The inscription of Psalm 92 declares it to be a song for the Sabbath day. It was sung to direct the worshipper’s mind upward to God with a spirit of thankfulness. Though the author is unknown, many ascribe the psalm to David as one can readily see his life unfold throughout these verses.
The theme of the psalm is found in the first two verses. Three avenues of thankfulness are mentioned. First, the reciter of this psalm is encouraged to “give thanks to the Lord” (1). How often do we as God’s children go into the throne room of the Father and thank Him for our daily bread, our earthly provisions and spiritual blessings?
Second, singing praises to His name is a means of giving thanks (1). Christians likewise are to be “…speak(ing) to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Eph. 5:19-20). David said, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised…” (Ps. 18:13). How likely are we to use the means of singing to praise our God?
Third, the singer of this psalm is encouraged to “declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night” (2). The word “declare” means to “show forth, tell or make known”. What is one to “make known”? Two things from this verse are found: God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness. When are these attributes of God to be made known? “Morning” and “Evening” (2). How often do we as Christians find ourselves making known to others God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness? That is a challenge for us all, is it not?
The psalmist’s thankfulness is based upon the workings of God. References to God’s works are mentioned three times in verses four and five. The entirety of Psalm 8 is a testimony to God’s workings. Verse one states, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens!” Likewise, the study of God’s hand in the affairs of men to bring into the world our Savior Jesus Christ is truly awe-inspiring.
In order to praise God with one’s whole heart, people must open their eyes and see what God has done. Forgetful hearers will never arise to the full heights of praise they are capable of offering. Thus, the psalmist states, “A senseless man does not know, nor does a fool understand this” (6). Only the wise man with the understanding of what God has done will offer praise that is acceptable to Him.
The psalmist then focuses on two areas that should cause us to garner praise. First, God’s dealings with the wicked should garner praise (7-11). Even though the wicked and workers of iniquity seem to prosper and though they seem to be rewarded for their evil doings, God has a way of turning things back upon their heads. God’s providential hand is awesome as it works in the affairs of men.
God’s work in the matters of the great king Nebuchadnezzar is only one example of many. His pride over the great city of Babylon shut his eyes to the one true God. It was declared to him, “And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Dan. 4:32).
If God can humble the great king Nebuchadnezzar, what can He do with the average man? We too need to open our eyes to the world around us as to how the mighty have fallen. Psalm 1 declares the familiar passage, “The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” (4-5).
Second, God’s dealings with the righteous should garner praise. When the unrighteous seem to “flourish” (7), it is the righteous who truly do. “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon” (12). Such is reminiscent of Psalm 1:3 which states, “He shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” The location of the place the righteous will be blessed is found in verse 13: “in the house of the LORD” and “in the courts of our God.” The righteous know as Paul declared, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). All spiritual blessings are found in Him and that is where the wise make their dwelling place.
After observing God’s dealings with the righteous and unrighteous the psalmist concludes by affirming “He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (15). Here he points out God’s strength and character. God is a rock because there is no unrighteousness in Him. James professed that “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” (James 1:17). Whereas men falter in their character, God does not nor ever will. God is the forever true One who is worthy of our praise and for that we can be thankful.
The theme of Psalm 92 never grows old as Christians are called to manifest a life of thankfulness. The apostle Paul brings this point home when he declares, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Col. 3:15).