Let’s turn now in our Bibles to Psalm ninety-two. This psalm is entitled a psalm or a song for the Sabbath day. It is a psalm that is filled with praises. It was sung on the Sabbath day and then it was also sung on the second day of the Feast of the Tabernacles. It is a psalm that just extols the Lord and is filled with praises to him.
IT is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto his name, O most High: (92:1).
We just finished doing that; singing praises unto the Lord. It’s a good thing. We remember when Jesus was ministering here on earth. There were ten men who came to him who were lepers and they wanted to be healed. According to the law, if you were healed of leprosy you had to first of all go show yourself to the priest. He would examine you and then he’d put you in a house for seven days, kind of a quarantine, and examine you again. If at the end of the seven days there was no sign of any further leprosy, then you would be declared clean from your leprosy. You would offer the sacrifices that were required and you could return to society.
These ten men had come to Jesus and sought healing. So Jesus told them to take the first step towards restoration. He said, “Go show yourself to the priest”. So they headed off for the priest to be examined by the priest, the first step of restoration into society. As they went, they discovered that they were healed. One, in seeing that he was healed, did not continue to the priest but came running back to Jesus to give thanks. Jesus said, “Where there not ten who were cleansed of their leprosy? Where are the nine? Only this one has returned to give thanks.” He said to him “Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole”. He received more than just a physical healing, by giving of thanks he was made whole.
It’s a good thing to give thanks to the Lord. I think that so often we take the goodness of God for granted. I think that it’s a tragedy that we, many times, fail to acknowledge that work of God and to give him thanks for what he has done. One of the things that God declares will perpetrate his coming wrath in Romans one “When they knew God they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful”. There is so much that God has done for which we should be giving thanks to God continually. Again, it’s sort of sad that we set one day of the year as thanksgiving. It would be better to set one day of the year as gripe day. Spend your whole day griping and then spend the other three hundred and sixty-four in thanksgiving. It’s a good thing to give thanks to the Lord.
To sing praises unto thy name, O most High: (92:1).
Going around the house and driving down the road I just enjoy singing praises to the Lord. Songs of praises filling my heart, it creates such a great atmosphere, songs of praises unto God. It can lift you out of depression, it can give you encouragement and strength, and it’s just a good thing to do it.
To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night (92:2).
It was felt and is felt by many that those are the best times to spend time with the Lord; the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. The first thing in the morning when you wake up just to give thanks to God for a new day and just to commit your life afresh to him. “Lord, here I am. Accomplish in me your purposes this day. Fulfill your will Lord. I present my body to you. Use me Lord however you desire today.” The last thing at night, “Lord you have been good, faithful and you’ve watched over me, you’ve kept me. Now Lord, I commit myself”. Morning and evening, that’s when the Jews usually prayed, every morning and every night.
Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; (92:3).
The psaltery was sort of a lute. These are the instruments that they used in the temple worship. He’s not talking about in your house now, most of you are not musicians and it would not be so good to give thanks with an instrument that you can’t really play.
upon the harp with a solemn sound (92:3).
It’s talking about worship in the sanctuary and of course John has six strings on his instrument but putting it together with both guitars we have twelve strings. Stringed instruments, they used those in the accompaniment of their praises. I think it would be great if somehow, someway, we could have a video of David’s worship in the temple. He really went for it; he went all out in his worship of God. I think that some times we get rather stowed and stuffy, I am that way and I know I am. I would like to have David and have heard the instruments and the choirs that he had. I’m certain that it would be an extremely moving experience.
Now the reasons to give thanks, to show his lovingkindness.
For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: (92:4).
Watching God work is such a thrilling thing. What a blessing here at Calvary to just be able to see the hand of God at work in the lives of so many people. The testimonies, it just rejoices your heart to know what God has done, what God is doing.
For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph [rejoice] in the works of thy hands (92:4).
I will exalt, just overflow with the works.
O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. The brutish man (92:5-6).
That is the crude, uncultured man.
A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this (92:6).
So if I’ve been talking about giving thanks to the Lord and singing praises to his name, in the morning and evening being conscience and aware of him, praising him and singing the songs accompanied by the instruments and being glad and I don’t understand it; the brutish man doesn’t know and the fool doesn’t understand. The thing that they, the foolish man and the brutish man, does not understand or know.
When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: (92:7).
