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Awestruck

9/25 – His Praise Always (Psalm 34)

 

Introduction — Here David highlights the reasons he must bless the Lord, why he must always praise the Lord. David does not, David cannot hold back his worship, his boasting in the Lord. David says that he sought the Lord and the Lord answered him. The Lord rescued him from all his fears. David’s focus on the Lord never disappoints him. David cried to the Lord and the Lord heard him. The Lord saved him from all his troubles.  Now, David urges others to join with him in experiencing the wonder of the Lord. O taste and see that the LORD is good. O fear the LORD, you His saints. David also directs godly people to keep walking an upright life: keep your tongue from evil; depart from evil; seek peace and pursue it. David talks about how close the godly should be the Lord, but he also shows how close the Lord is to the godly. The LORD sees the righteous. The LORD hears their cry. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted. The LORD delivers. The LORD redeems. The LORD saves. The LORD rescues. As David shows, he must bless the Lord. David must declare His praise always. How about us? Do we sense the weight of our worship? Do we have a pressing desire to praise the Lord? Do we urge others to worship the Lord? Do we perceive the countless ways the Lord works on our behalf? Do we stand in awe of Him? Do we live to please Him? Do we speak His praise? Do we sing His praise? Do we recount His praise?

 

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (1)

 

I will praise the LORD who hears my cries for help.  (4-7)

 

Comments: In building his case for why he must praise the Lord, David presents his first testimony: I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. David’s praise flows from confidence in the Lord to hear his cries for help. Though stated in slightly different terms, David three times admits that (1) the Lord hears, (2), the Lord answers, and (3) the Lord rescues. David beams with joyful delight in the Lord who hears his most desperate pleas. David is not ashamed of the Lord. Questions: How about me? Do I trust that the Lord hears me?

Illustration: You have heard my voice, “Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief, from my cry for help.” ~ Lamentations 3:56

 

Application: I will praise the Lord who hears my cries for help. I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise will always be on my lips.

 

I will praise the LORD who is good all the time. (8-14)

 

Comments: Here David invites the godly to draw closer and closer to the Lord: O taste and see that the LORD is good. David shows three ways that the Lord is good: in His protection, in His provision, and in His purity. First, the Lord protects the godly. Indeed, how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Second, the Lord provides for the godly. For those who fear Him there is no want. Third, the Lord who is pure calls His children to be pure. Keep your tongue from evil. Depart from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it. The Lord never speaks lies. The Lord never does evil. The Lord always does good. The Lord is good all the time. David’s awareness of the Lord’s goodness is a strong factor in his desire to praise the Lord at all times.  Questions: How about me? Do I carry a profound awareness of the Lord’s goodness? Do I see His protection and His provision? Do I marvel at His absolute purity? Do I pursue a life that pleases Him? Do I seek Him?

Illustration: The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. ~ Lamentations 3:25

 

Application: I will praise the Lord who is good all the time. I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise will always be on my lips.

 

I will praise the LORD who is closer to me than my next breath. (15-18)

 

Comments: David revisits a theme introduced earlier in this, and many of the other psalms: the LORD is near. David details the closeness of the Lord in several ways. First, he shows that the Lord sees the righteous. His ears are open to their cry. Second, the face of the LORD is against evildoers. The gracious, favorable presence of the Lord is for those whom He calls, those who hear His voice and follow Him. Third, the LORD is near to the brokenhearted. He saves those who are contrite before Him. To be poor in spirit is to be near the Lord. Many times in his life, David knew this closeness of the Lord as he came humbly before the Lord. Here, David is especially aware of the Lord’s closeness to the humble, repentant person.  Questions: Do I approach the Lord with pride or humility? Do I come brokenhearted to Him? Do I see how close He is?

Illustration: You drew near when I called on You; You said, “Do not fear!” ~ Lamentations 3:57

 

Application: I will praise the Lord who is closer than my next breath. I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise will always be on my lips.

 

I will praise the LORD who redeems my soul. (19-22)

 

Comments: To live for the Lord does not mean the absence of pain or problems. David states, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” David certainly knew his share of pain. This psalm itself speaks to a time of hiding from Saul, living in fear of Achish, and fleeing for his life to caves and forests. David knew torment. David knew the sting of betrayal. David had many afflictions. Yet, none of his bones broke. The Lord redeemed his soul. The Lord rescued him. And so, David had to sing. David had to shout. David blessed the Lord at all times. Questions: How about me? Do I seek the Lord? Do I praise the Lord even in painful times? Do I rehearse the Lord’s rescue of my soul?

