Thanks for joining us on The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. Today, Don will wrap up our series titled A Chorus of Praise with part two of the final message in the series titled The Grand Finale based on Psalm 150. Have your Bible open and ready as Don teaches God's people God's word from The Truth Pulpit. Our text for today comes from Psalm 150, and I invite you to turn there with me as we have the privilege of considering this text from the sacred Word of God. Psalm 150, and this is not simply a magnificent psalm in its own right, it is a magnificent psalm for its theme, for its subject, and for the way also it is magnificent in the way that it brings to a climax the entire Psalter. First question asked and answered by Psalm 150. Number one is, where should God be praised? Where should God be praised? Simple answer.
The short answer to that question is, everywhere. God should be praised everywhere. Question number two, why should God be praised? Why should God be praised?
He should be praised for who He is and what He has done. God's character, God's attributes, His perfections, and His triune, ineffable glory is worthy of praise. Intrinsically, independently, apart from anything about man, anything apart from me, He's worthy of praise in and of Himself. And then you consider what He has done and you praise Him for that.
And we see this in verse 2, the brilliance of the Spirit of God to say so much in such a compact way. Verse 2, praise Him for His mighty deeds. Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. In other words, praise Him for what He has done, praise Him according to His excellent greatness, praise Him for who He is. His mighty deeds refer to His saving acts for His people. God has done wonders in creation, in His providence, and in the redemption of His people.
Israel looked back to the deliverance from Egypt and the majesty of the way that He parted the Red Sea and delivered them into a land of their own. We look back at Christ and at the even greater majesty of redemption by shed blood, the greater majesty of redemption by the shed blood of a man who was God in human flesh, laying down his life for sinful people like you and me. We see the great love of God on majestic display in the cross of Christ. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. And we look at the cross and we're overwhelmed by the majesty of justice, meeting mercy at that piece of wood. The law of God and its justice upheld fully the love of God, providing a way for pardon for sinners as Jesus Christ stood as a substitute in their place and bore the punishment that our sins deserved. These are great deeds from a great, great God. And beloved, the point of Psalm 150 here in verse 2 is that He deserves praise for them. We praise Him by ascribing greatness to His name. God, You are great.
You are good. You are majestic. I ascribe praise to You from my heart. I honor You in response to what You have revealed and what You have done. I give thanks to You for all of Your kindness. Father, I confess all of my sins before You and I thank You for divine mercy.
And on and on it goes. Beloved, what I want you to see is this. Those of you that are gathered together here, we're a middle-class, upper-middle-class kind of congregation. You don't have to be a scholar to see these things. You don't have to be somebody that understands the original languages in order to be able to praise God. The Word of God, translated from the original languages made known to you in the English text, is more than sufficient for you to understand the greatness and the goodness of God, to understand the glory and the graciousness of His ways, that what is said and taught to us in Scripture about the Lord Jesus Christ is more than enough for you to understand and to have your heart overwhelmed with love and gratitude at one greater than you, one who loves you in Christ, one whom you fear, one whose word you recognize and give allegiance and authority to, all that He's done creating the world in six literal 24-hour days a few short thousand years ago, providentially working out everything that has happened since then by His hand, causing all things to work together for good to those who love Him. And beloved, beloved, beloved, to realize that we haven't even seen a fraction of it yet. For those of us that belong to Christ, we're going to see Him face to face. We're going to be with Him in eternity, made like Him, glorified, perfected. One day our bodies raised to join our glorified spirits and will be in heaven forever with Him, praising Him and honoring Him. All sin, all temptation, all sorrow, all tears wiped away, all traces of rebellion eliminated and conquered by the glory of Christ will be gathered together with the saints throughout the ages around His throne and as eternity unfolds, whatever that looks like, our comprehension of the greatness and glory of God somehow expanding with that.
It won't be like this, but somehow there will be such a marvel to the glory of being with God that if we're next to each other, we just pinch. We're here. Isn't this wonderful?
Can you believe we're here? We're in the presence of Christ and we're never going to be cast away and all of this, all of this resplendent glory is ours and we belong here and this is more like home than earth ever was. God deserves praise for His sovereign perfections, for His sovereign love. We're already overwhelmed in response to the majesty that we've seen from His word and then to contemplate the fact that we haven't even seen the part of it yet that we'll see in heaven, you run out of words. You can see why the Psalms dozens, hundreds of times praise Him, praise Him, praise Him, praise Him just to think that He loved us enough to create us with the intention to bring us to that glory.
