You've found the truth pulpit with Don Green, Founding Pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm Bill Wright, and as Don continues to teach God's people God's word, he continues a message based on Psalm 149 titled, The Praise at Final Victory, from our current series, A Chorus of Praise.
Let's join Don right now. In Psalm 149, verse 3, where it says, Let them praise his name with dancing. As one resource says, this is not a warrant to the church today to incorporate modern ideas of dance into its worship and to have people parading around with flowing gowns and banners and all of that dancing on the platform on a Sunday morning. That has nothing to do with what this verse is talking about. This verse is not a warrant for that, and it's very important to understand that. This is something completely different that has nothing to do with modern dance.
I'm going to cite from a couple of authorities here. First of all, the International Standard Biblical Encyclopedia says this. It says, The dancing most often mentioned in the Old Testament occurred when a procession of women celebrated a military victory with music, song, and dance, led by a prominent woman in praise of God and in honor of returning warriors." And so another source, the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, says this, and I quote, While the mode of dancing is not known in detail, speaking about these biblical times, it is clear that men and women did not generally dance together, and there is no real evidence that they ever did. Social amusement was hardly a major purpose of dancing, and the modern method of dancing by couples is unknown."
End quote. It is also significant for us in addition to those authorities speaking to the Bible backgrounds of it. Beloved, it is significant to notice that there is no New Testament reference to dance in worship. There's all kinds of references to praying and singing in the New Testament church. If dancing was intended to be a part of the New Testament worship, that would be included in the New Testament. The fact that a different context in the Old Testament speaks about a completely different kind of dancing is no warrant for the practice in the church today. And my answer to those that want to dance in that regard is say, okay, tell me what military victory you're celebrating. Tell me who the returning warriors are that you're celebrating today.
Where are they in relationship to what you're doing? Because that's the Old Testament picture, and you see it even here in Psalm 149. So important to recognize. The context is a military victory, and that is not what we celebrate in the New Testament church. We celebrate the victory of Christ, won at the cross.
We celebrate His conquest as victor over sin and Satan and judgment, but it's not the kind of military battle that you see described in the Old Testament. The key thing in Psalm 149 is to see why the Lord's people are celebrating what it is. In verse 4, the Lord takes pleasure in His people. He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. When it says the Lord takes pleasure in His people, it means that He delights in us.
So sweet to think about, especially on this side of the cross. As we've said so many times, our Lord Jesus Christ, He is favorably disposed to us. He loves us. He hears our prayers. He works all things together for good in our lives. He loves us, and He gave Himself up for us. He washes us from sin. He cleanses us. He directs our paths in the ways of righteousness for His name's sake.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. That gives us a sense, the way that the Lord promises that He will, by His providence, His providence in our lives is guided by His loyal love for us, His faithfulness to us, and His never-ending mercy on us, despite our waywardness, despite our half-hearted prayers, despite our stopping and starting efforts at living a godly life. Through all of that, the Lord is favorably disposed to us. He loves us. He keeps us, and no one can pluck us out of His hand. That's why we delight in Him. That's why we praise Him.
It's because He delights in us. He will bless us. He will forgive us. He will restore us. He will take the things that weigh on your heart, the things that weigh on my heart, the people and relationships that we look at and we groan, we look at and we say, oh, where are they going?
What direction is their life going? Think of the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 9. I was thinking about this earlier today, so it's fresh on my mind. The Apostle Paul, thinking about the unsaved Jews in his day, said, I'm telling the truth in Christ.
I'm not lying. My conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart, for I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh. He says, I look out on my unsaved people, my unsaved fellow Jews, and it grieves my heart that they are cold and hard, and they've got hearts of stone and are rejecting Christ.
I look hard and they've got hearts of stone and are rejecting Christ, and I'm mindful of the judgment that awaits them if they persist in that spiritual rebellion. He says it just causes me such sorrow when I think about it, great pain, and what those of us that have unsaved loved ones or loved ones that are straying from Christ and giving no evidence that they really love the Lord that we love, whether it's a parent or a child or a sibling or a neighbor. And you grieve over that to recognize that even in that grief, that somehow the Lord is going to lead us through that in order to accomplish his purposes. And whatever the outcome may be, whether they repent or not, beloved, the outcome will be righteous. The outcome will be wise. The outcome will be good, because the God who is controlling all the outcomes of everything, he himself is good and wise and righteous, and it could be no other way. And as he globally works out the outworking of galaxies and works out the outworking of individual salvation in the lives of those that we look at with a heavy heart today, beloved, somehow he is going to work it all out for good. He will not forget to be loving and gracious to you and me in the process. And when it is all said and done, whatever the outcome will be, we will look on the glory of Christ, we will ascribe praise to him and say, my King, my Master, my Lord, my Savior, he did all things well. And there will be no querying, there will be no questioning, there will be no doubting his wisdom and goodness on that final day. And we will ascribe great glory to him without reservation, without qualification, and with every tear wiped away. Because the Lord takes pleasure in his people, he delights in us.
