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1364. Glory to God

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
October 20, 2022 7:00 pm

1364. Glory to God

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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October 20, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues a chapel series entitled “Encountering God,” with a message from Psalm 19.

The post 1364. Glory to God appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Today on The Daily Platform, Dr. Steve Pettit is continuing a study series entitled Encountering God, which is a study of select chapters in the book of Psalms. Well, this morning we're looking at Psalm 19, and I'd like to read the Psalm. I thought, well, do I read the whole Psalm because it's 14 verses, or do I not read the whole Psalm?

And I think it's really important that we read the whole, get a feel for it, and then we'll look at it this morning. Psalm 19. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He hath set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of His chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the earth, and His circuit unto the ends of it.

And there's nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold, sweeter also than honey in the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is Thy servant warned, and in keeping of them there's a great reward.

Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins.

Let them not have dominion over me. Then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. And all God's people said, Amen.

C.S. Lewis wrote in his book Reflections on the Psalms that the 19th Psalm is the greatest poem of all the Psalms and one of the greatest lyrics in the world. So why did Lewis think that this Psalm that we read is so magnificent? And the answer is because he addresses the most magnificent theme in the world.

You say, well, what is that theme? It's found in the very opening of the Psalm when he says the heavens declare the glory of God. Jonathan Edwards, the great American theologian, wrote in his famous dissertation the end for which God created the world.

And I would highly recommend that every one of you read this. He said God's ultimate end of all things, the ultimate purpose for everything is the manifestation of God's glory. So you ask the question, what does God's glory mean? Well, first of all, it's very challenging to grasp. However, if I could put it in a very simple way, it's putting something or someone on display and you display them in order to reflect or to reveal their character, their reputation or their abilities.

Let me say it again. It is someone or something being put on display in order to reflect. You can almost say to show off its character, its reputation or its ability. So let me give you a biblical illustration, and that is the Queen of Sheba who meets and comes and meets King Solomon. We know that she had heard about Solomon's fame, especially concerning the name of the Lord. So she goes to Jerusalem to find out. And when she arrives in Jerusalem, she meets the king and immediately she begins to test him. She asks him very hard questions, and whatever was on her mind, she shares everything. And Solomon answers all her questions.

And listen to what 1 Kings 10 verses four and five says. And when the Queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his cup bearers and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more breath in her. What does that mean? It means she was left speechless. She was blown away by what she saw. And the Bible says in verse six, and she said to the king, the report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes have seen it.

That's the display. And behold, the half was not told to me. Your wisdom and prosperity surpassed the report that I heard. She was blown away by what she saw. And what did she see?

She saw Solomon's glory, his wisdom, his power, his wealth, his reputation. What is glory? It's somebody's excellence being put on display. It's like the Olympic gold medal winner when he or she stands to receive that medal. That's the glory.

It's when the Los Angeles Rams received the Lombardi Trophy this year after winning the Super Bowl. What is that experience? It's the experience of glory. So here's what Jonathan Edwards is saying. He said the end for which God created the world is to display his glory, to reveal himself and his wonderful excellencies for all of us to see. Now, the end for which we then therefore recreated fits into the same purpose. That is, why were we created? And we all understand that we go through life and we struggle with our purpose in life. Why am I here? We struggle with direction. We struggle with guilt.

We struggle with boredom. So why were we put here? And the answer is we were created to discover for ourselves God's glory and to display that glory throughout our lives.

Isn't that not a wonderful thought? We were created to discover and find out about the glory of God and then to put that glory on display. Listen to what Jeremiah says in chapter 9 and verse 23. Thus saith the Lord, let not the wise man glory in his wisdom. Neither let the mighty man glory in his might. Let not the rich man glory in his riches. Three things he says we naturally glory in.

How smart we are, how strong we are, and how rich we are. If you've ever gone into a male weight room, there are always mirrors on the wall. Why? Because men love their muscles.

