29 November, 2022

October 30 | Rooted in Worship

by | 24 October, 2022

Unit: Psalms (Part 1)
Theme: Rooted
Lesson Text: Psalm 92
Supplemental Text: 2 Chronicles 31:2-3; Psalm 36:5-6; 47:1-9; 150:1-6; Colossians 3:15-17; James 5:13-16
Aim: Take advantage of weekly opportunities to praise and worship God
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Download a PDF of this week’s lesson material (the Study by Mark Scott, Application by David Faust, and Discovery Questions by Michael C. Mack): LOOKOUT_October30_2022.

Send an email to cs@christianstandardmedia.com to receive PDFs of the lesson material each month.

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By Mark Scott

Some say demons are at the heart of Halloween. But worship is at the heart of Scripture. Worship was compromised in Eden (Genesis 3:1-19). What we worship is what we become (Hosea 9:10; Romans 1:23). The angel told John to “worship God” (Revelation 22:9). The Old Testament hymnal (the book of Psalms) called God’s people to worship. In fact, our lives are rooted in worship.  

A significant hermeneutical construct (way to read the text) is called chiasmus. A chiasmus is a cross-shaped rhetorical pattern. If we use letters to represent sections of Psalm 92, it looks like this: A (vv. 1-5); B (vv. 6-7); C (v. 8); B (vv. 9-11); A (vv. 12-15). Verse 8, the very middle of this psalm, becomes the interpretative key, “But you, Lord, are forever exalted.” This is the content at the heart of this worship psalm. 

The Righteous Worship 
Psalm 92:1-5 

Worship of God is rooted in who God is and what he has done. God’s identity and his works are praised in this section. The praise (or giving of thanks) for God being Lord and O Most High (identity) sometimes takes the form of music. God’s love (loving-kindness) in the morning and his faithfulness (steadiness or stability) at night can be played on the ten-stringed lyre (like the lute) and can be enjoyed by the melody of the harp.  

The unnamed psalmist was glad (rejoiced) not just because of God’s identity but because of what God had done. His deeds were his activities in history (such as the exodus). His hands celebrated his miracles (such as the Red Sea and the Jordan River crossings). His thoughts (plans or devices) were profound (deep, as mentioned in Isaiah 55:8-9). 

The Wicked Do Not 
Psalm 92:6-7 

The contrast between the righteous and the wicked is retained throughout the Wisdom Literature of the Bible. That is clearly seen in this text. These verses identify wicked people in four ways: Senseless people are brutish or foolish. Fools are simpletons or dullards. Wicked people are criminals or reprobates. And evildoers (from a root word that means “to pant,” maybe in the sense of mad lust) are “workers of iniquity” (New King James Version).  

These wicked people who refuse to worship God prove that they do not know God or understand him. They might spring up like grass, but they will not last. They might look like they would flourish (blossom or shine), but they will be destroyed (exterminated).  

God Remains 
Psalm 92:8 

The Lord remains no matter what. He desires that people worship him, but his royalty is not threatened if people choose not to do so. This climactic verse announced, “But you, Lord, are forever exalted [made high].” The word forever can sometimes mean just “a long time,” but in this passage it means “time unending.” People who worship God come and people who do not worship God go, but God remains. He is consistent within himself; he exists whether people worship him or not. 

The Wicked Perish 
Psalm 92:9-11 

Nonworshippers do not stand a chance against God. His enemies (foes) will perish (be destroyed), and the evildoers will be scattered (divided). In contrast, the psalmist acknowledged that God had exalted his horn like that of a wild ox. A horn was a symbol of power in the ancient world, so this was a victory phrase. Fine oils being poured out (mixed) upon this worshipper indicate his victory over his enemy and his blessed opulence.  

Verse 11 is Hebrew parallelism on steroids. Eyes are parallel with ears. Seen is parallel with heard. Defeat is parallel with rout. And adversaries is parallel with wicked foes. Even in his lifetime, the psalmist had witnessed the defeat of nonworshippers. 

The Righteous Flourish 
Psalm 92:12-15 

In this concluding section the psalmist circled back to the opening idea of the righteous praising God. Because they do, the righteous will flourish (bud, blossom, or break out) like a palm tree, and they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon. Palm trees made the psalmist think of Jericho. Cedars of Lebanon made the psalmist think of the logs that were floated from the north to build the temple, which is where the psalmist went next. 

House of the Lord and courts of our God were phrases connected to the temple (which was at the heart of worship for God’s people). The psalmist pretended that the trees used in the building of the temple would still bear fruit and stay fresh and green. Finally, the writer used personification by pretending that the trees in the temple would speak, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” If the trees and stones cry out in praise to God (Luke 19:40), should we not do the same? 

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