Our Favorite Psalms #10: God Wants His People to Rejoice!
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Jan. 15, 2012
BACKGROUND & INTRODUCTION:
*Does God want His people to rejoice?
-- Without a doubt, He does.
*The first time we ever see the word “rejoice” in the Bible is Exodus 18:9, “Then Jethro rejoiced for all the good which the Lord had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.”
*God uses this word “rejoice” 257 more times in the Bible.
Listen to a few examples:
-Deut 12: 7, “And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.”
-Psalm 20:5, “We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.”
-Psalm 33:1, “Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
-Psalm 105:3, “Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord.”
*And most famous, Phil 4:4, where the Apostle Paul said: “Rejoice in the Lord always.
Again I will say, rejoice!” -- God surely wants His people to rejoice.
*Imagine for a moment that you were on the game show “Deal or No Deal.”
You got down to two cases: one dollar and one million dollars.
You decide to go for it, and you won the million dollars!
-- How would you react?
*Would you say, “Oh well, thank you very much?” -- No way!
--You would shout with the greatest joy.
That’s the atmosphere of this great Psalm of celebration.
“Make joyful noise, make a joyful shout to the Lord!”
*That word “shout” or “noise” is an interesting word.
The original Hebrew word was “roo-ah'.”
The root word picture was to break or split something apart.
So this word “roo-ah'” meant “ear-splitting sound.”
And it sounds like a word made for shouting: ROO-AH’!
*It is the same word we see when Joshua fought the battle of Jericho.
Listen to Joshua 6:16&20:
And the seventh time it was so, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: "Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!”
So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets.
And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat.
Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
*“Make joyful noise, make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!” -- Same word.
*The great preacher Charles Spurgeon once explained the spirit of celebration in Psalm 100 this way: “Our happy God should be worshipped by a happy people.
A cheerful spirit is in keeping with his nature, his acts, and the gratitude which we should cherish for his mercies in every land. .
I. God surely wants His people to rejoice.
Psalm 100 tells us when and why.
1. First: Rejoice when you serve.
As we see in vs. 2: “Serve the Lord with gladness!”
*In 2 Thess 3:13, Paul tells believers not to “grow weary in doing good.”
But sometimes we do.
Don’t give in to that.
Trust God to renew your strength, and serve the Lord with gladness.
*In the early 2000’s, Martin & Gracia Burnham were American missionaries serving in the Philippines.
On May 27, 2001, Martin & Gracia were kidnapped by Islamic terrorists.
At the time, they were visiting a resort, celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary.
The couple was held for ransom for more than a year.
On June 7, 2002, a Philippine army unit moved in to rescue the hostages.
Martin was killed by a stray bullet and Gracia was wounded.
*At Martin’s memorial service, it was reported that the last thing the couple did before the raid was to pray together.
Martin told his wife, “We might not leave this jungle alive, but at least we can leave this world serving the Lord with gladness.
We can serve Him right here, where we are, and with gladness.”
*Surely we too can serve the Lord with gladness right here, where we are.
-Rejoice when you serve.
2. And rejoice when you sing.
Again in vs. 2: “Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.”
*God wants us to come before His presence overflowing with joy, as we sing praises to Him.
Yes, there is a place in worship for other emotions.
But we can’t leave out the joy.
God wants to see obvious joy in our singing to Him.
-Rejoice when you sing.
And in vs. 4, rejoice when you step closer to the Lord: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
*In the Temple, there was a court for the Gentiles, a court for the Jewish women, and a court for the Jewish men.
Each court was closer to the Holy of Holies, and thereby, closer to the Lord.
But there was only so far you could go as a Gentile, as a woman, as a man or as a priest.
Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and only once a year.
*But all of those barriers were broken down when Jesus died on the cross.
God even tore open the curtain to the Holy of Holies to show us that now we all have access to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ.
-God wants us to seek His face.
God wants us to get closer and closer to Him.
-And God wants us to overflow with joy, as we get closer to Him.
*Rejoice when you serve, when you sing, and when you step closer to God.
That’s when to rejoice.
But if your joy level is low tonight, God also gives us some great reasons why to rejoice.
1. First: Rejoice over our creation by God.
-- In vs. 3, “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.”
*Think about the wonders of God’s creation.
He was able to create it all with just a few words!
And the vast reaches of the universe are nothing to Him.
*A Navigator writer showed us the awesomeness of our Creator God this way.
He matched scientific measurements with some statements about God in Isaiah 40:12.
-The oceans of the world contain more than 340 quintillion gallons of water, yet God holds them “in the hollow of his hand.”
-The earth weighs 6 sextillion metric tons, yet to God all that is like “dust on the scales.”
-The known universe stretches more than 150 billion light years but God measures it by the width of his hand.
*On top of all this, scientists claim there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe.
Our own Milky Way galaxy alone contains 200 billion stars.
And the nearby Andromeda galaxy has a trillion stars.
But Isaiah 40:26 tells us that God calls each star by name.
*But God didn’t just create this amazing universe.
-- He created you!
He didn’t have to do that, you know.
He didn’t have to make you.
But He did -- rejoice!