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Psalm 1:1-6
Psalm 2:1-12
Psalm 3-4
Psalms 5-7
Psalms 8-9-10
Psalms 11-14
Psalms 15-16-17
Psalm 18:1-50
Psalm 19:1-14
Psalms 20-21
Psalm 22:1-31
Psalm 23:1-6
Psalm 24: 1-10
Psalm 25-26
Psalm 27:1-14
Psalm 28-30
Psalm 31-32
Psalm 33-34
Psalm 35-36
Psalm 37-38
Psalm 39-40
Psalm 41-43
Psalm 44-45
Psalm 46-47
Psalm 48-50
Psalm 52-55
Psalm 56-58
Psalm 59-61
Psalm 62-65
Psalm 66-68
Psalms 69-72
Psalm73-1-28
Psalms 74-77
Psalm78-1-72
Psalms 79-81
Psalms 82-83
Psalm84-1-12
Psalms 85-87
Psalms 88-89
Psalm 90:1-17
Psalm 91:1-16 Psalms 92-93 Psalms 94-95 Psalms 96-99 Psalms 100-102
Psalm 103:1-22 Psalm 104:1-35 Psalm 105:1-45 Psalm 106:1-48 Psalm 107:1-43
Psalms 108-110 Psalms 111-113 Psalm114-116 Psalm117-118  
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Psalm 111:1-10

 

“Praise ye the LORD, I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.  The works of the LORD are great. Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.  His work is honourable and glorious:  and his righteousness endureth for ever.  He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered:  the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.  He hath given meat unto them that fear him:  he will ever be mindful of his covenant.  He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.  The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.  They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.  He sent redemption unto his people:  he hath commanded his covenant for ever:  holy and reverend is his name.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:  a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:  his praise endureth for ever.”

 

Introduction

 

“Psalm 111, and Psalm 112 are a pair of Psalms, we’re not sure who wrote them, they seem to be after the Babylonian Captivity.  They’re both acrostics, in the Hebrew.  There are 22 lines in each of these Psalms, 111 and 112, so we know in Israel they wanted these committed to memory.  That made it easier to memorize.  Ah, Psalm 111 is in regards to the LORD, that he is to be feared, and Psalm 112 is the blessings on the man or the woman that fears the LORD.  So, they go together.  You’ll see in Psalm 111 the first word is “Praise,” in Psalm 112 the first word is “Praise.”  You will see “the upright” there in verse 1, you’ll see “the upright” in verse 2 mentioned in Psalm 112.  You’ll see “righteousness endures for ever” in verse 3, you’ll see it down in 112 “righteousness endures for ever” in verse 3.  You’ll see up in Psalm 111 “gracious” in verse 4, “gracious and full of compassion,” you’ll see in Psalm 112, in verse 4, “gracious and full of compassion” and so on.  There’s a very interesting correlation between these two Songs that were sung in ancient Israel. 

 

The Difference Between Wisdom And Knowledge

 

As we begin to look at Psalm 111, listen, verse 10 gives us our context.  Verse 10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:  a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:  his praise endureth for ever.”  So, wisdom differs from knowledge.  You can have people that are very knowledgeable and don’t have any wisdom.  You can have people that have just a basic street-smart wisdom, but they don’t have a lot of knowledge.  Wisdom is the ability to take what you know and to apply it.  That’s why it says down in verse 10, “a good understanding have all they that do his commandments, they’re not just to be studied and theologized, they’re to be done, they’re to be lived out.  So, the beginning of that, it says, is the fear of the LORD.  That’s the beginning of a work in an individual’s life where they decide, ‘You know what, I want to obey, I want to do this, I don’t just want to know about it, I don’t just want to argue theology, I don’t just want to tell people I know about Scripture.  LORD, you speak to me in the morning, and you come before my heart during the day, and you tap on my shoulder and you remind me of things, and you bring verses to remembrance, and you remind me, ‘no, no, don’t do that, and no, you should do this,’ and because I reverence you, because I understand who you are, LORD, the fear of the LORD, it isn’t torturous, the fear of the LORD, it’s clean, the Bible says, and because I understand that, LORD, I want to do what you say.’   ‘We should be doers of the Word, and not hearers only’ (James 1:22), James says. 

 

A Challenge For Believers To Praise God

 

So, here Psalm 111 says “Praise ye the LORD.  I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.”  So, it begins with a challenge to praise, as does the next Psalm as does Psalm 113, that the LORD is to be praised, and the Psalmist says ‘I’m going to praise the LORD with my whole heart.’  Half-hearted praise is not praise at all.  So, the only way this God deserves, our God, deserves to be praised, it says here, is with a whole heart, whole-heartedly we should praise him.  That is in private and in public, in the assembly, in the congregation.  And then you’re going to see in verse 2, “the works of the LORD,” verse 3, “the work of the LORD,” verse 4, “the works of the LORD,” verse 6, “the works of the LORD,” verse 7, “the works of the LORD,” over and over now the Psalmist is going to say, ‘you know what, he should praised, and you should do that with all of your heart.’  And here’s one of the things you need to understand, this God is to be feared, is to be held in awe, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD, and that’s because he hasn’t done things in secret, he’s done things in such a way that they have been demonstrated, then they’re observable, certainly to Israel, but to humankind. 

