Sunday School Lesson, January 8, 2017 All Creation Joins In Praise
To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator
Time: Unknown Place: Palestine
Golden Text: “O’sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth”.
Psalm 96:1 – O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth. A royal psalm is part of the set that begins at Psalm 93. This psalm emphasizes world mission, specifically the prophetic fulfillment of the mission provision of the Abrahamic covenant. The scripture of the poem is a call to praise God, a celebration of God the Creator, a celebration of God the King, a celebration of God the coming One.This scripture here we are required to honor God with songs. Three times we are called to sing unto the Lord, that is, bless His name, speak well of Him. “Sing a new song” the product of new affections. A new song is a song for new favors. A new song is a New Testament song, a song of praise for a new covenant and the precious privileges of that covenant. A new song is a song that shall be ever new. This is a prophecy of the calling of the Gentiles; all the earth shall have this new song put into their mouths. The subject-matter of this song is His salvation, the great salvation which was to be wrought out by Jesus Christ. When we believe what God has done for us through His Son, we can’t help but tell others about Him. The best witnessing happens when our hearts are full of appreciation for what He has done. When we have a close relationship with the Lord, He will place songs in our mind and spirit that has never been written by man. Songs that comes from the Throne of God that edify, give peace and bring joy.
Psalm 96:2 – Sing unto the Lord, bless his name, shew forth his salvation from day to day. Singing to the Lord is not just when everything is going well with us and our family, but even in the valley of sorry and distraught the believer should have a song in their heart as well as their mouths. “Bless His name”, is knowing that God is God over everything, and with knowing this, the individual can bless God rather than murmuring and be complaining. When we can sing to the Lord and magnify his name in trials and tribulations it’s showing spiritual growth, determination, tenacity, this is when we’re showing our salvation on a daily basis. Looking at our past life and comparing it to our new life, will bring forth a praise and appreciation. “Salvation” can refer to various types of deliverance that come from the hand of God. His mighty works of deliverance call for praise and the ultimate good news is the deliverance in salvation from sin accomplished through the work of Jesus Christ. If the heart hasn’t be conformed to God; It is possible to sing along with others and not have any thought that we’re singing to the Lord. A praise should continually be in our mouth, just knowing daily, Jesus continues to save us both in every spiritual way and in many practical physical ways. If it wasn’t for the Lord who is on our side, we would be demolished by Satan’s attacks and ungodly influences.
Psalm 96:3 – Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. Among the nations is a bold declaration that one day the message of God’s mercy will be known world- wide. One day the message of God’s salvation will be known among all peoples. This declaration depends on God’s promise to Abraham that through his descendants all nations of the earth will be blessed (Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed – Genesis 12:1-3). This scripture also refers to Jesus’ command to His disciples to spread the news of God’s goodness to a desperate world. When our thinking and behavior is conformed to the Word of God the unbeliever will see the difference in us and this will give the believer an opportunity to witness and declare God’s goodness.
Psalm 96:4 -For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. God is great in His sovereign over all that pretends to be deities; there is none greater than our God. The very presence of the name Yahweh (Lord) denotes His self-existence, speaks of His greatness. He is distinct from and far above His creation, because of His greatness, the Lord is to be praised. Another way we praise Him is through our lifestyle; reflecting the salvation He has given us, our willingness to submit to God’s word is praise and worship. Our God is above all things created or imagined. As such, He is to be feared and praised above anything this world exalts as a substitute. God gives us everything that pertains to life and godliness (According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue – 2nd Peter 1:3). This alone is enough to praise Him for His mighty works in our life. Many believers fear what people going to say or do, the bill collector, doctor’s report; these are gods and our God exalt Himself over them, and we should also exalt our God above these gods.
Psalm 96:5 – For all the gods of the nations are idols; but the Lord made the heavens. The psalmist declares that “all the gods of the nations are idols”, nations are people. The various so-called gods worshiped by people throughout the earth are nothing more than worthless idols. The Hebrew word for idols means “something worthless”. The contrast between man-made idols and the one true God could not be greater. The Lord, our God created the heavens, He spoke and they were created. He speaks to nothing and makes something.
Psalm 96:6 – Honor and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Our concepts we have of honor and majesty comes from our limited understanding of God’s honor and majesty. Nothing else in all His magnificent creation is as majestic as God Himself. His strength and beauty are the origins of all we see as strong and beautiful in the created world. Unbelievers and some believers give more honor to man through their popularity, financial status, their acting capabilities and entertainers than they do God, they have made them their god, this is who they give their praise and honor to. All the honor and glory should always be given to God and not man. When God’s Spirit enter the sanctuary this is why people lift up their hands and bow before the Great God because of His majesty, strength, beauty, and holiness. No one has to tell us to lift our hands or bow when He enters, our spirit recognize who He is and our flesh submit to His holiness by bowing to Him.
Psalm 96:10- Say among the heathens that the Lord reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. The Lord reigns is the key phrase of the royal psalms. It was the countercultural cry of ancient Israelites in a world that believed that gods could rise and fall. In contrast, the living God remains Ruler for eternity. “He shall judge: This verse answers the cry of the oppressed people of world history, God will restore justice, He only judges His people righteously. The call here is to proclaim to the unbelieving nations (heathen), that the Lord reigneth, He is, always has been, and always will be the Sovereign of the universe. The Old Testament saints saw or understood the distinction between Christ’s first and second coming, the New Testament tells us that the Lord’s earthly rule as King is fulfilled with the second and still future coming. When Jesus Christ returns, the world shall be established, with the result that it shall not be moved, there will be stability and security along with the people being holy and evil will not be present as it is now.
Psalm 96:11 – Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Describes the joy throughout the world when the Lord’s kingdom fully comes upon the earth. “Let the earth be glad, and the sea roar” are poetic and figurative because none of this objects can verbally praise the Lord. However, there is a sense in which nature itself, corrupted as it by the curse of sin, longs for redemption and can rejoice with us in the coming reign of Jesus Christ (For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now – Romans 8:22). Creation awaits the coming glory because it also will be delivered, the bondage of corruption, nature is a slave to decay and death because of sin.
Psalm 96:12- Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice. The meaning is, that the days of the Messiah will be joyful days. As believers we will see our Lord, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, we will see the One who saved us from the wrath of God. We will rejoice knowing a world change is taking place and no one else will be in rulership besides our Lord.
Psalm 96:13 – Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. The Lord will dispense perfect justice. The promise is that justice will be finally fully, fairly and perfectly dispensed on earth. Knowing this brings about comfort to the people of God. At the coming of our Lord, every knee will bow, and every eye shall see Him as Lord and God. The Lord is a God of glory, and wonders, He is a God of honor, majesty, power and beauty. Strong and mighty, He stands infinitely far above His creation. God is the problem solver for our universe, He only can take and an ugly, and sinful world and make it become beautiful.