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Sunday, September 13, 2020

“The LORD On High Is Mighty” [Matt's Messages]

“The LORD On High Is Mighty”
Lanse Evangelical Free Church
September 13, 2020 :: Psalm 93

On Tuesday night at our Elders’ meeting, we studied Psalm 93 together as an Elders Team, and I was just so encouraged that I came home saying, “I’ve got to preach on that this Sunday!”

I want to read to you all of Psalm 93 straight through, and as I read it, I want you to really hear and feel the poetry.

The Psalms are songs, poetic worship songs, songs with a message about God.

And this one, Psalm 93, is very short and very beautiful and very powerful.

And it achieves its short, beautiful, powerfulness mainly by concise repetition.

In just a few short verses, Psalm 93 repeats itself again and again.
In just a few short verses, Psalm 93 repeats itself again and again.

And it repeats itself to emphasize.
It repeats itself to emphasize.
It repeats itself to emphasize its glorious message.

[You see what I did there? I thought so.]

The psalmist [we don’t know which one it was, the song writer] wants to emphasize the fortifying truth that the LORD (capital L-O-R-D, Yahweh, the Creator and Covenant God of Israel, the LORD) Who reigns on high is mighty.

He says it verse 4: “The LORD on High Is Mighty”

Psalm 93 is a kingship psalm. 

It’s a song about how the LORD is the king of everything.

There are a number of kingship psalms, and a bunch of them are right here in the fourth book of the psalter, from Psalm 93 through Psalm 100.

The Hebrews loved to sing about the royal magnificence of their God.

We sometimes don’t understand or immediately feel these songs because we don’t have a monarchy here in the U.S. We aren’t used to kings and royalty. So sometimes we have to meditate a little while on the images to really receive them.

And yet we do all understand magnificence and have a instinctive sense of greatness and glory. We all long for (even when we don’t realize it, we all long for) transcendence and majesty.

Psalm 93 is like Psalm 8 and Psalm 90 that we’ve studied the last 2 weeks in that it is full of Big God Theology.  

But there is one noticeable difference. In Psalm 8 and Psalm 90, we got a picture of a Big God and little old us.



But here’s what’s different in Psalm 93:

We aren’t in Psalm 93.

Psalm 93 isn’t about you and me at all. It’s just about God Himself.

The only place we have in it is singing it ourselves.

Psalm 93 is about the LORD Himself, and that’s a great thing.

Because He is the greatest thing, the greatest being.



Did you hear the repetition?

Majesty, majesty.
Established, established.
Lifted up, lifted up, lifted up.
Mightier, Mightier, Mighty.

This is a great worship song with a truly great message!

“The LORD on high is mighty.”

I think the psalm divides nicely into 3 parts. The first part is verses 1 and 2 which we might summarize by saying:

#1. THE LORD’S ROYAL REIGN IS UNSHAKABLE.

The psalmist says it so much better (v.1): “The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength.” 

Yahweh, the Creator and Covenant God, is the king over everything.

He reigns. He is sovereign. He rules.

And as the sovereign ruler, He is utterly majestic. 

The song says that He is robed in majesty. That’s a metaphor to gesture at His glory. He is dressed for the part. He is the King over all, and it shows.

And on his sword belt is His own strength. God doesn’t need another weapon. God’s own strength is all the weapon He needs.

The LORD reigns. The LORD is king, and no one else is. The LORD is king over all, and that is good news.

That means that there is a ruler at the helm of this world.

And this praise song names Him; Psalm 93 says that the King of the World is Yahweh.

Yahweh reigns. 

And so how firm is that reign? How established is Yahweh’s throne?

It is unshakable.

Yahweh made the world, and is not going anywhere. V.1 again.

“The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.”

That’s not talking about geo-centrism, that the Earth does not move on its axis or around the sun. It means that the world God made is stable. It is measured and regulated and reliable. It is firm and secure.

There are stable laws that govern the world because it was made by this Lawgiver.

The only way that this world will go somewhere is if the Lord says that it should go somewhere.

In other words, the world is not out of God’s control.

The world is established because the Lord’s throne is established. V.2

“Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.”

Sounds like Psalm 90, doesn’t it?

God is eternal. And His throne is eternal.

God is the eternal ruler of all.

God has always been the king. Always.

And this means that the Lord’s royal rule is unshakable.

Isn’t that good news?

This throne will not budge.

We have a hard time conceiving of eternity because we live in time. But if you can wrap your mind around a God who is eternal, wrap your mind around a throne that is just as eternal.

A throne that has always been and always will be.

A throne that will not budge.

I think we need to hear this message. This throne will not budge.

Never.

Sometimes it seems like our world is falling apart and flying apart.

9/11
COVID
Forest Fires
Wars
Racism
Rioting

None of those things will budge this throne.
Joel said at our elders’ meeting on Tuesday that the world will end some day but none of these things will end the world. Only God will end the world.

The world is not out of God’s control. Amen?

Now, I’m beginning to pick up from my social media and from some yard-signs that there is apparently an election of some kind coming up? Has anybody else noticed this that we are in an election year? 

