terribly destructive.

They were discussing this on national television and one person said an observer quoting as nearly as I can. Maybe God is trying to tell us something and then on another program I heard someone say this is national television. Maybe God doesn't like what's going on in Southern California. Well I don't know maybe doesn't, but you say of that is true that line of logic should lead you to seek the truth is like. Find out what he approves what he disapproves and worship them, but of course we don't do that these great acts of God sometimes catch the attention of the world is a God, filters into our conversation a little bit of the world left himself really doesn't worship God are going to want to see what Israel does. Before you do that and we just digress a moment to say that this opening section has something to tell us about the place of music and singing Thanksgiving and worship in the relationship between these things because that's the way it begins, doesn't it. I just shouting with joy. God but also we are to sing the glory of his name, and I want to sing a sort of spelled out here and that very short scope. Interesting that people of God in the Old Testament Jewish people and then today in the church are people who sing God's praises about the importance of actually singing on the importance of music alums always been music. I suppose Greeks at music, what it was like the Egyptians at music and so on. The Romans, and so on down through the various parts of history. The various nations but mostly was performance of the word you had trained musician would sing for you and sort of fill the role of many periods of history.

The television does for us today. He got a gathering together. He had a beginner editing something afterwards and so the minstrels would come and sing.

Mostly that's what it was like now when you get into an age where you got mass dissemination of information and you can circulate music and people are well-off enough that they can begin to take music lessons and so forth become a little bit more about broad experience things is popular to know number of years ago.

Generation ago, at least, perhaps even during the war years.

You have a lot of black people, sang songs popular songs of the day to keep her spirits up during the war.

They sang patriotic song. Things like that but not terribly off of her terribly well or not, the best music in this today is that people in the world really don't see people in the world. I really don't sing that one reason for it might be that the popular songs are unsinkable even by the rock stars and that making some better noise of much of the really singing the songs I do know is that the young people today if you say to them, you know, they seem a little bit a days with music on their actually listening to the words of saying I can hear the word here is noise and that I say to them what I think they know what the words are words are more or less sometimes the young people have trouble was noted not getting hear the music, let alone the word about that but they say they don't sing sing Christiansen is a Christians of always son because we have a great joyful in the God we have natural to express our joy and song song expresses emotion using music as the emotional element. So that's what we do, we have to say, of course, what were talking about praising God. The motion is not the dominant thing because we don't in our praise of God.

Talk about how we feel about things.

Although we may feel it very intensely and it's the intensity of the feeling that causes us to sing, but rather we focus our thoughts on Exactly what you have here. David the psalmist is calling to the earth is you really understood how great God is and what is done for you and what is done for us in Israel and he's done in the great history of salvation we would say the same thing in terms of Jesus Christ shout for joy. You would sing, you burst out singing and praise to God because God is great God for what he's done all the great hymns do that, of course, one of the sad things about some of the hymns of our day because even the evangelical church is losing its sense of the grandeur and the greatness of our God is our hymns tend to become increasingly sentimental and self-centered, so we sing about ourselves and our feelings rather about God's regular instruction here.

Things worth noting about this. This briefly is that there's an interesting balance between praise and thanksgiving another commentator's name is Tate writes about it he says if Collier talking about his Thanksgiving. Thank you Lord for this. Thank you Lord for this.

Thank you Lord for this well prepared become self-centered prayers really have to be pray to be praising God for who he has been on the other hand, he says if you're songs in your worship are nothing but praise and attends to become sterile and ritualistic because it's really not personal at your praising God for what he's done actually you yourself are concerned just to be the balance they that's a balance of all things.

Using a balance between emotion and content balance between praise and thanksgiving and what holds it all together is the nature of our God more you know about God. The more you appreciate God, the more you experience the greatness and glory and power of God in your life. The more you praise and praise him rightly say thanking him for what he's done thanking him and praising him for who he is, that suggested to us in the song on the second section of this expresses the praise of the nation of Israel. You say praise our God over people's that's a people of Israel. Now the world is invited to come and praise God. That's what happens at the beginning and sometimes it stands at all what God does.