Illustration: O Lord, You have pleaded my soul’s cause; You have redeemed my life. ~ Lamentations 3:58

 

Application: I will praise the Lord who redeems my soul. I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise will always be on my lips.

 

 

 

 

Word Study for Psalm 34

1 bless (barak—to kneel; to praise; to invoke a blessing; extol; thank for greatness)

1 praise (tehillah—glory; praise; song of praise; hymn; renown; praiseworthy; adoration; thanksgiving)

1 continually (tamid—lasting; continuance; unceasing; constantly; regularly; always; perpetual)

2 boast (halal—praise; cheer; extol greatness; boast in; glory in; admire; to exclaim “hallelujah”)

3 magnify (gadal—to become strong; to twist together, bind together; boast; exalt)

5 radiant (nahar—beam with joy; shine; to give light; sparkle)

5 ashamed (hapar—have dismay; be in confusion; be disgraced; have shame; have anxiety)

7 rescues (halas—to draw off; ready for battle; remove; withdraw; tear out; save)

8 taste (taam—to taste; savor; eat; perceive; discover; discern)

11 teach (lamad—to learn; to teach; to be instructed; train)

13 keep (nasar—preserve; guard; protect; keep watch; keep safe)

14 seek (baqas—to discover; find; possess; search out; inquire; try to learn)

18 near (qarob—close; nearby; close relationship; imminent; closest)

20 broken (sabar—to shatter; smash; break in pieces; crush; maul; destroy; shatter)

22 redeems (padah—ransom; buy; liberate; to buy out; release; preserve; deliver)

22condemned (asam—be guilty; declare guilty; suffer punishment; suffer for one’s guilt)

 

Application for Psalm 34

Let’s bless the Lord at all times.

Let’s boast in the Lord.

Let’s magnify the Lord, exalting His name together.

Let’s seek the Lord.

Let’s taste and see that the Lord is good.

Let’s look to the Lord.

Let’s cry out to the Lord.

Let’s fear the Lord.

Let’s receive godly, wise instruction about the Lord.

Let’s depart from evil and do good.

Let’s seek peace and pursue it.

Let’s take refuge in the Lord.

 

Gospel Connections for Psalm 34

Jesus is worthy of our worship. Our only boast is in Jesus, His death and resurrection. Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness. Those who look to Him are radiant. They beam with joy in Him. Jesus rescues those who turn to Him, who trust Him. Those who are in Christ stand in awe of Him. They are free from sin. They depart from evil. They seek peace. They pursue peace. Jesus is near to the brokenhearted. He saves those who are contrite in spirit. Jesus rescues sinners. Jesus is a servant, a suffering servant. Jesus endured many afflictions. Jesus became sin, crushed for our iniquities, yet not one of his bones was broken. Jesus redeems the soul of His servants. And no one who takes refuge in Jesus will be condemned. They are free from guilt and shame. They are free from the punishment of sin. They are righteous, as if they never sinned, as if they are completely blameless.

 

Thoughts and Quotes for Psalm 34

If the praise of man elates me and his blame depresses me; if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself if I love to be loved more than to love...then I know nothing of Calvary love. ~ Amy Carmichael

 

The design of redemption is to exhibit the grace of God in such a manner as to fill all hearts with wonder and all lips with praise. ~ Elizabeth George

 

Praise is the mode of love which always has some element of joy in it. ~ C.S. Lewis

 

Praise is declaration, a victory cry, proclaiming faith to stand firm in the place God has given you. Praise is a proclamation that the enemy's intent to plunder you will not rock you. Praise declares that you will not be moved by the enemy's attempt to snatch you away. ~ Darlene Zschech

 

 

 



Awestruck

9/4 – How Great is Your Goodness (Psalm 31)

 

Introduction — Here David cries out to the Lord in a time of trouble because his utmost trust in the Lord is firm. Throughout this psalm, David states reasons why he trusts the Lord: You are my rock and my fortress. You are my strength. You see my affliction. You know the troubles of my soul. You set my feet in a large place. You are my God. Indeed, David trusts that the Lord is good. “How great is Your goodness,” David sings to the Lord. David knows that the Lord stores up His goodness for those who fear Him, for those who take refuge in Him. The Lord’s goodness is on full display through His loving rescue and gracious protection over His people. Not surprisingly, David ends the psalm with a call to worship: O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD. It certainly seems that David’s keen trust in the Lord’s great goodness fueled his humble, joyful worship. How about us? Do we rehearse the greatness of the Lord? Do we eagerly behold His greatness? Do we reverently consider His goodness?