And they love to get pumped up and to look at themselves. Let not the strong man glory in his strength. But listen to what he says. Let him gloryeth glory in this, that he understands and knows me. That I am the Lord, which exercises loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, saith the Lord. God's greatest delight is in his own perfections, his loving kindness, his judgment, and his righteousness. And therefore, since we are created in the image of God, what is life's greatest delight? It is to discover. It is to understand. And it is to reflect that glory.

Let me put it in simple terms. To know God is the most exciting thing in the world. And we're to live that out, whether therefore you eat or drink or whatsoever you do. Do all to the glory of God. So what's the theme of Psalm 19? It's the glory of God. And what David does is he shows God's glory displayed in two ways. Verses 1 through 6, he says it is through the world that God has created that he displays his glory.

So it's through creation. Then secondly in verses 7 through 14, it is through the word that God has spoken. So God's glory is displayed in the world. That's what we call general revelation, what we see. And God's glory is displayed in his word, that special revelation.

That's what we hear and come to understand. So let's look how God's glory is displayed in the world. Notice it says David starts out by asserting that all creation is the story of his glory. The heavens declare the glory of God. The firmament showeth his handiwork. In other words, the entire panorama of the heavens, the sun, the stars, and the planets give God a perpetual shout out as it displays the skillfulness of his creative hands.

My oldest daughter Rebecca is 39 years old. When she was about three years old, I put her on my shoulders one day and walked outside in our front yard where we lived in Michigan and I said to Becca, Becca, who made the stars? She said, Daddy, God made the stars. I said, Hallelujah.

She said, Lujah. Every hour of every day, God's message gushes forth like a mighty spring of water, volumes of being communicated 24-7 about the knowledge of God. This is called general revelation. We see it in the mountains. We see it in the sky. We see it in the rivers. We see it in the animals that God created. We see it in the fish that we catch to eat. We see it in the birds that fly.

But we see it also in the fact that God has created all of us uniquely and specially. Day unto day, the Bible says, utter speech. Night unto night shows knowledge.

Their line goes out through all the earth and the words to the end of the world. There's no language on earth that doesn't hear God's voice in creation. God is not silent.

He is preaching a soundless sermon. If anybody claims to be an atheist, it is because they are tone deaf to the voice of creation. And what is creation teaching us? It is instructing us that first of all, there is a God who exists. Number two, that this God is eternal. That this God, number three, is all powerful.

That this God holds all of us accountable for this knowledge so that we are without excuse and God will judge those that reject him. Romans 1-20, for his invisible attributes, namely his eternal and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world and the things that have been made so that they are without excuse. And in this particular psalm, David uses one illustration for creation, only one, to describe the glory of God. And what is that illustration? It's the sun. And how does he describe the sun? He describes the heavens as a huge tent with the sun lighting the space like a blazing torch. And when the sun rises in the morning, its radiant brilliance is like a bridegroom who comes out of his tent beaming with happiness.

What does that mean? It's a guy who just got married. He's on his honeymoon and he's fired up. I love what Tom Farrell used to say to me.

He said, man, if I knew marriage was this good, I would have got married right out of kindergarten. He says that's the sun coming up. And when the sun moves in its course around the earth, it's like an Olympic winner who enjoys running his race, never getting tired or growing weary. The glory of the sun reflects the glory of the Creator who fills the universe with his presence. God's own light is so brilliant that, like the sun, it blinds the human eyes.

We can't even look at the sun because we can't handle the brilliance of it without blinding us. Think of the glory of our God who made the sun. And like the sun runs its course, so God is tireless in his work and powerful in all that he does.

Think about it. Every day, consistently, the earth is moving. The sun is there and it never seems to be tired or worn out. God does not need to sleep like us. God doesn't take naps.

He is always there displaying himself. And like the warmth of the sun that goes to the ends of the earth, God's presence and God's goodness is known and felt throughout the world. We sense that our God is good and he is with us. And as David points to the sun to show God's handiwork, he is at the same time dismantling the worship of idols. Because in his day, there were people who worshiped the sun. And I think we also see that God's glory declared in creation destroys also the idolatry of our present day. And that is the insidious nature of evolution. For evolution is a religion.