As we saying, but often it ignores that usually it doesn't praise him it's different for the people of God come to know God and therefore they do praise him and that's what the author is inviting them to do here if you look at the content of what it's mentioning you'll find that when the nations of the world are called upon to praise God he tends to be what God is done for Israel. Notice verse six he turned to see the dryland they pass through the river on foot. That's obviously referring to the Exodus and perhaps also to the passing over the Jordan River in order to move into the holy land when they attacked Jericho. Now the Gentiles, it seemed that the reason they're told to praise God for that is that something they could see only external. Everybody in the ancient world knew the God of the Jews brought them in their land, having delivered them from their bondage in Egypt and so David says that the Gentiles will care something to praise God for what he's done.

Look at it, but what is not. I when he gets to talking about his own people. It's not that specific if you look at these things, you find that things are mentioned here kind of general talks and what we would call poetic phraseology keep our feet from slipping refined dislikes silver brought us through fire and water to a place of abundance. You can't link that up with anything specific in terms of the life of the people running is a what is that doesn't mean that they don't have specific things in mind know. I think the answer is long these lines that Gentiles really don't know God and so they're kind of looking on the vacancy. God's mighty actually something like the exit of the people of God about some things to praise God for more things to possibly listen a single song on the later some of the Psalm is going to be an attempt to do that. So these phrases are meant to be inclusive. Whoever you are, you individual Christian you individual you know something about the greatness of our God is truly Your feet from slipping say oh yes, when this happened to me I I lost my job I got so discouraged by that.

I almost gave up and God kept me as I got my feet from slipping. Here's another case and I was in great danger that something terrible was going to happen to me got My feet from slipping when you get a phrase like through fire and water just a way of saying every extremity God's Sleeve and have phrases like that are selfish. They come hell or high water.

That kind of thing to matter what happens you say God keeps us in. People know this is something else about this middle portion beginning with verse eight where the Jews are called upon to praise and notice that the pronouns change comes personal. Here you have the second person pronoun you read it that way. Praise our God over people's let the sound of his praises be heartiest preserved our lives. He has kept our feet from slipping for you. Oh God tested us you refined us like silver you brought us and the president laid burdens on our backs. You can write over our heads. We went through fire and water but you brought us to a place of abundance nations of the world and praise God in the generalized anxiety rate God he made the universe is not marvelous conduit they audited what they can do it would the people of God have more to say than that he is our say he's done this for us individually and so they praise God that way well come to the last stanza, and this is the psalmist himself. David how the orchestras left the stage and here's a single violinist and understand how effective that would be. I can imagine doing a play that ran on sugar plays that are done exactly that way. Some of Shakespeare's plays in that way with a single character on this day all of the tomb IS over in the Army's Phaedo I am now here is the sole person upon the stageoccurs to me as I'm thinking of this ever seen a tattoo I went I do in Scotland have all the mass pipe bands in the bagpipes and so on.

All these plans and their wonderful array will march up and down the field playing abdomen is all over you have a single Piper up there the sort of pipes. The final farewell is what psalmist is doing here, but he does with great intensity to parts two last answers 13 through 15, 16 to 20 in the first he speaks to God and secondly speaks to whoever will listen and he gives a testimony now look at his words to God.

I mentioned that passion and intensity of the psalmist comes through in the end, and it really does. Here you see in a number of ways. First of all he's talking about offerings that he's going to bring in a describes them as bond offerings are significantly different kinds of offerings and other fellowship offerings and burnt offerings and the difference between a fellowship offering a burnt offering his when you brought a ship offering it was to have followership with your friends and you you offered up some of it that was part upon the altar to the rest of it. You sort of made up was like having a barbecue for religious reasons was over the festival departing was all right. That's good.

I was encouraged in Israel. Sometimes they had huge parties like that Solomon when he dedicated the temple just the whole city is a offering only six fellowship offerings with a burnt offering is like that and offering is burned all of its burnout and it's the kind of offering the testifies to the fullness of commitment or dedication on the part of the worshiper's way of saying I'm I can hold anything back. I utterly yours, David explain here how we did it. He said when I was in trouble. I told the Lord I was going to present these offerings and delivered mail.

Now I'm in a do it.

That's the first thing secondly he notices that he mentions what it is is going to offer a variety of them is going to mention rams, offering them in bulls and goats. That's a lot of animals that to at least reach class VI animals.

David is again probably offer many more than that. And the point of that as it was expensive, offer them.

