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Saturday, July 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 92

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verses 1-5


Those who have seen the perishableness of man (Psalm 90) and have been given an eye for the Messiah (Psalm 91), for that man the Sabbath rest dawns (Psalm 92). About the meaning of the Sabbath rest we read in Hebrews 3 and 4. On that day he praises the lovingkindness, chesed, and faithfulness of the LORD. Psalm 92 shows us prophetically what is found in the heart of the believing remnant. They are “the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Revelation 14:4). They have seen Christ in Psalm 91 and have become followers of Him, just like the Lord’s disciples in the Gospels.

Division of the psalm

The psalm has the stylistic figure of a chiasm, which is a stylistic figure consisting of a repetition with a reversal. This chiasm – we can also speak of a ‘pyramid form’ – at the same time gives the layout of the psalm:

A. The work of redemption is accomplished (Psalms 92:1-Numbers :).
---B. The consequences for the antichrist and his followers (Psalms 92:5-Judges :).
------C. The Most High is the eternal LORD (Psalms 92:8).
---B. The consequences for the hostile nations (Psalms 92:9-1 Kings :).
A. The consequences of the work of redemption for believers (Psalms 92:12-Ezra :).

We see that through this figure of speech, attention falls on the middle verse:
“But You, O LORD, are on high forever” (Psalms 92:8).
The glorification of God is the purpose of creation. Because of sin, man falls short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Salvation results in God being glorified beyond measure!

It Is Good to Give Thanks to the LORD

This “psalm” is also “a song”, which underscores its character as a song of giving thanks. It is impossible to view the glory of the Lord Jesus in a cold, sober, distant manner. Every aspect of God’s glory that is taken into the heart will bring thanksgiving and worship. We see that here with the faithful remnant of Israel. See also at Psalm 65:1.

It is the only psalm that has in its heading “for the Sabbath day”. The Sabbath is the weekly day of rest (Exodus 20:8-1 Kings :). God gave that day to His people to remember especially on that day that He rested from His work of creation (Genesis 2:2) and that redemption is also entirely His work (Deuteronomy 5:12-Ezra :). The Sabbath day is the day of rest of God’s creative work. Its full realization is the thousand-year realm of peace, which is the Sabbath of God’s work of redemption (Hebrews 4:9).

Resting on the Sabbath day means acknowledging that God is the origin of all things. Then the God-fearing Jew renounces all his own interests to think only of God and give thanks to Him for Who He is and what He has done. This will be the occupation in the realm of peace, which may well be called the millennial Sabbath.

The Sabbath is not meant to be a day of rest only in the sense that no work is done. Rest does not mean doing nothing. Rest means that the work is accomplished and as a result there is praise, giving thanks and worship. God also wants His people to praise Him on that day and also come together for it (Leviticus 23:3). According to God’s original intention, the Sabbath is not a burden, but a delight. That intention will be enjoyed by God’s people in the realm of peace.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews makes it clear to the Jewish believers, who are a type of the faithful remnant, that for the people of God the Sabbath rest means entering into the rest of God. To enter into the rest of God requires obedience of faith (Hebrews 3:18-Psalms :). Looking to the Lord Jesus gives so much comfort and encouragement that the believing remnant praises and give thanks to the LORD. In the realm of peace they will have entered into the rest of God.

It is not just right or justified, but “it is good to give thanks to the LORD” (Psalms 92:1). Literally it says: “Good it is to give thanks to the LORD.” This makes it clear that the emphasis is on the word “good”. This is consistent with what the Lord Jesus says in John 4: “The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 4:23). Good also implies lovely and pleasing (Psalms 147:1).

It is a good activity and it has a good effect. Thanksgiving is to the glory of God and makes us happy and gives us peace. It is not only an obligation, but a desire. Above all, there is the desire of God Himself to be given thanks and praised. He is enthroned upon the praises of Israel (Psalms 22:3). The LORD is worthy of being given thanks; He has done countless things worthy of thanksgiving. Who He is and what He has done gives substance in abundance to praise Him.

His “name” expresses perfectly Who He is. As we see more of that – for us to that the Father’s Name is added – we will sing praises to that “name”. The name “Most High” is God’s name, or the name of the Messiah, in the realm of peace, where He will reign as the Most High over all the works of God’s hands. That great Sabbath will be full of the singing of psalms to His glory because He has fulfilled all His promises.

