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An Honest Confession I - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
June 30, 2022 12:00 am

An Honest Confession I - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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June 30, 2022 12:00 am

“I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes. Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works” (Psalm 119:26-27).

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Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, Thou forest of my God and King, Thou triumphs of His grace. This is L. Sherry Bradley, Jr., welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour.

Now in my praise, eternal King, be all my thoughts employed, While of this precious truth I sing, cast down, but not destroy, Cast down, but not destroy, cast down, but not destroy, While of this precious truth I sing, cast down, but not destroy, Off the united powers I've held my soul and sore annoyed, And yet I live this truth to tell, cast down, but not destroy, Cast down, but not destroy, cast down, but not destroy, And yet I live this truth to tell, cast down, but not destroy, In all the past through which I pass, what mercies I've enjoyed, And this shall be my song at last, cast down, but not destroy, Cast down, but not destroy, cast down, but not destroy, And this shall be my song at last, cast down, but not destroy, When I with God in heaven appear, there shall I him adore, Destroy shall be my sin and fear, and I cast down no more, And I cast down no more, and I cast down no more, Destroy shall be my sin and fear, and I cast down no more. I've mentioned a few times that we're now in the summer months and experiencing what we've referred to through the years as the summer slump. I've found that it's not just us, but I hear other broadcasters saying the same thing that the summer months are particularly difficult. I suppose people go on vacation, get sidetracked with other things, and are not as mindful of our consistent need as they are at other times of the year. So if you can make a special donation at the present, it will be a great help to us. Our mailing address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. And we're still in Psalm 119, and this section we refer to as an honest confession. We continue with Psalm 119, looking at verses 25 through 32. We noticed in verse 25 a plea for help. The psalmist acknowledges, my soul cleaveth unto the dust, and consequently prays that he might be quickened, quickened according to God's word. And then verses 26 and 27, there is a clear declaration.

I have declared my ways, and thou hurtest me. He has laid his sin out before the Lord. He has confessed his weaknesses. He has laid bare his whole heart before his God. But he approaches God with assurance, as we notice from various other comments that he makes throughout the Psalms. And then he acknowledges that God heard him. But he prays for teaching. Although God has heard me, the psalmist says, there is much I do not know.

I need to be taught. He is praying that God will teach him his statutes. In verse 27, we come now to this portion where he says, Make me to understand the way of thy precepts, so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. I not only want to know the statutes, I want to understand the way of thy precepts.

I want to know how to apply it in my life. There are many that have a tendency to lean to their own understanding. They may give lip service to believing the Bible, acknowledging that it is God's word and that it has given us divine inspiration.

But when it comes down to daily decisions, they are prone to lean to their own understanding. In fact, you might ask yourself the question, How diligent am I in turning to God's word for the counsel that I need? In the book of Proverbs chapter 3 verse 5, it says, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil. If a person is wise in his own eyes, then he is not going to seek for the counsel of the word of God.

But he says, Lean not to thine own understanding. So often a person will say, Well, I've really prayed about this, I've given it a lot of thought, I've waited out, and here's the course of action I'm going to take. And yet, what they're about to do is clearly condemned in scripture. It's diametrically opposed to what the word of God teaches. And then some go so far as to say, Well, God spoke to me, God told me this is what I ought to do. That's a dangerous thing to add to the word of God. The Bible is given us by men moved upon by the Holy Spirit.

So that we rely upon it as our authoritative source for information. And when somebody says, I heard a voice, or I had a dream, and God told me this or God told me that, but it's not in harmony with God's book. There's a great problem.

Somebody says, Well, I feel impressed this way. You have to sort out the whole matter when you're relying a lot on how you feel. Because sometimes if there's something you particularly want to do, you can feel real good about doing it, but that doesn't mean that it is right or of God. Lean not to thine own understanding. Turn to the book of Colossians, chapter two, verse 18. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels intruding into those things which he hath not seen vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.

Use caution then. In your desire to be taught to learn the statutes of God and know how to apply them, you don't want to be led down the wrong path. Let no man beguile you, deceive you, confuse you, entering into a formality of religion which is vain according to the fleshly mind. It is not of God. So as the Psalmist is praying, Teach me thy statutes, make me to understand the way of thy precepts, he's turning to God for this help.