 

The Works Of The LORD—His-Story, Why History

 

He says in verse 2, “The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.”  ‘The works of the LORD are great, and they’re sought out of those who have pleasure,’ there’s a lot of people in the world we live in that don’t have pleasure in the work of the LORD.  They don’t want to acknowledge Creation [however God chose to do it], they don’t want to acknowledge the flood, they don’t want to acknowledge ancient Israel, they don’t want to acknowledge what the LORD’s doing in the world.  The wonderful thing about the Word of God is it tells us of his works in the past [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/exodus1.html], it tells us of his works presently, if you look at the news, we’re right where the Bible said we would be [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm], and it tells us of his works in the future [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/corinthians/cor15-16.htm].  And the thing is, to know him, and to understand his love towards us, what he’s done on the cross, draws our heart after him, we should delight in those things.  It says here, ‘that the works of the LORD are great, and they’re sought out by all of those who have pleasure in him.’  It’s interesting, Pasquel said “Human works must be known to be loved, but Divine works must be loved to be known.”  He said, “Human works must be known to be loved.”  People have to understand and be able to nail it down, to be fond of things on the human level.  But he said on the Divine level, the things God puts in front of us, must be loved to be known, God reveals himself in his work to the heart that seeks after him and delights in him, and it says “The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.”  It’s just I enjoy history.  You know, coming through High School, again, I couldn’t even read Cliff Notes, I just, I didn’t have it.  I’m not encouraging that, it was wrong.  I look at the kids in our school and think ‘I wish I had been saved and in a Christian school.’  But my mind, my heart just wasn’t there at all, I just didn’t care.  And it was really hard, because my dad had come through the Great Depression, he had come through World War II, he said “You’re going to college, whether you like it or not.”  “I don’t want to go to college.”  “I don’t care, you’re going to college, you’re going to have a better life than me, whether you like it or not.”  It was always hanging over my head.  When I got saved, I started to read the Word, I started to love to read, I started to love history [ditto, me too, now I’m known by all my friends and family to be an extreme history nut], because I understood it was his-story, history made sense to me.  History was like a narcotic in High School, I couldn’t stay awake, it was like a barbiturate, the history teacher started teaching, I was like, he was always kicking my desk trying to wake me up, and then I get saved and all of a sudden I started to love what happened in Greece, what happened in Rome, what happened in Babylon and ancient Egypt, I saw it all in context of the Scripture [want to see how?  see what he’s talking about?  You’re gonna love this,  see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/exodus1.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/ezra/ezra1.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/festiavloflights.htm  and http://www.unityinchrist.com/mathew/Matthew1-1-17.htm, his-story, from the history of the exodus from Egypt to the birth of the Messiah, and http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/earlychurch1.htm to the birth of the early Church].  I delight in that, you look around the world today, and just to take the prophetic things that God has said, and see what’s lined up today, the compound probability of that is beyond absurd, and that makes me assured of everything he said of everything that’s ahead of us.  And it fills me with wonder, and I love to seek those things out [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/Prophets_Prophecy.html].  It says “The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.  His work is honourable and glorious:  and his righteousness endureth for ever.” (verses 2-3) the work of the LORD, in human history, it is honourable and glorious, no one can put it down.  In the final analysis we’re finding out that everything he’s done is just and true.  “He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered:  the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.” (verse 4)  his wonderful works are made to be remembered, certainly, you know, the Feasts in ancient Israel, God is a master teacher [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/Holydayshadows.htm], and rather than just making everybody learn audibly or visually, he understands there’s kinesthetic learners, there’s learners that learn visually, so he institutes the Passover, you take the lamb, you watch it for four days, then everybody kills the lamb, then you rub the blood on the doorposts, and in the house you tell your children why the salty water, why the bitter herbs, why the lambs, it’s a lesson every year, and he says you do it, Exodus chapter 12, all generations for ever (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/exodus1.html), you know, anywhere you go in the world today, the Jews still have a Seder, whether they claim to be religious or not, they’re doing it, just like it’s a prophecy in the Book of Exodus, back in chapter 12 it said it would happen, and it’s happening.  You know, the Feast of Tabernacles, how many of you go through a Jewish neighbourhood here and you see those things outside, the kids are thinking, ‘I want to be inside, the heater’s on,’ ‘No, no, you’re out here because this is what happened to our forefathers, they went through the Wilderness, God kept them for 40 years, they lived in tents.’ You go through those things, and then you take the Jews, 70AD [and 135AD] driven out of their land by the Romans, scattered around the world, and then suddenly in 1948 they’re gathered back again, they still have their language, they still have their Faith, they still have their belief, none of it has been dissipated or amalgamated into the nations, you know, God is a master teacher [i.e. the Holy Days and Sabbath, the Shabbat observance has kept and taught them their identity, front and center, no matter how much time has elapsed historically.  How many ancient races have forgotten where they came from or who they were descended from after several millenniums have gone by?  But not the Jews.  Even the 10 so-called Lost Tribes of Israel lost track of who they are historically, because they forsook God’s Shabbat and Holy Days, replacing them with Baal-worship, and were deported out of the Land of Israel, never to return.  When the Jews were deported and totally dispersed in 133-135AD in the last Roman-Jewish war, they never gave up worship on the Sabbath or God’s Holy Days, so they retained their identity, even after nearly 1900 years.  Watch Schindler’s List, no matter what happened to them, they retained the Shabbat and their identity.]  The stones have remembrance, the memorials, you know, Ebenezer and so forth, set up in the Old Testament.  And of course for you and I, he gives us this one memorial feast of the broken bread and the cup, and it says, of all the things that you could remember about me, yeah, I rebuked the wind and the sea, I raised the dead, I healed the sick, but this is the one thing, above all other things, this is the epicenter, this is the center of the center of the center of everything that you believe, and that is that my body was broken for you, and my blood was shed for you.  And here we are 2,000 years later, and we delight to do that when we come together to have the Lord’s supper.  [Comment: the early Church observed all the Holy Days and Sabbath Jesus observed and the Jews before him observed, as they were commanded to.  Have those days been abrogated by the New Testament?  That is a hotly debated issue.  For a good history of the early Church, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/index3.htm.]  What a wonderful time we have.  It says here, “He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered:  the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.  He hath given meat [food] unto them that fear him:  he will ever be mindful of his covenant.” (verses 4-5)  And I’m glad that he is, the cross, obviously.  “He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.” (verse 6)  they were powerful.  This LORD that we worship one day will control the entire world, he’s made that manifest through the power of his works. [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm]

