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A Song of Thanksgiving

Posted on November 18, 2018

A Song of Thanksgiving

Psalm 96:1-13

Scripture Reading

Psalm 96

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song: sing to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! 4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 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.”11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 12 let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 13     before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Introduction: The highlight of last weeks’ vacation was the opportunity to go the town of my birth and where I lived the first fourteen years of my life to see my uncle and do somethings with him. But my main goal was to go to my first Pittsburgh Steelers football game. If you are unaware, the Steelers played the Carolina Panthers on November 8th and it just so happened that the Steelers won big 52-21. But I wanted to enjoy the experience not just the game. What I was struck with through the whole experience is how the commitment to the Steelers was what brought identity, unity and a neighborly attitude, a comradery wherever you went in Pittsburgh. I had forgotten how friendly the people were and how well they treated one another. It started with checking in at my hotel at 3 pm that day about 11 miles from the stadium and the note by the bed said “It is Steeler Thursday, enjoy your stay.” The lady in the lobby who worked there had her Franco Harris jersey on and gave me great advice on where to park and when I should arrive to get a good parking spot, and when to get into the stadium. On and on I could go, but the commitment to the hometown team is a big part of the fabric of that community and it brings the community together. It is all about the day of the game and the experience surrounding it as much as it is the game. For us as believers it should be about experiencing God throughout the week so worship on Sunday is natural as we gather together to corporately worship and exalt God’s name.

This psalm is a psalm about God’s rule and reign over our lives; our personal lives, our church families lives and our country’s lives. This psalm is rooted in the fact that God is a holy, sovereign God who judges with perfect righteousness and truth. This psalm of thanksgiving should bring us together to share our gratitude, our humility, our dependence and a thankful heart for the God we serve.

Purpose: Every Christian must acknowledge God’s rule and reign over our lives in righteousness and truth and praise Him for it.

Transition: Today, I don’t want to exposit this psalm deeply but I want each of us to interact and apply what this psalm is saying for us today here on November 18th – Thanksgiving Sunday

  • We are to use our words to say and share His holy name

Thanksgiving Song video – 3:30

  • Lots of times I hear people use God’s name in vain.
  • Isn’t interesting that if people believe in so many different gods and they are all the same, why is it that the natural inclination to use a God’s name in vain is always Jehovah?
  • I am 60 years old and when someone hits their thumb with a hammer, I never have heard anyway Buddha damn?? It is always Jehovah or Jesus Christ name that is profaned!!!
  • I think once in a while; how much do I speak the name of Jesus in a week? I can go for awhile without speaking of that wonderful and powerful name that has transforming power to change my life and anyone’s life who will speak it into their soul.

Sing to bless His name

Psalm 96:1-2

Oh, sing to the Lord a new song: sing to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

  • Singing is a natural way to praise the Lord; this is the first of more than 70 references to singing in the Psalms. The righteous are those who love His name. The Lord’s “name” (mentioned more than 100 times in the Psalms.) refers to His character and attributes revealed to mankind
  • Are there times in your life, you are overwhelmed with joy at times, you can’t help but burst out in singing?
  • Are there times you have been overwhelmed with trials and tribulations, negative circumstances and you want to burst out in tears and singing. Singing hope into your soul with God’s praises?
    • Oh, Lord Jesus, how long, how long, till we shout the glad song, Christ returneth, Hallelujah
    • These beginning verses allude to the fact that the Jews have received new mercies and grace from God.

Declare His glory through His works

Psalm 96:3

3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!

  • We are to declare God’s glory through words and song.
  • We are to let it out for others to hear so that they can declare Him and bring glory to Him.
  • It is a testimony as well to the unbelieving world, our praise for Jehovah. Some want to believe but simply don’t know how.

Praise Him for His greatness

Psalm 96:4-6

4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

  • Mentioning these gods (idols) does not acknowledge their reality. It is a statement of God’s sovereignty and superiority over every force, real and imagined. Everything in Creation—including things the pagans venerated as gods—the Lord made, and therefore He has power over it all.
  • He is great because there is no one like Him
  • He is beyond description
  • He works in ways we cannot fathom. He rarely answers our prayers in the same way twice to show His unique character, ability and sovereign rule over our lives

Application: He is worthy of our praise through our lives

  • He is great
  • He is Lord of lords
  • He is majestic and beautiful
    • Majesty – I love that word. It means;
      • Ornament
      • Splendor
      • Beauty
      • Excellence
      • How will you praise God through your words this week?
        • Not just in prayer but in conversation with others
        • Sharing how God has been good to you in small and big ways despite the difficulties you may be going through right now.

Song: 10,000 Reasons

Children Dismissed for Children’s Church

Transition: These set of blanks highlight the desire to show adoration and praise to God by their actions. These are active expressions of praise seen in what they do.

