I simply remember my favourite things, and then I don’t feel so bad

Sermon on April 2 by by Dr. Jonathan Bayes, UK Executive Director for Carey Outreach Ministries

Scripture: Psalm 113

This is a Psalm of praise, one of eight which starts and finishes with Praise the LORD!
The Hebrew word for ‘praise’ is halal, from which we get ‘Hallelujah’: it has to do with boasting.
Verses 1-3 teach [1] that praising is service; [2] that the LORD’s name is the reason for praise; [3] that God should be (and will be) praised always; [4] that God should be (and will be) praised everywhere.
The Psalm points us to two main reasons for praising the LORD

  1. His magnificent glory
    1) God is above all nations – v. 4a
    2) God is higher than the heavens – v.4b
    3) God is beyond our imagination – vv.5-6

He is the Most High – nothing can exceed him. He has to humble himself to see what is in heaven, let alone what is on earth: the people at Babel overlooked this fact (Genesis 11:4-5).
Beware of having too small an idea of God: his greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3); the highest heavens cannot contain him (1 Kings 8:27). He fills heaven and earth, he is near at hand, but is also afar off (Jeremiah 23:23-24).

2. His astonishing humility

1) Its expression

a. The glory of Christ’s divine person

He is greater than the temple (Matthew 12:6), greater than Jonah and Solomon (Matthew 12:41-42), greater than Jacob (John 4:12), greater than Abraham (John 8:53).
He is great because he is the Son of the highest (Luke 1:32). He is our great God and Saviour (Titus 2:13).

b. The humility of Christ’s incarnation

– He humbled himself to the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8)

2) Its purpose

a. To make the poor his princes

i. Life on the ash heap
ii. From the dump to the throne (Ephesians 2:6)

b. To make the barren joyful

i. Experiences of barrenness
ii. At home with God (John 14:23) – in his presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11)

At the Last Supper Jesus sang this Psalm (Mark 14:26), and went on to fulfil it.

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