Friday, December 30, 2016

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday January 1, 2017

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(Sing a new song of praise to GOD)
(Psalm 33)

   In Psalm 33, the psalmist, who is likely King David (it is ascribed to him by the Septuagint), calls on the Israelites and all those who love the LORD, to praise HIM with song and instrumental music. He exhorts them to praise HIM because of HIS Word, HIS promise of salvation, the hope HE brings to our lives, HIS dependability, and, HIS righteousness.
    “Spontaneous praise” to GOD is something that should be common among our daily existence because it is so fitting. It should be a natural response by all who benefit from HIS wonderful blessings, which, quite frankly, includes all mankind, even those individuals who don’t profess to be followers of CHRIST, and HIS doctrine. Every individual on earth benefits from what we deem as “the LORD’s general and ordinary grace and mercy (blessings)”. We all have the privilege, for instance, of breathing HIS air, drinking HIS water, and ingesting HIS food and nourishments.
    New daily mercies and grace that comes from GOD should always merit new praise and worship to GOD, every day also. As Christians sincerely focus on GOD’s grace and mercy, they should also focus on HIS Will and mission for their lives, and then, appropriately, express to GOD, their love and affection for HIM.
    This hymn of praise may have been inspired by a victory by the Israelites over one of their adversaries, however, there is no evidence as to which of their many conquests it may have been. And even though we can’t be sure when it was written, it strongly suggests that a significant event had just concluded. Verses 16-17, suggests that it may very well have been a major military victory that was obviously accomplished by some miraculous act of GOD.
     This psalm not only calls for us to worship GOD, but it also tells us “who should worship GOD”, “how to worship GOD”, and “why one should worship GOD”. First of all it is “fitting” that “the righteous should worship GOD” for extending to them, righteousness through CHRIST JESUS. Righteousness serves as an outward sign that one belongs to the LORD. When we praise HIM openly, we give honor to the source of our righteousness, WHO is GOD, in the presence of others (v.1).
    Next, Christians are given instructions on how to “worship GOD with music and singing”. In verse 2 musicians are instructed to worship GOD with their skillfulness on their musical instruments. Those who are blessed with singing talents should also praise GOD with a loud voice (v.3). Their musical compositions should originate in the Church, and not in the world. GOD despises the mixing of the holy with the profane in music, and in every other aspect and area of our lives.
    The Word of the LORD is always right, and thus, all of HIS works are done in truth, and are in harmony with reality. HE loves both “righteousness” and “judgment” (v.5a), and the whole earth, despite the evilness that we bring to it, is full of HIS goodness (v.5b). We should worship GOD because of HIS faithfulness to uphold righteousness and goodness in a world, that, through the influence of satan, we seem bent on destroying.
    The LORD “spoke into existence” all the things in Heaven, and everything that is “natural” that we see here on earth. He gave the seas their boundaries, and told the sun where to rise and set. He instructed the moon not to show itself until the evening, and all of the stars HE knows by name. And so everyone should fear the amazing GOD WHOSE plans are sovereign and will stand firm forever (Vs.6-11).
    As a nation, we seem to have forgotten, over time, what joy we experienced when the overwhelming majority of us honored the LORD as our GOD. Nowadays, not even the majority of the professed Christian Church shows, through their actions and behavior, that they really honor the LORD, our CREATOR, FORGIVER, and GUIDE. The LORD looks down upon us daily and sees the “degeneration” of the entire human race that HE created, provides for, forgives, and desires to lead into all righteousness (Vs.12-16).
    The best equipped army cannot save a king, apart from GOD. We cannot afford to rely on our individual strength, nor our unified strength as a nation, to save us from destruction. Only the GOD, WHO sees us, can rescue us from ourselves. We must rely on HIM alone to save us, provide for us, and guide us with the wisdom that we need to overcome this world, just as CHRIST did. And so, it is all mankind who should “Praise the LORD!”

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

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