 

“The Works Of His Hands Are Truth And Judgment”

 

“The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.” (verse 7)  I love that.  The works of his hands are truth and justice, there’s no injustice in what he does, there’s no injustice in his moral requests for humankind, there’s no injustice in what he tells us of our origin, and of our destiny.  There’s no injustice in as he seeks to rule over our marriages or our children or tell us how to raise our kids.  There’s no injustice in all of that.  It says here, ‘All the works of his hands are truth and justice, and his commandments are sure.’  And then it tells us about his commandments, “They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” (verse 8)  that’s sure, those are commandments that are sure, the ones that stand fast for ever and for ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.”  To obey the commandments of the LORD, that’s in truth and uprightness.  “He sent redemption unto his people:  he hath commanded his covenant for ever:  holy and reverend is his name.” (verse 9)  that was true in ancient Israel, the Passover in Egypt, it is true in our lives, because that was only a picture, the Passover, of the Lamb that was slain on the Passover, thousands of years later, and rose on the 3rd day.  “He sent redemption unto his people:  he hath commanded his covenant for ever:” and aren’t you glad of that, I am, “holy and reverend is his name.” (verse 9)  It says those works are ever before him, he never forgets, he sent his redemption, commanded his covenant for ever, I’m so thankful about that.  Last time we were through the end of Luke and we studied the Passover supper there [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/lastsix.htm], in Luke’s Gospel, you know, it’s interesting that in the days of Christ, they would come in the afternoon to sacrifice their lambs, it was no longer being done by the father in the home, there had been a transition that’s happening in the courts of the Temple, and the priests were the ones who were sacrificing the lambs.  Ah, professor Joseph Taveroy in Bar Elon University in Jerusalem notes that we found by Justin Martyr to Philo, whose a Jewish rabbi in his day, they talk openly about the fact that when you brought the lamb to be sacrificed for the Passover, and they would take and put a dowel, a stake of pomegranate wood through the shoulders, they would slide it through one shoulder, out the other so it wouldn’t brake any of the bones, and then they would skin the animal, because you roasted it, it says, with the head, with the internal organs, with everything.  They would skin the animal, and then they would wrap the animal, they would drain it of the blood, of course, skin it, then you would take it home to your fireplace, you’d have an oven, and then when you took it home, you would drive another pomegranate stake down the throat and out the buttocks of the animal, and tie its back legs to the long stake, and his front two hooves would to tied to the crossbar, and Dr. Joseph Taveroy, Philo, that rabbi that wrote back and forth to Justin Martyr, said in those days, tens of thousands of lambs were crucified every Passover.  Because by the time you got it home and put it on the fire, there was a stake running through the shoulders, and the lambs arms were tied to it, and there was a stake running through this way and its feet where tied to it, and you had this lamb on a cross, on a spit on your fireplace.  Just, it says, “He sent redemption unto his people:  he hath commanded his covenant for ever:  holy and reverend is his name.”  By the way, that’s the only place in the King James Bible the word “reverend” is used.  It’s funny today what we do with that, isn’t it?   [“Call no man your Father” in a religious sense, Jesus said, and “holy and reverend is his name” God’s name, not the name of some preacher.  Interesting how certain religious groups go and ignore what the Bible says to do and not do.]  If someone calls the church, and to ask one of the secretaries for Reverend Focht, we just know he ain’t from around here, wherever that might be.  There isn’t anything reverend about me, not in the context of the word in this Scripture, ‘Is reverend Focht around?’ give that one to Jerry [laughter], let reverend Jerry take that one.

 

“The Fear Of The LORD Is The Beginning Of Wisdom”

 

Then it comes to verse 10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:  a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:  his praise endureth for ever.”  This is where the application of things begin, in the awe of God.  “a good understanding have all they that do his commandments those who understand these works of the LORD, they understand what to do with them, they understand the context of them, they see them in history, they see them in life, they see them in eternity, they see them in power, they see them in wonder, those are people then that have this reverence for Almighty God, and that is the beginning of wisdom.  And they have good understanding, all those then that do his commandments, which it tells us, his commandments are sure, that they’re from everlasting to everlasting to everlasting, that ‘blessed are all those who do his commandments,’  ah, “his praise endureth for ever.” 

 

Psalm 112:1-10

 

“Praise ye the LORD.  Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.  His seed shall be mighty upon earth:  the generation of the upright shall be blessed.  Wealth and riches shall be in his house:  and his righteousness endureth for ever.  Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness:  he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.  A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth:  he will guide his affairs with discretion.  Surely he shall not be moved for ever:  the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.  He shall not be afraid of evil tidings:  his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.  His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.  He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.  The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away:  the desire of the wicked shall perish.”

