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Lord's Day 33, 2005

I reioyced, when they sayd to me, We wil go into the house of the Lord. Psalms 122:1, (Geneva Bible)

I am going to deviate from my normal Lord’s Day practice of bringing you Puritan-era hymns and poetry to introduce you to a collection of contemporary hymns written by the late James Montgomery Boyce and composed by Paul S. Jones, and available on CD & cassette, as well as a book of thirteen hymns, and orchestral scores, from Paul Jones Music.

’Round the Throne in Radiant Glory
from Hymns for a Modern Reformation

’Round the throne in radiant glory
all creation loudly sings
praise to God, to God almighty –
day and night the anthem rings:
“Holy, holy, holy, holy
is our God, the King of kings.”

God alone is worthy, worthy,
maker of the earth and sky;
glory, honor, power, blessing,
be to him who reigns on high:
“Holy, holy, holy, holy
is Jehovah, Adonai.”

Christ, the Lamb, is worthy, worthy –
let the anthem loudly swell –
Jesus died for sin on Calv’ry,
rescued us from death and hell:
“Holy, holy, holy, holy
is our God, Immanuel.”

All creation joins in praising Christ,
the Savior of our race,
drawn from every tribe and nation,
people, language, time and place:
“Holy, holy, holy, holy
is our God, the God of grace.”

Praises be to God the Father
and to Jesus Christ the Lamb;
glory, honor, power, blessing –
songs of angels joined by man:
“Holy, holy, holy, holy
is our God, the great ‘I AM’.”

Psalme 76 (Geneva Bible)
To him that excelleth on Neginoth. A Psalme or song committed to Asaph.

1 God is knowen in Iudah: his Name is great in Israel.
2 For in Shalem is his Tabernacle, and his dwelling in Zion.
3 There brake he the arrowes of the bowe, the shielde and the sword and the battell. Selah.
4 Thou art more bright and puissant, then the mountaines of pray.
5 The stout hearted are spoyled: they haue slept their sleepe, and all the men of strength haue not found their hands.
6 At thy rebuke, O God of Iaakob, both the chariot and horse are cast a sleepe.
7 Thou, euen thou art to be feared: and who shall stand in thy sight, when thou art angrie!
8 Thou didest cause thy iudgement to bee heard from heauen: therefore the earth feared and was still,
9 When thou, O God, arose to iudgement, to helpe all the meeke of the earth. Selah.
10 Surely the rage of man shall turne to thy praise: the remnant of the rage shalt thou restrayne.
11 Vowe and performe vnto the Lorde your God, all ye that be rounde about him: let them bring presents vnto him that ought to be feared.
12 He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the Kings of the earth.

Today’s exposition is brought to us by
Charles Spurgeon

Psalm 76:4-9

Verse 4
Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey.” Far more is Jehovah to be extolled than all the invading powers which sought to oppress his people, though they were for power and greatness comparable to mountains. Assyria had pillaged the nations till it had become rich with mountains of spoil, this was talked of among men as glory, but the Psalmist despises such renown, and declares that the Lord was far more illustrious. What are the honours of war but brags of murder? What the fame of conquerors but the reek of manslaughter? But the Lord is glorious in holiness, and his terrible deeds are done in justice for the defence of the weak and the deliverance of the enslaved. Mere power may be glorious, but it is not excellent: when we behold the mighty acts of the Lord, we see a perfect blending of the two qualities.

Verse 5
The stouthearted are spoiled.” They came to spoil, and lo! they are spoiled themselves. Their stout hearts are cold in death, the angel of the pestilence has dried up their life-blood, their very heart is taken from them. “They have slept their sleep.” Their last sleep - the sleep of death. “And none of the men of might have found their hands.” Their arms are palsied, they cannot lift a finger, for the rigor of death has stiffened them. What a scene was that when Sennacherib's host was utterly destroyed in one night. The hands which were furious to pull down Jerusalem, could not even be raised from the sod, the most valiant warriors were as weak as the palsied cripples at the temple gate, yea, their eyes they could not open, a deep sleep sealed their vision in everlasting darkness. O God, how terrible art thou! Thus shalt thou fight for us, and in the hour of peril overthrow the enemies of thy gospel. Therefore in thee will we trust and not be afraid.

Verse 6
At thy rebuke.” A word accomplished all, there was no need of a single blow. “O God of Jacob.” God of thy wrestling people, who again like their father supplant their enemy; God of the covenant and the promise, thou hast in this gracious character fought for thine elect nation. “Both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.” They will neither neigh nor rattle again; still are the trampings of the horses and the crash of the cars; the cavalry no more creates its din. The Israelites always had a special fear of horses and scythed chariots; and, therefore, the sudden stillness of the entire force of the enemy in this department is made the theme of special rejoicing. The horses were stretched on the ground, and the chariots stood still, as if the whole camp had fallen asleep. Thus can the Lord send a judicial sleep over the enemies of the church, a premonition of the second death, and this he can do when they are in the zenith of power; and, as they imagine, in the very act of blotting out the remembrance of his people. The world's Rabshakehs can write terrible letters, but the Lord answers not with pen and ink, but with rebukes, which bear death in every syllable.

Verse 7
Thou, even thou, art to be feared.” Not Sennacherib, nor Nisroch his god, but Jehovah alone, who with a silent rebuke had withered all the monarch's host.
“Fear him, ye saints, and then ye shall
Have nothing else to fear.”
The fear of man is a snare, but the fear of God is a great virtue, and has great power for good over the human mind. God is to be feared profoundly, continually, and alone. Let all worship be to him only. “And who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?” Who indeed? The angels fell when their rebellion provoked his justice; Adam lost his place in Paradise in the same manner; Pharaoh and other proud monarchs passed away at his frown; neither is there in earth or hell any who can abide the terror of his wrath. How blest are they who are sheltered in the atonement of Jesus, and hence have no cause to fear the righteous anger of the Judge of all the earth.

Verse 8
Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven.” So complete an overthrow was evidently a judgment from heaven; those who saw it not, yet heard the report of it, and said, “This is the finger of God.” Man will not hear God's voice if he can help it, but God takes care to cause it to be heard. The echoes of that judgment executed on the haughty Assyrian are heard still, and will ring on adown all the ages, to the praise of divine justice. “The earth feared, and was still.” All nations trembled at the tidings, and sat in humbled awe. Repose followed the former turmoils of war, when the oppressor's power was broken, and God was reverenced for having given quiet to the peoples. How readily can Jehovah command an audience! It may be that in the latter days he will, by some such miracles of power in the realms of grace, constrain all earth's inhabitants to attend to the gospel, and submit to the reign of his all-glorious Son. So be it, good Lord.

Verse 9
When God arose to judgment.” Men were hushed when he ascended the judgment-seat and actively carried out the decrees of justice. When God is still the people are in tumult; when he arises they are still as a stone. “To save all the meek of the earth.” The Ruler of men has a special eye towards the poor and despised; he makes it his first point to right all their wrongs. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” They have little enough of it now, but their avenger is strong and he will surely save them. He who saves his people is the same God who overthrew their enemies; he is as omnipotent to save as to destroy. Glory be unto his name. “Selah.” Here pause, and let devout contemplations adore the God of Jacob.

Heidelberg Catechism for Lord's Day 33 from CoffeeSwirls.

Grace and peace to you this Lord's Day.

2005-08-14 at 7:00 AM MT | |