O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, Thou the praise of my God and King, Thou triumphs of his grace.
This is LeSary Bradley Jr. welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. In our study in Psalm 119, this section, we have entitled, Keeping God's Word. I would appreciate it so much if you would take time to write. Let us know that you've listened. If you can help us with the support, we'll be very thankful for it. I know there are some who will write and say, we listen every day, we enjoy the program, we're just not in a position to help financially. But if you're one who's been blessed to the Lord in a way that you have funds available that you can help, then give it to that which is going to be of benefit to others as they also listen to the preaching of God's Word.
We'll certainly be grateful for it. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. We have a great many examples of that in the New Testament. Matthew chapter 4, reading in the 18th verse, And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him. They didn't say, Lord, you're going to have to give us a little time here. We've got to get our nets sold. We've got to make some adjustments in our schedule.
Just a lot of things here. Let me first. No, they didn't give that kind of response. They followed him, and going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. And he called them, and they immediately left the ship and their father and followed him. Matthew chapter 9, in the ninth verse, Jesus saw Matthew sitting at the receipt of custom and said, Follow me, and Matthew followed him. May each of us take it to heart, that when the Lord calls us to obedience, when he commands us to follow him, when he lays out the message that we need, and it's so clear and explicit in his word, not a matter of talking about the giants and the lands, not talking about, well, I don't feel up to it, I don't think I'm capable of doing it, or there's this problem or that problem, immediately we're to follow him. Oh, that we might respond always to the words of Jesus, as did this man. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying that he is gone to be guests with a man that is a sinner. That was always the words of the self-righteous Pharisees. Jesus was charged with being the friend of sinners, but aren't you glad he was and that he is? Not to condone sin, not to approve of one's sinful behavior, but he's the friend of sinners because he's the savior of sinners, and he came to rescue them and to redeem them. Jesus said, Make haste, and Zacchaeus made haste. Think about an experience, Paul and Silas in the Philippian jail, they're singing at midnight, they're praising God. Certainly they would like to have been out preaching the gospel, but they're in jail and so they don't give up in despair, they rejoice that God is with them, they sing his praises at midnight, God shakes the jail with an earthquake, the jailer comes in, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved in thy house. And that night they baptized him.
How wonderful! He wasn't one of these individuals that said, Well, now I'll have to ponder that for a while, I'll have to wait till I understand more, I'll have to wait till I've heard some kind of a voice or had a dream or wait for some unique experience that I can tell. He was baptized that night. Over and over again we find that in the New Testament record. On the day of Pentecost, you know, there were three thousand that were added to the church that day. They weren't putting the matter off, they weren't making a variety of excuses, they rejoiced in the gospel message, they repented and they were baptized that day. The book of Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 7 says, Again he limiteth a certain day, saying unto David, Today, after so long a time as it is said, Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
What's the message to us? Today. We say tomorrow. We say next week. We say at a more convenient time.
We say when I get this fixed and that fixed and this straightened out and that accomplished, later on, what's the message of the word? Today. Today. We have no assurance we'll have tomorrow. None of us know how long we're going to be here. But oh, may we learn to treasure time as a precious commodity, seeking every day that we live, all that we do to bring glory to God and to keep His words. I will not delay. I made haste to keep Thy commandments. Verse 61, The bands of the wicked have robbed me, but I have not forgotten by law. The next thing he says, I will not forget.
I'm going to be keeping God's word. I will not forget. Adversity will come.
He speaks of a great trouble here that bands of wicked men had robbed him. But I have not forgotten Thy word. In spite of my trouble, I have still sought to please and honor God. We sometimes act so surprised when troubles and afflictions come our way.
But if we're correctly taught, if we're understanding what the Word of God says, we realize that's all a part of our experience. In the world, ye shall have tribulation. In the book of 2 Corinthians, chapter 4, Paul says in verse 8, We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed.
We are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down, but not destroyed. O man who suffered and endured so much! How did he bear it?