He knows that he needs God's blessing, God's grace in teaching him. Let's look at the book of 1 Corinthians, chapter two. 1 Corinthians, chapter two and verse nine says, But as it is written, I have not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. This is telling us that the things God has prepared for his people, the truth of God, the things that we need to be taught, the things that we need to know, are not perceived just by the natural eye, just with the human ear, not perceived in man's own thinking and reasoning.

How do we get it? Verse 10, But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. As we read the scriptures, in order for them to be meaningful to us, for us to grasp indeed what the Spirit of God was conveying as he inspired men to pen these words, we need the blessing of God's Spirit. It's not a matter of just using human reasoning and saying, well, this is what it appears to me to say, or this is what I'm comfortable with, this is what I've decided must be right. As we study the scriptures, we understand that we're not going to find a single text that will conflict with the fundamental doctrines that are found throughout scripture.

So if we have decided in a given instance, here's something that sounds good to me because it defends this particular way of thinking, but at the same time we know that this is not in harmony with the fundamental truth concerning who God is, the fallen condition of man, the fact that salvation must be by sovereign grace, then we've got a problem with our interpretation. So as we pray to be taught, we understand that we're praying for the blessing of the Holy Spirit. But that doesn't mean that you pray for the Lord to teach you and that you're just going to wake up some morning full of Bible knowledge.

Say, I had my Bible on the bed stand last night and I prayed for God to teach me and I just learned all kinds of things while I was asleep. No, you've got to apply yourself in the reading and studying of God's Word, in meditating upon it, in hearing it preached. I'm sure that in the minds of many people today, as fewer people in America percentage-wise go to church today than have in former times, that in the minds of many, the idea of having to listen to a sermon that would last for 45 minutes or an hour is just something beyond their ability to imagine.

You can't fathom having to listen to that kind of a discourse. But it's God Himself that was pleased to establish preaching as a channel through which His people would be taught and instructed. God is pleased with the fullness of preaching to save them that believe. So preaching is one of the ways in which you are exposed to the truth of God's Word.

And of course, the other is through your own study and prayerful meditation upon it. In the book of 1 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 13, Paul says, For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth the word of God, which affectionately worketh also in you that believe. So he desires understanding. He knows that this understanding must come as a blessing of God.

He's not going to lean to his own understanding. We must have the blessing of the Spirit of God in this spiritual growth with respect to His Word, knowing that the Word is the final test of all ideas. Now we come to verse 28. Here we find a heavy heart. My soul melteth for heaviness.

Strengthen thou me according to thy word. My soul melteth because of heaviness. Heaviness of heart can come about for a variety of reasons. Sometimes people have a heavy heart just because their plans have been disrupted.

They have not reached their goals. They've been disappointed by the unfolding of the events of life, but it has nothing to do with spirituality. But believe that the psalmist has something deeper in view. This heaviness is brought about because he is a child of God, because he does have some inner turmoil and some challenges that those who would not have had such an experience would know nothing about. Sin itself can bring heaviness of heart, and in order for a person to recognize sin, be grieved by sin, there must be that working within them to show what sin is. Let's look at the psalmist's words in the 32nd Psalm, verse 3.

When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night, thy hand was heavy upon me, my moisture is turned into the drought of summer, Selah. Now at this point, David is suffering heaviness. He feels pressed down under the hand of God, but he hasn't really confronted the sin issue in his life.

I kept silence. This differs from what we find in the 51st Psalm, when having had the prophet stand before him and give that little lesson about the man that took the neighbor's sheep, he says, Thou art the man. David then, being deeply convicted, faced his transgression and came humbly before God to confess it. But the point we want to make first is that for the child of grace, sin itself will bring about heaviness. It may not be a sin that you have confronted, that you have confessed, but if you have sinned and there's a barrier between you and your Heavenly Father, it brings heaviness. You may not have identified the cause of the heaviness. Maybe you say, I just don't know what's wrong with me.

I'm just pressed down. And it may well be that it's sin. It's the burden of sin which has not yet been brought before God and properly confessed. Now on the other hand, when we come to the 51st Psalm and see David making the confession that was so necessary, there's another kind of heaviness that's felt. When the sin is acknowledged, the sin is viewed, the sin is brought before God, the sin is confessed. He says in Psalm 51, 17, The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. A broken spirit. Here's a man that had sinned terribly.

Here's a man that's humiliated by his action. Here's a man that's grieved because he says, against Thee, Thee only have I sinned and of this evil of Thy sight. Oh, the heaviness that's brought as a result of sin.

