Praise the Glorious King

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Psalms

Psalms 97-100, “Praise the Glorious King”

Sometimes you just have to praise God!  There are times for mourning – there are times for pleading for help – we’ve seen many examples of both of these things.  The psalms can be painfully honest at times as the writers have suffered and cried out to God.  They’ve certainly been reminded of the faithfulness of God, but their current sufferings and problems were the things that had consumed their attention at the moment.  Not so in Psalms 97-100.  These are songs of glory & praise!  These are songs of worship, thanking God for His work in salvation, His love of His people, and calls to worship unto the entire world to give praise to God.

How good it is to be reminded that sometimes all we need to do is simply praise God!  Surely the writers of these psalms had suffered at times.  (Most likely, they had written other psalms asking specifically for deliverance…it would be hard to believe David didn’t write at least some of these.)  But our times of prayer aren’t always about suffering.  It’s not always about relief from trial.  Sometimes our eyes are just fixed upon the goodness of God, and we are just compelled to give Him unfettered praise.  And that’s exactly where the psalmists are tonight in Ps 97-100.  The writers have received a vision of God as the glorious King, and the only proper response to the reigning God is praise.

Psalm 97 (NKJV) – God the Exalted King

  • Prelude (vs. 1)

1 The LORD reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad!

  • There’s such a simplicity of logic here – and very true: God is the King, so be glad about it!  Break it down:
  • The LORD reigns…”  The Almighty, Ever-Existent, Self-sufficient, Covenant-keeping “I AM” God is the God who reigns on high.  This is the God that is in control.  God does not share His throne with Satan, or Baal, or Vishnu, demons, angels, or false gods of man’s devisings.  God (the only God) is the King.  Whether people recognize Him as the King or not is absolutely irrelevant to the fact that He IS the King.  God DOES reign.
  • So what?  So rejoice!  Be glad!  Whatever people or nation to which you belong, you ought to be glad that Yahweh God is King.  Out of every false idea of god that has gone through the world, there is none like the real God.  There is none truly good & perfect in every way.  False gods are created in the image of men, with all the imperfections & foibles that men possess.  Not so with the true God.  He is glorious & perfect – and HE reigns.  HE is on the throne.  HE is sovereign & HE is the King.  That’s a reason to rejoice!
  • Are you glad that God is the King?  Are you glad that Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth?  Those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus can indeed be glad that God is the King, because He is OUR King – we are HIS people, submitted unto Him & the recipients of His grace.  The remembrance that our God is King ought to cause our hearts to rejoice, as we magnify His name.
    • What if you aren’t glad?  Whether you claim the label “Christian” to yourself or not, if you can’t be glad and rejoice that God is the King, then something is terribly wrong.  Humble yourself & repent!
  • God’s glorious righteousness (vss. 2-6)

2 Clouds and darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

  • God’s glory is visible: the chabod.  The psalmist seems to have had a vision of the heavenly throne of God, and he was amazed by what he saw.  Just as the cloud of glory descended upon Mt. Sinai at the giving of the 10 Commandments, the cloud of glory surrounds the eternal throne of God.  Veiled from our sight, in that we would be destroyed if we were to view the glory of God – yet incredibly revealed to us in Jesus Christ, the image of the invisible God.
  • God’s glory is invisible: His character.  Although it’s difficult to say one aspect of God is “better” than the other, it’s certainly good that the visible glory of God isn’t the only glorious thing about God.  We do not serve a God whom is visibly glorious alone, but we tremble in terror at His evil; on the contrary the glorious God is glorious in His person as well.  This is a GOOD God, perfectly righteous and just.

3 A fire goes before Him, And burns up His enemies round about.

  • Again, speaking of the awesome glory of God.  The Bible says clearly that our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29).  This is what happens when the wicked encounter the incredible infinite righteousness of God.   There is no defense, no excuse, simply judgment.  Without Someone perfect interceding for us, we would have no hope to withstand the holiness of God.  Thankfully, we have an intercessor in Christ!

4 His lightnings light the world; The earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the LORD, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. 6 The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples see His glory.