He didn't need us. We don't add anything to His perfection, to His self-sufficiency. In love, He appointed us before the foundation of the world to be believers in Christ if we're in Him, seeing the end of eternity from the beginning, if I can put it that way. And Christian brother, Christian sister here today looking in over the live stream, that God had it in His heart to say, I will create you. And my intention in creating you is that you would share this kind of glory with me forever as a free gift of my grace, as an expression of my perfect love. You can artificially generate what people call praise with loud music and lights and shows and that kind of stuff that so many people want to run after. But what I want you to see here is that true praise is not in response to that kind of human external stimulus that may or may not have anything to do with the truth that we're talking about here today. True praise comes from as a response to this revealed truth found in His Word. That's true praise that somehow starts to take it in, take in the propositional truths of Scripture, and say, God, I understand something of it.
My mind is overwhelmed. My heart bows before you in response to your truth in this place I worship and honor you. That's true worship. Those who worship God, John 4 24, must worship Him in spirit and in.
In spirit and in. So why should God be praised? It's for what He's done and for who He is. Now thirdly, how should God be praised? How should God be praised? The short answer is that God should be praised with joyful celebration. His people should should recognize the glory of God and be glad in Him.
Be enthusiastic. Be overwhelmed by the glory of His name. Verses 3 through 5. How should God be praised? With joyful celebration.
Verse 3. Praise Him with trumpet sound. Praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing. Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. Praise Him with loud symbols.
Praise Him with resounding symbols. You get the you get the picture of a magnificent orchestra with the best musicians of all time. Playing the best, most finely tuned instruments and coming together with all of that collective collective skill and in perfect harmony, bringing all of the notes and all of the instruments together, representing in the musical combination, the combination of people from all nations and tongues and tribes all coming together and in a perfect symphony, ascribing glory and praise to God in a time of the most majestic, transcendent celebration that could possibly be imagined. The psalmist calls for musical instruments of every kind. You find wind instruments with the trumpet and the pipe. You find stringed instruments with the harp and lyre. You find percussion with the timbrel and the cymbals. Loud instruments and soft ones, solemn ones, gentle instruments.
Think of a quiet flute playing versus bold instruments, majestic kettle drums, boom boom boom, giving the sense of majesty and weight and bigness alongside the gentle tones that minister to a troubled heart. From all of those realms, they're drawn upon to give variety to the praise, to accent different notes at different times so that the praise would be multifaceted, it would be beautiful, it would be majestic, everybody drawn to contribute to it all. We address the issue of dancing in our last message from Psalm 149.
I'm not going to talk about that here other than to say that the Old Testament context of dancing is completely different than what we think about in our modern context. This psalm is not referring to sensual or man-centered worship. This psalm is God-centered for the glory of God, not for the entertainment of man. And so how is God to be praised?
With joyful celebration. Everybody contributing their note on their instrument and the gift of music brought to bear to captivate the heart and to give expression beyond what lips alone cannot do. You've heard me say, I've said it many times and I feel it far more than I say, when I'm teaching the Word of God, expounding it, hardly a Sunday goes by or Tuesday goes by where I'm not conscious of my mental inability to do justice to the text, to set forth fully what it says and the glory of God that it reveals. And all the more when you're talking about the Lord Jesus Christ, we come to the Word of God, beloved, humbly. We come to the Word of God desiring it to teach us, to instruct us about ourselves not to change it into that which would please men. Fourth and final question.
I don't want this to end but it's going to, so we might as well get to it. Question number four, who should praise God? Who should praise God? And the short answer is all living beings. All living beings. Look at verse six.
It's so beautiful. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Are you breathing here? You are to praise the Lord. He who has ears to hear, let him hear, Jesus says.
Do you have ears? You're to hear. You're to respond.
If you're breathing, Scripture calls upon you to praise the Lord, to praise him everywhere, to praise him in your inner man, to praise him for his deeds, to praise him for his excellent greatness, to praise him with joyful celebration. Isn't it sad to live in a world where this doesn't happen? You know, we'll walk out, we'll drive by billboards and stores and all kinds of places that are designed directly to contradict this. But you know what? You're to people who have no heart for this.
That's sad. It's a disobedience to God, first of all. It's a sorrowful loss of their soul to contemplate that their lives are being wasted on something less than this glorious theme. But it saddens us most of all because we realize, we see that God is worthy of everything that his book calls us to do.
He's worthy of this. And right now we live in a disjointed realm, a disjointed parenthesis of time, a disjointed epic where God for his own purposes allows it to go unfulfilled by most, preserving a remnant of people, Christians today, born-again believers today who devote themselves to this, who are the foretaste of the greater glory and the fulfillment to come. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
This includes all men, men made in the image of God. We saw in Psalm 148 that the call is personified and goes to creatures as well, brute creatures, animal creatures. It goes to the angelic host, Psalm 148 verse 2. It goes to sun and moon, Psalm 148 verse 3.