It is good at the beginning of each new day or new period, “in the morning”, to “declare” God’s “lovingkindness” (Psalms 92:2). “In the morning” we can apply to the realm of peace. It is the “morning without clouds” of which David speaks (2 Samuel 23:4). The morning is the end of the night. Here it speaks of the new covenant on the basis of the blood of Christ, the blood of the new covenant (Matthew 26:28). That is the foundation of the lovingkindness of God, the rich blessing of God on the basis of the covenant love of God.

All the mercy, love, care, all His wonders and all His acts in favor of them in the past will be declared, or proclaimed, throughout the Sabbath of the realm of peace (Psalms 136:1-Ezekiel :). We can also apply this to our lives, in which that morning has arrived through the coming of the Lord Jesus into our lives. We can continually sing of His lovingkindness, chesed, His favors (Psalms 89:2).

When morning has passed and the day is over, evening falls and night comes. We look back on the day and can then praise His faithfulness. At the end of the day we will testify to the faithfulness of God, Who has not been unfaithful for a moment. The thanksgiving takes place throughout the day. In the sacrifices it is expressed by the daily burnt offering which is offered twice a day: in the morning and in the evening (Exodus 29:38-Luke :).

If we apply the night to our lives, there can be nights in life, times when everything seems dark and hopeless. Then it is good to think of His faithfulness. He is and remains faithful even when we are going through a difficult time. When we think of His faithfulness, a song of thanksgiving comes into our hearts in the midst of the difficulties.

When giving thanks, singing psalms and declaring, various musical instruments are used (Psalms 92:3). They do not drown out the singing, but accompany the singing with melodious music. It is not about the melody but about the words (cf. Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).

What the LORD has done is a continual source of joy (Psalms 92:4). By this, above all, are meant His deeds in redemption. As a result, entering into His rest has become possible. When we see that, we are gladdened by it. The same applies to the “works of Your hands”. Except in the work of redemption, we also see them in creation as a whole. We see them in all His ordinances, everything He instituted at creation, such as marriage and the family. He upholds it. About that we may sing joyfully.

We come to the exclamation: “How great are Your works, O LORD!” (Psalms 92:5; cf. Isaiah 28:29; Romans 11:33-Nahum :). His works are the outworking of His thoughts. His works make His thoughts known. We see this in the work of redemption and in the work of judgment that He exercises over the wicked and the antichrist.

All His deeds and works refer to Him, Who with all His deeds and works carries out a plan devised by Him. His thoughts are unfathomable by man, for they “are very deep” (cf. Job 11:7; Psalms 40:6; 1 Corinthians 2:11). We, New Testament believers, can come to know His thoughts through His Spirit Whom He has given us (1 Corinthians 2:9-2 Samuel :; 1 Corinthians 2:12).

Verses 6-11

God’s Enemies Perish

“A senseless man”, the man who does not know God, as the animals do not know God, “has no knowledge” (Psalms 92:6). “Nor does a stupid man”, or a fool, the man who says there is no God, “understand this.” Here we are talking about the antichrist, the man who exalts himself as god (2 Thessalonians 2:4). He is the senseless man (singular) and the stupid man. Such a man is blind to all the deeds and works of God. He, in his senselessness and foolishness, passes them by carelessly and even mockingly, while the God-fearing one is deeply impressed by them and praises God for them.

Those who lack the fear, the awe, of God, lack the understanding of God’s actions. This is what the wicked, that are the followers of the antichrist, will experience first hand (Psalms 92:7). They seem to prosper, they “sprouted up like grass, and all who did iniquity flourished” (cf. Psalms 90:5-Joshua :; Psalms 73:3-2 Kings :). They do not know and do not understand that the only thing that wrongdoing ends in is to “be destroyed forevermore” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Their prosperity in this life will not continue into eternity, but will undergo a dramatic change (Psalms 73:18-:).

Opposed to the senseless man, the stupid man, and the wicked, all of whom will be swept away forever after a brief sojourn on earth, is “the LORD … on high forever” (Psalms 92:8). “On high” here is the translation of marom, which means exalted, that is, in heaven. His supreme authority never comes to an end. Always He will maintain His place as Supreme. This verse is the climax of the psalm.