  • Even creation fears the awesome Creator.  We look at the mountains and consider how small we are in comparison.  Yet the mountains have a similar experience when looking to God.
  • Notice that all the world sees.  There is no excuse not to give glory to God – His handiwork is clearly seen.
  • God exalted above all (vss. 7-9)

7 Let all be put to shame who serve carved images, Who boast of idols. Worship Him, all you gods.

  • Idolatry is shameful – it’s downright embarrassing, when we stop to think about it.  Here God has given us proof-positive evidence of His handiwork all around us, and we worship the things of our own creation and imaginations?!  Imagine drawing a self-portrait for your child, and your child starts treating the portrait as his/her parent, rather than you.  You’d ask, “What’s wrong with you?  What’s going on here?!”  It’s as if God made us a house in which to dwell (the earth), and instead of giving thanks to the architect, builder, and giver of the house, we start kissing the staircase & flooring.  Ridiculous insanity!
    • Despite common thinking, idolatry is not extinct in the world.  Not only do people still bow down and worship graven images (statues & paintings), even people in western cultures engage in gross idolatry.  How many people worship “Mother Earth,” or bow to pieces of paper they fold in their back-pockets (money)?  How many people worship their children or their job?  It’s no less idolatrous to sacrifice your entire life for a mere human than it is to a piece of wood.
  • Instead of idols being worshipped, they ought to give their worship to God.  “Worship Him, all you gods.”  This is not an acknowledgement of other gods (though this could technically be a reference to angelic beings), rather it’s a statement showing the futility of false worship.  Why worship a god who owes its worship & allegiance to someone else?  That’s not a god with any power and authority.  We ought to give our worship to the one true God, God Himself, as revealed through Jesus Christ.

8 Zion hears and is glad, And the daughters of Judah rejoice Because of Your judgments, O LORD.

  • As opposed to idolaters who ought to be ashamed, the people of God rejoice.  The citizens of Zion (Jerusalem) hear of the exaltedness of God, and they rejoice.  As citizens of the New Jerusalem, we hear of the awesomeness of God & the righteous judgments of the LORD, and we rejoice!

9 For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.

  • God is higher above all.  He is above the earth – He’s above all the people & anything in His creation.  He’s above any false idea about god & He’s above all angelic or demonic power.  God is above time itself.  God is the Highest, the Supreme Exalted One!
  • This is what is what Paul was writing of in regards to Christ when after the cross & resurrection, God gave Jesus the name that is above every name & raised Him up to the highest place (Phil 2:9).  This is what the author of Hebrews refers to, when he writes that after Jesus purged us from our sin & sat down at the right hand of God, He became “better than the angels,” and “obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Heb 1:4)
  • This is the God WE have the privilege of serving: the highest exalted King!
  • The response of God’s people (vss. 10-12)

10 You who love the LORD, hate evil! …

  • The right response to the love of God.  Those who have been brought into a relationship with God & truly love the Lord will love the things that God loves & hate the things that God hates.  That’s only natural.  Those who are married rejoice in the things their spouse rejoices in & vice-versa.  It’s no different in our relationship with the Lord God.  If we truly love the Lord, then we’re going to hate evil, because God hates evil.
  • Understand, it’s not a matter of legalism.  It’s not that we hate evil because we’ve got a list of rules telling us the things to hate & what kind of condemnation to bring down upon it.  No – instead, we hate evil because it offends the perfect righteousness of God.  We hate evil because evil is the reason Jesus went to the cross & the reason people suffer for an eternity in hell.  God in His eternal plan had a way with dealing with evil as Jesus suffered the wrath of God on our behalf. God has dealt with the results of evil in our lives, so we are to truly hate it & forsake it at every turn.  Again, not from legalism, but from a love of our Lord God & King.  We love Him for who He is & what He has done for us, so our hearts’ desire is to please Him at every opportunity.  Christian: hate evil!  Forsake it at all costs for the sake of our Lord Jesus.

…He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. 11 Light is sown for the righteous, And gladness for the upright in heart.