Some people say, “I believe that heaven is upon earth and hell is upon earth”. In a sense that may be true but this isn’t all of heaven and this is all of hell. The problem in the Bible and it’s a problem that is an ongoing problem from Job on through the Psalms and through the New Testament is why is that God does allow the wicked so often to prosper, the wicked to be exalted? Why is that he allows people that are openly blasphemous against God, people who are corrupted and are corrupting the morals of others, why does he allow them such popularity, such fame and such wealth, allows them to flourish? Why does God allow it? Well it says that what they don’t understand is that they shall be destroyed forever. All they ever have is right now as far as the good life or the flourishing.
I’ve often thought that I would rather be the poorest man in the world, having to beg for every bite of bread that I ate but know God and to believe in Jesus Christ than to be the richest man in the world and be outside of the grace of God. My poverty won’t last for long but I’ll be eternity with him. I would rather be sick, not knowing a single day of health or strength and yet know the Lord and serve him than to be the healthiest athlete alive and not know Jesus Christ. Quite often the wicked do flourish, they spring forth like the grass but this is it, when they die they are going to parish forever.
But thou, LORD, (92:8).
In contrast to the wicked perishing forever.
But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore (92:8).
God is everlasting, eternal.
For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: [wild ox] (92:9-10).
A unicorn is a translation of the Hebrew word, a rather poor translation. In Arabic and the entire same word means wild ox.
I shall be anointed with fresh oil. Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me (92:10-11).
The day of judgement will come, the day when God will judge righteously. Those who have opposed my walk in Christ, those who have been guilty of trying to strike down the righteous, we will see God’s judgement.
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon (92:12).
The palm tree was always looked upon as one of the most beautiful of all trees. In the Holy Land they are date palms which have an especially beautiful frauen and they produce those marvelous sweet dates. The palm tree was something that was highly treasured for its beauty and its fruit.
Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God (92:13).
I like that. God has planted us in his house and we flourish.
They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; (92:14).
My wife said “Honey, I like that scripture” and I said “I do too but I don’t like the second part”.
they shall be fat and flourishing; (92:14).
The Bible talks about the man who meditates in the law of God day and night, avoids the evil, he does not stand in the way with sinners, he does not sit in the seat of the scornful but he delights himself in the law of the Lord. He meditates in it day and night.
“He will be like a tree that is planted in by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season. His leaf also shall not wither.”
That is a reference to old age and being strong and healthy in your old age. “His leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper” bringing forth fruit in the old age fast and flourishing.
To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him (92:15).
So it is a psalm that is filled with praise, a psalm that is just devoted to the declarations of God’s marvelous love, grace and works towards and upon his people.
Psalm ninety three is a short little psalm. It begins with the declaration that the Lord reigns, our God reigns.
THE LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved (93:1).
God reigns over his creation. In an interesting sort of a technical sense over all God reigns. Everything that happens, happens because God allows it to happen. Satan could not have rebelled against God unless God allowed him to rebel. Satan could not continue to exist unless God allowed him to continue to exist. I could not rebel against God except God would allow me to rebel against him if I so wanted to exercise my power of choice. So even if I am in rebellion against God it is still, in a technical sense, over all God reigns. Even my rebellion is a tolerance or an allowance of God as he reigns over all.
In another sense, this world in which we are living is in rebellion against the rule of God, God allows it to be. But in this vast universe in which we live there is one portion in that vast universe that is out of sink with God, out of harmony, out of rebellion, if you please, against the rule of God. God is allowing it for a time. God has his purpose in allowing it thus it is all, in a sense, overall under the purpose of God. Even Satan and Satan’s temptations and Satan’s hassling of you is a part of God’s overall purpose. He could not do unless God allowed him to do it. The fact that God allows him to do it is that he has a reason and a purpose for allowing him to do it.
God has created you that you might have a meaningful loving relationship with him. That’s what he longs for and that’s what he desires from you; a meaningful loving relationship. In order for the relationship to be meaningful and loving you have to have a free choice so he gave you that capacity of choice. For choice to be valid you have to have something to choose. That’s where Satan comes in, he gives you an alternate choice, which is an attractive choice to my flesh. He dangles the world before my eyes and says, “Look at that. Man isn’t that nice?” and my flesh says, “Wow, unreal” and the spirit says, “Hey, the way of the flesh is destruction, the mind of the flesh is death, deny self, the self life. Take up the cross and follow Jesus”.