 

Introduction

 

And then we come to Psalm 112, which instead of telling us of the God that should be feared, now it tells us of the blessing on the man that fears the LORD, or the woman.  Now look, this may seem, in the day we live in, a bit out of step of our culture.  Look it says “Praise ye the LORD.   Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.” (verse 1)  The last verse of the Psalm before, it said “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:  a good understanding have all they that do his commandments:  his praise endureth for ever.”  Now it says “Praise ye the LORD.  Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.” (verse 1)  not just “delighteth” but “delighteth greatly in his commandments”, and it’s interesting “praise ye the LORD” where it says “blessed is the man” that word in the Hebrew is plural, the idea is “blessings upon the man that feareth the LORD.”  Not just blessed, not just blessed one time, but blessings of God upon the life of a son or daughter that walk in reverence of who he is in their life and in the fear of the LORD.  The blessings are plural.  And it says here, “Blessings,” not just blessed, “Praise ye the LORD.  Blessings” the idea, ‘upon the man that feareth the LORD, and delighteth greatly to do his commandments.’  Now look, that is both temporal and certainly it is eternal.  Because there are, you know we know Saeed is in prison in xxxx tonight, we should be praying for him.  We know of Christians that are persecuted around the world.  The last century, the 20th century, there were more Christians martyrs than in all of the centuries before that combined.  Millions in Russia alone [former Soviet Union that is], let alone in Nazi Germany, let alone around the world.  So, look, the blessings of God are both, temporal and eternal.  This Psalmist is not saying ‘Hey, doesn’t pay to serve the LORD now, because hey, Christians have hard times, things may not work out,’ no, no, he says ‘Look, you serve the LORD, you do that with all your heart, and his blessings will be upon your life now and forever, now and forever.’  I grew up in a different time, you know, when we grew up in the 1950s, the last thing you ever wanted was a policeman to grab you, we were scared of the police.  And if a policeman ever had to do anything in my life, I would just get beat when I got home, I’d be more terrified going home with a policeman than the policeman himself.  And there was a sense of right and wrong.  Oh, the nation did a lot of things wrong, we’re not saying the nation was perfect [historically speaking, what we did to others outside our nation was very wrong, making me repent of being a “flag-waving, right-wing Christian.”  To see why, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/topical%20studies/America-ModernRomans1.htm].  But there was a sense of morality.  We didn’t question it, there were things that were right and things that were wrong.  There were things that you did, that were right and that were wrong.  I mean, just, there was that, and that’s changed dramatically.  You know, I remember as a kid, Tonto and the Lone Ranger, black and white TV, they’d be quoting Scripture during the show, it was just interesting, there was good, there was bad, the upright, and the unrighteous, and you remember hearing when you were a kid, “Crime Doesn’t Pay.”  [That saying came out of the early FBI during the early 1930s, when Melvin Purvis took down the Dillinger Gang, John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Baby Face Nelson, and the saying stuck because the FBI made great publicity of it under J. Edgar Hoover.  Read “The Vendetta” by Alston Purvis, © 2005.]  And you kind of believed that, “Crime Doesn’t Pay,” you’re supposed to keep the law.  But somehow, as I grew up, 1963 they decided to take prayer out of the schools, they decided to take everything we believe and throw it out the window.  You see how people are persecuted now, even TV shows being canceled because you say marriage is between a man and a woman.  And now, along the way, somehow, we’ve convinced people kind of that crime does pay, what doesn’t pay is keeping the commandments of God.  We’ve been doing this for 30, over 30 years, take his Book out of the schools, take prayer out of the schools, remove God from public life.  It doesn’t pay to keep the commandments of God.  The problem that that’s created, is now we have a generation whose smart enough to say to themselves ‘Well, if it doesn’t pay to keep the commandments of God, why in the world should I keep the commandments of men?  If I don’t have to be afraid of God, and I don’t have to keep the things that the Bible says, or religious things, then why in the world should I listen to the laws that men make up?’  And we’ve created that culture, and we have sown to the wind, and we are reaping the whirlwind.  Now I’m not a depresso, because I believe God can bring a Pentecost, he can bring a Revival, and he can awaken this nation again, whenever he wants to do that [i.e. one last time before the end, when the Tribulation comes upon us—we may be approaching that time now].  And I suggest that, every night, by the way, as I talk to him.  Either come up or come down, either take us out, or you come down, there’s the only two things that make sense, when you see the way the world’s going.  Pour out your Holy Spirit again, or blow the trumpet and take us up, up or down, I think that’s just a great way to look at life at this point.  