Singing To The Lord

Bible Book: Psalms  147
Subject: Praise; Greatness of God; Thanksgiving; Singing; Worship
[Editor's Note: This sermon is not directly related to Thanksgiving Day, but it can be adapted for that purpose very easily, as you can see as you read it.]
Introduction

Tonight we are going to look at seven reasons to praise the Lord in song, prayer and through our lives. Certainly one way we praise God and communicate to Him is through singing. Did you know that when we sing to the Lord we are simply doing what he tells us to do? We read in Colossians 3:17 these words, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

At the website www.moresingingplease.com I read that there are twelve physical benefits to singing:

1. Singing exercises our lungs. It tones up our intercostal muscles and our diaphragm.
2. It can improve our sleep
3. We benefit our hearts and circulation by improving our aerobic capacity and we decrease muscle tension.
4. Our facial muscles get toned.
5. Our posture improves.
6. We can become more mentally alert.
7. Sinuses and respiratory tubes are opened up more
8. With careful training recent evidence suggests that it can help decrease the problem of snoring.
9. There is a release of pain relieving endorphins.
10. Our immune system is given a boost enabling us to fight disease.
11. It can help reduce anger and depression and anxiety
12. Use of music can help people to regain balance if affected by illness such as Parkinson’s disease

For the Christian, however, singing benefits us in more than just our physical well-being. Praising God in song has a tremendous affect upon our personal lives, but it also communicates the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who hear us.

Note Acts 16:25: “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” You surely remember the story and recall that the jailer at Philippi was saved that night. An earthquake occurred as Paul and Silas were singing, and the jailer was ready to take his own life with a sword. The jailer knew that if the prisoners escaped he would be subjected torture and death, so he was ready to end his life and avoid the humiliation, torture and death at the hands of the his fellow Romans. Paul stopped the jailer and through the personal witness of Paul and Silas the jailer and his entire family were saved. It all started when two faithful servants of God were singing instead of grumbling in a jail cell.

Singing to the Lord encourages us and grants us divine strength. Look at Psalm 59:16,

“But I will sing of Your power;

Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning;

For You have been my defense

And refuge in the day of my trouble.”

Singing reminds our hearts and minds that God has been with us in the times of trouble and He will be with us now. In fact, in Zephaniah 3:17 we are told that God is in our midst and will rejoice over us with singing.

So, tonight I want us to share a brief but important message on singing to the Lord and I am pointing out seven reasons to sing to the Lord found in Psalm 147.

I. Sing to Him because He is a Builder

Psalm 147:1-2

"Praise the LORD!

For it is good to sing praises to our God;

For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

The LORD builds up Jerusalem;

He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.”

We sing to the Lord because He is a builder. Just look at the Universe in all its glory. Scientist continue to search for the source of all that exists, and yet we are told clearly that our God created it all. His handiwork calls upon us to praise Him in song. During the Fall Season, we gaze upon the leaves in glorious multicolored glory and note that God designed the beauty of the earth for our enjoyment and to prompt us to joyful singing in His presence.

He built the Nation of Israel, and established the great City of Jerusalem. The Jewish people living in Israel today is nothing short of a divine miracle that began following WWII. The City of Jerusalem reminds us of the New Jerusalem described in the Book of Revelation, a city coming down out of heaven! Let us rejoice in our Lord for the glory of the old and new Jerusalem.

Above all, He built His Church. We read in Matthew 16:18 the words of Jesus, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (NKJV)” Satanic powers have sought to destroy the Church of our Lord since the beginning, but instead the Lord’s people keep breaking through the gates of hell and bringing out captives who come to trust the Lord. No wonder churches are known for their singing, for we raise up our song to the Captain of our Salvation!

He is still building! He is preparing a place for all of us who are saved. We read in John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (NKJV)” Yes, He is still building!

We can sing to our Lord because He is a builder and what He builds, He owns and controls. If we sang only for the reason found in this one point, we could sing for eternity, but note another reason we sing to Him...

II. Sing to Him because He is a Healer

Psalm 147:3

“He heals the brokenhearted

And binds up their wounds.”

I have often been asked if I believe that God heals. Why, how can anyone doubt that He does? First and foremost, He designed you with healing in your very nature. Your body is a healing factory. If God removed your immune system, you would die within hours, days or week. Your body is constantly healing you of life-threatening diseases. A story from China recently emerged regarding the modifying of human genes so that the natural defences of the body can be super-charged. Early studies show that doing so causes the body to attack cancer anywhere in the body. In other words, we have a healing God already at work in us!

God also steps in at times to heal beyond our bodies natural gifts. Listen to what the Bible says in James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” The gift of modern medicine is a gift from God. Yes, wonderful people devote their lives to discovering how our bodies work and how to devise medicines and machines to help us heal or stay well. Isn’t it interesting that all the chemicals needed for every medicine on earth have always been here? All we needed to do was discover them, or combine elements to create them. We don’t make anything new, we just use what God has given us to create what is needed.

Then, on occasion, God steps in to heal by His own hand. Within His will and by His power, He at times directly superimposes a miracle of healing upon a life. I don’t have time to tell you tonight, but some of you know my story. At the young age of thirty-two I was diagnosed with cancer. The surgery was done and the doctor was surprised to find only tissue – no cancer. I have been preaching forty years since that day! Yes, yes! I believe in divine healing.

His greatest healing is that of healing us of our sins. The Bible often refers to that subject often. It will have to wait for another sermon to go into it fully, but every person in this room who is saved has experienced the greatest healing possible – the healing of a sin-sick soul. And, anyone here who is unsaved, be assured that the Healer is ready to forgive and cleanse you if you will but come by faith to His Son, Jesus Christ.