  • What God does for His people.  Action #1: God preserves our souls.  Those whom God saves & sets apart as His own, God keeps.  He preserves us forever as His own, and we forever enjoy the fellowship of relationship with Him.
  • Action #2: God delivers us from the wicked.  The deliverance we have through Christ is astounding!  From the attacks of the devil to attacks from enemies around us to even the wicked acts of our own flesh, we find our deliverance in Jesus Christ.  He gives us sweet forgiveness from the past, power to endure in the present, and the promise of complete freedom in the future.
  • Action #3: God sows light & gladness for us.  Our deliverance isn’t merely a legal declaration (though that’s certainly included); our deliverance includes sweet relationship and fellowship with God.  Our hearts can be made glad because we’ve been made children of the Most High.

12 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

  • Rejoice in the Lord!  Why?  You’ve been made “righteous!”  We who were filthy & wicked & deserving of death have been cleansed & declared righteous because of the work of King Jesus.  What marvelous reasons we have to give thanks and praise to our Holy Exalted King!

 

Psalm 98 (NKJV) – Praise the Savior-King
A Psalm.

  • Specifically, this seems to be a psalm of victory, declaring the praises of the wonderful King who saves.  Ultimately, it seems to look forward to the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ as He sits on His throne in Jerusalem, ruling over all the earth with the world’s population responding in worship and praise.  That said, it’s also true today on another level simply due to Jesus’ complete victory over sin & death.  God has offered us salvation through Jesus Christ, and that is a reason to give Him praise.
  • Praise God the Savior (vss. 1-3)

1 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.

  • Sing out because of the work of God in salvation.  He is a mighty warrior, and has conquered sin, death, and the devil.  Our God has the victory!

2 The LORD has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

  • God has made salvation known to the Gentile nations
  • God has made salvation known to Israel – He keeps His promises.
  • Ultimately, all the world has seen the salvation of God because all the world has seen (or will see) Jesus Christ.
  • The people praise God (vss. 4-6)

4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. 5 Sing to the LORD with the harp, With the harp and the sound of a psalm, 6 With trumpets and the sound of a horn; Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King.

  • Sing, shout, and generally give praise to God in every way with every thing.
  • This is the essence of the Great Commandment: Mark 12:29–30, "(29) Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. (30) And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment." []  The idea is to love God with all that we have – every ounce of energy, passion, and devotion is to be given to the Lord.  Every possession – every decision – every emotion is given over to Him, and we love and praise Him first and foremost.  Praise your God passionately!
  • Notice we’re praising the Lord, but we’re also praising Him as the “King.”  Our victorious God, our God who saves is also our God the Sovereign King.
  • The creation praises God (vss. 7-9)

7 Let the sea roar, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell in it; 8 Let the rivers clap their hands; Let the hills be joyful together before the LORD, 9 For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, And the peoples with equity.

  • Creation rejoices at the very thought of the 2nd coming of Christ.  It groans until that day when Jesus will once again step foot upon the earth.  Romans 8:19–22, "(19) For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (20) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; (21) because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (22) For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." []  The same idea was shown in Ps 96.  The earth is glad at the coming of the Lord!
  • Jesus IS coming.  Jesus will be the judge.  Are you ready?

 

Psalm 99 (NKJV) – The Holy King

  • The glorious God (vss. 1-3)

1 The LORD reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved! 2 The LORD is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples.

  • Tremble before & fear the awesome King.
  • Let all the earth know of the glory of the King of heaven.  That God “dwells between the cherubim” is a reference to the mercy seat on top of the ark of the tabernacle.  That was the earthly representation of the throne of God, with two cherubim molded on the top of the seat.  The psalmist is certainly referring to the tabernacle/temple, but the ultimate reference is to heaven itself.  The earth is moved because God is enthroned beyond the earth.  His heavenly throne is continually surrounded by cherubim & seraphim who declare His holiness and praises.
  • God is King over all the peoples, and specifically He is King over Zion, as His special people.  God reigns over all.

