Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on September 6, 2015
Open your Bibles to Psalm 9. As we begin today, I would like to remind everyone what the Bible is. The Bible is God’s revelation of who He is to humanity. The Bible is a book about God and for us. Too often we forget this.
As we have discussed last week, the heavens declare God’s glory, and the sky proclaim his handiwork. By this we mean that when you look at Creation is screams of a Creator. Arguing that creation and all of its beauty, harmony, and order exists because of chance is a denial of the billions of pieces of observable evidence that God is there. Theologically we call the knowledge of God through Creation, general revelation. It is the revelation that is from Creation.
Many people in their pursuit of the knowledge of God rely predominately on general revelation. Many people seek to understand God by sitting in a tree stand, or taking a walk in the woods, or a pilgrimage to the Mountains. If this is your main way of knowing God, then you are taking great risks with your sanctification. In fact, general revelation is many times where we see Satan getting a foothold in your life and making a wreck of your faith. Why? Because God’s general revelation is general. Its purpose is not to reveal to you the specifics of who God is, its purpose is to declare God’s existences. So what or how has God chosen to reveal the of who He is? The Bible.
1 Corinthians 2:11 says, “no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” It is the Spirit of who knows God. Then in 2 Peter 1:20, “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit revealing to us the realities of who God is. It is the Inspired Scriptures that gives us a right understanding of the Maker of the Stars that we read about last Sunday. It is the Living Word that reveals to us such truths that cuts us to the heart. It is the Holy Bible that enlightens our hearts to see God the way He truly is and keeps us from worshiping counterfeit gods. It is God's Word that anchors us in absolute truth. So with that said, let us read from this awesome book and discover together who our God is as stated in Psalm 9.
The first thing I want to draw your attention to is David’s intentionality in this Psalm. As the Psalm begins, it is as if David is working himself up to worship, as if he is reminding himself as to what he is doing.
If we are honest, Church has a risk of becoming routine. We meet at set time, in a set place, and we have our set expectations. Every Church has their liturgy. We know that around 10:00 we all funnel into the sanctuary and I say, “Welcome to Cornerstone Church, we are glad you are here. Why don’t we all stand and sing our first song…” And then away we go.
The question we should ask ourselves is, “Are we ready to worship?” Are our hearts prepared to praise the God of the Universe? Or are we risking worshiping God in vain? Are we at risk of going through he motions, playing church? If so, we must fix this for Jesus had some very harsh words towards false worshipers.
One way that we could do this is to come to Sunday School. Spend time studying God’s Word with your brothers and sisters in Christ from 8:30-9:30 every Sunday. Another way is to grab a couple people and find a space in the Church and be in prayer together, thanking God for all that he has provided. Yet another way could be to come into the sanctuary and find your place a couple minutes before service begins and close your eyes or open your Bible and draw near to God. God promises if we draw near to Him, he will draw near to us. Or another way could be to wake up earlier and have a time of devotion to the Lord. Let us choose to be intentional in our praise.
At this point, some of you may ask the question, “What shall we recount? What shall we remind ourselves about God?” To answer that, perhaps we should look at what David considered. When reading this Psalm you see a reoccurring view of God by David.
When we think of a King what comes to mind? A Kingdom. A king is not a King if he does not have land or a people. Regarding both of those things, land and a people, the Kings relationship with them is one of authority. The King is the highest authority over his Kingdom. There is no check or balances for a King. Whatever the King desires, he gets. If the King wants all the trees cut down, then so it is. It the King wants to send you into battle, then so it is. Another word that we could use to describe a King is the word Sovereign. A King is the Sovereign, one with ultimate and complete authority over all things in his kingdom.
So what attribute is God revealing to us every time He speaks of sitting on his throne? He is revealing His sovereignty. His complete and unchecked authority over all things. And by all things, I mean all things. The Sun, the moon, the stars, the Earth, the nations, you and me. Everything, whether you believe it or not, is under the sovereign rule of God.
We Reject the Ruler
Now for those of you who just went through the evangelism class over the last three weeks we know that even though God is the ruler, we all reject the ruler. Every person who has ever been born of man has rejected the one who is enthroned forever. Instead of doing things his way, we try to do things our way without Him and we make a mess out of ourselves, society and ourselves.
God is infinitely Holy and Awesome. He provides us with everything, even our own existence. Rejecting him, forgetting about him, disobeying Him deserves a punishment that matches the rebellion. And this judgment is coming for all mankind. Once again, as we have been studying in our evangelism class Hebrews 9:27 says, “Man is destined to die once and face judgment.”
Put Them in Fear
This destiny of judgment may occur today, and yes, it is my intent to cause in some of you a fear of this judgment day of the Lord, for this was one of the purposes of Psalm 9.
Too often our soft American Christianity wants to leave out judgment and punishment. Too often we see this as too uncomfortable to tell our loved ones about the coming wrath of the Sovereign Lord. But if we leave out the warning of the coming day of the Lord, we are basically participating in hospice care for Hell. We are basically enablers, for we are leaving out the reason why they would need to turn to Christ. You don't need a savior if you do not need saved.
Instead what we must do is to warn people. To tell them about God's authority, and our rebellion, and his coming judgment. We must speak of death and judgment and Hell. We must love them enough to tell them the truth, and then we must tell them about Jesus Christ, the only means to get right with this Sovereign God. The one man who did not rebel against God. The one man who lived a perfectly holy life. The One Man who was also the Son of God, and who took our place and died on the cross and took the punishment from God that we deserve. Jesus who not only died for us, but was raised from the dead and was made ruler of this World and who offers forgiveness and eternal life to all those who rely on his death and resurrection and submit to His lordship.
And for those who God does give a fear of him to, who have ears to hear, and turn from their rebellion and to Jesus Christ they can join in the celebration of Psalm 9 and say, “I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. 2I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.”