Psalm 92 How Great Are Your Works A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath. (1) It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; (2) to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, (3) to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. (4) For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. (5) How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! (6) The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: (7) that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; (8) but you, O LORD, are on high forever. (9) For behold, your enemies, O LORD, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. (10) But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; you have poured over me fresh oil. (11) My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants. (12) The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. (13) They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. (14) They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, (15) to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. ESV
In the New King James Version of the Bible, Psalm 92 is titled: Praise to the LORD for His Love and Faithfulness. A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath day. The New American Standard Bible titles it: Praise for the LORD’s Goodness. A Psalm, a Song for the Sabbath day.
No author is mentioned. It’s interestingly that some have speculated that Adam actually wrote (or composed) this, but there is no proof of that. God revealed the Sabbath to Moses, so I’m unsure how some could believe Adam wrote it from the garden of Eden. Some commentators believe Moses wrote it; others are certain that the prose fits David. But again, God chose to leave the “who wrote it” a mystery.
What we do know is that this song has been sung on the Sabbath for thousands of years. This song is a beautiful poem of rest and peace and joy found in the goodness of God.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by a ten stringed instrument, a harp, and the melody of the lyre. Psalm 92:1-3 NLT
Give thanks to the Lord. Praise the Most High God. We proclaim your unfailing (hesed) love in the morning when we wake and by the evening we are still singing of your faithfulness. All day long we praise the Lord with our voices and musical instruments.
That is the Sabbath. In the book of Exodus, the Israelites were wandering in the desert. They were lost and afraid and beginning to doubt the Lord and His promises. He fed them every day, from the sky. He sent meat when they were hungry for meat. He sent bread every morning, enough for everyone. But they doubted. So what did God do about their disbelief and their grumbling and complaining?
He told them, "This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the Lord. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow." Exodus 16:23 NLT
God commanded His people to rest, and on that day of rest they were to give thanks and praise Him. That is all. We no longer live under this commandment, but we should still live by this example. The day of rest, the Sabbath, is our day for the Lord. It is our day to recoup, to rest, and to remember. To sing of His unfailing love in the morning and His faithfulness at night. The Israelites doubted and grumbled about God while wondering in the wilderness, so He told them to take a break for the day. And on that day, all they were to do was rest and remember His goodness.
How many of us grumble about our hour and a half spent at church on Sundays?
You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. Psalm 92:4 NLT
Sometimes we read these stories of the grumblings of the Israelites and think, “how could they?” God literally dropped food from the sky for them! He gave meat even, and they didn’t have to hunt for it. How could they grumble? He had saved them from slavery!
When we feel like grumbling about our Sabbath day, let’s remember this verse. We think the day of rest belongs to us, “It is my day to rest and do what I want.” No, it is the day we are called to slow down and remember what God has done. Sing for joy because of what He has done for you and for me!
O LORD, what great works you do! And how deep are your thoughts. Only a simpleton would not know, and only a fool would not understand this: though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. Psalm 92:5-7 NLT
The Good News Bible translation says this:
How great are your actions, LORD! How deep are your thoughts! This is something a fool cannot know; a stupid person cannot understand: the wicked may grow like weeds, those who do wrong may prosper; yet they will be totally destroyed Psalm 92:5-7 GNB
The wicked may prosper and spread like weeds. But take heart, they, like weeds, will be destroyed.
Then the promise is found in verse 8:
But You, LORD, are on high forevermore. NKJV But You, O Lord, will be exalted forever. NLT . . . because You, LORD, are supreme forever. GNB
But You, LORD, are on high forevermore: In contrast to the wicked who have only temporary prosperity, God is set on high forevermore. His enemies shall perish and all the wicked shall be scattered.Pastor David Guzik, http://www.enduringword.com
Your enemies, LORD, will surely perish; all evildoers will be scattered. But you will have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents. Psalm 92:9-11 NLT
The psalmist finds joy in God’s promise that He will prevail. All knees shall bow in heaven and on earth. It will happen. God is faithful. He has been faithful, and He always will be. If we believe this, then we know that He will triumph over all and someday everyone everywhere throughout time will answer to Him.
The psalmist takes a moment to boast that he has seen his enemies fall. He has seen God move against them. Of course, most of us cannot say that we’ve seen the fall of evil. Evil is real and present and active in this world, all around us. Sometimes bad loses and good wins, but not often. Evil flourishes here . . . for a time.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NIV
We may not see prosperity or justice, but we know it will happen. How do we know this? Because God said so, over and over again, and the things that God has said will happen have already started happening. Nothing happens in this world without His knowledge. He sees. He knows. He will act against all the wrong committed to His children throughout time. But He will do so at the right time, and only He knows what that time will be.
On a side note, sometimes these verses of promised vengeance are hard for those of who have the gift of empathy and mercy and want to believe the good in all. However, and thankfully so, it is not up to us. God sees the heart of men. The decision is His.
Terrible as this fact is, no true hearted heart would wish to have it otherwise. Treason against the great Monarch of the universe ought not to go unpunished; such wanton wickedness richly merits the severest doom.Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892
But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD's own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, "The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!" Psalm 92:12-15 NLT
The wicked man “flourishes” for a time. But the children of God will flourish abundantly, like palm trees and the mighty cedars of Lebanon! Palm trees grow tall and strong in the desert. They stand proud like a sentinel reaching toward the sun. A beautiful metaphor of God’s children growing and growing and reaching toward Him.
The cedar trees of Lebanon were known for their size, strength, durability, beauty, and usefulness. The blessings to come upon the righteous bring the same attributes.Pastor David Guzik, http://www.enduringword.com
These strong and mighty and enduring trees will be moved into the house of the Lord, into the courts of our God. And even as the trees age, they will still grow and fruit and forever remain young. They will forever sing of the Lord’s faithfulness and love.
As David saw the Ark of the Covenant come into Jerusalem, he and all the people sang these words:
Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Tell all the nations, "The LORD reigns!" Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he is coming to judge the earth. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:31-34 NLT
Father in heaven, thank you for this psalm. Thank you for the treasure of your word. We praise you today and we thank you for your faithfulness and your promises. We declare your steadfast love in the morning and your faithfulness in the evening. You are good and your love endures forever. Make us like the palm trees and the mighty cedars of Lebanon. Amen.