Everything about it. You know, if you're ever out in a dark place at night, you see the glory of the stars on display, you're overwhelmed by it. Beloved, what we're talking about here transcends that greatness because we just see the stars, we just see the fingerprints of God when we look on the galaxies. We're just looking on the fingerprints of his imprint upon creation when we see that.
If the fingerprints, how much more the one! Praise the Lord. The heavens are telling of the glory of God. Get up and walk in the early morning before the sun comes up and see it for yourself, beloved, if you haven't, if you don't.
Look in the sky and see Jupiter and see Mars and see Saturn and see Venus and realize the vast distance. And remember the God who hung them on nothing and displays them before your wandering eye. Praise the Lord. One writer says in conclusion, kind of taking our look back over all of the Psalms, he says, whatever else you may forget about the Psalms, never forget that central to authentic faith is the praise of God. Forget that and you will undermine the foundations of everything else.
Every living being in every place has every reason. Praise God. Look at it there again in verse 6, let everything that has breath praise the Lord. All 150 Psalms informing that statement. We, I'll say it one more time, we as the people of God in the New Testament, church, those redeemed by the blood of Christ alone, our praise has deepened even further in his coming. The God, the God who is the object of the Psalter, the God who wrote the Psalms is the God who came in the person of Christ and offered himself on the cross as a sacrifice for your sins. This God who deserved all praise, humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, loved me and gave himself up for me. I defy anyone, I defy anyone to properly understand that and properly exhaust the praise that is to be given to God for that. Majestic in his being, majestic in his condescension, majestic in his grace, majestic in his love. There is no end to this.
There is no end to this. The reasons for praising him. But beloved, remember Christ at the center of it. The God who is the object of praise in Psalm 150 is the God who took on human flesh and offered himself as a sacrifice for the sins of men, for the sins of you.
It's remarkable. And so, beloved, the emphatic conclusion of book one, book two, book three, book four, the emphatic conclusion of the final Hallel 146 to 150 is defining the theme of this entire Psalm 150. Through all of life, our duty is to praise the Lord, everyone who has breath. And when we arrive in heaven, and oh, I hope that you're there. I hope that you're there in Christ.
What a tragedy it would be for you to miss the climax of it because you were unrepentant now in this life. But setting aside the unredeemed who refused to give him praise, beloved, you and I, brother and sister in Christ, when we arrive in heaven, the Psalms will be utterly fulfilled to the highest. Revelation 15 and Revelation 19, I won't be more specific in the reference than that. In heaven, the chorus, the shout, the celebration will be this. Great and marvelous are your works, oh Lord God the Almighty, righteous and true are your ways, King of the nations, who will not fear, oh Lord, and glorify your name. For you alone are holy, for all the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed. Hallelujah, salvation and glory and power belong to our God because his judgments are true and righteous."
End quote. The theme of the Psalms is the intended theme of life, and the theme of life is the theme of eternity. Praise the Lord. It's all been said, hasn't it? Everything that the Psalms have to say have been said when it's said, let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
No, no, it hasn't all been said just yet. Look at the end of verse 6. He's taken it all in. He's taken all of this in that we've discussed here today, and he looks back on it as one great whole, as one great completed unit.
Think about the universe as being an infinite globe. He steps outside of the infinite globe, looks on it as a whole, tells us, look at that, and says one final time, praise the Lord. Take this lesson away from the Psalms. The Psalmist tells us, praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.
Amen. You've been listening to Don Green with part two of a message called The Grand Finale here on The Truth Pulpit, and that concludes our series, A Chorus of Praise. Don will be back next time with a new series, and we hope to see you then. But before we go, here again is Don with a closing word.
Well, you know, Bill, as I'm sitting here in studio, I'm mindful of the fact that someone may be tuning in for one of the first times and hearing The Truth Pulpit, and they're mindful of the difficulty of life, and maybe, my friend, you've come to the same conclusion I have, that the world has gone crazy, and there is no refuge in the wisdom of this world. Let me invite you to a position of hope. Look to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. In the book of Acts chapter 2, it says, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. There is a promise that Scripture gives to you, my friend, that the Lord makes to everyone who would call on him. Scripture says, Be saved from this perverse generation. I encourage you to call on Christ who was crucified and risen for sinners just like you. Call on him.
Ask him to save you from this wicked world and to bring you into his heavenly kingdom. God bless you, and we'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit. Thanks, Don. And friend, thank you for joining us today. I'm Bill Wright. See you again next time on The Truth Pulpit, where we teach God's people God's Word.
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