It has been said that the president of my school, Albert Mohler has superb memory. There have been many stories floating around about his ability to remember the smallest things. For example the library in the basement of Dr. Mohlers house is massive and is about the size of the parsonage. It has been said that you could pull any random book off the shelf in that library and Dr. Mohler would be able to give you a detailed summary of that book. What amazes me even more is that Trevor once told me that Dr. Mohler can actually recall the type of dress of one woman who used watch him in the nursery as a baby. But of course as that story circulated around campus it changed from being able to remember the woman in the nursery to being able to remember the face and dress of the woman who delivered him out of his mothers womb.
Not all of us have a great memory like. In fact most of my wife’s frustrations come from my poor ability to remember the simplest things. I can never remember where I put my wallet, or my phone, or my keys. I just cannot seem to help it. I just forget the simplest things. In fact, unlike Dr. Mohler, I think most of us are prone to forgetfulness and not just with the small things of life. We are prone to forget the most important aspect of life, namely who are God is and what great things he has done for us. When circumstances are hard and life is pressing down on us, we are prone to wander and forget the goodness of God. Then even when life is going great and everything seems to be working out we are still prone to wander and forget that all of these blessings are from the hand of God. Therefore, as human beings we are prone to forgetful and wandering hearts. This stifles our worship of God and our ability to magnify his glory with our lives.
I believe that through text we will see that we should call our souls to worship and we do that by remembering all that God has done for us in Christ. For those of you taking notes this sermon will have two simple points: 1) You must call your soul to worship (this will be found in v.1-2), 2) You must remember the Gospel because it is your fuel for worship. There will then be 4 simple reflections. Lets jump right into point number 1.
1. You must call your soul to worship. v. 1-2
Here in verse one we find David calling and exhorting his soul to worship the LORD. First question that pops into my mind as I read this is why call to his soul to worship? why doesn’t he just start worshiping? I mean this is King David here, the man after God’s own heart. The man who through the power of God conquered a Giant. The man who knew of God’s love and promises for him and his descendants. The man experienced God forgiving him of adultery and murder.
I believe what this text shows us is that even though this was David the King, the man after God’s own heart, David knew of his tendency to a forgetful and wandering heart. He knew deeply that no matter how much he had experienced God and his great work in his life, he was still prone to wander and forget his God.
Therefore this necessitates a call to awaken to his soul to worship the LORD. Yet we see in verse two that it’s not just merely a call but a remembrance. He calls his soul to worship but this call to worship is also accompanied by a call to remember. A call to remember what? The benefits of God; to remember God and all that he has done. It is a call to remember God and his salvation.
Therefore just as David calls his soul to worship by remembering all the benefits of God, we too must call our souls to worship. I want us to transition to v.6-8 because I believe everything else that follows flows from these three verses. In other words, the benefits of YHWH that we find in v. 3-5 and 9-19 flow from God’s salvation of his people in verses 6-8. Lets dive into the second point of the sermon.
2. You must remember the Gospel because it is your fuel for worship. v.6-8
I believe that in verses 6-8, David is recalling how God saved Israel from slavery and revealed himself as their God. In verses 6-7, David recalls how God saved Israel from Egyptian slavery and it was through this great deliverance that God revealed himself to them. It was through this great salvation that God revealed his power, authority, and glory to his people and that this great God would be their God.
I want us to take a look at few passages in Exodus where we find God saying that his purpose through the exodus was to reveal himself or show himself to be the LORD their God. In Ex. 5:1-2 after Moses asked Pharaoh to release the Israelites Pharaoh posses the question, “Who is the LORD?” I believe this sets the stage for the whole purpose behind the exodus. Therefore, through the Exodus, God will answer the question “who is the LORD?” and he will do this because he has determined to reveal himself to Israel as the LORD their God.
In Ex. 6.1-7 the LORD tells Moses that the people of Israel will know that he is the LORD their God who brought them out of Egypt. There are multiple passages throughout this section in Exodus (Ex. 6.29, 7.5, 7.17, 8.22, 9.14-16, 10.1-2, etc) where God declares that through this great deliverance Israel shall know that he is the LORD their God. In fact in Ex.14.30-31, we find that the LORD accomplishes this great salvation and the people respond in worship through acknowledgment and trust in the LORD as their God.
Transition to v.8
So I believe that David here in verses 6 & 7 refers to God revealing himself to Israel through the great deliverance out of Egypt. God reveals his power by delivering them from slavery and then he after delivering them he reveals his holiness through giving them his law. However the people end up breaking his law but after their disobedience God reveals his grace by proclaiming his name to Moses, which I believe David references in v.8.
The Exodus culminates with God revealing his name to Moses at Sinai. They offended his holiness by breaking his law and yet in Ex.34.5-8, God reveals himself as merciful. Moses prays for God to show him his glory so God shows his glory to Moses by proclaiming his Name. This would be the Name that Israel would come to know their God by. A God who is powerful and holy and yet merciful and gracious. This was the only reason why they could remain his people.
Transition to v.3-5 & 9-19
So as I said before v.6-8 David is calling to remembrance God’s great salvation of his people and revelation of himself as their God. After David does this he then recalls the benefits of God’s salvation for his people. Therefore v.3-5 & 9-19 flow from v.6-8. I’ll make some brief comments and clarifications as we read through this. (all diseases, children’s children’s)
Transition to gospel as fuel for worship
David recalls God’s great salvation and revelation of himself as the LORD God of Israel. Exodus becomes the main event in the history of Israel. All of Israel for generations would continually look back and remember the Exodus as Gods salvation for his people and great revelation of himself.
