Remembering His Wondrous Works [20-Minute Sermon pdf]
One of the most powerful tools in our toolbox of Christian growth is remembering our salvation history. History is our ally in calling Christians to praise God. You and I have a lot of history to be thankful to God about. What we’re about to read, Psalm 105, traces the salvation history of Israel. It is set to music into “a hymn of praise” to remind the people of God of the “marvelous works that He hath done.” [Read Psalm 105:1-6.]
How many of you agree with me that our journey today seems so perilous, so precarious? Our journey seems so volatile. Some Christians are losing hope, losing the spirit of victory. Why? This is partly because we have neglected to remember God’s marvelous works! Here are 7 Biblical Ways To Combat Forgetfulness:
Give Thanks, v 1. “Give” comes from Hebrew “yadah,” from root word “yad” which means to use, to hold out the hand like that of physically to throw like a stone, an arrow at or away; especially to revere or worship (with extended hands); to bemoan by wringing the hands.
Call Upon God’s Name, v 1. To “call upon” comes from the Hebrew “qara” which denotes “the idea of accosting a person met; to call out to, that is, to properly address by name.” To accost “is to approach and speak to often in a challenging or aggressive way.” To call upon God’s name bears with it the idea of approaching and speaking to God in a reverential aggressive manner. This idea reminds me of the reverential aggressiveness of Abraham when he accosted and addressed the Angel of the Lord on the behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. [Read Genesis 18:27—33.]
Make Known His Deeds, v 1. To “make known” comes from Hebrew root word that means “to ascertain by seeing.” And thus the idea of making the people to observe, to pay attention, to recognize the deeds of God. [Read Psalm 145:8—12; see also Exodus 14 and recall Moses urging them to see the salvation of the Lord; confer Deut 4:9.]
Sing and Sing, v 2. The first sing is different from the second sing. The first comes from the Hebrew root word “shuwr” which carries the idea of a “strolling minstrelsy” [kind of a traveling music ministry team] which means when you’re walking about doing your own business or go from place to place day in and day out, you ought to sing unto God! Find yourself singing Blessed Assurance in the laundry room lately? That’s one way to remember His wondrous works.
The second sing comes from a Hebrew root word “zamar” which carries the idea of “touching the strings or parts of a musical instrument, i.e., play upon it; to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music:—give praise, sing forth praises, psalms.” Hence the idea of plucking a guitar, or pounding the piano keys.
Talk, Talk, Talk, v 2b. To “talk” here originates from the Hebrew root word “siyach” which means to ponder, by implication, to converse (with oneself, and hence aloud) or, it can also be translated to utter:—commune, complain, declare, meditate, muse, pray, speak, talk (with).
I don’t need to persuade you that there’s a lot of talking going on in the world today, except to share with you an internet news headline that says, “Woman kicked off train after 16-hour cell phone chat.” Now that’s a lot of talking! You think that’s bad, here’s worse: “Man talks in sleep. Wife writes down everything he says.” These are examples of a lot of talking without a whole lot of pondering! I want to point out to you that we have a lot to talk about. We have a lot to ponder about and talk about! King David amplifies it yet again, “Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: So shall I talk of thy wondrous works” (119:27).
Boastfully Celebrate, v 3. From Hebrew “halal”, to “glory” means “to be clear” of sound and color, “to shine; hence to make a show, to boast, to rave, to celebrate.” When was the last time you boastfully celebrated in God’s holy name? Isaiah amplifies this: “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it” (Isa 40:5).
Seek and Seek, v 4. This verse ties in to verse 3 because the first word “seek” comes from “darash” which means to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for pursuit or search); by implication to seek or ask specially to worship.”
The second “seek” comes from “baqash” which means to search out (by any method, specially in prayer); to strive after:—ask, beg, beseech, desire, enquire, get, make inquisition, procure, make request, require, seek for.” So we’ve come full circle because verse 1 says “call upon His name.” Question: are you frequently following, pursuing, searching God? Are you searching Him by method of prayer, asking Him, begging, beseeching Him? Thus we can start to remember his marvelous works that he hath done; His wonders, and the judgments of his mouth.”
Conclusion: “The use of Psalm 105 was very appropriate for cultic celebration, as is clear from its association with David’s bringing the ark to Jerusalem in 1 Chronicles 16:8–36.” [Turn there now.] In chapter 13, King David desires to move the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem. He calls for a meeting of his captains and consults of them what they might do. They all say yes, and so the transportation of the ark of God commences.
[Begin reading 1 Chron 13:7—12.] So David retreats to Jerusalem and many things transpire before he learns how to do it right. He does the proper preparations and so in chapter 15, we read… [begin 1—3; jump to 16:1, then 7—13]. What a great example of remembering the marvelous works that God has done. If Jesus showed up today, will we recognize Him because we have endeavored to remember Him—and His salvation. It will be a tragedy when God comes down here and ask, “Remember Me?”
James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009).
Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20064184-71.html#ixzz1Wzaq9mkm Accessed September 4, 2011.
http://current.com/entertainment/comedy/91859510_man-talks-in-sleep-wife-writes-down-everything-he-says-good-times-roll.htm Accessed September 4, 2011.
Willem A. VanGemeren, “Psalms,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 5 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991).