Psalm 147-148

Posted on 03/11/2007 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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TRANSCRIPT:

Hello and welcome! What a delight to gather in the presence of Jesus, fellowshiping in the Holy Spirit, drinking from the river of life that flows from God and bubbles up inside those who are filled with his Spirit and washed by his blood.

Let's all stand to our feet and go to the Lord in prayer.

Father God, we come to you today in the name of Jesus, asking you to forgive our sins and make us clean so we can enter into your presence unhindered.

We take just a moment, Lord, to confess privately and silently to you the sins we know we've done, asking you to forgive us and change our hearts.

Thank you Lord that you take our sins from us as far as the East is from the West, and that you remember them no more! You see us as righteous and blameless now, and we are free to draw close to you, raising holy hands without wrath or doubting, singing to you from hearts that you purify by your Spirit and your Word.

And we praise you for all you've done and all you're doing! We praise you because you are worthy to be praised, and there is no one else like you!

And we thank you that as we praise and worship you, you break chains in our lives. You set us free from things that have had us bound. And you work inside of us a work that only you can do.

We bring before you the requests your children have brought before you this week.

We pray for Neko. Thank you Lord for the healing you've already brought Neko, and for what you have in store for this precious life. We pray for Neko's allergies and sicknesses, and ask that you work on Neko's behalf to bring a complete healing, restoration, and freedom, in Jesus' name.

Lord, thank you for Mindy's husband's new job! We ask that you give him great success and favor. May everything he touches prosper, and may you be brought great glory through his employment there. We ask that you increase in him your stability, and that as you work in every aspect of that household, it would be a blessing to the whole family and even those around them.

We pray for Kefas's father who is in treatment for skin cancer. We ask that you give the doctors wisdom and direction, as well as him, and that you reach out in your love and touch him with your healing hand.

We pray for Jonelle's friend Bruce, who is addicted to crack cocaine. Man can devise steps and plans and endless programs, and you do use these things; but only you can set someone totally free. And this is what we ask, Lord, that your Holy Spirit hover over him, that you do whatever it takes to open his eyes to the desperate state in which he is. And then we ask that you miraculously deliver him, so he can be a testimony to others that our God sets the captives free, and only he can take a broken life and make all things new!

We pray for MarryAnn's husband, as he is dealing with health issues. Give them wisdom, direction, and healing. We also pray that you guide their son in his choices, and that he would begin to seek you and your wisdom, and be led by you.

We pray for Cathy's work situation. Thank you for the changes you are orchestrating on her behalf. We ask that you give her peace in the middle of her situation, and a deep knowing that you will work all these things out to her good, as she loves you and waits upon you. Give her increased favor and good success, as you promote her to the place at work and in you that you want her to be.

We pray for Abbie's sister, who is pregnant and who has a cyst that is going to be surgically removed. You know the dangers involved, and you know the concern and fear of those who love her. We ask that you station your angels all around her, to protect her and her precious unborn child from harm. We ask that you remove this cyst so there needs to be no surgury, as a testimony to the doctors and others who hear what you've done.

And now Lord, draw us into your presence. May our hearts and minds be directed completely toward you and your presence. Touch our minds with clarity, touch our hearts with peace, touch our souls with joy and perseverance, touch our bodies with healing, and touch our whole beings with your Holy Spirit as we seek your presence here today.

And it's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.


Click-touch the pulpit for a notecard, and let's enter into worship.


SING UNTO THE LORD A NEW SONG

Sing unto the Lord a new song
Sing unto the Lord all the earth
Sing unto the Lord a new song
Sing unto the Lord all the earth!

For God is great
and greatly to be praised
God is great
and greatly to be praised!


THE LORD IS BUILDING JERUSALEM

The Lord is building Jerusalem
The Lord is building Jerusalem

Gathering together the outcasts of Israel
Healing broken hearts
Binding up their wounds

The Lord is building
The Lord is building up Jerusalem


Thank you Lord for your sweet presence with us here today! Be glorified in our midst, as we open your Word and thereby seek to draw closer to you. Amen.


You may be seated.


Today we're going to read from the Psalms. The book of Psalms was the song book of Israel. Being the Word of God, it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and shows us a clear picture of the kind of praise in which God delights.

Many of us here today understand without explination why we would want to delight God. And yet I'm sure that some of us here don't understand this desire.

After all, the desire to please God, short of expected blessings or escape from wrath, cannot be understood in terms of religion. Rather, this longing to bless the heart of our Heavenly Father, without expecting anything in return, can only be explained by Love.

This love for God doesn't come by any mental ascent, or dead works, or religious traditions, or man-made rituals.

Reciting a memorized prayer won't do it. Counting beads won't do it. Trying to talk to the dead saints won't do it.

We read in 1 John 4:7-8 that "Love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God," and James 4:8 tells us to "draw near unto God, and he will draw near unto you."

So when we draw near to God, he will draw near to us and will place his love in us and will cause that love to grow. And as we seek that personal, intimate relationship with him, we will start to love him more and more, and we will find more joy in pleasing him than we previously knew we could ever have.

And as we praise the Lord, his presence comes to us, for this is one way to draw close to God.

"In your presence is fullness of joy," the Psalmist writes, "and at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

So let's read together today from Psalm chapter 147, joining in with the Spirit of God in praise that come straight from heaven, through us, and back to Jesus, for he alone is worthy of our praise!