How did he keep going? How was it he remembered God's word and continued to put God first in all things, to be able to say that for me to live is Christ? But look at his view of it all in the 17th verse. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.
For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. Adversity is a part of the Christian's experience. But we must learn in the midst of our troubles that we should never forget his truth, his word, his commandments, the things revealed to us in this inspired record.
I will not forget his word. In the book of 1 Samuel chapter 30, in the first verses, we read about David's terribly disturbing experience when he came back to Ziklag and found that their possessions, their wives, their children had all been carried away. And of course at that point they didn't know what the outcome was going to be. It said that they wept, the men that were with David wept until they could weep no more. And his own men were in such distress that they thought of stoning David.
And you can imagine what that meant to David. But how did he deal with it? Did he forget the promises of God? Did he forget the word of God?
No! He encouraged himself in the Lord. He had to come before the Lord and say, Lord, this is a dark day.
This is a horrible trouble. We don't know how it's going to be resolved. We don't know what the outcome is going to be, but I'm encouraging myself by relying upon your promises. He encouraged himself in the Lord. And of course you know the story of how ultimately those women and children that had been carried away were recovered and brought back safely and they recovered all of their possessions as well.
It doesn't mean that that's going to happen every time we face trouble, but it means that God is able and that was his pleasure at that particular time. We think about Job, a man who lost so much in a short period of time. He was a wealthy man. He lost his flocks and his herds. He was a man with a big family. He lost his family. All of this snuffed out in just a little while. Did he forget the word of God?
No! In Job chapter 1 verse 20, Then Job arose and rent his mantle and shaved his head and fell down upon the ground and worshipped and said, Naked came out of my mother's womb and naked shall I return thither. The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly.
And in chapter 13 and the 15th verse he said, Though he slay me, yet will I trust him. Job had his dark days. Job had questions that were unanswered.
Job struggled greatly within. But he did not forget the word of God. Because he's still saying, even in the hour of death, even if he slay me, I'm still going to trust him. Oh, how vital it is for us to remember. It's easy to forget when we become influenced, when we become influenced by other ideas and concepts, or when we momentarily forget in the day of crisis. We forget the word of God. We forget his promises.
We forget the instruction that's given as to how we are to respond to these various difficulties that we encounter. May we be able to say, I will remember. I will remember thy word. I will trust.
I will trust. Lamentations chapter 3, Jeremiah speaks in the 19th verse of his great trouble. It says that he's remembering his affliction, his misery, the wormwood and the gall. Verse 24, The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore will I hope in him. In spite of the fact that he reached such a low ebb as to say, my hope is perished from the Lord.
He said, ah, but this I recall. It's of the Lord's mercies that we're not consumed. And the Lord is my portion, therefore I'm going to hope in him, no matter how dark the scene may be. Verse 40, Let us search and try our ways and turn again to the Lord. And so when troubles come, rather than being driven to despair by them, rather than throwing up our hands and saying, I give up, I quit, I can't go on. Let us try our ways and turn again to the Lord, remembering. I'm going to remember thy word.
And if I remember the word of God, I'm going to remember that not only is God my source of help and strength to sustain me in these difficult times. What's he talking about in particular here? He's talking about bands of wicked men that had robbed him.
What would be your response? Well, if somebody harms you, somebody slanders you, somebody mistreats you, human nature says, I want to get even. But when you remember the word of God, you remember that vengeance is not in your hand. Romans chapter 12, verse 19, Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath. For it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him.
If he thirst, give him drink. For in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Do you know that man didn't think that up? There's another good example of evidence that the Bible's inspired.
Man doesn't think that way. But this is given us by divine inspiration. This is God's word. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.
It doesn't belong to you. And so, it says, though the bands of the wicked have robbed me, I have not forgotten thy law. Verse 62, at midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.
I will give thanks. Midnight is often thought of as being a time of potential trouble. It seems that if there's great sickness, it often appears to be worse in the darkness of the night.
