Exalted forever - Psalm 92 Sermon, October Prayer Service
Text: Psalm 92
Theme: “Exalted forever – a song for the Sabbath”
Intr – Today we have the only Psalm from the 150 there are in the Psalter that was written specifically for the Sabbath day. A hymn that celebrates the importance of the special day dedicated to Worship God and to receive his Good Gifts. That is, this is a Psalm celebrating and exalting the importance of being in communion with Christ’s body – the Church.
Now, what’s the benefit going regularly to Church? What’s the benefit of reading the Bible daily, or having a daily devotion? What do we get out of this? “Feeding our soul”? But... does this really happen? Because we all know that, once we read the text, after some moments, all is gone. Some of the more remarkable phrases and texts may be held by our memory, but is impossible to remember everything. Even for the one who wrote them.
Maybe at some moment of your life you’ve asked yourself about the necessity of attending church every Sunday, or every week to listen to the Word, sing praises, pray... Ministers say that this is to ‘feed our faith’. But does this feeding actually happen? You see, we go, listen, see, speak, sing... but probably in the next Sunday we can’t recall most of the former.
The question that sometimes may come to mind, then, is: how do we are feed in our faith? How does this process happen?
But I’ve also asked myself another one: is the complete understanding of the ‘how’ this feeding happen a pre-requisite to the effectively feeding of my heart?
Let’s compare it to our body needs. Think of what you eat daily. Do you completely understand how bread, meat, fruits (ok, french fries, hamburger, desserts…) will perform the feeding inside your body? Well, I would say that for most of us, after what we ate is down the throat moving down there ceases most of our knowledge. We can’t explain exactly how it happens, but all we know is if we eat that amount of food will sustain us for another period of time.
But if understanding what exactly happens was crucial for being nurtured? Then perhaps only scientists and professionals from health area would survive.
I don’t want to mean here that we should be spiritually ignorant, accepting anything anyone says. But the point here is: just because I don’t understand the process quite well, it doesn’t mean that it’s not actually and effectively happening!
So Psalm 92 is an invitation to the Service, to the House of God where this nurturing takes place. It invites us to make use of the Sabbath as the day of the Lord. Usually when it comes to the Sabbath day we would be directed to the things you can’t do; the Jews of Jesus’ time had hundreds of those “you shall not” rules. Here though we see what we can do as we worship the Lord.
“The opening section of the Psalm expresses the joy of praising God in public worship.” Throughout History music has been one of the main forms to express this joy. “The reason is clear and powerful: the greatness of God’s deeds of Creation and Redemption, and the wonderful thoughts revealed on God’s Word”.
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord. This is true because God is worthy of our praise, but worship is also good for us. Worship is for our good, not God’s. God does not need our worships (Cf. Ps 51), but we need to worship him. |The Sabbath was made for man, not the man for Sabbath”. Time devoted to worship is good for our body and soul”. God feeds our soul and our body, even if we don’t understand “how” it happens. We know “why” and “what for” it happens.
Now even when we worship God morning and evening, all the time, we still see the wicked prosper. This is puzzling sometimes for our Christian faith because we would think we would deserve better than then once we are children of God and churchgoers as much as we can. We should bear two things in mind here: the first, we are never as good as we think. We are still sinners and all we deserve is condemnation. We are praising God in his sanctuary exactly for His Goodness and Mercy toward us. And the second, the psalmist emphasizes what we know from God’s Law: they will be destroyed forever. “Surely your enemies, Lord will perish; all evildoers will be scattered”. Judgment belongs to the Lord and he executes it in His time. Their prosperity is brief, their joy is fleeting. The Lord is exalted forever, so is our guarantee of Hope and Joy Eternal.
The Lord is exalted forever. This is the central affirmation that is surrounded but 7 verses on each side. Numbers are a special thing on Psalm 92, especially number Seven. For example, 7 times the name of Yahweh is mentioned. And we can also note that there are 52 words on each side of this central affirmation. 52 are the number of Sabbaths in one year. Also, 5 + 2 equals 7. Seven is a number for perfection, for God, in the Bible.
Everything in this Psalm points to the joy of worshipping the Lord willingly, and no less importantly, regularly. This is how he feeds us. We may not understand or feel with our senses, but we know it happens because He promised so. As we seat at Hs table to receive the food for our body and soul, we KNOW we are being nourished for this life; and for life everlasting. For the Lord is exalted FOREVER.
God feeds us in Christ, especially in the Sabbath, the day and time we separate for Worship. We don’t know exactly "how" with our minds. But we know everything in our hearts. One of the texts that points to the crucial benefit of this feeding is John 6, where Jesus talks about eating his flesh and drinking His blood in faith in order to receive eternal life:
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.
Cc - Even If we can’t remember every message we hear, listen and enjoy, better than trusting our memory, we can always have our trust in Jesus. He never forgets to give the food we need for our soul, the food that sustains our souls and fortifies our life. As we walk in this world full of challenges, as we see so many spiritually malnourished people, we can also share this special meal with many along the way. We can invite people to come to Worship the Lord, to celebrate His Sabbath, to walk in His hand. He is exalted forever.
-BRUG, John. A commentary on Psalms 73-150, p.157-163
_The Lutheran Study Bible
 And it’s not because we can’t remember what we were fed on a given Sunday three months ago that this was not important to keep us well.
 BRUG, John. A commentary on Psalms 73-150.
 Mk 2:27
 BRUG, John. A commentary on Psalms 73-150.
 BRUG, John. A commentary on Psalms 73-150