It is a good and delightful thing to give thanks to the Lord,To sing praises to Your name, O Most High, To declare Your lovingkindness in the morningAnd Your faithfulness by night, With an instrument of ten strings and with the harp,With a solemn sound on the lyre. For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your works;At the works of Your hands I joyfully sing. How great are Your works, O Lord!Your thoughts are very deep [beyond man’s understanding]. A senseless man [in his crude and uncultivated state] knows nothing,Nor does a [self-righteous] fool understand this: That though the wicked sprout up like grassAnd all evildoers flourish,They will be destroyed forever. But You, Lord, are on high forever. For behold, Your enemies, O Lord,For behold, Your enemies will perish;All who do evil will be scattered. But my horn [my emblem of strength and power] You have exalted like that of a wild ox;I am anointed with fresh oil [for Your service]. My eye has looked on my foes;My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me. The righteous will flourish like the date palm [long-lived, upright and useful];They will grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic and stable]. Planted in the house of the Lord,They will flourish in the courts of our God. [Growing in grace] they will still thrive and bear fruit and prosper in old age;They will flourish and be vital and fresh [rich in trust and love and contentment]; [They are living memorials] to declare that the Lord is upright and faithful [to His promises];He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
In his book, “The Gift of Self Discovery,” Arthur Gordon describes a season of burnout. His physician examined him and told him to go to the beach and spend a day without radio, phone, or interruption. The wise old doctor wrote out four prescriptions, folded and numbered them, handed them to the tired Gordon and said, “Take these at 9, 12, 3, and 6.
Time crawled asGordon worked on the first prescription: “Listen carefully”- but listen he did for the first three hours- to the sounds in waves and within himself. At noon, the second assignment began: “Try reaching back.” Events of the past years, painful and pleasant, came flooding in. As the tide began receding, the third prescription kicked in: “Re-examine your motives.” At first, he felt defensive- nothing was wrong with his motives; but then he realized that if his motives weren’t right, nothing can be right.
Finally, as the sun began its descent, he opened the fourth slip; “Write your worries on the sand.” He left as the surf washed his words away.
Through a single day of slowing down the pace and reflecting, Gordon reached a healing and turning moment in his life.
This Psalm is written for use on the Sabbath, the day of rest. Its words penetrate deeply only when you take the time to stop and listen. Here is its prescription for reflection and renewal.
Psalm 92’s first prescription is: “Take time and worship.”
In Genesis 1:2 we read that before creation, “the earth was formless and empty.” God worked six days, changing it from chaos into matter, life, and order. On the seventh day God rested from His labors, not because He was tired but to set a precedent for humans who get tired. What about us? Are we so tied to the treadmill of activities and life pressures that we can’t get off.
Here’s some questions to ponder:
Have you stopped to gaze in wonder at the flowers, forest, birds, sea, grass, and sky to take in them as incredible expressions of the Lord’s power and artistry and love of beauty? Have you taken time to gladden your heart by giving Christ praise for all He has done for you? When was the last time you woke up with glad thoughts of God’s love and went to bed at night resting in the thought of His faithfulness? Have you lifted your voice to sing for joy over the mighty works of God’s hands?
George Wood shares the following:
“Dr. William R. Once reminds us that ‘if we spend sixteen hours a day dealing with tangible things and only five minutes a day dealing with God, is it any wonder that tangible things are two hundred times more real to us than God?’”
The second prescription of Psalm 92 is: Consider the end.
Steven Covey, in his best seller, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” suggested that each of us take the time to write out what we would like said at our funeral. The point is that if we keep in mind what we want others to think about us after we’re gone, perhaps we’ll begin living that way now.
What Covey suggested lines up with the counsel of Psalm 92. Only those who are senseless refuse to reckon with last things. Their time is flourishing now in the present but the time of the righteous lies in the future. It is a mistake to think that we should expect a reward every time we do right. And we must be aware that those who breaks the rules, mistreat people, self-indulges, and dishes out hardships on others may indeed prosper for a while?
But let us be clear in our faith, God’s payday is coming. In his letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul encourages us that while we wait for the Lord to make all things right: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”(Galatians 6:9)
The third prescription of Psalm 92 is: “Gain the right perspective.”
Passing through some of the dark times of life in seasons of depression I’ve sat for hours listening to to worship music that in spite of my situation lifted me into the presence of God. In those moments I’ve found that “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our God, and His Christ. Hallelujah!” Worship helps us see past our present despair that will one day all be gone for we have a better future than we know.
When we take time for rest and reflection it brings self-renewal. Two-thirds into Psalm 92 we gain a new self-image.
If you feel like a defenseless lamb- a victim beholden to another’s sway or power over you, take time to to worship the Lord so He can build your confidence that He is making you like a “wild ox” with a powerful “horn”-somebody no one should mess with!
For those who feel unloved and unloveable, through worship God will give you a fragrance of “fine oil” to pour out upon you. He wants us to feel clean from the dirt and grime and then His oil brings a pleasant aroma to your life.
Rather than feeling like a weed waiting to be stepped on, know that God wants to make you as graceful and elegant as a palm tree. Rather than thinking of ourselves as tumbleweeds, rootless, dead, and driven, think again while you worship. Instead know that God is making you into a cedar that is rooted, tall, secure, stately and enduring.
For those who are living in the past, worship enables us to realize the best is yet to come. God desires that we are fulfilled and vital even in old age. He wants us to stay “fresh and green.”
How can we know all this to be true? Because the Lord is completely reliable fir He is our “Rock” and free from evil. And we can be sure that He will never lie to us.
So pull away from all the distractions and busyness of life and take the prescriptions offered by Psalm 92.