Teaching Time #2

Ascribe glory to Him

Psalm 96:7-8a

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

Ephesians 2:14

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named

Philippians 2:9 - 11

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  • The reality is that one day, one day, all the people of the world who have ever lived, the demons and Satan who have rebelled against God, will bow and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father
  • I don’t know about you but I want to do it out of love and honor and not bow by force that will lead to their eternal destruction
  • Let’s us come humbly before Him in honor and reverence and respect

Approach Him on His terms

Psalm 96:8b

Bring an offering, and come into his courts!

  • This is where a lot of people in our culture struggle
  • They want to come to God on His terms
    • God is not someone who has to explain Himself or His ways to us. He does not owe us an explanation for anything
    • If we were God and might I remind you none of us are, we could do things differently
    • We do not have God’s perspective on this universe

Illustration: It would be like an ant telling humans how to live!!

  • God has the right to do as He pleases. Be thankful that He has revealed Himself to us through His creation and through His special revelation Jesus Christ, His Word and the Holy Spirit as well as the church. Paul talks in Ephesians about this mystery being revealed to us during the Age of Grace / Church Age
  • God says we must come with humble hearts, acknowledging our dependence on Him, confessing our sins and in the fear of the Lord

Hebrews 4:14 -16

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Ephesians 2:18-19

18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God

  • We must come through the blood of Christ and in the name of Christ
  • Christ is now our high priest and we have no need to go through any human instrument. We can boldly go to the very throne of God because we have been justified by faith

Worship Him in holiness

Psalm 96:9-10

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.”

Psalm 47:8

8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.

Psalm 93:1

The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

  • Can you imagine what it will be like to have King Jesus on the throne in the New Jerusalem and all of the world will serve Him and honor Him and sin will be no more!! Beyond our comprehension but it is a real promise we can look forward to.

Application: He is worthy of giving Him glory through our lives

  • He reigns
  • He is sovereign
  • He is a just judge

Let’s take a few moments to put these first two areas of teaching into practice

  • What are some things about God we can praise Him for – His attributes?
  • What are some characteristics of God in your life that you appreciate?
  • Prayer of Praise to God

Third Teaching

Transition: As we have talked about and practiced, we praise God through our words, our actions and now through our thought process.

Unity in praise on heaven and earth

Psalm 96:11a

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice

  • Sounds like a Christmas song. As we are prepared to usher in the season of Advent after Thanksgiving, there are promises that we sing about at Christmas that pertain to the second coming of Jesus, His second advent
  • One of those promises is that the whole world will praise, be glad and rejoice in Him seated on His throne in ultimate control. The heavens and earth will join together in tumultuous praise!

Unity of praise by all of His creation

Psalm 96:11b – 13

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 12 let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 13 before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

  • The creation is anticipating this day
  • The earth was created in perfection but due to sin is winding down and is headed for ultimate destruction and a restoration
    • We need to be good stewards of the world God has given to us
      • Don’t waste resources – Christopher Kime
      • Pick up litter, recycle, good conservation for our rivers and water tributaries
      • Respect animals that may face extinction
      • But don’t worship Mother Earth and the animals, worship the Creator of all of these things!!
  • We have dominion over the animals. We are not co-equal in creation. Man is the center and most precious of all God has created. Not the universe, not animals but mankind
  • The earth, due to sin has a date where it will run out of resources and be rebuilt

2 Peter 3:8-13

8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

  • As I said, creation longs for, is groaning for this day of renewal and perfection.

Romans 8:20 – 21

20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Application: He is worthy to be lifted up through our lives

  • He judges with equity
    • He will right every wrong and punish every injustice
    • Until then, we must do everything we can to see justice prevail

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

  • But until then we must love our enemies and those who treat us unjustly and leave it up to God to deal with them if reconciliation isn’t possible

Illustration: No good deed goes unpunished – Rod Franklin

1 Peter 2:21-23

21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

  • He judges with faithfulness
    • Faithfulness – truth, steady, stability, firmness, steadfastness, moral fidelity
    • We are talking perfection in truth here
      • Slant on the news – voter suppression vs. fraud among the election officials. The truth is what?
      • God has no slant because He is the author of truth and His truth is absolute and perfect
      • That is why you can take God at His promises. That gives us great hope and great faith

Concluding thoughts

  • That is our Thanksgiving message for this year. I hope you will join us tonight for a great meal in celebration of God’s bountiful blessings.
  • It will be an active time as we share God’s goodness to us and through us in testimony. Looking forward to tonight
  • But throughout this week, may you continue to develop an attitude of praise and gratitude as you ponder these questions.

Questions to Ponder this Week

  1. How are you praising God through your words?
  2. How are you praising God through your actions?
  3. How are you praising God through your thoughts?