I am giving pay for that is, animals were expensive, but to offer all rams and all of this I was expensive so that I was saying is just a casual right on going through Ward II was delivered by you and I understand that you delivered me and therefore I want to do it right.

I want to give a costly off of you ever done anything like that, say, well, for what reason. Well, if nothing else than that God himself of your Christian is delivered you from the penalty of her cities delivered you from hell.

I know what kind of deliverance. David is talking about. Many deliverances from his enemies on every hand constantly. It seems he talks about enemies all the time, but whatever they were, however great they may have been your deliverance from the penalty of your sin is even greater ever sacrificed anything to God because of that I get yourself.

What Paul says in Romans 12 one present your bodies a living sacrifice in with your bodies everything else besides psalmist sets the pattern on notice of the end.

Having done all of that having spoken to God, having told God that is going to do what he said he would do it now turns to those who may be looking on, and he invites them to hear what God has done for them. In other words, it gives a testimony.

He says God delivered them from all this trouble. Therefore, concludes Psalm. Praise be to God it was not rejected. My prayer or withheld his love from me as interesting about John Bunyan, John Bunyan of the Pilgrim's progress.

He wrote his own spiritual autobiography.

It's called Grace abounding the chief of sinners, nor the key verse that is diversity puts the very beginning to read before he actually get into his own personal story is a verse from Psalms verse 1610 the King James version. Of course, by the new international version didn't exist in that time, but in Bunyan's textures. What he says before first page of his autobiography, and hear, all ye that fear God and I will declare what he had done for my soul is a testimony ever invite people to hear that you will become Christians invite their friends intimately say like I want to tell you what God has done for me.

People who really know the Lord and love the Lord and are sensitive to the fact that he has saved them from their sin are trying to do that all the time people in this congregation were trying to reach their neighbors all the time people that they've known for years.

Some will become Christians in life there praying for them constantly doing one thing after the other, because they want them to know what God is done for them.

I want them to come to know God himself well this ends with a redirected syllogism when explain why that is syllogism is a logical sequence, and it involves three propositions that last one based upon the first to proposition a proposition bayonet on the basis of those do you make a conclusion out.

I give you an example, all men are mortal. Proposition one Socrates was a man proposition to. Therefore, Socrates is mortal at syllogism. I have one here to see how it works. Here's the first proposition, verse 18. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not listen.

I sounded off his neck that's is what is said elsewhere in the Bible it said in Isaiah 59, for instance. Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save her, his ear Daphne Here with your sentence separated between you and your God. Therefore his arm doesn't move the Savior in his ear doesn't hear is what David is saying if I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened as a second proposition. But God has surely listened and heard my prayer is clear enough. Very fact that David is there is proof alive because of God and not listen and delivered them from probably be dead so second proposition is true enough. What follows from that single through if I had cherished sin in my heart Lord would not listen. He has however listened. Therefore, you make the conclusion I have not cherished sin in my heart that somebody says what is he do instead redirect such and he says. Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from that interest. One of the older commentators, Thomas Fuller talks about this being a syllogism and he says David fooled me by that syllogism, but he hasn't wrongly because he taught me a great lesson I thought it was gonna put the crown on his own that setting turns around and puts the crown on the head of Jesus Christ. So he says I learned this excellent logic. I will learn to like David's syllogisms better than Aristotle's. Whatever the premises may be. I'm going to make God's glory. Conclusion. That's where it is with Christians say we say yes I accomplish this is I guess I was unable to do that is I guess I spoke God blessed the word people became Christians that I rejoice in but I don't rejoice in my ability to do it because every therefore David ends. We should began says praise be to God. This will be should do whatever our friends may be always by the grace of God and therefore God's glory. A man prayer father. We do thank you for the Psalm for the lesson of transformers price. This progression from the cold of the nations to the testimony of Israel, the marvelous testimony of a single soul was delivered from great trouble knows that you were the one who did it. This testimony and calls upon us to praise you to be true of us as well.

We can't speak for the nations can even speak for our own nation and speak for our family. We can speak for ourselves Christians, we can say God is gracious to make God to save me. Therefore, praise be God, invite other people to do that. May we do that gives grace to do that blessed that testimony, and do it for the sake of your own glory and honor. Thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church.

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