Faithlife Sermons

Praise our God - Part Two

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Here he instructs us that God is not deficient on his part in furnishing us with abundant matter for praising him. It is our own ingratitude which hinders us from engaging in this exercise. In the first place, he teaches us that the reason why God deals with such liberality towards us is, that we may be led to celebrate his praise; but at the same time he condemns our inconstancy, which hurries us away to any other object rather than to God. How is it that we are so listless and drowsy in the performance of this the chief exercise of true religion, if it is not because our shameful and wicked forgetfulness buries in our hearts the innumerable benefits of God, which are openly manifest to heaven and earth? Did we only retain the remembrance of them, the prophet assures us that we would be sufficiently inclined to perform our duty, since the sole prohibition which he lays upon us is, not to forget them.

Psalm 103 ESV
Of David. 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. 14 For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 22 Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Praise Our True God

Bless the LORD - The word that is translated “bless” is full of wonderful meaning. In reference to God, it means that to praise him or adore him. The sense of it is a verbal action. One way of thinking about it is to speak words of excellence about God. Said another way, it is to speak of the excellence of the LORD in adoration of him.
Who is the LORD?
Exodus 3:13–22 ESV
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.” ’ 18 And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22 but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”
Isaiah 42:5–13 ESV
5 Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, 7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. 8 I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. 9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” 10 Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. 11 Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar inhabits; let the habitants of Sela sing for joy, let them shout from the top of the mountains. 12 Let them give glory to the Lord, and declare his praise in the coastlands. 13 The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.
Psalm 68:19 ESV
19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah
Psalm 57:7–11 ESV
7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! 8 Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! 9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Praise Our God Truly

O my soul - David does not desire to praise the LORD with heartless, soulless movement. He is not satisfied with lifeless song and dead hymnody. He knows that Yahweh is worthy of the worship that originates from the soul. David longs for an inwardly generated adoration and honor of God because he knows that God is well-deserved of this beautiful act of worship.
Psalm 86:12–13 ESV
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
Psalm 111:1 ESV
1 Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
We are to praise Yahweh with the inward man and the entire man.

Praise Our God with a Holy Memory

And forgot not - What does it mean to forget? This word means to lose the memory or remembrance of something. This means that something is out of mind or not in conscious consideration. One translation was to wipe out of memory. There are two ways this forgetfulness shows up. First, there is the tendency to actually forget something that God has done for us. Second, there is the tendency for us to act like something that God has done for us is not all that important. Both are great evil.
Psalm 106:6–7 ESV
6 Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness. 7 Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
Deuteronomy 8:2–4 ESV
2 And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years.
Deuteronomy 8:10–14 ESV
10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,

Praise Our God For His Actions Toward Us

All his benefits - What is a benefits? A benefit is something that aids or promoted well-being. Here. David is calling himself to praise, honor and worship Yahweh for all that God has done for him. He is calling himself to praise God for what God has done. In addition, David says that Yahweh should be praised for all the beneficial things done. Let me say that sometimes we are wary of this because we want to make sure that we are loving God for who he is, not only what he has done. That is a true concern, however, it would be unbiblical to only focus on God’s intrinsic, essential characteristics as reasons to praise him. In fact, I believe that what God has done for us reveals to who he is. In other words, for the children of God there is no tension between praising God for who he is and what he has done. Charles Simeon writes in this regard:
Horae Homileticae Vol. 6: Psalms, LXXIII–CL Discourse 672: Duty of Praising God for His Mercies (Ps. 103:1–5)

IT is a favourite opinion of some divines, that we are bound to love God for his own perfections, without having any respect to the benefits which we receive from him. But this appears to us to be an unscriptural refinement. That God deserves all possible love from his creatures on account of his own perfections, can admit of no doubt: and we can easily conceive, that persons may be so occupied with an admiration of his perfections, as not to have in their minds any distinct reference to the benefits they have received from him: but that any creature can place himself in the situation of a being who has no obligations to God for past mercies, and no expectation of future blessings from him, we very much doubt: nor are we aware that God any where requires us so to divest ourselves of all the feelings of humanity, for the sake of engaging more entirely in the contemplation of his perfections. Nor indeed can we consent to the idea, that gratitude is so low a virtue. On the contrary, it seems to be the principle that animates all the hosts of the redeemed in heaven; who are incessantly occupied in singing praises to Him who loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood. By this also all the most eminent saints on earth have been distinguished. In proof of this, we need go no further than to the psalm before us, wherein the man after God’s own heart adores and magnifies his Benefactor, for some particular mercies recently vouchsafed unto him.

Before we close, I want to show you something from the next few verses.
Who forgives all your iniquity
Who heals all your diseases
Who redeems your life from the pit
Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy
Who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed life the eagle’s
It is God who personally does these beneficial goodnesses to and for his people. When we truly praise him for something he has done, we are truly praising him for who he is.

Practical Application

Know the greatest benefit that God has given.
Romans 8:31–32 ESV
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Be careful of what you place in your mind and heart.
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Discipline your memory
Romans 12:1–2 ESV
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Help others with their memory
Romans 15:14 ESV
14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
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