If we're full of anxiety, the anxiety tends to be increased in the midnight hour. Job speaks these words in Job chapter 7, verse 3, When I lie down, I say, When shall I rise and the night be gone? And I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day. Here's a man that had great struggles in the darkness of the midnight hour. Sometimes that darkness may be spiritual darkness, and how difficult that is to deal with.
Asaph speaks of it in Psalm 77, verse 1, I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice, and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord. My soul ran in the night and ceased not. My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God and was troubled. I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed, see. When there's spiritual trouble, when there's struggles within, we feel that the Lord has turned His back on us for a time and our prayers are shut out and He's not hearing us.
Doubts and fears arise. Oh, it's like midnight in our soul. But David is saying at midnight, I'm going to give thanks.
Psalm 149, verse 5 says, Let the saints be joyful in glory. Let them sing aloud upon their beds. So the midnight hour comes and you're restless. You're not able to sleep. There are a variety of things that are pressing in upon you and some people feel like this is the ideal time to worry.
I can't sleep so I'm going to lay here and think about all of my troubles and all the things that might be happening and all the things that distress me and they're given to worry. But he says, let the saints sing upon their beds. Let them praise God. And as we're told in Philippians chapter 4 in the fourth verse, to rejoice all way in the Lord.
And again, I say rejoice. That is to be our occupation even in the dark. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication. With thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
You may have many things that concern you and disturb you but worry is a sin. So at midnight, rather than tossing upon the bed and giving in to worry, the psalmist says, I will arise to give thanks. I'm going to give thanks because of thy righteous judgments. I'll give thanks because of what God has done in my life. I'll give thanks because of his judgments, his truth, his word, what he's made available to me.
I'm going to come before him with a thankful heart. Then verse 63, I am a companion of all them that fear thee and of them that keep thy precepts. Wrong companions can have a terrible influence.
First Corinthians 15, 33 says, evil communications corrupt good manners. I've had young people say sometimes when I've tried to advise them about the importance of choosing the right companions, oh, I don't have to do everything my friends do. I think I'm strong enough.
I think I can handle it. I'm not going to be influenced by them. I want to tell you there's no one, whether young or old, that's strong enough to overcome the constant influences of evil companions. God's word warns us about it. Proverbs chapter 13 verse 20, He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Yes, it doesn't mean that you're to be self-righteous, withdrawn, never trying to minister to somebody that needs help, but it means that if you have taken into your life those that would reject the truth of God, those who are living a different kind of life than that which brings glory to Him, can have a terrible negative influence on you.
The opposite is also true. The right companions, the right friends can be a tremendous blessing in one's life. In 1 Samuel 23, 16 it says, And Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went to David into the wood and strengthened his hand in God. Jonathan was loyal to his friend David even when his father Saul was seeking to kill David. He goes to him in the wood and he strengthens his hand in God. He's not just there as his companion and friend. He's there to strengthen him in the Lord. Saul speaks in the book of 2 Corinthians chapter 7 of the blessing that came to him by the coming of Titus. God is the God of comfort.
He's the source of it, but sometimes He comforts us, He encourages us, He gives us counsel and advice by those friends and companions with whom we walk. In the book of Malachi chapter 3, verse 16 says, Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it. And a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon His name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in the day that I make up my jewels, I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. They that feared the Lord did what? They spoke often to one another and the Lord heard it and the Lord was pleased with it and the Lord put it in the book of remembrance and He says that these shall be mine when I come for them.
Oh the importance of having the right companions. I am a companion of all them that fear thee and of them that keep thy precepts. And finally verse 64, The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy.
Teach me thy statutes. Fallen man, as he looks at the conditions that exist in the world today, often can see only misery and chaos. There's violence, there's hatred, there are conspiracies, there are efforts to undermine governments, great suffering, there are those that suffer hunger in many parts of the world. They don't see mercy, they see darkness.
They often complain because things are not better. Some will even say, if there be a God, why doesn't He change this scene? Why doesn't He intervene? Why doesn't He turn it around as though they have a right to dictate to God and tell Him how to run His business? God is the sovereign holy God of the universe, He's working His will and what He does is for His glory and for the good of His people. But the psalmist says, the earth is full of thy mercy.
