Psalm 92 – Worship
Psalm 93:1-5 NIV
It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp.
For you make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the works of your hands.
How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts!
This was the only psalm written for the Sabbath day. When the Psalmist said that it is good to praise God and make music to His name, it refers to singing praise to the various aspects of God’s character. We will only know God’s characteristics if we recall and analyse them.
What does it take for us to sing praises to God? All the experiences we’ve had with God and the understanding we’ve gained of God provide us with so many things to praise Him. It is “good to praise the Lord” because praising Him is good for us. Our lives are full of worldly desires, we spare little time to look at what God has done for us, and our souls are tired and drained because we will never find satisfaction from the world. But praising God helps us focus on Him and find joy through Him.
The senseless man does not know, fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be forever destroyed.
But you, O Lord, are exalted forever.
For surely your enemies, O Lord, surely your enemies will perish; all evildoers will be scattered.
We’ve wondered why some people flourish and we don’t, yet some of these people are doing evil. As we worship, we need to reflect how foolish and senseless it is if we don’t seek to understand life from God’s perspective.
God wants us to know that life isn’t about flourishing in material wealth. The Psalmist compared God’s enemies to grass, which grows quickly without much care. But all that they possess will perish with them when they die.
You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox; fine oils have been poured upon me.
My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.
“Horn” is a symbol of strength, and God will lift us up in power. “Fine oils” were used for healing, anointment, and to rejuvenate; these are what God will do to us.
Our “eyes” will see the spiritual defeat of God’s (and our) adversaries. They may flourish outwardly, but they will face spiritual failure.
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him.”
The Psalmist compared the righteous to the palm tree and cedar.
The palm tree was a symbol of victory in the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean world. A palm branch was awarded to victorious athletes in ancient Greece. The crowd greeted Jesus with palm branches on his triumphal entry of Jerusalem. It the Bible, the palm tree was also associated with victory (Revelations 7:9). The walls of Solomon’s Temple were adorned with palm trees (1 Kings 6:29-34). In his vision, Ezekiel saw a temple with palm trees inscribed on the walls, posts and gates (Ezekiel 40). The palm tree also produced dates for eating, its leaves were used for weaving baskets and thatching roofs, and the trunk was used in building.
The cedar tree was regarded as the strongest and most majestic of trees. Solomon listed it as first among the trees (1 Kings 4:33). It was widely used as a simile to describe strength. Sennacherib boasted about his own strength by saying that he would cut down the cedars of Lebanon (Isaiah 37:24), and David sang that God’s voice is so powerful that it can break cedars to pieces (Psalm 29:5). It was also used as a symbol of opulence (1 Kings 10:27). Both Solomon’s temple and the Second temple were built with cedar. Solomon built his palace with cedar too.
In comparing the righteous to the palm tree and cedar, we are assured of victory, strength and majesty. We’ll be beautiful and strong enough to be part of God’s temple. We’ll be useful to the people.
And when we are “planted in the house of the Lord”, we will flourish. Even when we grow old, and regarded by the world as useless, we will still “bear fruit” and stay “fresh and green” in spirit.
God is the one who will take care of us, “The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.” (Psalm 104:16)
The enemies of God are compared with grass that grows without care; they will grow and spread fast but die quickly. The righteous however are compared with palm trees and the cedars of Lebanon that are watered by God. We will not sprout quickly like them, but we will grow stronger, more useful and be victorious in the end. The quick and momentary gains that the evil have are not worth desiring. They've got nothing for us to envy as we've got so much more in God.
This is how we should worship God — praising Him for how He has taken care of us and keeping us spiritually fresh. God is indeed our Rock.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit. Andy joined the Central Christian Church in 1990.