It’s not easy to deny myself. The world around me is saying, “Indulge yourself, go for it and get what you can, eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you’ll die”. The spirit says, “The way of life is walking after the things of the spirit”. So I have to chose everyday and in many situations whether I give into the flesh and walk after the flesh or do I yield to the spirit and do I walk after the spirit. As I yield to the spirit and I chose to walk after the spirit I have this loving relationship with God, “Lord, I want to serve you. I love you and my love for you exceeds my love for the world and the things that are in the world”.
God knows that I love him because I am willing to forego the pleasures and the things of this world in order to walk in fellowship with him. I’m willing to go against the current of the world. I’m willing to receive the mockery or the shame or the reproach of the world that they put upon the Christian in order that I might be numbered with Christ, I’m willing to stand up for him and with him. Thus he knows I love him. I am able to prove my love by the choices that I make. I come into that meaningful loving relationship with God and thus the purposes of God are fulfilled, as we have this beautiful loving relationship.
So God reigns overall and yet there are lives that are rebelling against that authority of God and they will not let God reign in their lives and God does allow that. He allows you to do your own thing if that is your choice, that is your desire. He allows you to destroy yourself if that is your desire. He will do his best by persuasion, he will do everything necessary short of the violating of your will to draw you to himself, even bringing painful experiences into your life if necessary to draw you into his love and turn you away from the path of destruction.
It’s not easy to go to hell. You’ve got to fight all the way against the work of the Holy Spirit, the conviction of the Spirit in your heart. It’s a real struggle but if you’re stubborn and determined, you can make it. I could add a few other things.
Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting (93:2).
God has always existed. He has always ruled. In the beginning there was only one government in the whole universe. How glorious it must have been. One government in the universe, the government of God and every created being in that universe was subject unto God including Satan who was one of the chief angels. There was not until Satan exercised his choice, “I will exalt my throne above the other angels” that you had the development of the second government within the universe; the government of death and darkness. From old, from everlasting, God has existed and his throne has established of old.
The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves (93:3).
The powers of nature are awesome. Watching a real flood, they talk in California about the hundred year flood well I saw a real flood in 1938 here in California. Fountain Valley from the bluff here over to the Huntington Beach bluff was flowing river. I watched the bridges wash away. It was a heavy flood. I drove up to the Oji area during that flood time and I watched the raging water, usually just a trickling little stream but I mean that thing was raging. You saw that awesome display of power in a flood. You get the movement of water like that; it’s just an awesome display of power. A hurricane is an awesome display of power, when the sea is raging, when the waves are lifting up a hundred feet or so, it’s an awesome display of power. When the earth begins to shake it can be an awesome display of power.
God has displayed in nature some of these awesome things as man looks and we think of power and strength and we see nature and the forces of nature and we can see what power they generate. So in a beautiful figurative language using these kinds of figures of speech he expresses the strength of God like a flood.
The foods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, (93:3-4).
I’ll tell you, you hear those kind of floods coming down those canyons, you hear the big rocks as they are crashing and the boulders and all and just the roar that goes up. So the psalmist speaks of this in a figurative way.
The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies [of the Lord] are very sure: holiness becometh [adorns] thine house, O LORD, for ever (93:4-5).
A beautiful little psalm that is full of extolling of God.
The ninety-forth psalm is a psalm that I can identify with quite well. I find myself often in the position of the psalmist wondering why God is so patient and why God is so longsuffering and why God allows evil people to get by with the things that they are doing. My desire to see the judgement of God fall upon the wicked.
O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; (94:1).
For God said “Vengeance is mine. I will repay saith the Lord”.
O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, (94:1).
God’s told us we are not to take vengeance but we are to commit those things to the Lord.
shew thyself (94:1).
Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud (94:2).
Now that doesn’t mean a good reward, that means a reward that is fitting to what they have done, repay them or get them back.
LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? (94:3).
Jesus said an interesting thing in a parable that he’s talking about a certain servant and he was sort of the accountant for his master. He had been juggling books and he was caught and his master said, “Okay, clean the thing up. You’re fired.” Realizing that he was going to fired he began to call the creditors in and said, “How much do you owe my master? Hundred dollars? Let me change that and make it fifty. How much do you owe my master? Fifty? Here let’s make it twenty-five.” He began to do all these favors for the debtors of his master. Now the Lord, when he found out what he did, commended him. Not for his honesty but for his shrewdness. You see, he had enough sense realizing that he’s going to be out of a job soon and if he ingratiates these people to him then he can go and borrow money from them. They owe him one kind of a thing.