And the true believer joins with the psalmist and says, wherever I look, I see mercy. What about the mercy of God when you sit down to eat your meal? First of all, Jacob said, I'm not worthy of the least of thy mercies. So as basic as food is, the fact remains, we don't really deserve that.
I'm not worthy of the least of His mercies. What a blessing to live in this land of prosperity. I was thinking the other day in a supermarket how remarkable it is to me that all of this food comes in from all over the world and is there on our shelves and there in abundance. And making my first visit to the fresh market, I thought, how do they have all of this food ready to eat and keep it fresh and make it available and also attractively presented?
And I thought, that's just an amazing thing when you consider that there are many places in the world where people do not know where their next meal is coming from and in many places will not have a next meal. And we have an abundance of food. What mercy. What mercy that we have a place of shelter and we have adequate raiment. What mercy when God sends rain. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that He sends the rain upon the just and the unjust. In this severe drought that we've been experiencing, we've been made very much aware of how dependent we are upon God sending the rain. Driving out through the countryside the other day, just seeing one corn field after another just literally burned up.
The newspapers talking about how the farmers have suffered so drastically. But when God is pleased to send the rain and to send sufficient rain that there is adequate food for us, what mercy. See, there's evidence of mercy all around us. We know that if God dealt with us according to our sins, we wouldn't be here in this comfortable place. We wouldn't be here to worship God.
He's merciful to us to give us this opportunity. Merciful to us to give us religious liberty. I've been doing some research and study of late on the history of Baptists in this country. And just reading about how many times our forefathers were dealing with various issues that first of all concerned their religious liberty. And then as the various wars came, the war that was fought for independence. Ministers sometimes had to move from one part of the country to another. You read about the Civil War and how Elder John Watson has to move on farther south and leave his home in Nashville because of the conflict.
How services were sometimes disrupted and people's lives were so disrupted. Of course the conflict that rages today has required the lives of many men. But to think that we have freedom, which many in the world do not have. Religious liberty that I can bring you this message and not expect to be arrested when the service is over.
Oh, how we can so often take that for granted. If we see that as a mercy, we'll have to say with the psalmist, The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy. Therefore, teach me thy statutes. Lord, help me not to take for granted this mercy. Help me, Lord, to be taught thy statutes so that I will keep the promise. The promise I have said that I would keep thy words. So first, he says the Lord is my portion.
If I believe the Lord is my portion, I'm going to be in a much better position to keep his words because when I suffer disappointments, when I have setbacks and reversals, I'm still reminded the Lord is my portion both now and forever. The Lord is mine. Therefore, I'll keep thy words. Lord, I'm looking for thy favor. I entreat thy favor with my whole heart.
Be merciful to me. Lord, I'm going to think on my ways. I'm going to examine them and consider them and immediately turn my feet to thy testimonies. I'm going to make haste in doing it. I'm not going to delay. I'm not going to make excuses. I'm not going to put it off. I'm going to move forward.
I will not delay. And I will not forget, Lord, I'm going to remember thy law even when I've suffered setbacks, even when the wicked have robbed me. I'm going to remember thy word.
At midnight, I'm going to give thanks when the way is dark, naturally or spiritually. I'm going to be giving thanks because of thy righteous judgments. Lord, I'm going to be a companion of those that fear thee because that will be an aid and help in keeping your word. And, Lord, I'm going to recognize that earth is full of thy mercy. And considering the abundance of mercy and the mercy that's been showered upon me in my life, I'll say, teach me thy statutes. Interesting how each of these things connect with the first vow that is made. I've said I would keep thy words.
And all of these other things connect with it and provide assistance in keeping his words. May we seek to apply these practical instructions in our life. Well, thank you for listening.
I hope you'll be back at the same time tomorrow. If you would like to help with the support of the program, you can do so by going to our website at BaptistBibleHour.org. Till we greet you next time, this is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. bidding you goodbye and may God bless you. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. All the day long.
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