But he says here “Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.”  ‘There are blessings on the man that feareth the LORD,’ this is not a slavish fear [like you’d find in legalistic churches], it’s a phileo, you know, I had a dad, I had a good dad.  Some of you who had a good dad understand [I had a good dad, but I had a proper fear-respect for him, and some of the crap he put up with from me, I don’t know why I’m still alive].  I love my tdad.  The night my dad died was the hardest I ever cried in my life.  I love my dad.  But I feared him.  When we were kids, it was one thing to get spanked by mom, that was a daily experience.  Mom would grab a wooden spoon.  She would just kind of hit me with whatever she got her hands on, and you got a little bit bigger it wasn’t so bad.  But you didn’t want to hear that it had fallen to dad, it was not a good thing.  He knew how to make the strap work.  So, that was a totally different deal.  I wasn’t in slavish fear of my father, he wasn’t an abusive man.  He wasn’t drunk, he worked hard, he took care of the family, he loved us, and I loved him, but I feared him, I feared him.  And that’s what it’s talking about here, it’s phileo, it’s not slavish, you know, we fear the LORD, we hold him in reverence, he’s our Father, but he’s the One whose in authority, he’s the One who calls the shots, he’s the One that we should be listening to.  ‘There’s blessings on the man and the woman that feareth the LORD, and delighteth greatly in his commandments,’ they’re not being fulfilled slavishly, there’s a delight in it.  Then it tells us of this individual, “His seed shall be mighty upon earth:  the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” (verse 2)  his children.  There is an inherent blessing, no matter what you say, it’s a generality, certainly in Israel, it was a different time under a different covenant before the LORD, but the idea is, you raise your children in the LORD, that’s generally what you’re going to see, ultimately in their lives.  That’s generally what you’re going to see ultimately in their lives.  If you let nonsense in their lives, and that’s all you do with them, I don’t know how you expect to see anything else, there still is a law of sowing and reaping.  Your kids should be in the house, and dads need to be front and center in the day we live in, of a father that fears the LORD.  You know, I was able to say to my kids, “It ain’t because I’m a pastor,” I never laid that trip on them, that was never the deal, the deal was, ‘look, if I was a wide receiver in the NFL, a pastor, if I was a carpenter, if I was an ironworker, if I worked on computers, whatever, you’re on loan, you don’t belong to me, you belong to him, and this is the Book we live by, no matter what I do for a living, and that’s why.’  ‘Well everybody else,’  ‘Everybody else ain’t going to heaven.’  Never, I can think of one of my sons, one time, when I lost my temper, and I saw fear in his face, and I will regret that for the rest of my life, I’ll regret it for the rest of my days, but I saw it in his eyes, and I thought, ‘it should never, that’s never a presentation of the Lord.’  I remember my other son, one time, I said something I shouldn’t have said, wasn’t a curse word, it was in a moment of frustration, and I’ll regret that for the rest of my life, one word.  Now they got spanked their whole lives, don’t get me wrong.  But you have to learn, you never do that because your kid does something crazy, that’s not the reason to spank your kid, because they are crazy, and they’re gonna do crazy things.  Don’t ever spank your kid because you’re wife has got you so mad, they’ve driven her so crazy that she’s making your life miserable, so you’re going to beat them because of what you came into when you got home.  That’s not the reason to do it.  You do it because of disobedience.  I remember one time my son, we moved into a new house, and came home the first day, and he had dug a sheetrock screw, he saw this round thing, brand new house, just a day in the house, saw a round thing in the wall, and decided to dig it out of the wall.  I never had a new house.  ‘What did you do!?  Why did you do that!?’  And I said to him, “I’m not going to spank you.  Grrrr…and the reason is, because I didn’t ever think I had to make a rule not to dig holes in a brand new wall in a brand new house.  But understand this, the next time you do that, you are gettin’ it.”  You never lay a hand on their face, God has put an adequate amount of flesh in a particular place that is meant for the rod, you never insult them with your mouth, you never tear them down, it is not punitive, it is disciplinarian.  You are not punishing them, because Jesus Christ was punished on the cross for them 2,000 years ago and he took it all.  It says in Hebrews that our Father in heaven chastens the son that he loves, it’s chastening.  It’s not pleasant, but it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.  So the righteous man, the righteous woman, the family where there’s the fear of the LORD, they want to do his commandments, that should come over to the next generation, that should have influence, “His seed shall be mighty upon the earth:  the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” (verse 2)  “Wealth and riches shall be in his house:  and his righteousness endureth for ever.” (verse 3)  Now that’s not a lot of people that are wealthy and rich that maintain righteousness, that’s an interesting combination. 

