Psalm 92

Praise for the Lord’s Goodness.

A Psalm, a Song for the Sabbath day.

92 It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness [a]by night,
[b]With the ten-stringed lute and [c]with the harp,
[d]With resounding music [e]upon the lyre.
For You, O Lord, have made me glad by [f]what You have done,
I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.

How great are Your works, O Lord!
Your [g]thoughts are very deep.
A senseless man has no knowledge,
Nor does a stupid man understand this:
That when the wicked sprouted up like grass
And all who did iniquity flourished,
It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore.
But You, O Lord, are on high forever.
For, behold, Your enemies, O Lord,
For, behold, Your enemies will perish;
All who do iniquity will be scattered.

10 But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
I have [h]been anointed with fresh oil.
11 And my eye has looked exultantly upon [i]my foes,
My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me.
12 The righteous man will [j]flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Planted in the house of the Lord,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still [k]yield fruit in old age;
They shall be [l]full of sap and very green,
15 To [m]declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

This psalm is one that they would sing, or recite, or both, during their Sabbath day “ceremony”. But it would be quite different than what we think of singing in church. For though they did at times gather at synagogue, these gatherings were mostly over meals at home. At any rate, the psalm has a special emphasis on what God has done and giving thanks for his works.

Which begs the question, “How (or where) do we see His works?” Certainly, we see God’s handiwork in creation all around us. But more directly, we see His works in our own lives, and in the lives of those around us. As the second passage shows, God’s judgment is shown through those who choose rebellion, and the last passage describes God working in the life of His children.

There is a sentiment becoming all too common lately, which is to wonder why we should be special. That is, what makes us better than the animals or anything else in creation? One might be led to believe we are making a bigger deal of ourselves than is right. But it is not we who exalt ourselves, and indeed vv. 6-9 show us exactly what happens when we exalt ourselves rather than following God’s plan. We would be “senseless” or lacking in logic or reason, no different than the animals.

So in all of it, as we see through the whole psalm, it is not we who exalt anyone or anything. It is God’s doing. If you have issue with the “superiority” of man over creation, take it up with Him! In v. 10 we see this most clearly, as God “exalts our horn” and anoints us with “fresh oil”. The horn was a symbol of strength and power, used in battle or ceremony, but it was also used for anointing, like when Samuel anointed David.

Yet this anointing, this special “calling” was not just for the king, not just for David certainly, and not only for the priests or Levites. As I noted earlier, it was unlikely for any of those to even be at your Sabbath celebration, it was typically a gathering of family and friends (unless you were a Levite, of course). The whole thing reminds me of something C.S. Lewis wrote, though I can never quote it quite right. “God alone can lift us up without making us prideful, and only He can humble us without humiliation.”

However it goes, I hope you get the idea. We should never be the ones to lift ourselves up, or become overly proud, because God is the one who is responsible for it all. It is He who works in and through us, and not our own accomplishment. And at the same time as we humbly accept this, we recognize that He has done something amazing and special in our lives. Embrace God’s anointing in your life, in whatever you do. Whether you preach, or teach, write software, perform surgery; accountant, butcher, “sanitation engineer” or whatever, do it as unto the Lord. It is a holy calling that he made you for especially.

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