An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 113 – Vengeance Belongs To God Through Worship At His Holy Hill (Psalms 94-99)
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1. In the first ten verses of the ninety-fourth Psalm, why did the Psalmist ask God to show Himself?
To take vengeance on the wicked who are afflicting God’s people: “(1) O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself. (2) Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. (3) LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? (4) How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves? (5) They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage. (6) They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless. (7) Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. (8) Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? (9) He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? (10) He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know” (Psalms 94:1-10)?

* Vengeance does belong to God (
Deuteronomy 32:35, Isaiah 35:4, and Romans 12:19).

2. What is the Lord’s view regarding what man thinks?

“The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity” (Psalms 94:11).
Isaiah 55:7-9 and I Corinthians 1:18-31.

3. While any child of God does not want to err to need correction (James 1:16), does being corrected by God always end badly?
No, being corrected by God is considered a blessing: “(12) Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; (13) That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked” (Psalms 94:12-13).
Job 5:17, Proverbs 3:11-12, I Corinthians 11:28-32, and Hebrews 12:5-11.

4. In reading Psalms 94:14-23, do we find that the Psalmist is doubtful about God delivering Israel?
No, confidence is found in the words of the Psalmist: “(14) For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. (15) But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it. (16) Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? (17) Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. (18) When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. (19) In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. (20) Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? (21) They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. (22) But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge. (23) And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off (Psalms 94:14-23; cf. Deuteronomy 4:30-31).

5. Why does the Psalmist declare that songs should be sung unto the Lord?
“(1) O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. (2) Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (3) For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. (4) In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. (5) The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. (6) O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker” (Psalms 95:1-6).

“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men” (Psalms 107:21)!
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalms 118:1).
“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms” (James 5:13).

6. What event in Israel’s history is Psalms 95:7-11 referring to (hint – Numbers 13:17-14:39)?
The Psalmist is referring to the time in which Israel sent out spies for the land they were to inherit which came and falsely reported of giants, etc. in the land. Only Joshua and Caleb stood for the Lord. They provoked God to anger and He caused them to wander 40 years in the wilderness (Numbers 13:17-14:39; cf. Hebrews 3:7-19).

7. Can the salvation and glory of God be revealed through songs?
Yes: “(1) O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. (2) Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. (3) Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people” (Psalms 96:1-3).

* We do teach by way of song (
I Chronicles 25:7, Psalms 119:54, and Colossians 3:16).

8. What is the biggest difference between God and the gods of the nations?
Those gods are idols: “(4) For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. (5) For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens” (Psalms 96:4-5).

9. Should everyone worship the Lord?
Yes, if done correctly (John 4:23-24): “(6) Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. (7) Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. (8) Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. (9) O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. (10) Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. (11) Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. (12) Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice (13) Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth” (Psalms 96:6-13; cf. Psalms 22:27).

10. As the ninety-seventh Psalm begins, what is stated about the Lord in the first three words?
The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof” (Psalms 97:1).
* The same thing starts the 99
th Psalm.
“The LORD shall reign for ever and ever” (Exodus 15:18).
“Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth (I Chronicles 16:31).

11. How wonderful are the surroundings of God?
“(2) Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. (3) A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. (4) His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. (5) The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. (6) The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory” (Psalms 97:2-6).

12. What does the Psalmist say concerning the Lord and idols in the ninety-seventh Psalm?
“(7) Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods. (8) Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD. (9) For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods (Psalms 97:7-9).

13. What will those whom love the Lord do according to the ninety-seventh Psalm?
“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked” (Psalms 97:10).

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me” (Psalms 101:3).
“Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (Psalms 119:104).
“I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love” (Psalms 119:163).
“Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph” (Amos 5:15).
“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Romans 12:9).

14. As the ninety-seventh Psalm concludes, are the righteous expected to act depressed?
No, we’re supposed to be glad and rejoicing: “(11) Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. (12) Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness” (Psalms 97:11-12).

15. What reasons are listed for singing to the Lord in the ninety-eighth Psalm?
(1) O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. (2) The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. (3) He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. (4) Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise” (Psalms 98:1-4).

16. What instruments were to be used in praise to God in the ninety-eighth Psalm?
“(5) Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. (6) With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King” (Psalms 98:5-6).

* Just like animal sacrifices (Psalms 66:15) of old are no longer commanded (b), mechanical instruments of music are no longer commanded (Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26, Acts 16:25, Romans 15:9, I Corinthians 14:15, Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 2:12, and James 5:13).
* We are under the New Testament of Jesus Christ (
Romans 7:1-6, Ephesians 2:11-17, and Hebrews 9:15-17).
* We must have His authority for all things (
Matthew 28:18-20 and Colossians 3:17).

17. What is said concerning the sea, floods, and hills as the ninety-eighth Psalm concludes?
“(7) Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (8) Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together (9) Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity” (Psalms 98:7-9).

18. (This question requires looking at other Scriptures. Hint – Exodus 25:22). What location is being discussed as the ninety-ninth Psalm begins?
The temple, more specifically – the mercy seat (Exodus 25:18-20, II Samuel 6:2, II Kings 19:15, and Hebrews 9:1-5).

19. Who is high, terrible, holy, and worthy of exaltation?
The Lord: “(2) The LORD is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people. (3) Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy. (4) The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob. (5) Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy… (9) Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy” (Psalms 99:2-5; 9).

20. Though the Lord answered Moses, Aaron, and Samuel; did He overlook the errors of those periods of time?
No: “(6) Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them. (7) He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them. (8) Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions” (Psalms 99:6-8).