92:1 A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.
It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night,
3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.
4 For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands.
5 How great are your works, O LORD, how profound your thoughts!
6 The senseless man does not know, fools do not understand,
7 that though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be forever destroyed.
8 But you, O LORD, are exalted forever.
9 For surely your enemies, O LORD, surely your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered.
10 You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured upon me.
11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Imagine the joy of desperate castaways as they catch the first glimpse of a rescue ship headed their way. Imagine their overwhelming relief as they are swaddled in blankets and fed their first meal in days. Saved! Do you think they wish for diamonds and silk rather than gray wool? Do you think they grumble about being given oatmeal instead of steak? Do you think they insist upon steering the boat? No, they will praise that ship and crew, declaring, “There is no wickedness in them!”
By no merit of our own, we have been renewed, comforted, fed – saved – by the heroic deeds of God’s rescuing Son. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-to the praise of his glory. (Eph. 1:13-14) If we never receive another blessing from His hand, our duty and our joy for the rest of eternity is to praise God for His marvelous deeds, trusting Him for what we don’t understand. We are, from first to last, made for “the praise of His glory.” From the early morning hours to our last thought before sleep, from the first day of our salvation to our last prayer before death, praise is our purpose.
Psalm 92 is a song for the Sabbath day, a concept which has almost vanished in our culture. In ancient Israel, twenty-four hours every week was given over to rest, to family life and to worship. No buying or selling. No cleaning or cooking or working. It was a weekly reminder of the eternal joy we have in store, the refreshment and peace, the loving community and the symphony of gratitude we will know in Heaven.
That symphony starts here and now when we remember together God’s faithfulness to past generations: to Moses and Paul, to Luther and Wilberforce, to Taylor and Graham. We can tell our own stories, too. The young can praise God for their calling (symbolized by the anointing with oil) and His victories in their lives today. The aged have the peace of experience, the resilience of having passed through many battles and seen God’s goodness in unexpected ways. Praise fills the lifespan from first to last. It leans hard on truth, community and conviction which extend beyond the borders of this world. When we use our lives to give God praise, it is good for us, lifting the soul, and good for the Kingdom. It’s a gift which pleases God and fulfills our created purpose. How good it is to stand together and sing a song of praise!
- Do you count yourself among the young who praise God in the moment, for the victories you are seeing now? Or among the aged who praise God for His goodness based upon His long faithfulness?
- Write a short prayer of praise to the Lord right now. Perhaps you might start with one line from this psalm.