 

“Unto The Upright There Ariseth Light In The Darkness”

 

It says “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness:  he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” (verse 4)  that to the upright person, the LORD, this doesn’t say there’s never dark days, it doesn’t say there’s never tears, it doesn’t say there’s never hard times.  But it says in those times, there is a light that arises.  I have people in our church right now with cancer, that will talk to me and say ‘I just can’t describe to you what the Lord has been speaking to my heart.  I don’t know how an unsaved person can go through this, what he’s speaking to me, what he’s saying to me.’  It doesn’t mean that in that process there aren’t days when you’re completely down and completely busted.  But it says, you know, ‘the upright person, the person that walks with the LORD, in the darkest and hardest days, that the LORD lets a light arise, even there.’  That’s what it tells us.  ‘And then he’s gracious, he’s full of compassion to others.’ 

 

“A Good Man Shows Favour, And Lendeth:  He will Guide His Affairs With Discretion”

 

“A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth:  he will guide his affairs with discretion.” (verse 5)  He wants to, he’s prospered, here it says he wants to give.  It doesn’t say he’s foolish.  Gary Gordon always says “I’m born-again, not born yesterday.”  He wants to do what’s good, not foolish.  Sometimes you’re not helping a person by helping them, you’re enabling them, to not change and stay in a situation they shouldn’t be in.  But “A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth:  he will guide his affairs with discretion.” look, and sadly, God in his Word, believes that for everyone there is equality of opportunity, every one of us can learn, every one of us can go to school in this country, every one of us can work hard.  There should be equality of opportunity.  One of the plagues on our nation is racism, when there hasn’t been equality of opportunity.  But it’s God’s heart, for his people, there’s equality of opportunity, but there is not equality of outcome.  That’s something that’s being foisted on us at this point in time, that destroys all kinds of things--distribution of wealth, saying everybody should get a trophy in sports, whether they’re good or whether they stink, everybody should get rewarded, nobody should fail, there’s something wrong with that.  Because, an upright life and working hard, and giving yourself, produces something.  And it says the upright person understands that he’s blessed so he can give to others, he can help others.  Again, it’s the problem in our nation right now.  We are a nation wealthy enough, wealthy enough, that there shouldn’t be anybody in our country that can’t get medical treatment.  We are wealthy enough that there shouldn’t be anybody who shouldn’t be able to get food.  Welfare has a purpose.  But the problem is because people are sinful, people who don’t need it take advantage of it, and it drains everybody else.  The problem on the other hand, you have people there pointing the finger at all the fat-cats.  Well this is a nation where people come from different parts of the world, you know, we’re still guarding our borders so people don’t get in, we’re not trying to keep people from escaping.  The people come here from a foreign country, and in ten years they’re worth a million bucks.  They understand the system.  They work hard.  Now, the problem is, there’s a certain amount of truth, wealthy people are also sinful.  You can go through the whole thing with Fanny Mae and Freddie Mack, all the fat-cats on Wall Street, that ruin everything for everybody else. [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/E-Mails/2016/OpenVeinsOfLA.pdf and scroll to the paragraph title ‘The Glavny Protivnik’ and read from there down, about the sins of Wall Street.]  So the problem is, there are sinners on both ends of this equation.  A hundred years ago, in this country, 200 years ago, people that became wealthy built hospitals, they built orphanages, they gave back, they understood.  [In the city where I live, Burbank Hospital was built by the Crocker family, wealthy paper mill owners, which provided medical care for the city.  Back then, if you couldn’t pay, it was free.]  They opened their hands.  God said there’s a blessing for people that do that.  ‘This is describing a man whose blessed, a woman whose blessed, who walks in the fear of the LORD, his home is blessed, his labour is blessed, in difficult days God lets light come into the darkness of his life.  He is gracious, he’s filled with compassion, and he’s a good man, he shows favour, he lends, he wants to help others, he will guide his affairs with discretion,’  “Surely he shall not be moved for ever:  the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.” (verse 6)  He may be removed temporarily, but he’s not going to be moved, the idea is, forever, “the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.”  How wonderful. 

 

“He Shall Not Be Afraid Of Evil Tidings:  His Heart Is Fixed, Trusting In The LORD

 

“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings:  his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.” (verse 7)  Here’s why he’s not afraid of evil tidings, “his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.”  So he will not be afraid of evil tidings.  Listen, Jesus said, ‘last days, you’re going to hear of wars, rumours of wars, famine, pestilence, deadly infectious disease, earthquakes in diverse places.  See to it that you let not your heart be troubled.’  ‘ok Lord,’ wars and rumours of wars, nuclear war threats, terrors of all this, tidal waves, tsunamis, earthquakes, deadly infectious diseases, he says these are the beginning of sorrows.  And he says, ‘Don’t let your heart be troubled.’  It says here ‘that the upright man who fears the LORD, he shall not be afraid of evil tidings.’  And you turn the news on today, I don’t know what, there’s a whole lot of besides that.  I mean, there’s some good news, I watch the news, I was glad to hear the Spurs won…there’s some good news, I like to hear certain things.  But you see what’s going on in Iran, you see what’s going on in Iraq [ISIS taking over in 2014 when this was being preached], you see what’s going on in the banking system, our monetary system, you see what our deficit is, you see what’s going on with terrorism, you hear the threats, you turn on the news, we have the whole world coming into our living room.  We live in a troubled world, we live in a troubled world.  And if you don’t know the LORD, and your heart isn’t fixed, you’re not trusting in him, you can get ulcers sitting in front of that box.  That’s not God’s design for our life.  “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings” the person whose walking in the fear of the LORD. “he shall not be afraid of evil tidings:  his heart is fixed,” why?  because he is “trusting in the LORD.”  “His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.” (verse 8)  the day is going to come when the Lord is going to make everything right, you don’t have to be aggravated, you don’t have to let people get under your skin, you don’t have to have aggida, you don’t have to look at the TV saying ‘That’s not fair! I can’t believe it!’ it’s all going to be made right.  And God is patient, and I’m glad of that. 

 

“He Hath Dispersed, He Hath Given To The Poor”

 

“He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.” (verse 9)  the horn of an animal was a signature of its power.  So whenever the Bible talks about the horn of something, or a beast with ten horns, it’s describing authority and power.  Of course, wonderfully that horn could contain, also was often filled with oil, poured on a king or a prophet.  It was sometimes hollowed out and taken to the lips, and it would be the sound, the shofar would be blown for battle, for the year of Jubilee.  It says here “his horn shall be exalted with honour.”  But “The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away:  the desire of the wicked shall perish.” (verse 10)  Look, ultimately, don’t let the media tell you anything, don’t look at this world, don’t let the entertainment industry tell you, because it says here, ultimately, it’s the man who fears the LORD that’s going to be blessed, not everybody who seems to be blessed now, with sex, drugs, money, you see all of that stuff.  It says here, ultimately, “The wicked shall see God honouring and lifting up the horn of the righteous, the wicked shall see it, they’re going to be grieved, he shall gnash with his teeth, Grrrr, he’s gonna hate it, but there isn’t anything he can do about it, and he’ll melt away.  The desire of the wicked is going to perish, it’s going to disappear.’  What they seem like they have now is temporary.  Billy Sunday was preaching somewhere, and preached on this verse, and said that the wicked are going to gnash their teeth, and this woman stood up who didn’t have any teeth, and she said, “Ya, Billy Sunday, what’s going to happen to me, I don’t have any teeth!” and he stopped, and he said, “Madam, the Lord is going to supply teeth for you.” [laughter]  So, Psalm 111, the LORD that is to be feared.  Psalm 112 the blessings upon the man or woman that fears the LORD. 

 

Psalm 113:1-9

 

“Praise ye the LORD.  Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.  Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’s name is to be praised.  The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.  Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in the heaven, and in the earth!  He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.  He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.  Praise ye the LORD.” 