It is a belief form and it is idolatry. And he is saying here that at its very core, that if we believe in evolution, we believe in no God at all. So God demonstrates his glory through his creation. But let me say this, that this general revelation, though as glorious as it is, is insufficient for us to be able to know God personally. How do we know what God is really like? He's not like the idols of mythology, whether it's from the Norse gods or the Roman gods or the Greek gods who are somewhat like demigods who are corrupt and evil. But it is through the Bible that we come to more fully comprehend the nature and the glory of God.

And that leads me to the second point. And that is God's glory is displayed not only in the world, but God's glory is displayed in the word of God. And in verses seven through nine, David gives us six descriptions of the scripture. And I love what Spurgeon said of these verses. He said there are six titles of the word followed by six qualities of the word and then six effects of the word.

That is you have the title, the quality, and the effect of it. It's as if David is picking up a diamond and he turns it in six different ways and each way expresses the brilliance of each facet. So what does he say about the way God displays his glory in his word? Look at these titles beginning in verse seven. He first of all says that the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The title of the word, it's called the law of the Lord.

This usually refers to the first five books in the Bible called the Torah. It refers here to God's laws for man's conduct. The law of the Lord is perfect. That means it's sufficient. It's comprehensive. It's complete. We speak of the sufficiency of scripture.

That's what he means here. And he says it's able to convert the soul. That is it is enough for it is sufficient to transform your life. The Bible tells us how we are to live.

It's a manual on maximum human behavior. If you want to enjoy life to its fullest as God designed it, then you need to follow his laws, his word. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Then notice number two, the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The title is, it's the testimony of the Lord. A testimony is when you reveal something about yourself.

You share your testimony. Well, the Bible is God's testimony about himself. We could say the Bible is God's autobiography. One of the great ways to read the scripture is to simply write out an autobiography of God.

You could do that in reading through the book of Psalms. And since God is telling you about himself, then everything he says about himself is sure or you could say is reliable. It is trustworthy. It is without error in all things. We call this the inerrancy of scripture.

And what is the result? It makes the simple wise. What does it mean to be simple?

It's not really a derogatory term, it's just a fact of life. Naive, inexperienced, somebody who does not know something or somebody who is ignorant about something. And the idea of the word simple comes from the word open door. It's the idea of leaving your door open at night. That's not very smart. Simple people leave the door of their mind open to anyone or anything. Someone may say, I'm very open minded. Another person would say, well, that's stupid.

That's not very smart. Wise people keep the door closed and they only open it when they want to let something in. They are discerning, they are discriminate with what they let in their minds. The Bible helps you know what you should let in and what you should keep out. The Bible makes you wise, it makes you skilled in knowing how to live life. And the Bible is the only book that can give you life to the maximum.

It makes wise the simple. Then notice number three, the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The word statute is a title of the Bible. It's a statement or an affirmation or a doctrine of what the Bible teaches. And what he is saying here is that all behavior is determined by your belief.

By the way, I've learned this. When a person changes their morality, they change their theology. I've heard people who say, well, I used to believe that, but I don't believe that anymore. And I ask, well, when did you change your morals? Not when you change your belief.

Because your belief and your behavior go together. A statute sets down truths to believe, and it puts you in a right direction, and it puts you on the right path. So the statutes of the Lord are right.

And what's the result? It rejoices the heart. The result is a life filled with joy. I love what Jeremiah said, thy words were found and I did eat them, and thy word was unto me, the joy and the rejoicing of my heart.

I remember as a young Christian reading my Bible early in the morning, and my heart was filled with such joy, and I started laughing because I thought everything I was looking for joy in the world, I'm finding right here in God's word. Then notice number four, he says the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The word commandment is what you think. It's a command. The Bible is not a book of suggestions.

We don't study the ten suggestions. We study the ten commandments. And he says the commandments of the Lord are pure.

What does that mean? It means they're clear. They're transparent. God's commands are not muddy. They're not hard to figure out. And they turn on the light for us so we don't have to live in the dark about what we should or what we should not do. It enlightens the eyes. You could say it this way, the word is crystal clear.