Thus David recalls all these things and it fueled David’s worship! But what does this have to do with the Gospel?
The Bible teaches us that the faithful in Israel would not only continually remember the Exodus as God’s saving work for his people but they would also look forward to a time where God would accomplish an even greater salvation for his people through the promised Messiah. All of this was just a shadow of the salvation to come through the messiah. The Exodus pointed to God’s salvation in Christ.
I believe David teaches us here that just as Israel was to remember God’s saving work for his people as a means of worship, we too as the church must continually remember God’s great work for us through Jesus the Messiah. We must continually remember the Gospel because it is our fuel for worship.
In v.6-10 we can see how all of this pointing to God’s salvation through Christ. The Bible teaches us that it is in Christ God ultimately reveals himself and saves his people. In fact in 2 Cor. 4.6, Paul says that God’s glory is revealed in the person of Jesus. In other words, the person and work of the Messiah is the ultimate salvation and revelation of God. Not only is God’s glory revealed in the Messiah but God’s glory in Christ shines brightest in the gospel. Think about it. V.6-8 is ultimately fulfilled in Christ. God’s glory in Christ shines brightest in the gospel because in the gospel we see the ultimate demonstration of God’s mercy, grace, and abundant of steadfast love. In verses 9-10, the LORD does not deal with us the way that we deserve. He does not repay us for what we’ve done. As the psalmist said if the LORD counted our iniquities who could stand before him. Praise God for the Gospel!
Verses 3-5 and 9-19 show us the benefits of God’s salvation that are true for us in Christ. In verses 3-5 we find that in Christ we are forgiven, healed, redeemed, crowned, and satisfied. We are forgiven of all our sin. Our immense debt and rebellion against God has been forgiven by God. We are healed from our sin sickness. All our wicked longings and our depravity has been healed and made new. We who once lived in the pit of sin under the dominion of our cruel masters of sin and Satan have been redeemed and transferred into the kingdom of light. We who are undeserving have been crowned with steadfast love and mercy all the days of our lives. God sets his steadfast love upon our lives like a crown upon our head. In Christ, God promises to satisfy us with goodness so that we are strengthened.
In v.9-19, we find four real life illustrations of God’s love his people. In v.11, we see the greatness of God’s love for us is likened to the height of heaven. Think about as you gaze up at the great height of Haleakala and realize that even at 10,000 ft above sea level it is not even close to being near the closest star in the sky. God wants you to know that in Christ his love is as high as the vast expanse between earth and the heavens. In v.12 the removal of our transgressions is likened to the distance between east and west. I was thinking about this as I was on the plane looking out the window and seeing the vast horizon. What David is saying here is that as you think about that vast distance, know that that is how far your sins have been removed. In v.13-14 David likens the compassion of God to that of a father. Look at the way the father treats his children with great compassion and understanding. In Christ that is how God relates to you. He loves and shows compassion as a father because he knows your frailty. In v.15-19 David likens the finiteness and frailty of man to that of a flower and contrasts that with the steadfast love of the eternal king. Our lives are short like that of a flower, we blossom and are gorgeous for a short time and then the wind blows upon us and we are gone. However, God as sovereign King is eternal and unchanging and his love and patience towards us is from everlasting to everlasting.
In summary, verses 1-2 show David calling his soul to worship. In verses 6-8 David remembers God’s salvation of his people and revelation of himself. In verses 3-5 and 9-19 David proclaims benefits of God’s salvation. All of this fuels his worship. Therefore we must 1) we must call our souls to worship, and 2) we must remember the gospel because it is the fuel for our worship.
Four brief reflections
1st this salvation and all its benefits are yours.
This is for a specific people. In v.11, it is for those who fear him, v.13 it is for those who fear him, v.17 it is for those who fear him, v.18 it is for those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. If you are in Christ, all of this is true for you. If you have repented of your sins and trusted in Jesus, you are one who fears and obeys the LORD. If this is you, rest assured that God’s salvation and all his benefits are yours in Christ.
2nd this salvation and all its benefits are not yours.
If you have not repented of your sins and trusted wholly in Jesus this is not yours. It does not matter if you are a member of this church, it doesn’t matter if you walked down an isle and prayed to ask Jesus in your heart, it doesn’t matter if your parents or grandparents are Christians. It doesn’t matter if your daddy’s a pastor. It does not matter. If you are loving your sin, running to your sin, enjoying your sin, if you could careless about the Gospel and this whole Jesus thing then you are not a true Christian.
This text should give you no comfort but rather cause you to tremble before the eternal King who will judge you. He will deal with you according to your sins. As Psalm 1 says you should kiss the Son lest you perish in your ways. Now is the day to weep and mourn over your sinfulness and run to Jesus whose life, death, and resurrection makes it possible for you to be forgiven and welcomed by God.
3rd allow this great salvation to define your church community.
If you have been freely forgiven then how can you also not freely forgive others? If you have been greatly forgiven and lavished with love how can you not also greatly forgive and lavish others with love? Allow the love shown to you in Christ should propel you to pursue and love one another with that same love.
4th allow this great salvation to motivate you to call others to worship.
As you think about how this great salvation stokes your heart for worship. Don’t just stop with calling your own soul to worship but call your family, your friends, your co-workers to worship our great and merciful God. David closes the Psalm by calling others to worship in v.20-22.