 

Introduction

 

Ah, Psalm 113 through 118 are called the Hallel Psalms, or the Songs of Ascent.  They were sung on Passover, Pentecost [Shevuot], the Feast of Tabernacles [Sukkot], they were song sometimes as the pilgrims ascended up to Jerusalem in their journey.  And then there’s specifically songs of ascent after the Hillel Psalms.  But often they were part of that.  When Jesus was at the Last Supper, Psalm 113 and 114 was sung when the second cup was emptied, before the meal, the Passover night, and Psalms 115 through 118 were sung with the filling of the fourth cup, at the end of the meal.  So when we hear in Matthew 26 and Mark 14 that when they went out from the dinner they sung a hymn, and they went unto the Mount of Olives, it was part of these Hillel Psalms.  They were there being sung.  So, in the next few weeks as we study through these Hillel Psalms, we’ll bring the Passover night into it, you can see how these were words that Jesus [Yeshua] and the disciples sang.  So, it begins with “Praise ye the LORD, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.” (verse 1) the Hebrew phrase (for “Praise”) is Hallelujah, so they’re called the Hillel Psalms.  You’ll see the word “praise” four times in the first three verses.  Let’s look at it.  “Praise ye the LORD, Praise O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.” (verse 1) and then “Blessed” which is a different word than “praise” “Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same”  that can be interpreted “from east to west” or “all day long”, both of those fit, the scholars argue, “the LORD’s name is to be praised.”  So we hear about his name, his name, his name here, because his name represents his character.  Jacob was called Jacob because he was a heal-catcher, because he was a conniver, you read about the names that were given, ‘O ya, well what’s your wife laughing about Abraham?  Sarah, what are you laughing about?’  ‘I ain’t laughing,’  ‘O ok, well let’s name your son Yitzhak anyway, let’s name your son Laughter because you ain’t laughing.’  So, names given in the Old Testament were a reflection of character, so often.  And here, it’s telling us, “Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORDit has to do with his character.  “Bless the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’s name is to be praised.” (verses 1-3)  His character, who he is.  As we come into this Hillel Psalm, here in Psalm 113, there’s no petition, there’s no plea, none of that, it’s just an exhortation to praise him, to worship him, to give praise to him.  As we sing a last song at the end of the evening, this is a good Psalm for us to end in.  And just keep this in mind, that we praise him for his character, who he is.  And look at what it says in verse 2, “Bless the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.”  You can start tonight, from this time forth.  You’ve had a sour attitude, you’re struggling, things are going wrong, you’re in Psalm 111, well God is to be awed, he’s to be feared, he’s to be held in reverence, you’re in Psalm 112, and these are the blessings that are on the life of someone who fears the LORD, ok, and then you’re in Psalm 113, so you should praise him then because of his character.  He blesses obedience, he blesses yieldedness, his blessing can be on your life. 

 

“I AM Whatever I Need To Be Whenever I Need To Be On Your Behalf”

 

And it says here, “Praise him” is says, “Bless the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore” Wednesday evening, June 2014, from this time forth and for evermore.  You can start tonight, you can start tonight, you’ve been grumpy, you’ve been miserable, maybe your spouse is giving elbow right now, he’s talking to you.  You can start tonight, from this time forth, when we sing tonight you can sing with all of your heart, “from this time forth and for evermore.  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’s name is to be praised.” (verses 2-3)  Look, you know, you go through the Old Testament, you look at the names of God, Jehovah-Jira, that has to do with his character.  He said to Abraham, ‘the LORD will provide, the Mount of the LORD it shall be seen, he shall provide.’  You look at Jehovah-Nisi, he’s our Banner, Jehovah-Rafa, he’s the LORD our Healer, Jehovah-Ra, he’s our Shepherd, Jehovah-Seqino, he’s our Righteousness [some of these spelled phonetically, as I don’t know how to spell them], Jehovah-Shema, the Ever-Present One, Jehovah-Shalom, he’s our Peace, you go through the names, each time I AM that I AM, the Tetragrammaton, describing the name of God, the I AM, and the Hebrew is I AM That I AM.  I AM whatever I need to be whenever I need to be on your behalf, whether it’s your Provider, whether it’s your Righteousness, whether it’s your Peace, whether it’s your Shepherd, whether it’s your Healer.  And here, the Old Testament says, ‘You know what, praise his name.’  What is he in your life tonight, is he your Healer?  Certainly he’s our Righteousness tonight, certainly he’s the Ever-Present One, certainly he Provides for us.  So, you praise the name of the LORD, “Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.  From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’s name is to be praised.” (verses 2-3) 

 

“The LORD Is High Above The Nations, And His Glory Above The Heavens”—What Does That Mean?

 