The fact is in some cases it's so clear that people don't want to believe it's that clear. And then notice number five, the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The word fear here is the idea of reverence or awe or worship. And what he's saying is that it's through the Bible that we learn to worship God. You can't read the book of Psalms and not become a worshiper. The Bible tells us how we are to worship the Lord. It also tells us how we should not worship the Lord. And worship is a big deal in the scripture. And notice it says the fear of the Lord is clean.

That means it has no errors. It speaks to the infallibility of the scripture. And when he says it endures forever, it means it's immutable.

It doesn't change. And fundamentally, let me say it this way, that the content and the object of worship should never change. It is from this book that we learn to worship. And we worship the God of Abraham. And we worship the same God of Isaac and Jacob and Moses and David and Daniel and Isaiah. We worship the same God of the apostles and Paul and the early church and the great saints in history. We worship the same God from the same manual.

Now some people say, well that's kind of old fashioned, but it's not really old fashioned. It's eternally relevant for all people of all times. I've traveled throughout the world and I have worshiped with believers on every continent in the world. And though there are some cultural aspects of worship that differ, for example, if you were to go to Africa, the music sounds African. If you were to go to India, the music sounds like it's from India.

If you go to Russia, the music sounds Russian. But essentially the atmosphere, the spirit and the truth, the reverence and the all is the same. And true worship always comes out of a heart that knows and fears God. We should always be leery of shallow, superficial worship where the atmosphere is manipulated and manufactured to create something that really doesn't exist in the heart.

It is to come out of the heart. And then finally he says the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous all together. The Bible gives us God's judgments on everything. Or to put it simple, God is a decisive God. He tells us where the righteous will go. He tells us where the unrighteous will go. And the Word contains all of the judgments on the human race because God is clear about the wages of sin.

Think about it. The first lie of the devil was that God will not judge men for their sins, but we know his judgments are true and they are righteous all together. That means they produce a comprehensive righteousness. Or let me put it this way, what God says is right and wrong is what we should say is right and wrong. If God is silent on it, we should be quiet.

If God speaks, then we should speak up. And so these six descriptions, characteristics and effects of the Word of God is transformative for our life and it's for every culture in every place, in every age, every person will find the Bible is relevant and produces a comprehensive righteousness. And so, what is the result of this? When we see the world in God's glory, we see the Word in God's glory, what is the result of this? And as we finish, let's go down and notice what he says in verse 10.

He says, there are more to be desired than gold, yea, than fine gold, sweeter also than the honey. He uses two metaphors of things that we all like. What do most of us all like? We all like dessert. Can you say amen?

And we all like money. Amen? No, no. Say what you really believe. Amen? Amen. And we actually would prefer to have gold. How many of you can handle a bar of gold right now that's worth $600,000? How many can handle a bar of gold?

I got my hand up, I can take that. What is he saying? He's saying the Bible is like dessert and gold. It's our greatest pleasure, it's our greatest treasure. He says it's our greatest protector because a servant is worn by them. It's the greatest provider, it gives us a great reward and it's our greatest purifier. That is, it will cleanse us as we read the word of God. Here's what it does. It will protect us from doing something presumptuous.

That is, we just kind of rebel and do our own thing. It will keep us back from the secret sins in our life. It really is a purifier of the soul. So what should be our prayer about this Psalm? Let's conclude with verse 14. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

What is he saying? He's saying, Lord, let me speak your words, let me pray your words, let me think your words because you are my rock. That's my stability and you are my Redeemer. You are the one that has bought me out from selfs and sin and you constantly are redeeming me in my life. What a Psalm this is and what a thought that we can live for God's glory. May we seek to know that glory in our lives and may we seek by God's grace to display it by the way that we live. Father, we thank you for your word. We thank you for the world you've created. We thank you, Lord, that all is done to display who you are. O Lord, help us to know you in a great and intimate way through your word in Jesus' name. Amen. You've been listening to a sermon from Dr. Steve Pettit from the study series, Encountering God. Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we continue this study of Psalms here on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-19 19:36:05 / 2022-11-19 19:46:13 / 10

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