 

In my most pressing difficulties and sorrowful misadventures, the LORD God is ever faithful. He is always good. And I can trust Him. The Lord is with me. The Lord rescues me. The Lord guides me. The Lord protects me. He is good. The Lord is good. How great is the goodness of the Lord!

 

Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth. (5)

 

By His goodness, the Lord gives me the faith to trust Him. (14-18)

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.

 

Comments: Here David declares his simple, yet deep trust in the Lord. “I trust in You,” he says. “You are my God,” he states. In no uncertain terms David affirms that the Lord has no rivals in his heart. And because David trusts the Lord, he asks the Lord to rescue him.  “Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,” he pleads. “Save me in Your faithful love,” he implores. Here David’s trust in the Lord fuels his prayers to the Lord. Here his prayers are bold and direct. Questions: How about me? Do I hold a simple, yet deep trust in the Lord? Do I affirm that the Lord has no rivals in my heart? Do I plead with the Lord to rescue me? Do I bring bold and direct  prayers to the Lord? Do I see His goodness? Do I trust Him? Illustration: Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. ~ Isaiah 26:4

 

Application: I will pay close attention to the Lord’s great goodness.  By His goodness, the Lord gives me the faith to trust Him. As He deepens my trust in Him, I will come before Him with bold and direct prayers. I will not hold back. I will cry out to Him. I will speak honestly with Him.

 

By His goodness, the Lord gives me the grace to fear Him. (19-22)

19 How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of men!

 

Comments: Having declared his trust in the Lord, and having brought bold and direct prayers before the Lord, David now states his wonder at the great goodness of the Lord. David shows the precise focus of the Lord’s goodness—His people, those who fear Him and take refuge in Him. The Lord stores up His goodness and He pours out His goodness on His people. The Lord does this before a watching world. Captivated by thoughts of the Lord’s goodness, David highlights ways the Lord shows this goodness: You hide them. You shelter them. You make Your faithful love marvelous to me. You hear my voice. David fears the Lord. David truly reveres the Lord. He trembles before the Lord in wonder. He is in awe of the Lord. Questions: How about me? Do I live in awe of the Lord? Do I tremble before Him? Do I see His great goodness? Do I fear the Lord? Illustration: It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy. and He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread. ~ Isaiah 8:13

 

Application: I will pay close attention to the Lord’s great goodness. By His goodness, the Lord gives me the grace to fear Him. As He grows my awe of Him, I will stand in wonder before Him. I will rehearse the many ways He pours out His goodness on me. I will revere the Lord.  

 

By His goodness, the Lord gives me the heart to praise Him. (23-24)

23 O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer.
24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.

 

Comments: David ends this psalm with a call to action, a call to worship: Blessed be the Lord. O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! Be strong and let your heart take courage. Ever before David is the promise of the Lord’s presence and protection. David knows the Lord protects those who take refuge in Him, who trust Him, who hope in Him. David knows that by the Lord’s goodness, he has a heart to praise the Lord. So, David must praise the Lord. And praise the Lord he does. Questions: How about me? Do I see the many ways the Lord shows His goodness? And when I do notice His handiwork, do I praise Him? Do I urge others to praise Him? Do I want to join with others in praising the Lord? Do I bless the Lord? Do I love the Lord? Do I stand strong in the Lord? Do I take courage in the Lord? Do I hope in the Lord? Do I speak His praise? Do I sing His praise? Illustration: Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things; let this be known throughout the earth. ~ Isaiah 12:5

 

Application: I will pay close attention to the Lord’s great goodness.  By His goodness, the Lord gives me the heart to praise Him. And so, I will praise Him. I will urge others to join with me in praise to Him. I will speak His praise. I will sing His praise. I will whistle His praise. I will praise Him with all my heart. I will praise Him with all my soul. I will praise Him with all my mind and strength. By His goodness, I will praise the Lord.