III. Sing to Him because He is All-Knowing

“Psalm 147:4-5

He counts the number of the stars;

He calls them all by name.

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;

His understanding is infinite.”

He knows exactly how many stars are in the heavens and has a name for every one of them. Just think about that! Recently NASA announced that there are millions of galaxies in the heavens that were unknown to us until a telescope revealed many of them. Each galaxy contains billions of stars. Dear child of God, we have no idea how many stars exist in the heavens. We don’t know how many universes exist beyond our own. God knows each galaxy, every universe and every star by name!

When you think of His knowledge, it should not surprise you that He knows you personally and cares about you. He knows your name and the number of hairs on your head. Who knows, he may even have a name for every hair on your head.

What does our text say? His understanding is infinite. There are no surprises for our Lord. He knows the past, the present and the future. Sing to Him! Honor Him! Praise Him for His great wisdom and understanding.

IV. Sing to Him Because He Is A Sustainer

Psalm 147”6-11

“The LORD lifts up the humble;

He casts the wicked down to the ground.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;

Sing praises on the harp to our God,

Who covers the heavens with clouds,

Who prepares rain for the earth,

Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.

He gives to the beast its food,

And to the young ravens that cry.

He does not delight in the strength of the horse;

He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.

The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him,

In those who hope in His mercy.”

We read here that God sustains His creation. In each apple, there are enough seeds for an entirely new orchard. Bees make much more honey than they can possibly ever use. There is enough pollen in each tree to start a forest larger than the one the tree stands in. God loves to go overboard when He makes things and supplies their needs.

God has created a world where no one needs to be hungry. It is man who causes starvation. It is politics and selfishness that cause little children to go to sleep crying for food at night all over this world. Much of the food sent by America to poor nations is absconded by political leaders and sold in order to gain wealth for themselves. God made a world in which all we need is available if only we can bring ourselves to know Him, love Him, follow Him, and act toward each other the way He demands.

This passage tells us that God takes no pleasure in the “legs” of a man. That means that God is not impressed with our wealth, accomplishments or strength. It is He who sustains us and He to whom we must sing!

V. Sing to Him because He is a Protector

Psalm 147:12-14

“Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!

Praise your God, O Zion!

For He has strengthened the bars of your gates;

He has blessed your children within you.

He makes peace in your borders,

And fills you with the finest wheat.”

In Deuteronomy 31:6 we read, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” We do not have to live in fear, for our Lord never, ever, leaves His own! Those who trust Him have His protection.

He holds us in His hand.

He keeps the enemy from gaining the victory over us.

He gives us what we need so we do not have to go out into the world to find satisfaction. The wheat within our walls will satisfy us. This speaks of God's ability to protect us and meet our needs. Sadly, mandy people are singing the blues because they go "outside the walls" to find what is available in their own backyard. Lust, greed, selfishness, and envy drive many to seek joy and in the end takes all the joy of God from them.

This subject is so rich that we could spend an entire sermon series digging into it, but let us tonight renew our hearts to sing to the Lord because He is our provider and protector!

VI. Sing to Him because He is a Commander

Psalm 147:15-18

“He sends out His command to the earth;

His word runs very swiftly.

He gives snow like wool;

He scatters the frost like ashes;

He casts out His hail like morsels;

Who can stand before His cold?

He sends out His word and melts them;

He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.”

He speaks with the voice of authority. He can order the snow one day and melt it the next. Interestingly, it was said of Jesus that He spoke as one having authority. Indeed, that is the way God speaks.

He calls to each heart and calls us to come to Christ for salvation.

He calls to each Christian and tells us to come to Him so we can take His yoke upon us and have His rest.

He commands each believer to go into all the world to share the good news and to bring people to faith and discipleship.

Sing to Him! He called you and He blesses you with His voice!

VII. Sing to Him because He is a Revealer

Psalm 147:19-20

“He declares His word to Jacob,

His statutes and His judgments to Israel.

He has not dealt thus with any nation;

And as for His judgments, they have not known them.

Praise the LORD!”

We close with the truth that He declares His Word to His people. He speaks and works! His Word is the only real, lasting and forever truth in this world. You can trust it. You can believe it. You can share it.

Conclusion

We have covered a lot of ground tonight, but remember how we began this message. The Psalmist declared, “I will sing to the Lord.” Sometimes you see people in worship who stand during the singing and simply shift from one foot to the other and never lift a voice of song to the Lord. Perhaps they feel that they can’t sing well enough to join in. Listen to me! The Lord hears you and He loves to hear you sing. When He hears you, He doesn’t hear the cacophony of sound that some of us hear from our own voices. He delights in your singing. Why?

In singing to the Lord you:

Declare His glory,

Reaffirm your faith,

Develop your soul,

Energize your body,

Spread His truth,

Encourage fellow believers,

Strengthen your resolve,

Worship your Savior,

Edify your heart, and

Obey His Word!

We are going to sing right now and you can renew your commitment to Him in these moments. Sing with your whole heart to the Lord. As you sing, listen for the voice of the Lord to call you to a greater commitment, devotion, love and obedience.

Perhaps someone in this very service has never trusted Jesus as your Savior. Turn from you sin, place your faith in the Son of God who died for you at Calvary and come during this song to express believing, saving faith in Him.

Psalm 147 begins with the words, "Praise the Lord." Did you notice that it ends with the very same word? "Praise the Lord."

Psalm 95:1 declares:

“O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD,

Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.”

So, let us sing and you respond and God speaks to you.