This will be demonstrated, among other things, by the perishing of hostile nations (Psalms 92:9). The God-fearing one points out to the LORD His enemies. Twice the psalmist says to the LORD “for, behold, Your enemies”, which prophetically are the Assyrians (Isaiah 10:5) led by the king of the north. They live in rebellion against God and want to harm His people. There is no doubt in His mind that they will perish. They will have no chance to disrupt God’s plans (Psalms 2:4).

Also, God will everywhere scatter “all who do iniquity”. Here we see God acting. He scatters the wrongdoers, He chases them on the run, everywhere. They often operate in gangs and then feel capable of doing great things. But they will be defeated and dispersed in all directions and come to places in solitude where they will perish in their misery.

Psalms 92:10 begins with the word “but”, indicating that a contrast with the preceding follows. How very different are God’s dealings with the God-fearing. The God-fearing is aware of this. He says in faith: “You have exalted my horn like [that of] the wild ox.” The horn is a symbol of strength (Psalms 89:17). The wild ox (Psalms 22:21) is also known for its indomitable strength (Job 39:12-1 Chronicles :). It is an empowering image of the power God gives to the righteous. It points to the exalted place of the righteous: he will no longer be trampled, but will reign (cf. Zechariah 12:5-Joshua :).

In doing so, the righteous one says that he is “anointed with fresh oil”. There is an abundance of oil. He is not merely anointed with oil (Psalms 23:5), but poured over with it (cf. Isaiah 32:15). It is also “fresh” oil. It speaks of a renewal, of a new position and a new situation. It also speaks of purity and brilliance. The whole appearance is beneficent to behold. In doing so, the focus is not on the righteous, but on Him from Whom the oil comes: God.

Oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:28). Fresh oil – that is, the pure, first-pressed oil, also called anointing oil, used to anoint the high priest and priests, kings and prophets, and for sacrifices – reminds us of the “renewing by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:6). The outward power (the horn and the wild ox) comes from within, where renewal has taken place. The renewal of the Holy Spirit means the renewal because of the Holy Spirit, the renewal that emanates from Him and is wrought by Him (cf. Ezekiel 36:25-Daniel :).

From that new position, the righteous will behold with his eye the fall of his foes, or those who lie in wait for me (Psalms 92:11; Isaiah 66:24). The foes are people who, from an invisible place, are stalking him in order to attack him unexpectedly as soon as they see an opportunity to do so. The roles will be reversed and he will see how they fall. He will also hear with his ears what happens to the evildoers. God reckons with his foes and evildoers.

Verses 12-15

Flourishing and Yielding Fruit

When the wicked and enemies are cut down like grass, it is time for blessing for the righteous (Psalms 92:12; Psalms 1:3). In contrast to the wicked who are like grass and have been cut down, he “will flourish like the palm tree”. The branches of the palm tree symbolize victory (Matthew 21:8) and the cedar symbolizes stateliness (Isaiah 37:24). The palm tree and the cedar are stately trees that remain evergreen. The palm tree grows in the wilderness and the cedar in the mountains.

A palm tree grows straight up. Thus, the righteous will flourish and grow up because he has received life from God and has been planted in His house and in the courts thereof (Psalms 92:13; Jeremiah 17:7-Ruth :). It is, of course, imagery. It means that the righteous may have daily fellowship with Him Who dwells in His house in the midst of His people. The courts are the places of the temple where the common people may also come. They speak of daily life.

In God’s house there is no aging process. Those planted in it do not cease to yield fruit in old age, but continue to do so (Psalms 92:14; cf. Psalms 52:8). Nor does their fruit wither, but remains fresh and green (cf. Isaiah 40:30-Obadiah :). They don’t keep telling stories from the old box, but give a new, fresh harvest each time. The outer man is decaying, but the inner man is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).

In the beginning of the psalm, in Psalms 92:2, the psalmist declares the lovingkindness of the LORD in the morning. Here, in his old age, the righteous one continues to yield fruit in declaring “that the LORD is upright” (Psalms 92:15). For this he remains fresh and green. He remains fresh and green because the LORD is his rock, his strength (Deuteronomy 32:4; Deuteronomy 32:15). He confesses that he owes this to Him and His unchanging power.

He declares that “the LORD is upright” and that “there is no unrighteousness in Him”. It is a double declaration of His absolute incorruptibility. Therefore, He is completely trustworthy. ‘True’ in Hebrew is yashar and means straight or right. He is straight in His words and His works. He is straight as far as His Person is concerned. Therefore, there can never be injustice in Him.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 92". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/psalms-92.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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