Psalm 96 Sermon Prep Part 2

Psalm 96 Sermon Prep (part 2)

More of my sermon prep work on Psalm 96 for Cross of Christ Fellowship.

TELL

[7] Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
[8] Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
[9] Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!

[10] Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”

Here the rhythm of ‘worship and tell’ seen in 1-6 repeats. In 7-9 we worship and 10 we are to tell (say). I am struck by the global and cosmic nature of this worship. Worship of God was not be merely among the ethnic Israelites, but among all the peoples of the earth. Just as worship of Jesus is not be a Western thing, but by every people and tongue. And in fact, the majority of Christians in the world live outside the West.

[7] Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
[8] Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
[9] Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
The THREE calls to ‘Ascribe’ to the LORD are three calls to worship God and declare His greatness. It is a call to recognize the greatness of God and proclaim again with our mouths the greatness of God. To Him belongs glory and strength. We are to give him the GLORY due His Name. That is, God deserves to be worshipped and recognized as utterly beautiful. As greatness in our world deserves to celebrated and recognized, so the greatest person in all of existence deserves to be worshipped. He calls us to worship Him not because He is empty or insecure, but actually to fill us up with glory, joy and wonder. Nothing else can satisfy our souls, on the glorious God of Creation.
The Psalmist continues by calling us to “bring an offering” and “coming into his courts”—that is his temple courts. We are to bring a sacrifice and come into the temple and “worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.” This is NOT a call to sectarian ritualism, but rather a universal invitation to live out how God designed us, as worshippers of the one true God. And as we worship God, we worship in the splendor of holiness and tremble before. We tremble not out of fear that God will hurt or abuse us, but out of holy and right understanding of God’s absolute power and greatness—like the feeling we have after we witness lightening strike above our heads, or the feeling we have as we behold an unstoppable locomotive barreling down the tracks toward us, or the feeling we before the ocean as the waves roar and crash before us.

The Psalmist call is universal: “families of the peoples,” “all the earth!” We are all invited in: Middle-Easterners, blacks, white, Asians, Hispanics, educated and uneducated, young and old, wealthy and poor.

LORD, let me ascribe greatness and glory to you. Turn my heart again to adore you and worship. Let me tremble before, more than I tremble before the opinions of others or circumstances I face. Let me tremble before you dear God.

[10] Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”

Here the Psalmist invites us to use our mouths again to speak of God’s greatness to others. Here we are to speak among the “nations.” Again, we see that God that Israel’s God was always to be for all the nations, not just Israel. God is a God of all peoples and wanted Israel to go out and share the truth of God’s mercy and grace to all peoples. Here we are to tell unbelievers about God’s reign over the world and his fair judgments. All of the world ought to hear about the kingship of God. He is the KING we all need, like in LOTR ‘Return of the King”—the people are waiting for the real and true king to raise up and reign in righteousness and peace.

Jesus, forgive me for being so slow and timid to speak of you. I’m afraid of what others say or think about me, instead of worrying about what you think. Jesus you perfectly fulfilled Israel’s mission and you were called us to carry on what you began. You are ‘the light of the world’ and as we share the gospel we shine the light of truth to a dark and unbelieving world. As they enter into this light they are freed. As I entered into the light of Christ, my heart was freed, ‘I rose went forth and followed thee.’ Lord you saved me from selfishness and hatred of others, so that I might love my neighbor an die to selfish darkness. Jesus use me and our church to proclaim the gospel to the people of Naperville.

The GOSPEL of Jesus Christ transforms how we use our MOUTHS. Instead of blaspheming God, foolishly scoffing Him, or praising worthless idols, our mouths are filled with praise, love, and adoration of God as an overflow of the Holy Spirit’s work in us. Our MOUTHS sing beautiful praise to God instead of ugly noise to self and vain things.
The GOSPEL also transforms how we use our MOUTHS in how we speak to others outside the church. Instead of gossip, slander, lust, or racist hate, we speak the truth in love of God’s grace and holy character. Our MOUTHS are opened and God uses the words we speak to draw some to Himself.

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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