Psalm 147

 1 Praise the LORD!
         For it is good to sing praises to our God;
         For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.
        
 2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
         He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
 3 He heals the brokenhearted
         And binds up their wounds.
 4 He counts the number of the stars;
         He calls them all by name.
 5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
         His understanding is infinite.
 6 The LORD lifts up the humble;
         He casts the wicked down to the ground.
        
 7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
         Sing praises on the harp to our God,
 8 Who covers the heavens with clouds,
         Who prepares rain for the earth,
         Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
 9 He gives to the beast its food,
         And to the young ravens that cry.
        
 10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
         He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
 11 The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
         In those who hope in His mercy.
        
 12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
         Praise your God, O Zion!
 13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates;
         He has blessed your children within you.
 14 He makes peace in your borders,
         And fills you with the finest wheat.
        
 15 He sends out His command to the earth;
         His word runs very swiftly.
 16 He gives snow like wool;
         He scatters the frost like ashes;
 17 He casts out His hail like morsels;
         Who can stand before His cold?
 18 He sends out His word and melts them;
         He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.
        
 19 He declares His word to Jacob,
         His statutes and His judgments to Israel.
 20 He has not dealt thus with any nation;
         And as for His judgments, they have not known them.
        
         Praise the LORD!


How can we not have a praise on our lips for the Lord? Listen to what we just read here.

"The Lord builds up Jerusalem. He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds."

Do you have anything in your life that has been torn down? Anything that is in ruins? Anything that has crumbled, shattered, or simply fallen apart?

The Holy Spirit is working in your life, preparing the way to build up what has been torn down, restore what is in ruins, renew and recreate that which has crumbled, shattered, or simply fallen apart.


Do you have any unanswered questions? Are you seeking wisdom and direction? Do you have confusion or doubt?

"He counts the number of the stars. He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power. His understanding is infinite."

The Lord has the answers you're seeking. From him come wisdom and direction that will lead you in the right path. He is not the author of fear and confusion, but of love, power, and a sound mind. And the Holy Spirit is preparing you to receive a word from the Lord, one that, when you receive it, will turn your life completely around.


Do you feel as though you get the short end of the stick while those who do evil seem to prosper, perhaps even walking over you to do so?

"The Lord lifts up the humble. He casts the wicked down to the ground."

All injustice is but for a season, for God will perform his Word. And when you humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, HE will lift you up in due time.


Most of us have eaten today at least once, and don't have a lack of food or drink. But we often worry about whether we will come to ruin, perhaps be out of a home and without any way to feed ourselves and our family.

"Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving. Sing praises on the harp to our God, who covers the heavens with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens that cry."

He certainly hasn't forgotten about you, and if he does these things for the birds and the flowers, don't you think he will take even better care of you, who are made in his image and are his joy and his great prize?


We go on to see that he isn't impressed with the strength of horses and men, of the strong and mighty, of those who would strike fear and respect in the eyes of mortal man. Rather, he takes pleasure and delight in those who fear him, and who place their hope in his mercy.

Our God has surrounded us with protection from untold harms, most of which we're not even aware. He blesses our children even while they are still in the womb. He brings peace into our homes and communities, and gives us all the plenty we so often take for granted.


Surely our God is great, and he is greatly to be praised! Let's take a moment to give him the praise and honor he so richly deserves!

Let's close by reading from the next chapter, Psalm 148.

Psalm 148

 1 Praise the LORD!
        
         Praise the LORD from the heavens;
         Praise Him in the heights!
 2 Praise Him, all His angels;
         Praise Him, all His hosts!
 3 Praise Him, sun and moon;
         Praise Him, all you stars of light!
 4 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
         And you waters above the heavens!
        
 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
         For He commanded and they were created.
 6 He also established them forever and ever;
         He made a decree which shall not pass away.
        
 7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
         You great sea creatures and all the depths;
 8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
         Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
 9 Mountains and all hills;
         Fruitful trees and all cedars;
 10 Beasts and all cattle;
         Creeping things and flying fowl;
 11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
         Princes and all judges of the earth;
 12 Both young men and maidens;
         Old men and children.
        
 13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
         For His name alone is exalted;
         His glory is above the earth and heaven.
 14 And He has exalted the horn of His people,
         The praise of all His saints—
         Of the children of Israel,
         A people near to Him.
        
         Praise the LORD!

Let's all stand to our feet and praise him! Feel free to make your way out of your seats and gather to the front to worship our God, for he alone is great, and he is greatly to be praised!


I EXALT THEE

For you, O Lord, are high above all the earth
You are exalted far above all gods
For you, O Lord, are high above all the earth
You are exalted far above all gods

I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord
I exalt Thee, I exalt Thee
I exalt Thee, O Lord


THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU

There is none like you
No one else can touch my heart like you do
I could search for all eternity long
and find there is none like you


ALL HAIL THE POWER OF JESUS' NAME

All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, Who fixed this floating ball;
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call;
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.

Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.

Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, Whom David Lord did call,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all.

Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall,
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall
And shout in universal song the crownčd Lord of all.
And shout in universal song the crownčd Lord of all.

O that, with yonder sacred throng, we at His feet may fall,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!


This altar is open for ministry. If you need prayer or ministry, please instant message one of the ministry team, whose names start with the title Minister. You're free to make your way to the room on your left for our time of fellowship, and I hope to talk with you there.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)

 Amen!