Sunday, November 12, 2017

 

Rev. Theresa Andrews

Scripture: Psalm 34: 1-5 (KJV)

 

I will bless the Lord at all times;

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;

The humble shall hear of it and be glad.

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,

And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,

And delivered me from all my fears.

They looked to Him and were radiant,

And their faces were not ashamed.

 

The Word of God for the people of God, thanks be to God.

Sermon Title: Bless the Lord at All Times

 

Introduction:

Dr. Robert E. Emmons, Ph.D, is an expert in the field of gratitude, he says that, “Gratitude helps us to celebrate the present.”  He also says that gratitude can improve our mental and physical health.  In the month of November, we enter the Thanksgiving season. We reflect over our lives and see who God is and what God has done for us. Today, in this thanksgiving psalm or song to the Lord, David gives us hope and teaches us how to respond to God’s goodness, to bless and praise God and to tell our stories. I encourage you to read the entire psalm in your devotional time. This passage is rich in its message to us.

Context: In this Psalm, David who is a great warrior finds himself in an awful predicament that he has caused. He left Israel and went into Philistine country. David and his men had been living in caves in Israel running away from King Saul who was trying to kill him. He seeks refuge from a Philistine King named Achish, the enemy of the Israelites. King Achish initially accepts David and his men. Yet later on, other Philistines tell King Achish not to trust David. Then, David realizes he and his men are in grave danger. David escapes from the Philistines by acting like a mad man. Here David encourages and teaches his men and us how to bless and praise God after deliverance. (Psalm 34 is associated with 1 Samuel 21: 10 through 1 Samuel 22:2.)

Body:

1)      First, David teaches us to bless and to praise God at all times.

He says, “I will bless the Lord at all times;”

 

David shows gratitude to God for what God has done for him.

He is so excited about the goodness of God and encourages us to bless God always for what God has done for us.

A)     I submit that this means blessing and praising God is an attitude of the heart.

Someone has said it is “An attitude of gratitude.”

Here David encourages us to bless the Lord at all times.

 

After all God said that, “David was a man after my own heart.”

Yes, it is good to praise God at Thanksgiving time.

Yet David says to bless the Lord at all times.

Yes, it is good to bless God after God has rescued us.

Yet David says Bless the Lord at all times.

Similarly, Paul says we should give thanks to God in everything.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 18)

We need to give thanks to God in all circumstances at all times.

Note that we are not giving thanks for the crisis, the problem, the tragedy or loss but we are blessing God for who God is despite our troubles and concerns.

We know that God will work it out for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to God’s purpose. (Romans 8:28)

No matter what our circumstances are, God is still worthy of honor, glory and praise! Amen!

Are you depressed? Many of us often get depressed during the holidays. We have a tendency to look at what we do not have instead of praising God for the blessings we do have.

We compare our lives with others. Yet if we will look at our lives, God has given us both spiritual and natural blessings.  Isaiah says that we can exchange the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that God might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3).

Have you lost hope-praise and thankfulness gives us hope for tomorrow- when we look at what God has done for us in the past it gives us hope and faith that God will do it again.

We believe that God has both spiritual and material blessings for us in our future.

We will give God the highest praise! Halleluyah!

2)      David tells us this praise should also be spoken.

He says, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

David was not only a great warrior but also a great worshipper of God.

David knows that he owes his life to God. Can anybody say I owe my life to God this morning?

David acknowledges and realizes that God protected him from this Philistine King. God protected him also from King Saul who was trying to kill him. Many times God rescued David from death.

Illustration: This weekend we celebrate our Veterans.  We thank them for their service and protecting our freedoms. We know that God protected our veterans on the battlefield and helped them to come back home. Amen!

God has done the same for us. God protects us from dangers seen, and unseen. Amen!

Do you have an enemy?

God is no respecter of persons. What God did for David, God will do for you. You are God’s beloved.

Here David was not even in the right. He did something foolish. He was running from King Saul and ran into the land of the Philistines, his enemies, for refuge.

Yet even so, God still rescues David. Have you ever been there?

Biblical IllustrationJesus gives an illustration of someone showing gratitude.  Jesus tells the story of the ten lepers. The lepers call out to Jesus from a distance asking him to heal them. Then, Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the Priests. As they went, Jesus heals all ten lepers.  Yet only one came back to thank Jesus. This grateful leper came back, and with a loud voice glorified God and fell down on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks and he was a Samaritan. Jesus told the thankful leper, “Rise and go, your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19).

We too need to recognize and thank God for God’s goodness. Amen!

