Sunday, February 4, 2018 pm                                                    Psalms Index


It Is Good To Sing Praises
Psalm 147


Tonight, we examine another of the psalms.  We are studying the final group, another group of “hallelujah” psalms.  This psalm is another that proclaims the goodness and greatness of God. 

“Singing praises” – 3 times in this psalm, we read of praising God, twice in song.  One of the ways we praise God is in our singing (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16).  These form good breaks for outlining this psalm.

 I.                     He builds up Jerusalem (1-6)

a.       Praise (both in word and song), is good, pleasant and beautiful (proper – NASB, comely – KJV) (1) – both for Him and for us.  He takes delight in genuine praise, and it is good for us as well as it helps to remind us of His goodness and what He has accomplished in us and for us.  This psalm, like so many, demonstrates what He has done for us.

b.       He builds up Jerusalem and gathers together the outcasts of Israel – some see this psalm as post-exilic, and thus dealing with Judah’s return, but that is not certain.  There are many times and ways the LORD built up Jerusalem.

c.        Outcasts – those banished.  Again, reasons not given.  Could be exiles returning, or others VIEWED as deplorable. 
OBSERVATION: Could this be the spiritually deplorable, or the “remnant”?  

                                                   i.      God’s people are often the outcast – from society, OR even in the religious world.  When we act true to God’s word, we will be despised by many. 

                                                 ii.      The world despises our moral stand – whether it homosexuality, abortion, fornication, social drinking, dancing, gambling, divorce and adultery, the immorality of Hollywood or immodest dress (John 3:19-21).

                                                iii.      The denominational (religious) world views us as outcasts because we demand strict conformance to His word and state that His ways are absolute.   We reject their holidays, teachings and ecumenicalism. 

                                                iv.      Paul spoke of his and the other apostles in 1 Corinthians 4:9-10, 13. 
Peter in 1 Peter 4:3-4 talks about how we don’t walk with the world anymore and thus they “think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.”

                                                  v.      BUT, God gathers those who belong to Him (though they be outcasts)
2 Timothy 2:19a, Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” (cf. John 10:14)

                                                vi.      BUT, how many congregations today are seeking to conform rather than be different?  How many choose to ignore God’s teaching on controversial subjects, or seek to be more acceptable and tolerated by society and other faiths?

d.       He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds – God, has always been One who cares for His people.  He knows when we are hurting and discouraged.  He cares and calls for us to cast our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:6-7).  Luke 4:18, where Jesus is at Nazareth, He begins with a passage in Isaiah 61:1-2 which mentions this and declares its fulfillment in their hearing.
AND, spiritually, thought “the great Physician” we our healed of our spiritual maladies. 

e.       He counts the number of the stars – simply stated, He knows everything about us.  He knows who we are – EVERYONE of us!  He knows how to deliver us – 2 Peter 2:9

f.         Great is the Lord and mighty in power.  His understanding is infinite.   His ways are beyond our comprehension (Romans 11:33).  Sometimes this is what we struggle with because we don’t fully understand Him or His greatness.    We don’t fully grasp how He works. 
BUT there is great consolation when we learn to truly trust Him!  That is what our faith is about!

g.       He lifts up the humble, but casts down the wicked.  God resists the proud – 1 Peter 5:5

 II.                   He sustains His creation, including His people (7-11)

a.       Again, the call to sing praises, including with the harp.  This was part of the Old Law.  At least it was something God tolerated, though He always calls for us to praise Him from the heart.

b.       He sustains His creation (8-9).  “It was good” - Genesis 1:31.
The fact that this world sustains itself declares the glory of God.  Psalm 19:1, etc.   Jesus in Matthew 6:26-30 used this fact to call upon us to trust in God and to not worry. 