He took advantage of his present situation to set himself up for the future. That was what was wise. What he did was corrupt and dishonest, probably thrown in jail for it. He was taking advantage of his present situation and set himself up for the future. Jesus said that’s what we should be doing. Here we are on earth, here we have the opportunity to serve the Lord, we ought to be taking advantage of our present situation to set ourselves up for the future, that is for eternity. Jesus said,
“Lay not up for yourself treasures on earth for moth and rust corrupt and decay, where thieves can brake through and steel. Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”
The only place you can do that is here. When you get to heaven you cannot lay up treasures in heaven. We just, of course coming back from Europe, had an interesting experience. We went through seven countries so we were dealing with six different currencies. It was crazy. When we landed in Germany we used the Deutschmarks but the moment we crossed over in Austria they did want the Deutschmarks, they wanted shillings. I had a pocket full of Deutschmarks and a bunch of coins but couldn’t spend them, they didn’t want them they wanted shillings. So I had to change my Deutschmarks and my dollars into shillings. As we left Austria and went back into Germany they wanted Deutschmarks again and as we went into Switzerland they wanted the Swiss Franks. All of this changing of currency. The one currency was only good for the one country.
What Jesus is saying is that you should take advantage of the position you are in now to make your exchange into the currency of heaven. There are no banks at the gates of heaven like you have in the airport that says, “Change”. You can’t, when you get to heaven, go up to the change bank inside the duty free area and say, “Hey, I’d like to get some currency up here”. You take advantage of what you are able to do now, laying up our treasures in heaven. For you see, the gold, which is so valuable to you here, has no value here in heaven at all. You try to go in lugging a suitcase full of gold “Alright I’ve got all my gold. I’ve saved it Lord, I buried it and here I have it here in heaven”. He says, “Throw it out in the street and let the steamroller run over the thing. Use it for asphalt here”. Not current in heaven. So taking advantage of the present opportunity of serving God, of investing our lives in the things of God, so that when we perish we are received into the eternal kingdom.
At the present time it would seem that God allows the wicked to triumph. In this world it seems that they are wiser and that’s what Jesus said in the parable, “The children of this generation are wiser than the children of light” It seems like every case that the ACLU takes they win corrupt as they are. It seems like the communists outwit us at every corner.
How long shall they utter and speak hard [perverse] things? [against you] and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?
Letting them go on in their pride boasting about the evil that they are doing and that they have done. Bragging about evil, we hear it in the world. So many times we hear fellows bragging about their evil exploits.
They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage (94:5).
They put down the Christian, they make fun of you because you seek to serve the Lord, they mock and they speak with derision.
They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it (94:6-7).
God really doesn’t care. They say that God is detached from his creation, that God just created and now he stepped back and just the thing go. He doesn’t really care what happens. Sometimes it would appear that way because God does allow the evil people to go on and to prosper in their evil ways. The psalmist addresses the brutish among the people and the fools.
Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? (94:8).
You misunderstand God. When are you going to wake up? When are you going to be wise? Think about it logically.
He that planted [created] the ear, shall he not hear? (94:9).
One of the marvelous capacities that we have is the hearing capacity. These three little bones that pick up these vibrations as we speak transfer these vibrations into your brain that are then cataloged by your brain into the references that have already been planted there and these odd vibrations coming into your brain are interpreted by your brain into thoughts and ideas. Now that’s weird. God created that capacity. Language is an interesting kind of a covenant or agreement between us that certain sounds mean certain things. As long we are in agreement on this we can communicate.
Now when we were in Austria we had a horrible time when we lost our luggage trying to communicate to the conductor what had happened. He didn’t know any English and I didn’t know and Dutch. We were both frustrated. He would talk to other people and I’d think how in the world is he communicating ideas with those weird sounds. My brain wasn’t picking up on anything. There was no reference to plug into.
Language is an interesting thing. The hearing capacities are fascinating because my brain catalogues and classifies and records and puts in the file these sounds so I have a reference when I hear the sounds again. I have this reference as the brain decodes the vibrations that it goes into this system of references and it flashes into my mind the understanding of the thoughts and the ideas that are being communicated. Fabulous the fact that it’s able to record. Otherwise everytime you talked it would be like babbling to someone. You wouldn’t know it because if you didn’t remember it there would be no reference points. You couldn’t communicate. You’ve got to catalogue those sounds and put them in the file. The process of communicating in language.
The factory senses, they send the vibrations into the brain through the bones that go on up from the nasal passages on into the brain and they send off these little vibrations. Again, your brain catalogues these vibrations that come in through the factory senses. It says, “Hey, chocolate chip cookies. Alright”. I have a catalogue there for chocolate chip cookies, I have another one for roses and the various smells and how your brain as David said, “We are fearfully and wonderfully way and that my soul knows right well”. The God who created the ear surely he can hear.
he that formed the eye, shall he not see? (94:9).