That's certainly not the picture that's painted when Satan is enticing you to go in the wrong direction. When the world appears to be so intriguing, when it seems that it has so much to offer, when it seems that the pleasures of sin for a season, as they were described concerning Moses' rejection of such, seem to be the very thing that you want above all else. But oh, when sin is committed, a sinful course is followed, it brings great heaviness, great heaviness of heart. The more that heaviness may come as a result of the hand of God resting upon us, it can, of course, rest upon us in way of chastisement because of sin. But there are other ways in which God may deal with us, humbling us, bringing us down with a sense of our own weakness, so that in great heaviness of heart, we are driven to the place of relying upon Him which we had been reluctant to do.

Let's look at an example of the book of Job, chapter 6, verse 1. But Job answered and said, Oh, that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together, for now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea. Therefore my words are swallowed up, for the arrows of the Almighty are within me. The poison whereof drinketh up my spirit. The terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.

That's strange language to many today. In a time when people like to hear positive, uplifting messages about the plan that God has for your life, and your view of where you're going to head with that plan, and what all is in store for you now, to think that one who was a child of God, a man who was upright and askew to evil, a man who had been greatly prospered, should have been stripped of all of that, all of his wealth taken away in a short period of time, his family killed, his health destroyed, and so he speaks now of the agony which follows this terrible ordeal. Oh my, he says, for all this that I'm carrying, my calamity were put in a balance.

It would be heavier than the sand of the sea. There's a man that's carrying a heavy load. There's a man that's got a heavy heart.

What's it about? The arrows of the Almighty are within me. God had a purpose in the sufferings of Job. He reminds us in the book of James to look back at this faithful servant, to remember that God was merciful to him in spite of all of his difficulties. He sets him as an example, one from whom we can learn much. The hand of God was upon him.

Let's look at another example. Lamentations chapter 3. The prophet Jeremiah pens these words as he describes his situation in verse 12. So he hath bent his bow, he hath set me as a mark for the arrow.

How could it be? Jeremiah is a chosen vessel of the Lord. He has a work for him to do. He's God's prophet. And yet, he says, he hath bent his bow. God has bent his bow, sent me as a mark for the arrow. And so he is talking about the great trouble that has come to him in this hour of darkness. Verse 16, he hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes, and thou hast removed my soul far off from peace.

I forgot prosperity. I'm in such deep trouble. I feel like my teeth are broken. I'm covered with ashes.

I'm removed so far from prosperity that I can't even remember it. I said, my strength and my hope is perished from the Lord. Here's a man who has a heavy heart, a heavy heart.

My soul melteth for heaviness. I appreciate the words of Charles Bridges, one of the English preachers from years gone by, who commented on this aspect of the Christian's experience. He says, never perhaps are their graces more lively or the ground of their assurance more clear than in these seasons of sorrow. They complain indeed of the diversified power of indwelling sin, but their very complaints are the evidences of the mighty working of indwelling grace.

For what is it but the principle of faith that makes unbelief their burden? What is it but hope that struggles within their tears? What is it but love that makes their coldness a grief?

What but humility that causes them to loathe their pride? What but the secret spring of thankfulness that shows them their unthankfulness and shames them for it? And therefore the very depth of that heaviness which melts their souls away is the exhibition of the strength of God's work within, upholding them in perseverance of conflict to the end. How comforting then to consider that even the struggle, even the conflict, even these dark times, as difficult as they are, may allow us the opportunity to view the workings of God's grace within us. And so the psalmist is acknowledging his great burden. My soul melteth for heaviness. Strengthen thou me according to thy word. If we respond as we ought to these troubling experiences, rather than being driven to despair, rather than throwing up our hands in final defeat, it will drive us to the Lord.

See, that's the vivid contrast that comes. You hear the expression used that trials make some people better and other people bitter. A person can become bitter in their trials. They say, I can't understand it. I don't know why God would have suffered these things that touched my life. I feel so terribly disappointed, I just give up.

But someone else may say with Job, I don't understand it. But he knows the way I take. And I know that after he has tried me, I'll come forth as gold. He's working in my life for a purpose.

Though he slay me, yet when I trust him, what a difference that makes. Well, I'm glad you've been with us today. Hope you'll come back this same time tomorrow.

If you can help us with the support of the program, which we definitely need help with at the present time, you can make a donation by going to our website at BaptistBibleHour.org. Till we greet you next time, this is LaSara Bradley Jr. bidding you goodbye and may God bless you. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. All the day long.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 16:35:55 / 2022-11-27 16:44:25 / 9

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