Daily Fiber
for the soul

by Edward E. Thomason

PSALM 96
SLICE ONE: LEARNING
(feed your head)

The "crust" of the matter:
This is a strong exhortation to praise and glorify God with and in every aspect of our lives. With our voices we can sing and we can declare God’s glory among the people of the world. With our example we can show others of his salvation. With our hearts we can fear and reverence and worship God. And with our warnings we can remind the world that His judgments are coming.

Ingredients this serving:
Let us give unto God the glory that is His due!
Ps 96:1-3 Sing, Show & Tell
Ps 96:4-8 Praise, Fear & Glorify
Ps 96:9 Worship in the Beauty of Holiness
Ps 96:10-13 Rejoice for Judgment comes

Sing, Show, & Tell

Ps 96:1-3 "O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people."

 

 

Lesson: There is often an element of excitement and joy in revealing something new. The "old old story" is still a new story to those who have not heard it. When the apostles first began to preach Christ and him crucified, it was a "new song" that had never been heard before. When Paul spoke to the Athenians on Mars Hill, he was speaking to a people who loved to hear "new things." (Acts 17:21.) To them he declared the "unknown God." Certainly, there are places and hearts in our world today, where God and His Son are still unknown. And places and hearts that need to hear the "new song" that Christians sing.
Such a song, however, needs to be lived as well as sung. Who will believe those who preach righteousness if they themselves do not live up to such instruction? The Psalmist gave us a wonderful admonition when he declared that we should "show forth his salvation from day to day." Our personal example is perhaps our most powerful testimony.
In fact, it is often by our example that we truly declare God’s glory among those of the world that we encounter each day.

1. Discuss the excitement of learning and sharing something new. Do you enjoy learning new things?
2. How do we show God’s salvation day after day? Discuss the importance of living a daily example before others. How does our example glorify God? Discuss as time permits.

Praise, Fear & Glorify

Ps 96:4-8 "For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Honour and majesty are 



before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts."

Comments to munch on:
To say that the Lord God is great is almost an understatement. We perhaps use the word "great" so casually today that it does not have much meaning to us anymore. God is truly "great!!!" And He should be praised with praise equal to His greatness (thus "greatly to be praised.") We should fear (reverence) God and pay Him the respect and glory He is due. In fact, all that we say and good deeds that we do as Christians should be done to the glory of God. In doing such, we continue to shew his salvation from day to day.

1. While our worship should be reverent and orderly, shouldn’t our hearts and minds be full of excitement equal to the majesty of God?
2.Often people will get all excited as they anticipate seeing a favorite singing group, celebrity or sports personality in person. When we prepare to come into the presence of God for worship and devotion, do we ever have a similar sense of excitement and anticipation in our hearts? Should we?
3. God is certainly greater than any celebrity or event that we might attend! Shouldn’t God be "greatly" praised? What can we each do in preparation for worship, to lift God up in our hearts and minds so that He is greatly honored and glorified in and during our worship?

Worship in the Beauty of Holiness

Ps 96:9 "O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth."

Comments to munch on:
The way we dress should always be appropriate to the occasion and activity. Here the Psalmist is reminding us of how we should dress as we worship our Creator and God. The beauty that is appealing to our God is the beauty of HOLINESS. Keeping ourselves HOLY (or "set apart" from the world) as we live in righteousness, and keeping ourselves holy (or "set apart" from sinful conduct) as we live in purity before God is appropriate attire as we come before God. Perhaps in preparation for worship we not only need to lift up God in our hearts and give him the glory that He is due, but with prayer and penitence, let us also remember to seek forgiveness from sin and to purify our hearts as we prepare for worship.

1. Does purity of heart make worship more meaningful?
2. How appropriate would it be to come before a King or someone of importance, wearing dirty clothes? Would such show disrespect? How much more inappropriate to come before God and go through the motions of worship when our robes are stained with sins that we have refused to repent of?
(Cf., Matthew 22:9-14. In connection with the context of this Psalm, discuss the man in the parable who attended the wedding feast without a wedding garment.)

Rejoice for Judgment Comes

Ps 96:10-13 "Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be 


 


 

joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth."
Comments to munch on:
Judgment is coming. And although we do not know when, any more so than the Psalmist knew, we do know with certainty that such a day will come. While the world may dread such a day, we as Christians along with all of nature should rejoice! Judgment does not have to be something we fear or dread. It will be a day of reckoning but also a day of reward for those redeemed.

1. Shouldn’t the joy in the hearts of Christians be something that the world takes notice of?
2. Each day is a day closer to the day of the Lord’s coming. Shouldn’t Christians then be joyful?

SLICE TWO: LIVING
(nourish your soul)

1. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the world would truly sing the new song of salvation that comes through Jesus Christ? This Jewish Psalm is evangelistic and invites "all" people to sing unto the Lord God of Israel and come into his courts. Today, many Jewish people fail to recognize Jesus as their Lord and continue to sing the old song of Moses. Wouldn’t it be great if they could sing both the song of Moses and the lamb? Let us reach out to them as they once did to the world.

2. Perhaps it is through the avenue of song, that the world will listen to the story of Christ. shouldn’t this make us want to sing more and with greater zeal and emotion?

 

 

A FEW MORE CRUMBS
(fragments overlooked)

Ps 96:4 "... he is to be feared above all gods." In reality, all "gods" are only idols. The true God is our Creator and it is to Him that we should give our honor and strength. We should fear Him and keep his commands.

 

 

 

 

I hope you
have enjoyed
and benefited
from this study.
May the God
of the psalmist
bless us richly
as we seek
to serve him
every day.


Edward E. Thomason
just one of many ministers for the churches of Christ

Edward Thomason - copyright © 2000