Sermon

God's Word Faithfully Preached from the Pulpit

The LORD Reigns (Psalm 93 and Mark 4:35-41)

Before we begin, let us pray.

God of life, your Spirit raised Jesus from dead. Your Spirit inspired the prophets and writers of Scripture. Your Spirit draws us to Christ  and helps us to acknowledge him as Lord.We ask that you will send your Spirit now to give us deeper insight, encouragement, faith, and hope through the proclamation of the Easter gospel. Amen.

Let us continue studying the Book of Psalms and specifically we will study Psalm 93.

Psalm 93 is a praise psalm. Unlike the Psalm we studied last Friday which is a lament that cries to God for help and vows to praise in return, a praise psalm simply praises God for who he is and what he has done. This psalm we are about study praises for his kingship over creation and new creation.

Psalm 93 is a part of a collection called the kingship pslams or specifically an enthronement psalm. One scholar believes these songs were sung during festival celebrations possibly the Feast of Booths or Tabernacle. The call “The LORD reigns” can be considered either a declaration of either a current or future state of affairs, and possibly both. The Lord reigns now and forever.

If  Psalm 93 is indeed used in festival gatherings then it may have been used in worship. This psalm is antiphonal and may have been used in responsorial reading. The shift between third person and second person subject signify this usage.

We use now proceed with the study of the whole texts expositionally and together learn how the God we worship is the Lord and king of this creation and more so in new creation.

The sermon Is divided into points: The LORD reigns: 1) In Creation; 2) In New Creation.

In Creation

Let us read the whole psalm:

The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty!

Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.

This a brief psalm but it is theologically packed and comphensive. It is composed of two major sections. The first section declares God as both the Creator and Ruler of all things. The second section assumes the full and yet despite ofit all, David proclaims God as holy and ruler not only in creation but more so in new creation or shorthand “forever”.  So this makes the scope of the psalm to go beyond redemption but to new creation.

Psalm 93 is actually eschatological. Eschaton as often understood as the doctrine of the last things meaning events happening in Christ’s Second Coming. However, this term also carries the meaning of telos or the end goal. And simply put, the end goal of Creation is New Creation in Christ.

To prove this from Scripture we know John recorded Jesus saying:

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end (eschaton).  – Revelation 22:13

Also, Paul referred to Christ as the eschaton Adam or the last Adam in 1 Corinthians 15:45:

Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;  the last (eschaton)Adam became a life-giving spirit.

What we are asserting here is that the psalm we are studying is eschatologically related to Christ.

How?

Verses 3-4 claim God has the power of the floods and waters. This carries two historical meaning. Let us discuss the first in relation to Creation and the second in New Creation later.

First, it refers to good creation of God. God establishes the bounds of all lands, water, and even the skies (Genesis 1). To assert that God is the God who controls the seas goes against Baal worship. It is a message against idolatry.

Mark’s gospel account of Jesus claiming divinity by calming seas alludes to Psalm 93 to prove the point.

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:35-41)

This proves Jesus possesses both the majesty and power of God himself. Jesus both the Creator and Ruler of all things. Paul clearly teaches this in Colossians 1:15-17:

He (Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Christianty worships the One True God. Our Triune God is only true God which makes all other gods as false gods. Our God is the Creator and Ruler of all things.

In New Creation

But the whole of creation was plunged into sin by the disobedience of the first (protos) Adam. And the floods from verses 3-4 reminds us of effects of sin in creation. The chaotic and disordering of the whole creation order is symbolic not only of the evil of sin but more so death. Genesis 6-9 remind us of the divine punishment of death because of sin and This pushes as to the realization of the eschatological fulfillment of the declaration: “The LORD reigns”. This means the end goal of creation is new creation.

But what is new creation?

Simply put, Christ is New creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He defeated sin and death which is the last (eschaton) enemy. At the cross, he died and paid the penalty of our sins, then he resurrected from the dead to inaugurate new creation. Jesus’resurrection is God’s answer to the flood. It points as to understand how God continues for rule over creation. He will bring everything to its consummated end.

How? By his word and Spirit.

Verses 5 declares: “Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.” The term ” decrees” narrowly as the Torah but generally speaking the “whole counsel of God”. It is the divinely inspired inerrant special revelation of the Word of God inscripturated. At the same time it comes by the holy character of God as the indwelling spirit. Simply put, it is referring to the Word and Spirit. Paul refers to it in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, “…because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction”.  The term full conviction are the response of faith and repentance of God’s people. It is the gratitude of faith responding in thankgiving and praise.

The roaring of the seas symbolic of the disordering work of the devil will soon get drowned (no pun intended) by roaring multitudes of the worshipping and the singing of God’s people of New Creation. John saw this vision in Revelation 19:6-8 in the heavens during the Marriage Feast of Christ and his bride, the church.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”

The worshipping multitudes in the heavens singing in unison with us here on earth. Every Lord’s Day gathering, we all hear God’s word and respond to him in praises and thanksgiving. And as a community of believers, let us continue to remind each of us here the privilege of worship. As Peter wrote:

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2: 4-5)

Conclusion

ZCRC(Imus), our Triune God is the Creator and Ruler all things. He rules and reigns in our midst through his church by his Word and spirit. Let us continue to praise Him and declare: “The LORD reigns”.

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