10th October 2022
Read Psalm 117
Message Alan Burke
We can already see the leaves begin to change, there is a definite chill in the air and as result the winter coats are starting to make an appearance and my wee woolly hats too, the autumn is here and the days are changing. It is the time of year that we pause to give thanks to God for His provision in the harvest. For many of us though the harvest is something that goes unnoticed, and with each successive generation it seems that there are less and less working on the land and more and more children who think Tesco/Asda or the Supervalu or Costcutter or Eurospar is where the milk comes from. As we see the days change and realise another year is coming to a close mindful of God’s provision in the harvest we turn our attention to the shortest Psalm in the Psalter, it is the shortest chapter in all of scripture, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that this Psalm hasn’t got that much to say or teach us.
For as we come this Lord’s day to worship we will give thanks to the Lord as we do every Lord’s day, but we will remember how He has once more provided the harvest, of how He has given us our daily bread and in what He has provided, but most of all, we thank Him for, the calling of the nations and the inclusion of the Gentiles. Notice the focus of the psalmist as this psalm begins, for the focus is not at this stage at least on the reason we should praise the Lord, rather the imperative is given to us simply, that we should praise Him. All people every where this psalm calls to Praise the Lord, each and ever person to praise him, no mater what nation they are from whether that be the United Kingdom or Ireland, South Korea or North Korea, the United States of America or the Russian Federation and no matter what ethnicity they may be, British, Irish, Northern Irish, White, Black, Asian, it universally calls all people to praise the LORD, to 'Praise the LORD’.
To Praise the LORD, that is what we are called to do, and notice as we read it and see it here but it is throughout the scriptures that before us that the ‘LORD’ is capitalised. What that denotes that the word used here in the Hebrew is Yahweh. Yahweh is the personal name for God, He is the creator of the entire universe and each and every one us, the one that Hiram reminded us a few weeks ago who is revealed from heaven, the one whose invisible qualities, whose eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen in all that surrounds us (Rom 1:18-20). He is the the one who makes the rain fall and the sun to shine on the just and unjust (Mat 5:45), the one who visits the earth as the Psalmist puts it to water it, providing the grain that he has prepared, who crows the year with bounty, who gives pastures and wilderness, who crowns the meadows with flocks and the valleys with grain (Ps 136), all of it shouting and singing together for their creator. (Ps 65:9-13)
Yes we praise Him for the harvest, but we have many, many other reasons to give thanks and to praise the Lord our God, we praise him for who He is and all that He has done and the salvation that He has brought to us though the Lord Jesus Christ. So let us as God’s people extol Him with praise for indeed He is a good God.
Q74 What is required in the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others. (Gen. 30:30, 1 Tim. 5:8, Lev. 25:35, Deut. 22:1–5, Exod. 23:4–5, Gen. 47:14,20)