Faithlife Sermons

"Never Forget"

Summer in the Psalms  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction: People go at great lengths to do one of two things: To remember something forever. We take pictures, videos, keep documents, drawings, etc, of the past events. We write down recipes to carry on the legacy of a mother or father’s dish that was our favorite. We often longingly look at photo albums, or nowadays, look at our Google Photos and remember vacations or events. We desire to remember those good times.
And then we desire to forget: Trying to block out back and traumatic experiences. Maybe to forget a bad relationship. Destroying photos or removing items to try to minimize the pain.
But the overall message often of the OT was one of remembrance, and that even included the bad. That bad gave context to the good. That doesn’t mean the NT doesn’t do that either. As a matter of fact, as we look at this Psalm today, you will see that we are called to do the same thing that David and the Israelites were called to do, to never forget the steadfast love and mercy of God.
CTS: Bless the Lord, you weak and weary souls, for He has and continues to be gracious and merciful towards us!

I. Bless the Lord, O My Soul (1-5)

A. The orientation of our worship (1)

What does bless mean? Bless for us is different than God blessing us. God doesn’t need anything. In essence, it means to worship.
So the call of worship begins in our own hearts, our own souls. David rightly shows us with in his own life that he us address himself. For each person here, we must look inwardly and inspect ourselves. Are we worshiping him, with everything we are and everything we have. Is our worship merely external, some what of a show so that our spouses, our children, or other people in the church see so as to impress, or even, keep them off our backs? Are we coming to the gathered worship of the church having worshiped God in our own hearts throughout the week, or have we neglected prayer, reading of the Word, and cultivating worship with our Lord on a daily basis?

B. The reason for our worship (2-5)

The reason for such an orientation, for such a personal worship is then explained. Why should David bless the Lord? Because of all that He has done. And the way we bless the Lord is to never forget what He has done.
What has God done?
Forgiveness of sin
Matthew 26:28 ESV
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Heals the disease of our sinful nature, restoring us to life, and that life coming that will be complete and restored bodies.
Romans 8:23 ESV
23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Redeems us from death, giving us resurrection.
Romans 6:5 ESV
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
Crowns us with steadfast love and mercy
1 Peter 2:10 ESV
10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Satisfies us with good
Jeremiah 31:25 ESV
25 For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
So that our youth would be renewed like the eagles. God has taken our weary and broken selves, dead in sin and riddled with disease, and through Jesus, renews us, restores, and gives us life. To remember what Jesus has done for us is like this:
This could refer to the way that eagles molt their feathers, the old regularly placed with the new, contributing to the picture of one who mounts up to soar on the wings of an eagle at the new Exodus. - James Hamilton Jr
Isaiah 40:31 ESV
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Application: The orientation of our whole selves toward worship is the call, and the reason for that orientation rests in remembering and meditating on what God has done for us. What we do is constantly preach the Gospel to ourselves daily. We remind ourselves through constant engagement with the Scriptures of who God is, who we are, and how He has saved us. We remind ourselves of the steadfast love and mercy of God. We pray and thank God constantly for His forgiveness and love, and we rest in that love. We ponder and sing songs that focus our hearts on these Gospel truths. This is the basis of our worship. It starts with each one of us, setting our hearts toward Jesus, to bless the Lord, to bless His holy name!
We cannot begin to even think of leading others toward worshiping Jesus is we do not do it ourselves. If our own souls are dry and unsatisfied, forgetting the benefits of the Lord, how can we lead others to the source of true life?

II. Bless the Lord, All His People (6-19)

As David’s worship is oriented, starting with his own soul, he then desires to lead the souls of God’s people to do the same. The shift is evident, for now these verses are addressed second person, referring not only to himself but to the people of Israel in verse 7. He also begins saying us in verse 10. The purpose of David, as he often did as King, was to lead God’s people in worship, a Psalm writer, the one who wrote more than any other in the Psalter. Worship begins with our own hearts, yes, but it doesn’t stay there. It belongs with God’s people as well.
For corporate worship, David uses these words to remind them of God’s work, much like he reminded himself in verses 2-5. This reminder is rooted the most remembered and exalted work of God throughout the OT, the Exodus.

