Monthly Archives: October 2014

Singing with the King (22) – Too Wonderful

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it. (Psalm 139:6)

mountain sun2

So, what knowledge is too wonderful for David; so high that he cannot attain it? Well, everything he said in the first five verses:

The LORD has searched and known; He understands, He scrutinizes and is intimately acquainted; He surrounds him, and has laid His hand upon him.

All these actions of the LORD have to do with David’s character, his everyday actions, his thoughts, his directions, his life, his words, and his relationship with the Lord.

If we even had a glimpse of what it means to understand—or rather not understand—all this, how would we respond? Would we not cry out as David, it is too wonderful, it is too high, I cannot attain it?

For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified to the Jews a stumbling block and the Gentiles foolishness. (1 Corinthians 1:22-23) What are you searching for? Are you searching for wisdom and understanding? Those are indeed good things, but they are only a means to an end. If they are your goal, then you have stopped short.

Searching for wisdom and understanding is not just a Greek thing, it is a Western thing. We want to understand the genome and the cosmos; the brain and the mind; the beginning of things and the end of things. But David has looked beyond that, or maybe behind that, and has found The One Who is beyond measurement, beyond our understanding, and yet has called us to know Him.

We have been called to pursue The One is too wonderful and too high. Is that a task which will lead to frustration and failure? No, rather it puts life into context; His context. Life is big, the universe is huge, creation is awesome; but the God who created all this and sustains all this is way beyond even that. This is no fool’s errand; rather, it is the pursuit and the privilege of a lifetime, of an eternity, of which we will barely scratch the surface, but we will know enough that we are loved beyond measure, by a God who is beyond measure.

Singing with the King (21) – Every Day

Every day I will bless You and l will praise your name for ever and ever. (Psalm 145:2)

Shout to the Lord5In our contemporary, over-booked, over-stressed culture, how often do you praise the Lord? Once a week? But then perhaps Sunday is more about the performance, or the preaching. So how much time do you really spend praising the Lord? David realized praising God once a week at tabernacle worship just wasn’t enough. It become a daily event. And as such, David became quite creative on how to praise the Lord.

The first thing He does is I will extol (rûm) …to raise up, to be high and lofty, to lift up

I will bless (barak)… to kneel, be blessed, be adored

I will praise (halal)… to boast, to glory, to shine, to flash

I will meditate (siyach)… to muse, study, ponder, to talk, sing, speak

I will tell (saphar)… to take account, to number, to declare, to reckon (verb); a scribe (noun)

My mouth will speak (dabar)… to promise, commune, command, declare

Of course praising God this much will probably get people’s attention. And you not only have their attention, you have their involvement in praise. It’s contagious.

Many Hands in Worship

One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.

Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts.

They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness and will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

Your godly ones shall bless You.

They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power; to make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts and the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.

All flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

So why should we praise Him every day?

The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due time. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. (v. 15-19)

What do you think would happen if you praised Him every day?


Singing with the King (20) – Overwhelmed

Iniquities prevail against me; as for our transgressions, You forgive them. (Psalm 65:3)

alone on road

How powerful is sin? When you look at the different translations of the word prevail, you find phrases like: get us down, overwhelmed, fill our hearts, too much for us. David knew he was stuck; there was nothing he could do except confess. His iniquity got him down; was overwhelmed by it; it filled his heart; and was too much for him. Sounds pretty bleak and hopeless. It should. Until Christ came, there was not an answer for the devastation of sin. For the rituals which came by the law couldn’t help: But the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins. It only reminds people of their sins from one year to the next.The priests do their work each day, and they keep on offering sacrifices that can never take away sins. But Christ offered himself as a sacrifice that is good forever. (Heb 10:3, 4; 11,12)

So how ruined by sin are we? How about helpless and hopeless. That’s why Christ had to die for our sins, because nothing in this world could pay for it.

Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12)

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)

Like David, we too have been overwhelmed by sin. But God has forgiven us through Christ. Indeed, the word forgiven is most often translated as atoned. It literally means to be covered over. And that is what Christ did for us with His blood.

Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. (Hebrews 9:14)

We are all dead in our sins. But you can find forgiveness and new life in Christ!


Singing with the King (19) – Mercy

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. (Psalm 51:1)

alone on road3

Have you ever committed a sin you thought was too big for God to forgive? How about adultery, murder, and deceit? For the whole story about David and Bathsheba, and why He wrote this Psalm, read 2 Samuel 11:1-12:20

Because of the magnitude of these offenses, David appealed to the LORD’s nature; and there are three characteristics and one action to which David pleads:

Be gracious. It means take pity, have mercy, and show favor. David asking for a change in attitude—the Lord who was angry, may He now be moved by pity.

Lovingkindness. This too is translated as mercy, goodness and kindness. The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)

Compassion. Not just compassion, but the greatness of Your compassion. Other definitions are: to love deeply, to have tender affections, and mercy. Psalm 131:2 reveals how we respond to the depth of the LORD’s compassion: Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me.

Three words, and in their meanings, you find mercy. David asks God to be merciful; he knows it is in His nature to be merciful. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:8-10)

David is pleading for God to act according to His nature. These attributes, grace, mercy, lovingkindness, and compassion are all characteristics which are aimed at another; toward David, and toward you and me.

Why plead for mercy? Here’s the one action: so his transgressions would be blotted out, wiped out, obliterated, and exterminated. David is seeking is for God to destroy his transgressions, his rebellion.

Strong words, but God is merciful. What do you need blotted out?

Singing with the King (18) – Shout

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. (Psalm 100:1)

Dancing in the Sun7

The word shout can have a negative meaning; but fortunately the Psalmist tells us to do more than just shout, we are to shout joyfully.

In the Hebrew, the word shout is a joyful shout; it is also a shout of triumph, as well as a battle cry, the sounding of alarm, and the signal for war. The LORD gave specific instructions for both in one place: When you go to war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God, and be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness and in your appointed feasts, and on the first days of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be as a reminder of you before your God. I am the LORD your God. (Numbers 10:9-10)

Whether going to war, or going to worship, it’s all about the LORD.

At the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city. (Joshua 6:16)

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, With the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout joyfully before the King, the LORD. (Psalm 98:4-6)

Shouting in war accomplishes three things:

  • It’s a warning to our enemy
  • It reveals to our enemy Who we trust
  • And it reminds God: “Hey. We’re down here in the middle of a battle and we’re kinda depending on You to help.”

To whom do you shout? What do you shout about?

Shouting for joy to the LORD in worship is not much of a stretch; you’re actually there to be in His Presence, to worship. But when you’re in the midst of a battle, a tragedy, an emergency, or whatever, shout to the LORD. It gets your eyes back on Him, and He’s the Only One Who gives victory.