3 Let them praise Your great and awesome name— He is holy.

  • Why praise the wonderful name of God?  Because “He is holy.”  This is going to be a refrain throughout this psalm.  God is the holy God.  God is “holy” in that:
    • God is pure.  There is no wickedness or imperfection to be found in Him.  He is totally righteous and pure.
    • God is set apart.  The idea of holiness also includes that of dedication & consecration, being set apart for a distinct purpose.  That might be rather unusual to think of regarding God.  After all, He is the one that sets other things apart & consecrates them to Himself & His purposes.  How then could GOD be set apart?  Simple: He sets Himself apart for Himself.  God is wholly other & different from His creation.  God is set apart from the rest of creation because He is the Creator; not the created.
    • This is the holiness of God!  And because He is holy, He is to be praised.
  • The righteous King (vss. 4-5)

4 The King’s strength also loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.

  • The King is not only holy, He is also just & righteous.  As the judge, God is the very best judge.

5 Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His footstool— He is holy.

  • Not only are we to praise God with the words of our mouth, but also with our actions & attitudes.  Praise is verbal, but the idea here of worship is physical.  We are to bow before the Holy King.
  • The people of the King (vss. 6-9)

6 Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called upon His name; They called upon the LORD, and He answered them. 7 He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar; They kept His testimonies and the ordinance He gave them.

  • We might think of this as the description of the King’s court.  Who is it that serves the Holy King?  The psalmist gives three examples: Moses, Aaron, and Samuel.  These are examples of people who served the Lord, and called upon His name.
    • Question: We know Aaron was a priest, but what about Moses?  Although Moses was in the same family as Aaron (as his brother), Aaron was the one specifically called upon by God to be high priest over Israel, and the head of the Levitical priesthood.  Even so, yes – we can say Moses served in a priestly role.  Priests intercede for the people, representing them to God & representing God back to them.  Moses did that consistently, though he did not serve at the tabernacle in the sacrificial priestly responsibilities.
  • The main idea here is that Moses, Aaron, and Samuel all had relationship with Lord God the King.  They spoke to God, and God spoke back to them.  Those who knew God at all in this way had an understanding of His holiness.  They had been given a glimpse and idea of the glory of God, and it fundamentally changed the way they reacted to the Lord.  They did not deal with Him with callousness or casualness; they feared God and obeyed Him.  They “kept His testimonies and the ordinance.”  IOW, they demonstrated they knew the holiness of God through their obedience to God.

8 You answered them, O LORD our God; You were to them God-Who-Forgives, Though You took vengeance on their deeds.

  • Because Moses, Aaron, and Samuel were obedient, God answered them according to the covenant.  Actually, God went beyond the letter of the law in the covenant and also showed them much grace!  To them, God was more than simply the keeper of the Law, God was also “God-who-forgives.
  • Yet God’s forgiveness did not cancel out His righteousness.  God forgave what needed to be forgiven & judged what needed to be judged.  We tend to have a hard time with this concept.  We tend to think that God’s love cancels out God’s judgment, but that’s absolutely untrue.  Granted, we do not experience the judgment of God because we have been recipients of the love of God (through Jesus Christ at the cross).  Yet God’s judgment upon us was NOT cancelled out; it was transferred.  Instead of US experiencing His judgment and wrath, Jesus experienced it on our behalf.  God both judged perfectly AND forgave perfectly.
    • Even when it comes to the practical discipline of God that we experience in our lives, God’s forgiveness and righteousness can be perfectly seen.  (DA Carson) “Forgiveness without discipline would make us spoilt children; discipline without forgiveness would break our hearts. Together they guarantee that while we can treat forgiveness as certain, we can never treat sin as negligible.”

9 Exalt the LORD our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the LORD our God is holy.

  • The conclusion?  Exalt God & worship Him!
  • Again, the proclamation is made that God is holy.  But notice the emphasis here on our relationship in Him.  Not only is THE God holy, but the Lord OUR God is holy.

 

Psalm 100 (NKJV) – Praise to the Creator King
A Psalm of Thanksgiving.