Look, “The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.” (verse 4)  doesn’t matter what anybody thinks or says on the news, the LORD is the one who is high above, not most, all nations, and look what it says, and his glory above the heavens.”  plural, that’s the sky, the stellar heavens, his glory is above the heavens.  You know, it says he lays out the heavens with the span of his hand.  And they keep estimating, they keep adding how many more billions of light-years wide the whole thing is [and it’s expanding], you know, it’s grown so much since I was a kid, it’s way bigger now than they thought it was.  But he lays out the heavens with the span of his hand, that hand that’s stretched out on the cross, and is nailed there, the hand that stretched out the heavens, with the billions of light-years between his thumb and his index finger, it says here “The LORD is high above the nations, and his glory above the heavens.” plural, one old Bible scholar I read said, “the heavens are lower to him than they are high to us.”  No matter how high they seem, you know, you get your radar telescope, you’re looking into the outermost stretches of Space, no matter how high that seems to us, it’s actually lower to him than it is high to us.  That’s where he dwells, above the nations, above the heavens.  And in light of that, “Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!” (verses 5-6)  he’s so far above it, he’s gotta humble himself to just look at the things in heaven, and look what it says, “and in the earth!”  Who is like our God, who dwelleth above the heavens, we should praise his name, because his name reflects his character, his character is this, “Who humbleth himself” the Hebrew simply says, “Who goes low to behold the things that are in heaven, and the things that are in earth.”  Who goes low, he stoops all the way down to the heavens that we think are high, and then below that he stoops down to the earth, he humbles himself all the way down to where we are.  And of course, he takes on skin.  He designs a reproductive system that he understands better than anyone, and he’s able to trip the DNA in a woman’s ovum without the help of a sperm, and begin growth, and he himself goes  through first, second, third trimester in Mary [Hebrew: Miriam], this One who dwells above the heavens, stooped down, he comes into our world, human skin, not born in John Hopkins OBGYN unit, but in a back-alley somewhere, in a manger, a stone feeding trough about this long and this wide, laid in a feeding trough in a dark alley.  Comes into a home, where he has James, Jude, Joses, Simon and sisters, plural, he’s one of at least 7.  His parents are so poor that when they come to dedicate him, they can’t offer a lamb, the Law then allowed them to offer a turtledove if they couldn’t afford a lamb.  It says they offered turtledoves when they came to dedicate him.  He stooped down, and he doesn’t want to be isolated, he doesn’t want to be born in the best hospital, he doesn’t want to be an only child.  He doesn’t say ‘Father, just a mom and a dad, I got a lot of preparation to do, I gotta get ready for my public ministry, my Messiahship, I can’t have a house full of noise,’ no, no, he goes into a house with at least siblings in the house [including himself], if you can imagine that.  That was probably a one-room dwelling.  And he spends the first 30 years of his life cutting down trees, plaining wood, pulling out splinters, humbled himself way down, took upon himself the form of a servant, was made in the likeness of men, humbled himself to death, which is unimaginable.  Not just death, even the death of the cross.  So God has given him The Name that is above every name, the name of Jesus [Yeshua]…that every nation should bow and confess.  “Praise the name of the LORD it says, “Blessed be the name of the LORD, he’s high above all of the nations, his glory is above the heavens, “Who is like the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!” to behold, to consider the things that are in heaven, and in the earth. 

 

“He Raiseth Up The Poor Out Of The Dust, And Lifteth the Needy Out Of The Dunghill”

 

And look, because he stooped down and walked among us, it says “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.” (verses 7-8)  This is God who dwells above the heavens, stooping down.  And “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.  Praise ye the LORD.” (verse 9)  He stoops down to the person on the street that’s struggling, he stoops down to the hooker, whose hookin’ just so she can get money for heroine.  And if some other human being might dare to look down their noses, and he stoops down from heaven to take that broken life in his hands, to awaken eternal life inside of that heart and mind, to give direction, to cleanse, to lift up.  The person that’s filled with hate, he stoops down to soften their heart, teach ‘em how to cry.  The person that’s gone everywhere trying to find fulfillment in drugs, alcohol, pornography, and still ends up empty, realizing finally the truth is, that life, the pursuit of life is to find the right Master.  Drugs is a cruel master, pornography is a cruel master, alcohol is a cruel master.  But then you come to this Master, who stretched out his hands on a wooden cross, and bled his life into the ground so that we can live.  Now you’ve found the right Master.  Bless his name, praise his name, sing to his name.  He’s above all the nations of the world, he dwelleth above the heavens.  But he makes himself low, to behold, it says, the heavens and that which is in the earth, to the point where he stoops down to the broken and lifts them up, he takes the lives that are wasted out of the dunghill, and he causes them to prove that in redemption, in his love there’s worth.  He takes one of the most broken-hearted things, in the life of somebody, not able to have children, certainly in ancient Israel, being barren, and he graciously deals with it, down to our homes, down to our children, down to our childraising, down to cleaning the kitchen, is what it says there, keeping the home, he stoops down to that.  And you know what’s amazing to me, when he stoops down so far, even to our keeping the home, and you read those Statutes, you know what he says?  He says ‘If you find a dead mouse in a pot in your kitchen, don’t give that pot to somebody as a gift’ [he laughs] he’s gotta stoop all the way down, he knows what we’re like, and you’re gonna go ‘Oooh, there’s a dead mouse!’ and give that pot to Aunt Jane, he stoops all the way down to tell us, ‘don’t you do that, you break that pot.’  He knows us so well.  And yet he stoops down to us.  Praise his name.  Amen?  Praise his name.  Let’s have the musicians come.  Let’s do that, let’s praise his name, let’s sing to Jesus.  You know, in the Old Testament they didn’t know his name, YHVH.  Couldn’t pronounce it, they didn’t call him Jehovah, we take the Y, put Ja, H, ho, v, vah, we come up with Ja-ho-vah.  But they just had YHVH.  They didn’t know his name, couldn’t pronounce his name, it was unpronounceable.  You and I tonight can sing Jesus, we know his name, Jesus, Yeshua.  Isn’t that wonderful?  Lets stand, let’s pray….[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Psalm 111:1-10, Psalm 112:1-10 and Psalm 113:1-9 given by Pastor Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

related links:

 

Psalm 111:

 

God’s wonderful works, “His-story”—history, why I love it.  see

http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/exodus1.html

and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html

and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/ezra/ezra1.html

and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/festiavloflights.htm

and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/mathew/Matthew1-1-17.htm

and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/earlychurch1.htm

 

For his wonderful works that are ahead of us, see

http://www.unityinchrist.com/Prophets_Prophecy.html

 

How God teaches us through his Holy Days, see

http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/Holydayshadows.htm

and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/lastsix.htm   

 

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