There is no possibility that the Lord will let the outcome leave us with a broken heart, even if our heart is broken between now and then. Now, going back to verse 4, where in the New American Standard we read, he will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation, most other versions render this term as the humble ones. The emphasis is not on the trouble that believers have, but rather it's on the nature of believers, what believers are like. True believers are humbled before the Lord. They are humbled before Christ. They are humbled before his word.
They gladly give glory to God rather than seeking it for themselves. True believers, as Jesus said in the Beatitudes in verse 5, true believers are those who are poor in spirit, and theirs alone is the kingdom of God. True believers are those who mourn over their sin, and they alone will be comforted. True believers are those who, in this life and in this time, they hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Jesus says they'll be satisfied. You see, Scripture is talking here about the people of God, the godly ones, and it's just giving a glancing look at the fact that these people are marked by humility, not by arrogance. Submission, dependence on Christ, love and glory for that person, not boasting in self-righteousness, not hardened in sin, not rejecting his lordship, but rather humbly bowing before him, recognizing the glory of Christ in advance before it's fulfilled in Revelation 5 with the apostle Thomas, looking on the resurrected Christ, looking on his wounded hands, looking at his wounded side, and seeing in that Christ by faith revealed to us through Scripture, with minds illuminated by the Holy Spirit, looking on the Lord Jesus Christ, and without reservation, with a fullness of heart, looking at him and saying, my Lord and my God. The humility of a true believer, recognizing one superior to us, the eternal one, the glorified one, and giving him the honor he deserves. Those are the ones that God takes delight in.
Those are the ones that will join with him on the final day. Those are the ones that have true salvation, and the ones to whom this psalm is particularly directed. Reminds me of the hymn that said, let those refuse to sing who never knew our God. Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God. You don't love Christ?
That's your choice. I warn you of the consequences of it, but recognize that the people of God will sing even if you do not. We will not be hindered. We will not be restricted by the fact that the world mocks or rejects Christ. We'll look at his word.
We'll look at the wounds. We'll look at the glorified Christ. We see him at the right hand of God, interceding for us, and our hearts will gladly give praise to him. And so, we praise the Lord, as we see in the first four verses. Well, let's go to the rest of the psalm and look at Israel's punishment of the nations.
Israel's punishment of the nations. And what the people of God should do, as we look at verse five, is that they should praise God for the grace that he has shown to them. Verse five, let the godly ones exalt in glory.
Let them sing for joy on their beds. And on their beds, that phrase suggests that in the privacy of their own homes, the godly ones should be praising him. Where no one sees, where no one is aware, there is a heart beating with honor for God that there are lips that are whispering his praise even as slumber descends upon their eyelids. Worship is not merely public.
It should be public, but it is also private as well. And so, we're called to join in this glory and praise of God in private as well as in public. But it's at this point now in verse six that the psalm takes that militaristic turn.
Verse six, let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written. Look, beloved, if you see nothing else in this text and even in this psalm, recognize that this is calling us away from a sentimental view of worship that is just about the way that we feel and having good, gooey feelings about God. This is praise in an entirely different context. This is praise at the ultimate vindication of the righteousness of God and rejoicing in that regardless of how I feel about my circumstances inside. And what you need to see about this aspect of this psalm and the structure of the entire Psalter is this.
This is so glorious. This is the other bookend. Psalm 149 is the other bookend that was first put into place in Psalm 2. Psalm 2 and Psalm 149 function as bookends to the other Psalms as it frames the Psalter in this theme. Go back to Psalm 2 with me. Because in Psalm 2 you find a warning against the judges of the earth to give honor to God or to face His wrath. Psalm 2 verse 7, I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord.
He said to me, you are my son. Today I have begotten you. Ask of me and I will surely give the nations as your inheritance and the very ends of the earth as your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron.
You shall shatter them like earthenware. The father is saying to the son, I am going to give you the nations and you will triumph over them in the end. And then the call goes to kings in response to that declaration of the father to the son. Verse 10, now therefore, O kings, show discernment. Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the son that he not become angry and you perish in the way. For his wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Now look, here's what's happening. In Psalm 2, the warning is given to the nations to honor the son. In Psalm 149, the opportunity to do that has closed and now the consequences are being implemented. They have rejected the call.