B) David here teaches us to bless and praise the Lord.

What does us it mean to Bless and Praise the Lord?

I did a word study of these two words, “bless” and “praise.”

1) “Bless” is the ancient Hebrew verb, “barak” “baw-rak.” It means to kneel as an act of adoration.

We know that someday every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. (Phil. 2:10 )

In its extended meaning, it means that we honor God and reference God for who God is not just for what God has done.

In my research, I found that in the Jewish understanding God "respects" us by providing for our needs and we in turn "respect" God by giving God of ourselves as God’s servants.

 

Therefore, we bless the Lord by our tithes and our offerings and by our time and our talents. Amen!

 

2) The other word David uses “Praise” is the ancient Hebrew verb “halal” that means "to boast and to celebrate." A joyous song of praise

 

We think of the word, “Halleluyah.”  It is found 23 times in the book of Psalms.

 

Halleluyah is two words in the Hebrew Bible. It is an English transliteration. Hallelu means to praise someone. Yah-is the abbreviated form of Yahweh or Jehovah.  It means to Praise ye the Lord.

 

We should appreciate God and value what God has given to us.  Halleluyah!

We should praise God for our lives, our families, our jobs, our homes, our church, Saint James and our Pastor, Pastor Slaughter.  Halleluyah!

When we are grateful, we are less likely to take what God has given us for granted.

God is pleased that David recognizes God’s grace, thanks and worships God for his deliverance.

Bless the Lord at all times.

Point #2 David teaches us that we should be humble, and seek the Lord when we are in trouble. 

David says, “I will boast in the Lord.”

A) David is humble.

David acknowledges that it was God that saved him from King Achish and the Philistines not just his cleverness.

David gives God the glory. He does not try to take the credit and glory for himself.

Humility is so important in this Christian walk. We need God because we do not have all the answers. Only God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.

Paul said, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to this power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

B) David also teaches us that we need to seek the Lord when we are in trouble.

He says in verse 4,I sought the Lord, and He heard me,

And delivered me from all my fears.”

Then, in verse 5, They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.

 

God knows that we fear. Yet God will deliver us from our fears if we seek God.

Biblical Illustration: We find an example of two women who must have been fearful in the Bible. Yet God provided for them.  It is in the story of Ruth. Both Naomi and Ruth were widows without income, property or jobs, yet God had a plan and provided for them. Ruth was not even Jewish; she was a foreigner and a stranger. They had no idea how abundantly God would bless them. When returning from Moab back to Bethlehem, Naomi said, “Don’t call me Naomi which means “pleasant” but call me “Mara” which means “bitter” because of the losses she had suffered. Yet God not only blessed them with food that Ruth gleaned in the fields but also Ruth married Boaz who owned the field. God gave Ruth and Boaz a baby son, Obed, who Naomi helped raise and would be in the line of King David and of Jesus. (Matthew 1). Won’t God do it!

I don’t know what your need is this morning? Yet we know God knows. We also know who God is. God will be your provider, Jehovah Jireh.

Bless the Lord at all times.

Point #3: Finally, David teaches us to invite others to join in our praise to God.

David says,

“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”

A) David is so excited about what God has done for him that he invites others to join him in praise.

In the NIV, it says, “Glorify the Lord with me.”

Glorify means to acknowledge God’s greatness and give him honor by praising and worshiping God.

We give honor to God by being witnesses and telling our stories about the goodness of God.

Personal Illustration: Recently one of our members came to me and told me that she wanted to share her testimony. She has a chronic illness and had pneumonia and God healed her of it. She shared her testimony with Saint James at our Love Feast service. She was so grateful for the goodness of God that she wanted to tell others about God’s goodness and faithfulness in her life.

The truth is that we all have a testimony to tell of the goodness of God.

B)     Later on in this passage, David also invites others to experience God. 

In the Amplified Bible version in v. 8 it says:

O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good;

How blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who takes refuge in Him.

 

Trust in God today. Try God and see that God satisfies.

We have a special place in our hearts for God that nothing else can satisfy.

Many of us have tried to fill that space with something else but it doesn’t work.

We were created by God to worship God.

David has experienced the goodness of the Lord for himself. He is inviting us today to experience the goodness of the Lord.

Most importantly, we have even greater reason to bless God than David. We bless God for sending his only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. We bless God for salvation and the promise of eternal life.

BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES!

Saints,

1)      Bless and praise God at all times.

2)      Be humble and cry out to God when you are in trouble.

3)      Let’s praise God together and invite others to taste and see that God is good.

BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connect With Us

Follow Us on Social Media

 
x