The eyes taking these pictures, eighteen of them per second, impressing them on this jelly which comes into the brain again as vibrations at various frequencies. My brain interprets them as colors and as faces. Again, this great catalogue system that I have there in the brain. You see some ones face and you say, “I know him. Where do I know him from? I know that person. What is his name?” You try and try and try to recall and it’s just not there and then tomorrow when you’re driving down the street “John, oh yes! John Thomason, sure”. My brain’s been working on it all the while and it finally flashes and got the right cards. I love it.
He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? (94:10).
You think you can get by without God’s corrections?
he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? (94:10).
Gives us the capacity of learning, the capacity of knowing. He is the one that created the DNA’s and the storage banks in the brain. You think that God doesn’t know? Yet this is the feeling that many people have concerning God. God doesn’t see what I’m doing. God doesn’t hear what I’m saying. God doesn’t know what I’m doing. That’s wrong. You’re uncultured, you’re undeveloped and you’re a fool if you think God doesn’t see and God doesn’t know and God doesn’t care.
The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity [empty] (94:11).
I’m certain, with God and all of his knowledge; he knows the little electronic pulses that flash across our brains and brings us our thought patterns. As God can read these thought patterns that goes across my brain, he knows that they are just empty, empty headed. Think of all the empty thoughts that we think. God knows the thoughts of man, they are empty. Even those profound thoughts. We think “Oh my that’s very profound” God says, “Oh how empty”.
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law (94:12).
The Bible tells us not to despise the chastening of the Lord, this is the correction. Now God doesn’t punish his children, he does correct his children. The chastening process is not a punishing process, sometimes it’s painful but the idea is never that of punishment. The idea is always of correction. We should remember that as we deal in the training of our children. We should not seek to punish them; we should seek to correct their behavior. Sometimes we get those things confused and we give punishing. God corrects. “But whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth”. It’s a part of the expression of God’s love that he cares enough to correct us. The Bible says that if you don’t correct your child you hate him. Why? Because you are destroying him.
“A child left to himself will bring reproach to his parents. The iniquity of the world is bound up in the heart of the child but the rod of instruction will drive it from him.”
Dr. Wilder Smith said, “The pushing back of those frontiers, the importance of it”. The Lord pushes back those frontiers in our lives, he allows difficulties, he allows hardships and he allows pain. It’s all a part of the processes of God correcting me, teaching me.
That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked (94:13).
Now the idea was Lord how long before you really are going to take care of the wicked? How long are you going allow them to go on prospering, triumphing? God will teach us, he will instruct us. I go through trials and the wicked don’t seem to go through the same trials that I have. Why? Because they’re not God’s children and God is preparing the pit for them. Their destruction “slumbers not: the scripture says. So God is watching over me. I go through adversity but they are being prepared for destruction.
For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. But judgment shall return unto righteousness: (94:14).
God will bring judgment and judgement can be good and judgement can be bad according to where you are. You can go to court and get judgment from the court that will give you back your property or you can get a judgment that will take away your property. So the judgement that God gives to his people is good.
and all the upright in heart shall follow it. Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence (94:15-17).
No one seems to stand up for me when I really need it but the Lord, he will stand up for me and he will be my defense.
When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up (94:18).
Lord I’m falling; God’s mercy holds me up.
In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul (94:19).
Our thoughts race, when we are in trouble, a million miles a second. They are almost as fast as the speed of light. As I’m trying to figure things out and I find this turmoil within, God steps in and comforts my soul.
Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? (94:20).
Can there be fellowship light with darkness?
They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood (94:21).
Boy what a thought as far as abortion. What can be more innocent than an unborn child? They condemn the innocent blood. They get in front of the TV camera and scream.
But the LORD is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge. And he shall bring upon them [the wicked] their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness, (94:22-23).
Lord, how long? Their day is coming. As in the ninety-second psalm, foolish and brutish that they be exalted or that they seem to be getting by, they will be destroyed forever.
yea, LORD our God shall cut them off (94:23).
The day of righteous judgment shall come. You can count on it.
Father we just again thank You for the word of God that ministers to our spirit. Help us Lord to walk in the light of Your word. May we meditate in it day and night. May it be our food to strengthen us in the inner man. In Jesus name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7196