Psalm 92: A Song for the Sabbath - It is Good to Praise the Lord
We probably all know what it’s like to come to a Sunday gathering, not with a heart overflowing with praise, but out of routine. For many of us Sunday worship is a part of our lives and whether or not we attend isn’t a question – but what often varies is the heart with which we arrive.
For those of us who may be inclined to “go through the motions” week in and week out Psalm 92 is a helpful reminder. The title given to the psalm is “A Song for the Sabbath” and there was time when this psalm was sung or read weekly in Jewish synagogues.
The major theme in the psalm is that as the people of God we should be a people of praise. There are those who do not see God for who He is (the wicked) and their end is destruction, but as the people of God (the righteous) we will be blessed both now and forever.
This “Sabbath psalm” is a good reminder of who God is, who we are and how worthy He is of our praise – on the Lord’s Day and everyday.
It is Good to Praise the Lord (92:1-4)
- The introduction to the psalm lays the groundwork for the main idea – it is good, fitting and right to praise God. The praise of God should be a delight and not a duty. The rest of the psalm will flesh out why this is true (Psalm 147:1).
- We should praise Him for His character – In verse 2 the psalmist points to the character of God as a reason for praise – specifically His steadfast love and faithfulness (Lamentations 3:21-24).
- We should praise Him for His works – In verse 4 the psalmist praises God for ‘the works of His hands’ (creation).
- We should praise Him with joy and gladness (vs. 4)
- We should praise Him continually (vs. 2) – morning and night
- We should praise Him corporately - with singing and instruments (vv. 1, 3)
- Application - The opening of the psalm reveals the heart of a man who knows God and who is eager to praise Him. As others who know God and who have been given eyes to see His character and His works we should be people of praise, both personally and corporately.
The Blindness of the Wicked and their Eternal Fate (92:5-9)
- The present condition of the wicked– While the psalmist sees God rightly, he makes it clear that there are some who are without understanding. They are fools in regard to God and as a result reject Him (Psalm 14:1).
- The future of the wicked– While the wicked may enjoy a measure of happiness and success in this life, their end is destruction. All those who oppose God will be punished forever.
- The eternal reign of God– The psalmist contrasts the eternal punishment of the wicked with the eternal reign of God. This is a subtle reminder that this is a psalm of praise. While many may oppose God now – in the end He will vindicate His Name and rule over all, forever.
- Application– As the people of God we may be tempted to look at the apparent prosperity of the wicked with envy or frustration, but here we have a reminder of what is to come. The wicked will not stand and God will reign forever (and we will reign with Him).
The Benefits of the Righteous and their Blessed Future (92:10-15)
- The righteous as strong and stable – The psalmist uses a lot of imagery to convey the point that God will give strength, stability and longevity to those who are His. While the wicked are described as grass that will fade, the righteous are strong trees that will remain.
- A concluding declaration of praise (vs. 15) –The psalm ends just as it began: with praise of God. He is right and good and strong.
Putting it all Together
- As we live in this world it can be so easy to see things through a narrow lens. We are often tempted to lose hope or to lack passion for God. This psalm should serve as a source of clarity. It’s a reminder of who God is and of the hope we have as those who know Him. We have been given sight to see God rightly and we know that in the end He will reign. This clarity should lead us to praise.