c.        He takes no delight in the strength of the horse or man. (10) 
This phrase is an example of the need for context.  It must be paired with the next sentence.   It is NOT saying that God doesn’t care about His creation or the abilities He has given both animal and man.  BOTH serve their purpose in the sustaining of this world.   
Yet, how many today put their trust and delight in the forces of this world.  Who does the world “worship” today, the worldly intellectual, the wealthy, and celebrities – both in Hollywood and on the sports field. 
As this lesson is being presented, much of the world is taking delight in some millionaires who are playing, “Kill the man with the ball with rules” (AKA, the Super Bowl).
This week, the world will begin showcasing the most talented winter athletes in the world (the Olympics) and treating them like gods.
BUT, these are not the things God takes delight in!  1 John 2:15-17.  The New Testament makes often reference to sporting events, but it is to make spiritual application – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Hebrews 12:1, 1 Timothy 6:12 – fight the good fight, 2 Timothy 2:5 – compete according to the rules,  2 Timothy 4:7 – fought the good fight, finished the course…, etc.

d.       He takes pleasure in those who fear Him (11).   While God’s creation is good, His greater delight is in His spiritual creation.  Why?  His physical creation will submit because He put its forces into effect naturally.  His spiritual creation serves Him out of free will.  
Ecclesiastes 12:13 – the conclusion of the whole matter…fear God and keep His commandments.
1 Peter 2:17, Honor all people.  Love the brotherhood.  Fear God.  Honor the king.

e.       Those who hope in His mercy – Ephesians 2:4 speaks of the richness of God’s mercy.   That is where our hope is.  We certainly can take no consolation in our works.  We can never earn our salvation, but we have hope.

 III.                 He protects His people (12-20)

a.       Vs. 12 – yet another call to praise the LORD.  The word for praise here is different than Hallelujah.  It is a word that means to shout loudly or herald. 

b.       A call to Jerusalem, to Zion – the place where God dwells with His people. 

c.        He has strengthened the bar of your gates (13-14) – He protects those who belong to Him.  The Jerusalem of old was familiar with the need for physical protection from enemies.  The city needed its security.  But, throughout its history, when God was for them (because they were for God), He protected them, sometimes spectacularly. 
HERE we see a picture of a city that is prospering. 
He blesses the children within – there is safety, good health and perhaps even increase.
He makes peace in your borders -  God had a way, wit His word and power to produce peace. Again, on many occasions His interaction with the city produced a peace from those without.
He fills her with the finest wheat – abundance of supply, providing the very best
ALL OF THESE were signs of times of prosperity and blessing, typically when Jerusalem was faithful to God.
WE can think of these descriptions in terms of His church – the heavenly Zion – Hebrews 12:22-23.  When the church is as it ought to be

                                                   i.      She will be strong and no force of man can prevail against her – consider the church at Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7 – she who had an open door that no one could shut. 

                                                 ii.      She will be prospering and growing – he children will be prosperous

                                                iii.      She has the key to peace for all – the salvation of peace is available to all.  Romans 10:15, Ephesians 6:15 both speak of the “gospel of peace”

                                                iv.      She is filled with the finest – we have the water of life, and the bread of life – His word.  We grow with His milk and meat (1 Peter 2:1-2, Hebrews 5:12-14, etc.)

d.       Vs. 15-18 – He sends out His command to the earth.  His word runs very swiftly.  He gives snow and hail and melts it, etc.   The psalmist see that He is in control of all things.  Just as surely as He can rule nature by His word (cf. 2 Peter 3:5), so He can protect and sustain those who belong to Him.  His Israel!

e.       Vs. 19 – He declares His word to Jacob, His statues and judgments – what made Israel special?  They were God’s chosen nation, and to them He revealed His word, the Law of Moses.  They knew exactly how to please Him.   Deuteronomy 33:4 records, Moses commanded a law for us, A heritage of the congregation of Jacob.
Similarly, as His people today, we have a law from Him.  It is a law of grace and liberty, but a law none-the-less.  We have “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3) Scripture that is designed to make us complete (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

f.         Vs. 20 – He has not dealt thus with any nations.  As for His judgments, they have not known them. 
In this I am reminded that we are “his own special people” – Titus 2:14, 1 Peter 2:9
Those that reject Him, do so because they do not have His law.  AND, those who do not have His law will reject Him!  Similar to what Jesus said as He explained parables – Matthew 13:11-15.
BUT consider this as we conclude this study – the law of God today is for all mankind.  We ought not to keep these things to ourselves, but rather let us resolve to share them whenever we can. 


As the psalmist began, he concludes.  Hallelujah.  Are you under the protection of God?  Think about it!