(It seems like it’s always an election year these days.)

And it is important to educate yourself about the various candidates and their platforms and if a candidate or a platform earns your vote, to be a good citizen and in our great democratic system cast your vote for the candidates and the platforms you think would be the best for our country.

But, however, the position of King of the Universe is not up for vote this year or any year!

Whoever might end up being the President of the United States, Yahweh is King. 

The LORD reigns.

And nothing will stop Him. This throne will not budge.

That doesn’t mean that evil will not try.

The rule of God is contested.

I know that this talk about God’s sovereignty raises questions about bad things happening.

If God is sovereign over, all why are there bad things?

And that’s a real question that the Bible gives great and nuanced and complex and sometimes surprising answers for. We’ll hit it a number of times in the Psalms this Fall.

Because clearly bad things happen.

They truly exist.

And Psalm 93 doesn’t pretend that they don’t.

It’s no secret. Psalm 93 isn’t hiding anything just like Psalm 90 didn’t hide anything last week.

The bad things are here, unleashed in the world.

But the message of Psalm 93 is that those bad things will never win.

And it’s not even close. 

The LORD’s royal reign is unshakable.

Because (Part #2):

#2. THE LORD’S ROYAL MIGHT IS UNSURPASSABLE.

Listen again to verse 3. Listen to the repetition. 

“The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.”

It sounds like the seashore doesn’t it?

The crashing, crashing relentless fury of the waves pounding the shore.

How did the Hebrews feel about the seas?

Are there any stories in the Bible about happy trips of the ancient Hebrew mariners?

No. They were not a seafaring people.

Think about Jonah. He went to sea, and look what happened to him. He was just about buried at sea.

The seas often (if not always) represented chaos and evil symbolically to Israel.

These seas with their growing growing thundering roar represent turmoil and tumult and trouble.

Anybody having a hard year?

2020! Turns out nobody had 2020 vision.

And it feels like we’re getting pounded by the chaos.

“The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.”

But!

This throne don’t budge. V.4

“Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea–the LORD on high is mighty.”

Bob said on Tuesday night that when he was in the US Navy, he was on a ship in the North Sea that was going up and down and up and down, and water coming over the front of the ship. I can’t imagine how scary that would be!

Have you ever felt like that is happening in your life?

“Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea–the LORD on high is mighty.”

His royal might is unsurpassable.

Do you need to hear that today? I know I do.

Keith pointed out on Tuesday that this God on this throne is our Father.

If you belong to Jesus Christ, if you have put your faith in God the Son and what He did for you on the Cross, then this God on this throne is your Father! So no matter if the seas lift up their voices on you, your God is mightier than the thunders of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea.

The LORD on high is mighty.

So much so that when the LORD on high makes a rule, or sets a standard, or gives a directive, that statute stands firm, as well.

It’s not just the world that stands firm, it’s God’s Word that stands firm, too. V.5

“Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD.”

Part #3 of Psalm 93:

#3. THE LORD’S ROYAL HOLINESS IS UNENDING.

“Your statutes stand firm.” Your Law is not wishy-washy.

The Scripture is not broken or even breakable.

Cody pointed out on Tuesday night that if God’s throne is so established, then His word is completely trustworthy.

His word does not budge. And therefore, we should not fudge. (Cody didn’t say that part. I did.)

If the LORD is on high like this, exalted above everything, then what He says should carry the ultimate weight with us.

And we should live a holy life.

Because that’s the only thing that’s appropriate around this God.

“Holiness adorns your house (the temple and heaven) for endless days, O LORD.”

That phrase, “endless days” in Hebrew is the very same words that end Psalm 23 which I’m planning to preach next Sunday, Lord-willing. “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the [holy] house of the LORD ‘for endless days.’”

So if we want to live in that house, we need to be holy, too.

So this psalm gets scary if you are not holy.

That’s why we need to be in Jesus.

That’s why we need what Jesus did for us on the Cross.

Paying for our sins and giving us His righteous holiness.

And why we need to make that holiness ours more and more each day.

Because without holiness noone will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

Because the LORD is holy forever and ever.

He has always been eternal, always been mighty, and always been holy, holy, holy.

So, what is the application of this psalm to our lives today in 2020?

Because, remember, we’re not in this Psalm. This Psalm is not about us. It’s about God.

So what is the application for us?

I have just one word.

If the LORD is king like this (and He is), then we should:

BOW.

We should bow:

We should bow before this King in reverent worship and awe.

We should sing this song with our lives.

“The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength.”

Bow!

And we should bow before this King in faithful obedience and submission.

We should find out what God’s Word says and do it.

Repent wherever needed and be holy. Do not fudge.

Bow!

And we should bow before this King in resting trust and expectant hope.

Because His throne won’t budge. It cannot be moved. 

He has always been king, is king, and always will be king.

And He is our Father.

Mightier than any relentless roaring wave of chaos that might threaten to take us under.

It turns out that the LORD is not just our Father.

The LORD is also Jesus.

This King is Jesus.

And remember what Jesus did to the waves of the sea?

“The LORD on High is Mighty!”


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Fortifying Truth - Fall 2020

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