  • Commonly called “Old Hundreth,” it had been set to music in 1551, of which the tune most people know today as the Doxology.  The original hymn had been “All People That On the Earth Do Dwell.” First verse ought to sound familiar as we look at the psalm: “All people that on earth do dwell, Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice. Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell; Come ye before Him and rejoice.”  Psalm 100 concludes the series of the royal psalms seen since Psalm 93 & 95 & following.  What is the proper response of the people of God to God their King?  Worship, joy, and thanksgiving!
  • Specifically, the psalm is intended for “thanksgiving.”  Although there are certainly other psalms that talk about giving thanks, this is the only psalm specifically intended for that purpose within its title.  It is good & right to give thanks to God!  We certainly thank Him for the things that He has done – we thank Him for our salvation and the relationship we have with Him through Christ – and as Psalm 100 makes known, we also give God thanks simply because He is the Creator God.  His very existence is a reason for which we can be grateful.  Without God, we would have nothing at all – so shout to Him in thanksgiving!
  • Call to worship (vss. 1-3)

1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.

  • Shout – serve – sing.  There is a time for each, and the ultimate reason to engage in any is the praise of the Lord God.  Shout out with loud praises…there are times in our worship of God that only a shout will do.  Serve God in gladness…looking for opportunities in which we can do some act of gratefulness for our King, some act of ministry in which His name can be glorified.  Sing when you come into the presence of God, lifting your voice in music allowing a passionate praise of God.
    • Notice serving is to be done with gladness.  Serving the Lord ought never be a burden.  Granted there will be times in our service of God that will be more joyful than others.  Yet when service to God becomes burdensome & a trial, then something is terribly wrong.  Anytime we serve the Lord, we are to do so with gladness of heart, thankful for what He’s done for us.  After all, serving Him with our lives is simply our reasonable response to everything He’s already done for us through Christ Jesus. (Rom 12:1-2)
  • Who is the recipient of the praise?  The LORD.  None other but the Ever-existent I AM, the covenant-keeping God of Israel is the one for whom all the world is to give praise and glory.  Our eyes are fixed upon our God, and we give Him praise.
  • Who is giving the praise?  All the lands.  Jews, Gentiles alike – the whole world is called to the worship of the glorious God.  At the time this was written, some Gentiles may have had a difficult time understanding how they could praise or serve the Lord God, considering they were excluded from worship through circumcision & other customs.  Yet through Jesus Christ, every barrier has been removed.  All the world can come to God, humbly bowing their knee to Jesus as Lord & all can come and worship & praise. 
    • Be careful not to write this invitation off to someone else.  YOU make a joyful shout to the Lord – YOU serve God – YOU come before His presence with singing.  What a shame to simply read about others praising the Lord when we have been (1) invited to do the same, and (2) given the opportunity to actually do it through Jesus Christ!

3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

  • What is our mindset as we praise God with singing, shouting, and serving?  He is so much to us:
  • God is God.  There are no other gods but the One God.  For this invitation that has gone out into all the world, the clarification is made that the worship of false gods is to be forsaken.  It is not a matter of simply choosing to worship any god, as long as your worship is sincere – it’s a matter of worshipping the ONLY God.  The great “I AM” IS God.  Worship the LORD. 
    • For those who wonder how Jesus fits into all of this, this is the nature of the Trinity.  Jesus is not the Father, but Jesus still is the “I AM.”  Jesus told us that those who have seen Him have seen the Father (John 14:9).  To worship Jesus Christ as God is to worship God Himself.  We need to know that the Lord Jesus, “He is God” and worship Him as such.
  • God is Creator.  The God that has been revealed to us as Jesus Christ is none other but the Creator God Himself.  This is not a god of our own making; this is the One who made us. []  In our post-Christian culture, how important it is to be reminded that it is God who made us, and not we ourselves!  To listen to some atheistic philosophers, one might come to the conclusion that we made ourselves, our ancestors pulling themselves up along the evolutionary ladder, striving to make themselves better than the other animals surrounding them.  How intellectually backward!  It’s absurd to claim that something can make itself, as if a cup of coffee wills itself into existence.  No – God is the one who made us.  That much ought to be obvious simply because we are here.
    • Knowing God as the Creator is the starting point to knowing Him as Lord.  When we understand that we have been created, then we can start to understand that we are accountable.  We will one day face our Creator one day – and we need to be ready for that day.
  • God is Shepherd.  Not only is God the glorious Creator God, He is also the personal Shepherd & loving God.  He has claimed us for His own, and we hear His voice and follow Him where He leads us.  He protects us, and lays down His life for us – even when we have endangered ourselves through our own sin.  This is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd!
  • Praising God (vss. 4-5)

