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Sermon: Worship the Lord, Psalm 96

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Worship the Lord 

Psalm 96

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 31, In the year of our Lord, 2014


  1. Why did God create us with the ability to sing? 
    1. Why has He asked us to sing to Him?
    2. Is the answer to both questions:
      1. That we might fill up our time of worshiping, or
      2. That singing is a prelude to the sermon?
  2. How do you think the Lord sees our singing? 
    1. How do you see your children singing?
    2. I think the Lord loves singing and He loves to hear His children sing!
  3. The writer of Psalm 96 knew these things. 
    1. Listen to his exuberance and zeal,
    2. as he exhorts us to worship in song the One
      1. who made us all and
      2. who is above all.


  1. Psalm 96.1–3 – Worship the Lord in Song

    1 Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
    Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
    2 Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
    Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
    3 Declare His glory among the nations,
    His wonders among all peoples.
    1. What do you think the psalmist expected us to do?
      1. Sing to the Lord!
      2. Sing to the Lord, brother!
      3. Sing to the Lord, sister!
      4. Sing to the Lord, all you of the Earth!
    2. Sing a new song to Him.
      1. We love the old songs, but
      2. even the Bible says to learn new songs.
    3. Right away in the second line of this psalm,
      1. we learn that this was not about Israel alone.
      2. This Psalm and its truths
        1. supersede those who lived under the Law of Moses.
        2. I found twelve times when the psalmist
          1. spoke of or spoke to
          2. all peoples of the Earth, all nations.
    4. Therefore,

      “Sing a new song because you have had a new experience with Him.
      Sing a worship hymn because God is glorious…
      Sing a gospel song because the nations need to hear the good news of salvation.
      Sing a song of victory and reveal the strength of the Lord.
      Sing a song of devotion and reveal the beauty of the Lord.”
      (Weirsbe, p. 369)

  2. Psalm 96.4–6 – Worship the Lord for His Greatness

    4 For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
    He is to be feared above all gods.
    5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
    But the Lord made the heavens.
    6 Honor and majesty are before Him;
    Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
    1. Why sing to the Lord?
      1. Why sing a new song to Him?
      2. Why bless His name?
      3. Why proclaim the good news of His salvation?
      4. Why declare His glory and His wonders to the world?
    2. He is great.
    3. Therefore, He is greatly to be praised.
      1. David thought in this manner also,

        5 Now David said, “…the house to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all countries…” (1Ch 22.5).

        1 Furthermore King David said to all the assembly: “…the temple is not for man but for the Lord God” (1Ch 29.1).

      2. Solomon picked up on that attitude,

        5 “And the temple which I build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods” (2Ch 2.5).
      3. We do not know who wrote Psalm 96, so I do not know
        1. if the psalmist picked up on David and Solomon’s thinking, or
        2. if David and Solomon picked up the thinking of the psalmist; but
          1. they all received their thinking from the Holy Spirit, and
          2. the Holy Spirit either guided them or used what they said.
    4. Sing to the Lord because He is to be feared above all gods.
      1. All the gods of the peoples are mere idols.
      2. Whereas the Lord made the heavens!
    5. Sing to Him because honor and majesty are before Him.
    6. Sing to Him because strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.
  3. Psalm 96.7–9 – Worship the Lord as He Deserves

    7 Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
    Give to the Lord glory and strength.
    8 Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
    Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
    9 Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
    Tremble before Him, all the earth.
    1. Give to the Lord, and
      1. the Bible here speaks not only of Israel, but
      2. all the families of the peoples,
        1. give to the Lord glory and strength.
        2. He has glory and strength without us, but
          1. ascribe it to Him.
          2. Therefore, worship Him because He deserves it from us.
    2. Give to the Lord the glory His name deserves.
      1. Bring Him an offering.
      2. Come into His courts.
        1. This is what the church does when it assembles.
        2. You should bring an offering.
    3. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, because
      1. He is a holy God.
      2. Then you will see the beauty of holiness.
    4. In fact, tremble before Him, and
      1. not just Israel, but
      2. may all the Earth and
        1. certainly the church,
        2. tremble before Him.
  4. Psalm 96.10 – Worship the Lord Who Reigns