A. The Lord’s grace abounds (6-14)

God’s grace abounds, and David begins to remind God’s people of what He has done, pointing them to that great work of God in the Exodus:
God worked righteousness and justice for his oppressed people, for they cried out to him in their slavery. (6)
God graciously revealed himself to Moses at the burning bush and revealed himself to his people in spectacular fashion through the plagues, the Passover, and the crossing of the Red Sea. God revealed in clarity through His power that He truly is “The Great I Am.” (7)
God is merciful and gracious to his people. This is a near exact quote of Exodus 34:6-7. Might be important to remember these verses, since it is quoted so often in the OT. (8-9)
Exodus 34:6–7 ESV
6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
What is amazing to remember is that these words were spoken to Moses directly after the golden calf sin of Israel. When Moses interceded for Israel, God listened and forgave the trespass of God’s people into idolatry. God is a God of mercy and steadfast love.
God doesn’t deal with us according to our sins because they have been dealt with in totality. (10-12)
Micah 7:18 ESV
18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.
And here this, from the highest heights of the cosmos, the heavens, as we can know and continue to discover what is seemingly its infinite expanse, and how far the east is from the west (the two never meet), that is how close our sin is to us.
The two points will never be brought back together, east will never become west, nor west east. The transgressions of God’s people, then, are gone from the them never to be brought back. Their sins will never again provoke God’s wrath, never again incur consequences, never again torment the conscience, never again disrupt relationship. The transgression has been removed. - JH, Jr.
Through Jesus!
God does not bring up past sins and hold them against us, neither will he do any sins that we do against him today or tomorrow. Jesus paid them in full, fully satisfied at the cross, and victory over them in His resurrection. Good News!
God is a compassionate Father, knowing our failings and weaknesses, yet loves and cherishes his own children with an eternal love. (13-14)
2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 ESV
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
Good fathers reflect the fatherhood of God. When fathers cherish their children and love them as God called them to, they point to the loving Father. This can be difficult for those that don’t have good fathers, and the only encouragement that I can give you is this: those bad fathers are an example of what God is not. God our Father loved us when we were unlovable, cherished us and saved us. He knows our weaknesses and failings and yet shows his great compassion. Where bad fathers neglect and base love on performance, God our Father loves us because of who we are and makes us righteous because of his initiating love toward us, an eternal love. His love is unconditional.
And our father knows our weaknesses and how feeble we are. He knows because he created us. Our failings, our lack of strength shouldn’t cause us to despair, but it should instead cause us to know that we are not God, and he knows it, and we can rest in Him. God knows who we are yet lifts us up.
A mercy not merited, a love not measured, a forgiveness complete, and a father who knows our form, who will not forsake us; reasons indeed to bless the Lord. - JH, Jr.

B. The Lord’s love never fails (15-19)

The stark contrast is then given by David. Man is who is temporary, but dust, headed toward death and the grave, often fickle in their love for one another, conditional. We as human beings are merely like grass and flowers, beautiful for a short time but blown away by the wind.
But God’s love is not, eternal and unconditional. From eternity past to eternity future, Jesus the Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world was given to save us, forgive us, cleanse us, and make us whole. We are given this steadfast love.
No, not a love earned, but a love that is given and leads to a fear of him. We don’t fear God to earn his love, but fear God because he has loved us. Fear is not trembling in a corner, but an awe and respect of holy God, loving him and obeying him.
1 John 4:19 ESV
19 We love because he first loved us.
Application: Oh church, God’s people who are gathered this morning together, do we not have much to bless the Lord about? Do you come expectantly today, ready to speak these beautiful gospel truths to one another in worship through song, prayer, and through the reading and preaching of God’s Word? Are we encouraging one another in these gospel truths, going beyond weather talk and the latest sports and news? Are we blessing the Lord because of Jesus, or are we here for ourselves and for our desires and our plans? Is church a social club for you, or is it a gathered body of believers who worship and serve the crucified and resurrected Christ who delivered us from the slavery of sin and death and gave us a new exodus to a Promised Land of eternal life that begins now and is fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth?!

III. Bless the Lord, All of Creation (20-22)

And the final address of the Psalm is the bookend of the “bless the Lord,” yet this is not just the soul or God’s people, but it is every part of creation.
From angels (who we are reminded are not God!) You don’t become angels either. Man and angels are separate. Both are made for the express purpose of the glory of god.
The hosts of God’s people, his priest, his ministers, every person, every human being on earth is to bless the Lord. Every tribe, tongue, and nation will come and bless the name of the Lord.
Revelation 15:4 ESV
4 Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
And all of creation, every bit of his work and his whole dominion.
Application: The entire cosmos is to bless the Lord, and we are tasked to go on the Great Commission and take the Gospel and make disciples so that all nations will worship. Be thankful for your country and for where you live, but don’t let that stop you from going to places that are dark and lost that need the Gospel. We may sit here and joke about how terrible California is, but did you know that there are millions of lost people there that need Jesus and are headed to hell without a Savior? Did you know that Muslims, though many are caught in the lie and false worship of Islam, need Jesus? We are called to go and make more worshipers of King Jesus, no matter what the cost, because He is worthy!
Conclusion: Are we blessing the Lord this morning, in our own hearts, as one Gospel people called the church, and are we pointing all of creation to this great Lord God who loves us, forgives us, and gives us life?
O weak and weary soul, bless the Lord today and at all times, for He has loved and saved you.
O weak and weary church, bless the Lord today, for He has loved and saved us out of great compassion for us
O weak and weary creation, bless the Lord, for He has given His Son to redeem you.
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