 

Word Study for Psalm 31

1 taken refuge (hasah—find safety; comfort, trust; shelter; seek refuge; to hide; to cover)

2 rescue (nasal—deliver; spare; defend; ease; save; secure; draw out; pull out; take away)

5 commit (paqad—to visit; inspect; look at; count; inventory; oversee; deposit)

5 ransomed (padah—to buy out; redeem; set free; release; liberate; deliver)

12 broken (abad—destroyed; ruined; lost; wipe out; does not exist; exterminate; annihilate)

13 terror (magor—fright; horror; atrocity; dread; panic; terror on every side)

16 make to shine (or—to dawn; become light; illuminate; ignite; shine bright; give light)

16 servant (ebed—slave; bond servant; worshiper)

16 save (yasa—help; deliver; rescue; set free; be victorious; be spacious)

19 great (rab—numerous; many; large; much; abundant; plentiful; extensive; excess; more than enough)

19 goodness (tub—the best things; beauty; prosperity; kindness; beneficial; no evil)

19 stored up (sapan—hide; shelter; treasure up; lay up; keep; collect something precious)

19 fear (yare—tremble; reverence; worship; be in awe of; shudder at)

19 wrought (paal—do; perform; work; make; fashion; forge; create; accomplish)

20 conspiracies (rokes—intrigue; plot; slander; revolutions; mob; snare)

20 strife (rib—dispute; brawl; quarrel; lawsuit; contention; hostility; debate; wrangle)

21 made marvelous (pala—do something wonderful; surpassing; extraordinary; astound; too difficult)

23 preserves (nasar—keep; maintain; protect; guard; watch over; spare; hide; store away)

 

Application for Psalm 31

Let’s seek refuge in the Lord.

Let’s trust in the Lord to rescue us.

Let’s refuse to seek our identity from those who oppose the Lord.

Let’s ask the Lord to be gracious to us.

Let’s continue to pray to the Lord, even when life is tough.

Let’s pay close attention to the Lord’s great goodness.

Let’s praise the Lord for his marvelous, faithful love.

Let’s encourage one another to remain steadfast in hope in the Lord.

 

Gospel Connections for Psalm 31

Jesus trusted the Father. Jesus cried out the Father. On the cross, Jesus was in distress. He grieved. He mourned. He sighed. His strength failed. He became our iniquity, our sin. He became a reproach on our behalf. He became a broken vessel, poured out for our ransom. Men schemed against Him to take away His life. But in all that, Jesus trusted the Father. On the cross, Jesus made His trust clear, as He cried, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last breath. Buried, Jesus was out of the minds of most people. Those who plotted against Him, hoped to never see Him again. But three days later, Jesus rose victorious over the enemies of sin and death. His sacrifice for sinners and His resurrection from the dead show His great goodness. Now, those who hope in Jesus Christ the Lord, will one day see Him forever. The Lord preserves the faithful.

 

Thoughts and Quotes for Psalm 31

“He's not safe, but he's good (referring to Aslan, in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).” ~ C.S. Lewis

 

The goodness you receive from God is a treasure for you to share with others. ~ Elisabeth George

 

We should be astonished at the goodness of God, stunned that He should bother to call us by name, our mouths wide open at His love, bewildered that at this very moment we are standing on holy ground. ~ Brennan Manning

 

If we are going to learn to trust God in adversity, we must believe God will allow nothing to subvert His glory so He will allow nothing to spoil the good He is working out in us and for us. ~ Jerry Bridges

 

Wonder at God's merciful love is a very practical emotion. Holy wonder will lead you to grateful worship and heartfelt thanksgiving. It will cause within you godly watchfulness; you will be afraid to sin against such a love as this. ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

Mediocrity is not a time, personnel, resource, or location problem. Mediocrity is a heart problem. We have lost our commitment to the highest levels of excellence because we have lost our awe. ~ Paul David Tripp

 

Adoration drives obedience, but throughout history people are prone to forget the faithfulness of God yesterday.

~ Matt Chandler

 

We are perishing for lack of wonder, not for lack of wonders. ~ G.K. Chesterton

 

God directs his people not simply to worship but to sing his praises “before the nations.” We are called not simply to communicate the gospel to nonbelievers; we must also intentionally celebrate the gospel before them.

~ Timothy Keller

 

As we see the beauty of God and feel His weightiness in our hearts, our hearts begin to desire Him more than we desire sin. Before the Bible says, "Stop sinning," it says, "Behold your God.” ~ J.D. Greear

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two specific charges given by Jesus guide our purpose: Crosspoint will humbly obey (1) Jesus' great command (Matthew 22:34-40) to love God and love people; and (2) Jesus' great commission (Matthew 28:16-20) to make disciples of all nations.