They have refused the son. And now as promised in Psalm 2, his wrath is going to come upon them. Now, beloved, understand that what we see in Psalm 2 and what we see in Psalm 149 are speaking about the same complex of events. But more importantly for what I'm saying right now is that they are still future to us. This is something that is still ahead in the chronological time clock.
This is something still yet to come. Psalm 149 is looking forward to the end of the age when God executes his judgment on the ungodly. Take that in and realize that what we're reading about here is the outcome of human history. What we're reading here is the purpose of God in the outworking of all of time and that all human events from thousands of years before the cross and thousands of years after the cross are all coming together. It's all flowing.
All of the tributaries of the basin of rivers are all joining together just as there are thousands of creeks and streams and rivers that join and flow in on this side of the Rocky Mountains and all join and flow into the Mississippi River and come out there in the Gulf of Mexico, all of them contributing to that result. Beloved, everything in human history is directed toward this same outcome, directing to this point when Christ has said enough of the rebellion, it's time for judgment now, and it rolls the prior 148 Psalms into an announcement of victory. God will reward the godly and punish the ungodly. Now, think about the whole Psalter in what we're considering. The closing position of this Psalm in the Psalter speaks of great finality. This isn't only closing the Psalter, this is closing human history.
This is closing the end of the age. This is no mere recitation of a past Old Testament battle. This sees the climax of history and the final supremacy of God, the final supremacy of Christ. After this Psalm, in a sense, there's nothing left to be said. Everything is gathered up in Psalm 149 and says this is the outcome, therefore praise the Lord. Psalm 150 looks back on it all, looks back on the outcome of human history, and in adoring worship says praise the Lord, I think it's 13 times in six verses. Psalm 150 looks at the whole summary and says praise the Lord.
Psalm 149 is putting the exclamation point on human history. It says in light of this, praise the Lord. You know, one passage, 2 Thessalonians chapter 1, you need to see this amplified and interpreted by New Testament scripture as well.
We'll read these very quickly without comment. 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 verse 6. 2 Thessalonians 1 verse 6. For after all, it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well.
When? The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power when he comes to be glorified in his saints on that day and to be marveled at among all who have believed.
For our testimony to you was believed. Paul saying there is an end time coming where the sheep will be separated from the goats, where judgment will occur. The godly ones will join in that and will be vindicated for their faith in Christ and everyone else will go into eternal destruction.
This is the picture. This is the time that Psalm 149 is looking forward to revelation 19. Turn there with me quickly. Revelation 19 beginning in verse 11 as we see the climax at the end of the tribulation. All of the rebellion of man gathered up against the son of man and what happens? Verse 11, I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse and he who sat on it is called faithful and true and in righteousness he judges and wages war. This is Christ in his second coming, not in humiliation but in glory, no longer on a mission of peace but on a mission of judgment. Verse 12, his eyes are a flame of fire and on his head are many diadems and he has a name written on him which no one knows except himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood and his name is called the word of God and the armies which are in heaven clothed in fine linen white and clean were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword so that with it he may strike down the nations and he will rule them with a rod of iron and he treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God the almighty and on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written king of kings and Lord of Lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun and he cried out with a loud voice saying to all the birds which fly in mid heaven come assemble for the great supper of God so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them in the flesh of all men both free men and slaves and small and great. Verse 19 I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his army.
Verse 20 and the beast was seized and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast those who worshiped his image these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone and the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of him who sat on the horse and all the birds were filled with their flesh. It's breathtaking isn't it? Do you see why the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom? That's Don Green with part two of a message titled the praise at final victory part of our series a chorus of praise here on the truth pulpit. Now before we go here again is Don with a closing thought. Well as we close today's broadcast I just want to give a special thank you to the many people who make this ministry possible through their financial support. Whether your gifts are small or large the Lord uses them to make it possible for us to be on different radio stations in our region and also to spread the ministry through an internationally distributed podcast. Thank you my friends for your generous support of the truth pulpit. We really partner together with you in order to make the ministry of the word of God possible because we could not do it without your financial support. If you would like to partner with us maybe you've benefited from the ministry and never been able to support us let me just give you an online opportunity to do so.
You can go to thetruthpulpit.com and you'll find giving options right there at our website thetruthpulpit.com. Thank you so very much. Thanks Don. And now for Don Green I'm Bill Wright inviting you back next time as Don teaches God's people God's Word here on the truth pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-15 05:27:53 / 2023-03-15 05:36:31 / 9