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Bible Passage Psalm 84:12

Psalm 84:12 From Strength to Strength: The Blessed Life

  • Tony Raker
Date preached September 17, 2023

Grace Evangelical Free Church                                                                          September 17, 2023


Psalm 84:12 From Strength to Strength: The Blessed Life

This series of ten messages is collectively titled, “From Strength to Strength” based upon Psalms 84:7: “They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.”  This is about those who are “in Zion” – Zion a picture in the Old Testament of the church.  Those who are born again are “in Zion”, members of the true Church (Psalm 87:5; Jeremiah 50:5; John 3:3). The point of this series is to remind us that the Christian life is a life of progress. Those who are “in Zion…go from strength to strength” – they grow in grace, they are continually progressing, advancing and developing in their faith and service (2 Peter 3:18). Finally, this series will keep before us the great prospect that is ours as pilgrim travelers: that through the grace and merit of our Savior every one of us who is truly “in Zion” will appear “before God”.

Psalm 84:12: “O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!

  • Grammatical Usage: “Lord of hosts” in the Hebrew is “Yahweh Sabaoth” meaning, “Lord of Armies”; “blessed” or in the Hebrew, “esher” literally means, “happy”; “trusts” or “batach” means, “confident; secure”.
  • Literal Interpretation: Happy is the person who is confident and secure in you, Lord of Armies.
  • Contextual/Comparison: God keeps His Word: God continually uses His Word. 12 proves a divinely inspired prescription for the blessed life of which there are five points:
  1. There must be RECOGNITION OF GOD

The fundamental reason for all the unhappiness in the world is that God is left out of the lives of men and women. Psalm 14:1 emphatically states what “the fool” really says is “no God for me!” How different was the experience of the psalmist, for in this one psalm he addresses God by five names:

(1) He is “Lord of Hosts” (vv. 1, 3, 8, 12). Compare with Psalms 24:10; 46:11 and Malachi 3:17. This title for the Lord tells us of His great POWER.

(2) He is “the living God” (v. 2). What a wonderful title this is! He is alive and active on behalf of His children. Many today are worshipping a “dead” God, many in heathen lands and many in “civilized” lands. In 1 Timothy 6:17 note that this title for the Lord tells us of His PROVISION.

(3) He is “my King and my God” (v. 3). The psalmist recognized Him as King of kings. Compare Isaiah 6:5; Philippians 2:9; Colossians 1:18, and you will see that these verses tell us of His PRE-EMINENCE.

(4) He is “the God of Jacob” (v. 8). Not the God of Abraham, Moses or Elijah, but Jacob, the supplanter who became “a prince with God” (Genesis 32:28 KJV)! This title for the Lord tells us of His PURPOSE, for it is His will for each one of us that the Jacob self-life should go and that we should be “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37).

(5) He is “God our shield” (vv. 9; 11). Here, of course, we have a title for God which reminds us of His PROTECTION.

The first ingredient of a truly blessed life is to recognize God as the all-powerful, graciously-providing, pre-eminent One whose purpose it is to transform us and protect us for His glory.

  1. There must be DESIRE FOR GOD

The unconverted have no such desire (Romans 3:11); but see what the man who recognizes God says in vv. 2-3. He even envies the birds because they had made their nests and reared their families in the house of the Lord! Do we yearn after Him like this? What do we desire most of all, and what are we living for and setting our affections upon? Look up the words of the Lord Jesus recorded in Matthew 5:6. Multitudes of men and women are hungering and thirsting after worldly pleasure, in which there is no satisfaction. The psalmist rightly says in v. 10 that it is better to have the lowest place in the household of faith than the highest out of it (Psalm 16:11).

  1. There must be WALKING WITH GOD

Notice the description of this present life in v. 6. We are all passing through the Valley of Baca (“weeping”); we all sooner or later come to know something of sorrow, disappointment and loss, for the road God calls us to walk must go by the way of the valley. No one is exempt from the Baca experiences, but the great word in v. 6 is “through”. The valley is not our home, for we are passing through it and on into the presence of God (v. 7).

  1. There must be SPEAKING TO GOD

Referring to vv. 8-9, nothing is more likely to bring true blessing into our life than answered prayer. Answered prayer is a personal demonstration that our God is the living God, vitally interested in us. What happens when we pray? (1) We address our prayer to God. “Hear my prayer, O Lord God Almighty”; (2) He bends down to listen “…give ear, O God…”; (3) He looks upon us to see our need and grant our request: “look on the face of your anointed!” Compare the last part of verse 11 with the last part of James 4:2.

  1. There must be TRUST IN GOD

See vv. 11-12. There must be an initial trust when we recognized Him, our desire for Him increasing as we begin to walk with and speak to Him; in short, when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior (John 1:12). Then there must be a day-by-day, moment-by-moment trust in Him – notice the word “trusts”. This word “trust” is the characteristic O.T. word for the N.T. words “faith” and “believe”. It means: (1) to take refuge (Ruth 2:12); (2) to lean on (Psalm 56:3); (3) to roll on (Psalm 22:8) and (4) to wait upon (Job 35:14).

As we trust Him, He gives FAVOR for the entire journey down here and HONOR at the end (verse 11).

  • Conclusion: Are you blessed? Do you know who God is…have a desire to draw close … walking, speaking and trusting with and in God? They you are blessed beyond measure.