    10 Say among the nations,
    “The Lord reigns;
    The world also is firmly established,
    It shall not be moved;
    He shall judge the peoples righteously.”
    1. Let the nations know that the Lord reigns.
      1. We may think trouble and uncertainty fill the world today, but
      2. it has always been that way.
        1. The Lord has always reigned through every trouble.
        2. Somehow we have had a blessed life in America,
          1. although all the centuries and nations before ours,
          2. have had countless troubles and uprisings.
            1. If a troubled world means it will always go that way,
            2. the church never would have survived and prospered.
    2. Since the Lord reigns,
      1. He has established the world firmly.
      2. Regardless of what man does,
        1. the world shall not be moved,
        2. until the Lord moves it.
    3. Truly, the time will arrive
      1. when He will move the world, the Earth, and then
      2. He shall judge the peoples righteously.
  5. Psalm 96.11–12 – Worship the Lord and Rejoice

    11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
    Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
    12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
    Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
    1. The Lord’s reign, and
      1. His establishment of the world,
      2. holding it all together
        1. until the time He judges the world,
        2. brings rejoicing
          1. to the heavens,
          2. to the Earth,
          3. to the sea and everything in it,
          4. to the field and everything in it, and
          5. to all the trees of the woods.
    2. All creation,
      1. above us,
      2. below us, and
      3. around us,
        1. has always reacted to man and
        2. to the Lord when He acts.
    3. The land vomited out the Canaanites and would Israel (Lev 18.28; 20.22).
    4. First Samuel 4.5 says Israel shouted so loudly the Earth shook.
    5. First Samuel 14.15 shows the Earth quake when Jonathan attacked Philistines.
    6. First Kings 1.40 says Israel’s rejoicing split the Earth.
    7. Psalm 148, song number 200 in our books,
      1. speaks of everything in heaven and on the Earth
      2. praising the Lord.
    8. Jeremiah 50.46 says that the Earth trembled at the taking of Babylon.
    9. The Earth shook and the sun hid itself when man crucified their Creator.
    10. Romans 8 shows that creation groans because of us.
  6. Psalm 96.13 – Worship the Lord Who Will Judge

    13 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
    He shall judge the world with righteousness,
    And the peoples with His truth.
    1. The psalmist repeats from verse 10 what is coming.
      1. He showed in verses 11 and 12
      2. that all of creation will rejoice when the Creator judges man.
    2. The psalmist again tells us that the Lord is coming, and
      1. He is coming to judge the Earth.
      2. Listen to Malachi, as he boldly declared the Lord coming to the Earth and
      3. what He would do the first time when He walked the Earth,

        1 “Behold, I send My messenger,
        And he will prepare the way before Me.
        And the Lord, whom you seek,
        Will suddenly come to His temple,
        Even the Messenger of the covenant,
        In whom you delight.
        Behold, He is coming,”
        Says the Lord of hosts.
        2 “But who can endure the day of His coming?
        And who can stand when He appears?
        For He is like a refiner’s fire
        And like launderers’ soap.
        3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
        He will purify the sons of Levi,
        And purge them as gold and silver,
        That they may offer to the Lord
        An offering in righteousness.
        4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem
        Will be pleasant to the Lord,
        As in the days of old,
        As in former years.
        5 And I will come near you for judgment;
        I will be a swift witness
        Against sorcerers,
        Against adulterers,
        Against perjurers,
        Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans,
        And against those who turn away an alien—
        Because they do not fear Me,”
        Says the Lord of hosts.
        (Mal 3.1–5)
      4. Some people think the Lord coming in judgment is a good thing.
        1. Are you wearing your fire suit?
        2. Be ready for the bold declaration of Amos,

          18 Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
          For what good is the day of the Lord to you?
          It will be darkness, and not light.
          19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion,
          And a bear met him!
          Or as though he went into the house,
          Leaned his hand on the wall,
          And a serpent bit him!
          20 Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light?
          Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?
          (Amos 5.18–20)
    3. He shall judge the peoples of the world
      1. with righteousness and
      2. with truth.


  1. Psalm 96.10–13 sound like something Paul said to the Athenians in Acts 17,

    30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17.30–31).
  2. Therefore, I urge you with all that is within me, 
    1. sing to the Lord,
    2. worship Him, and
      1. repent, change the way you have been living.
      2. Let your life now focus on the One who made you, and
        1. before whom you shall appear on the Day of Judgment.
        2. When you appear before Him that day,
          1. do you think your thoughts will be
          2. that you wished you had sung
            1. less or more
            2. to the Lord during your life on Earth?
        3. He wants to forgive you now.
          1. He has no desire to condemn, but
          2. He will do it.
  3. Psalm 96 shows that we should praise the Lord because 
    1. He is great,
    2. He reigns, and
    3. He will judge.
  4. The whole message of the Bible is: Prepare for a meeting with your Creator. 
    1. He will then assign everyone their eternal destiny.
    2. What will it be for you?
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