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

  • We’ve been exhorted to praise God, but how exactly do we go about it?
  • Give thanks.  We have much to give thanks to God for!  If we did nothing else but come before Him, and give Him thanks for the life He gave us today, that would be enough to sing His thanks all day long.  He gave you another series of heartbeats – He gave you food to eat – He gave you air to breathe – He gave you friends and family to love.  And if that weren’t enough, He did not merely provide for you physically, but spiritually.  God gave you His only Son to die on your behalf – He gave His Son to bear your stripes & the punishment for your rebellion and transgression.  He gave you the greatest gift of love imaginable: the Son of God.  Oh how we have reason to give thanks to God!
  • Give praise.  The fact that we are to enter into the “courts” of God with praise tells us something about what praise actually is.  Praise is public – praise is sharing – praise is declaring to other people the wonderful works of God & sharing the amazing character of God.  Obviously we can praise God in our hearts & with our lives, but ultimately to the Hebrews, praise was to be done with our lips.  Go share the good news!  Go tell other people how awesome the Lord God is & how Jesus saves you from sin!  THIS is praise.  When you come among the people of God, declare the praises of God.  When you go out into all the world, you take the temple of the Holy Spirit with you (your body), so declare His praise among the world as well.
  • Give blessing.  How do we bless God?  After all, the principle is that the greater blesses the lesser. (Heb 7:7)  We are infinitely less than God & we have been obviously blessed BY Him in Jesus Christ.  How then can we “bless” God?  We certainly cannot ascribe to God any more than what He already possesses, but we can ascribe to God what He is already.  When we humble ourselves, coming before Him through Jesus Christ in praise & worship, when we agree with God of the things He says about Himself, then we bless the Lord.  When we join in the praise that He has inspired among all His creation, then we bless the Lord.
    • So what are you waiting for, bless His name!

5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

  • Why do we do all of these things in praise?  Because our glorious God is worth it!
  • God is good.  In the truest sense of the word, God is good.  There is none like Him – there is none really good, but God alone. (Mt 19:17)  He is the very definition of good, the standard by which “goodness” is established.
  • God is merciful.  Speaking here of the loyal love of God, His “chesed” lovingkindness.  God’s faithful mercy & covenant is everlasting.  What an amazing thought!  God will ALWAYS be faithful to His covenant promises & mercy; it never ends.  Think of it: the promises we have in Christ, we will ALWAYS have in Christ.  God’s mercy is everlasting.  Praise the Lord!
  • God is truth.  Just as God’s mercy will never fail, neither will God’s truth.  It will last to every generation & thus every group of people in history.  God’s truth really IS truth – it goes beyond cultural boundaries and definitions.  Ultimately, this points to the gospel: the good news that Jesus has died for the world & His salvation is available to all.  The truth of the gospel endures to every generation…not a single group is left out.

Conclusion:
What an incredible God & King we serve!  He is exalted above all the earth.  He has shown Himself to be our Savior, victorious over every enemy.  He is supreme in His holiness.  He is the creator who has called us as His own people.  This is a King worthy of our service, song, and praise.  This is a King worthy to be thanked at all times, as we turn to Him in passionate worship & bless His name.

Christian, may your praise of God never grow cold.  May it not become rote, where you just go through the motions of worship.  God forbid that we would take His glory for granted, and show up among the rest of God’s people to offer lukewarm praise, hardly engaging our minds in the process (much less our heart).  May we be those who understand the glory of our God, and give whole-hearted praise, in thankfulness because of what Jesus has done for us.  When we do that, then that’s when we’re taking the Great Commandment to heart & loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

If you’re here tonight & your love and thankfulness to God has grown cold or remote, then allow yourself to have your hardened heart broken again.  Look to Jesus Christ in all of His exalted glory, remembering what He’s done for you, and repent…going back to Him in sincere praise and thankfulness.  He’s your King – and He’s worthy of that kind of praise.

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