Sunday School Lesson – January 1, 2017 Praising God the Creator
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator
Time: Unknown – Place: Palestine
Golden Text: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made: and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth (Psalm 33:6).
The poets of the Old Testament loved to describe the natural world, they lived closer to nature than do most of us. They observed the ways of birds, badgers, flowing rivers and the pulsing of the waves. The Biblical poets were different from their neighbors in the ancient Middle East. Their neighbors did not merely rhapsodize about birds and tree, hills and seas, but they worshiped them. The Biblical poets have much in common with many other poets throughout history, but they resisted the temptation to deify nature, but they didn’t worship nature. The biblical poet’s identification of nature for them, nature was always “creation”. The word nature does not deify the world, but it still implies that the world has its own sense of being, its own power, and its own dynamic, but the word, on the other hand, the word creation is a term of faith. It expresses the belief that everything that exists is made by God. All the beauty and splendor of the universe comes from God, and the honor and the praise should be given to Him only and not nature or the universe.
Psalm 33:1 – Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Verses 1-3 is forming a call to worship for those that are seen as righteous before God. A righteous person is one who conforms to God’s holy standards. Those who have placed their trust in God are counted as righteous before the Lord; this doesn’t mean we don’t make mistakes or sin, but the righteous doesn’t practice sin. No one is perfectly righteous but God, this is why the Bible informs the believer that all have sinned and came short of the glory of God. As believer’s we try with every part of our being to be righteous according to the Word of God with our faith as well as our lifestyle. A call to worship is not only gathering in the place with other believers but to worship God with songs and praise in our daily life. Only believers can truly worship God, for know Him by reading and studying the Word of God, they know Him through their encounter with Him. They know Him by what He has done for them. To rejoice in the Lord is to sing aloud for joy in His honor, the book of Psalms in the Hebrew Bible is titled the “song of praise”. To rejoice in the Lord is not just when everything is going well with us, but praise should always be in the heart of the believer; they don’t praise Him for what is happening, bu the praise Him because He is still God in their situations and circumstance, they praise Him because they are aware that He is greater than what they are going through. They praise Him because they know if God allowed it, then whatever it maybe it is the will of God, and their will should be whatever God’s will, will be their will. When hardships come, it may be especially difficult to praise God, failure to do so, however, robs God of what He deserves and robs us of the joy that such rejoicing brings.
Psalm 33:2 – Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the Psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. The word “praise” in verse 2 differs from the word ” praise in verse 1. The word “praise” in verse 2 indicates praise in the form of thanksgiving. The psalmist is calling the readers to offer thanks through music; music is a way to praise God in such a way it will draw the presence of God in our midst. Music not only touches the intellect but the emotions. In the first book of Samuel, it gives an encounter how music brings deliverance to the mind. After the Spirit of God had departed from Saul, he was tormented in his mind by an evil spirit. As David played the harp Saul was relieved of the evil spirit (And it came to pass when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand; so Saul was refreshed, ad was well, and the evil spirit departed from him – 1st Samuel 16:23). The instruments mentioned in Psalm 33:2 are stringed instruments, the harp refers to a lyre, the psaltery is more what we would call a harp.The instrument of ten strings is most likely a third instrument. Some may think music is a form of worship but worship is an inner attitude; as believers when we sing praises to God it’s an instrument that is praising Him from what’s happening within our being, the river that is flowing with living waters.
Psalm 33:3 – Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. The third part of the invitation to praise is to “sing unto Him a new song” The “new song” does not demand the creation of new lyrics or melody. Truthfully, any old hymn becomes new and fresh when it is sung with true devotion. As we yield ourselves to God, He will give us songs to sing that we have never heard prior to our singing it, this comes from commitment and dedication to Him. The invitation and reminder of whatever forms our praise and worship take, the object must always be the Lord Himself. He is the One we rejoice in, praise, and sing to. We must examine our attitudes to be sure we gather together to praise God and not to impress other people. God sees the praise from believers as beautiful. Throughout the Psalms, any instruments are employed to praise the name of the Lord. “Loud doesn’t mean the music or the song is so long to it becomes irritating. When songs and music is coming from a devoted heart it will always be sweet to the ears of our Lord.
Psalm 33:4 – For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. First, the word of the Lord is right”. God’s “word” refers to whatever He has declared as recorded in Scripture. God’s words are dependable. The word for “truth” can be translated “faithfulness” God’s faithfulness is seen not only in His words but also in His works. God speaks and acts faithfully. He is faithful to His word and to His people through preserving them, answering their prayers; as well as protecting and giving them the joy of the Lord. Joy differs from happiness, with happiness, it can be disrupted when circumstances come, but with joy no matter what is going on in the believer’s life they will still have the joy that expresses from the inside to the outside.
Psalm 33:5 – He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. The Lord not only loves righteousness and justice, but these are also attributes of His character. He loves these qualities because they reflect His glorious character. Righteousness is related to God’s perfect righteousness; it describes God’s conformity to His own perfect and holy nature. “Judgment” which is better understood as justice, means that God gives to man what is due him, He rewards righteousness and He punishes sin. His goodness fills the earth. The word is often translated “lovingkindness”, it conveys the idea of love and faithful.
Psalm 33:6 – By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. God spoke the heavens and the host into existence on the fourth day of Creation. The very stars and heaven we see today are the same what was spoken from the beginning of the creation. Only the God of orderly and thought could have made the orderly heavens. The stars don’t do random things; they can be trusted to be in the appropriate spot every night. Sailors have trusted them for navigation for centuries. The heaven hasn’t moved neither has the stars, God knows each star by name and they are at His command.
Psalm 33:7 – He gathered the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. This scripture refers also to Exodus 15:8, part of the song of praise for God’s deliverance of His people through the Red Sea (And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as a heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea – Exodus 15:8). At that time the Lord had divided the sea so that it stood like walls on both sides of the Israelites as they passed through the waters. This should have been an event the Israelites should have always cherished and kept in memorial throughout their generations. The palmist emphasis is on God’s power over His creation. God didn’t create our world and then lose control of it. He is the sovereign Ruler over His creation. We live within His creation and are bound by the laws that govern it, but neither we nor those laws are in control, God will always have the final words. Because of our world’s government is another reason as believers we should pray as the Bible as instructed us to do ( I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men: For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty – 1st Timothy 2:1-2). Many things that are happening in the world is because of the lack of believer’s praying. Marching against violence is good, but it will not stop it, prayer reaches the hand of God, and He intervenes when we acknowledge Him as being the ruler and not man. The earth is waiting for the sons of God to take their position of dominion (For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God – Romans 8:19).
Psalm 33:8 – Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. The Bible presents the fear of the Lord as a mark of reverence and awe on the part of those who recognize Him as Lord. Christians, above all others, should cultivate and attitude of fear, or reverence, towards God. Knowing it was Him and Him only who created the world. The moons, stars, and nature was created by Him and shouldn’t be worshiped.
Psalm 33:9 – For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. God merely gave the command, and what He commanded was instantly accomplished. Of no other being in the universe can be said that he merely speaks and his will be done. Nothing that man can attempt will come remotely near to this type of divine activity. There is no human explanation for creation neither can man create what God has created. Creation has stood in place since it was first spoken centuries ago and will not be replaced until Jesus’s return and the new Jerusalem will comes from heaven (And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away: and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband – Revelation 21:1-2). Jesus is coming back for His church, the body of Christ and until that time everything that was spoken from the beginning will remain in place until the end.