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Love for the Commandments - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
July 21, 2022 12:00 am

Love for the Commandments - Part 2 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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July 21, 2022 12:00 am

“And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes” (Psalm 119:47-48),

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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 Lisei Bradley, Jr., welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. My span of life will soon be done, the passing moments say, As blinking shadows o'er the week, proclaim the close of day. Oh, that my heart might dwell aloof from all created things, And learn that wisdom from above lends true contentment screens. Courage my soul, the bitter cross, in every trial here, Shall point thee to thy hand above, but shall not enter there. The sighing ones, and humbly seek, in sorrowing paths below, Shall in eternity rejoice, wherein miscomforts flow. Ere first I drew this vital breath from nature's prison free, Crosses in number, measure, weight, were written, Lord, for me. But thou, my shepherd, friend and guide, hast led me kindly on, Taught me to rest my fainting head on Christ the Cornerstone. So comforted and so sustained with dark events I strove, And found them rightly understood, all messengers of love, With silent and submissible, adored a chastening God, Live in the terrors of His law, and humbly kiss the God. As we continue our study in Psalm 119, as you know, the longest of all the Psalms, we've now come to verse 47 and verse 48, our subject, Love for the Commandments. And certainly that's something we should always pray that God will bless us to love His commandments and to demonstrate our love for Jesus Christ by obeying them.

I hope that you were right. Let us know that you have listened to the program. If you can help us with the support, we'll certainly appreciate it. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. With all thy mercies, O my God, my rising soul surveys, Transported with the view I'm lost in wonder, love, and praise. A number comforts on my soul thy tender care be stung, Before mine in the dark unseen, from whom thus comforts flow. When in the slippery paths of youth, within the steps I ran, Thine arm unseen, God made me safe, and led me up to man. Ten thousand, thousand precious gifts, my daily thanks employ.

Nor is the least a cheerful heart that tastes those gifts with joy. Through every period of my life, my goodness I'll pursue, And after death in distant worlds, the pleasing thing renew. In all eternity to thee, a grateful song I'll raise, But, O, eternity's too short to utter all thy praise.

Let's think about another. Here's a person that's facing, and maybe you're the very one, or maybe you're talking to somebody else who's facing a situation that you just cannot understand. You know that God's on the throne. You know that God's sovereign. But the question comes to your mind, if God really loves me, if I'm really one of his children, why did he not shield me from this trouble? I don't understand. Right at a time I was trying my best to serve him, trying to put him first, and it looks like things fall apart.

I got this problem and that problem. I don't understand the providential dealings of God. Well, we think about Job, who is the perfect example of somebody who suffered much and didn't understand it. And in chapter 23 of the book of Job, he said in verse 8, Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive him.

And that language would be strange to some people, but if you ever had that experience, you know exactly what Job's talking about. I believe in God. I believe he's still on the throne, but I cannot feel at this moment close to him. I go forward, I look for him ahead, but he's not there. I look back, he's not there. I cannot perceive him. I cannot sense that God is hearing me or mindful of my situation. On the left hand where he doth work, but I cannot behold him, he hideth himself on the right hand that I cannot see him. Wherever I turn, I don't see him. I don't see evidence that he's hearing me.

I don't see evidence that he's at work. It's almost like God just went away somewhere and let everything fall apart and not even mindful of my situation. But look what he says. But he knoweth the way I take. When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as God. How comforting. It's all out right now. Everything looks perplexing.

Doesn't seem like there's any order to it, any reason behind it. I've struggled. I've looked on every hand. I can't seem to find God. But the fact is, he knows the way I take. God's still in charge. He's still on the throne.

He hasn't forgotten about me. And when I come out of this trial, I shall come forth as gold. God has a reason in my suffering, my heartache, the burden I carry, because he brings me down to the end of myself that I may trust in him. He's going to consume the dross that the gold will be refined and that something will appear to his praise and honor. Job certainly didn't understand all of that at the time and probably never understood it all in his lifetime. But he concluded he didn't have to understand it all, but he did have to trust God.

And he said, though he slay me, yet will I trust him. And he never imagined that his name would appear in the Epistle of James. It's there because God had a purpose in Job's experience to provide a lesson that's beneficial even to us today. And then when you're full of anxiety, there are things that are just totally out of your control, the things you'd like to fix and you can't fix it. Now, anytime there's specific instruction given in the Scripture that this is what you ought to be doing, you can't use the promises of God as an excuse for not doing what he requires of you.

So you ought to be doing that, anything that's laid out explicitly in Scripture. But sometimes you've done everything you can do and the things you can't fix and things you can't change. You can get to the place where you're walking the floor and wringing your hands and greatly distressed and burdened. People become so full of fear, so gripped by anxiety, get to the place they can't even go out of their house. They're fearful to go down the block, make a trip, get in the car, go anywhere. They're just gripped by fear.

Hopefully you haven't come to that level of fear, but to a lesser degree, when you're worried, when you're concerned about things that you cannot control, you're concerned about the future, what's going to happen down the way? You go to Psalm 31 verse 15, My times are in thy hand, deliver me from the hand of mine enemies and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant, save me for thy mercy's sake. So here's reassurance, Lord, part of what I'm experiencing is chastisement.

I can't complain about that. I know that you deal with me as your child to teach me and draw me away from myself and from the world and from sin. And so as I make a plea, I'm coming before the asking, not for what I deserve, but I'm asking for your blessing for your mercy's sake. And I'm reassured to know my times are in thy hand. I can't think of an expression that's more useful in causing you to be calm in the time of tempest and turmoil. Yes, the wind is blowing, waves are tossing the little boat about, uncertainties are on every hand, but my times are in thy hand. Remember when the disciples were on the ship at sea?

They rode hard, they made no progress. The wind tossed the boat about, the waves were boisterous, they were gripped with fear, then come to this figure walking on the water. They didn't recognize that it was Jesus.

It increased their fear. And sometimes we become fearful of the very one that's going to deliver us. But Jesus comes on board. Peace, be still. The wind ceased to blow.

It was a great call. Sometimes the Lord speaks to our hearts instantly. You come to a verse like that. My times are in thy hand.

I know that Jesus Christ is on board with me in this little ship, and though the storms may rage, he's there. And if he's pleased just to help me ride out the storm, or if he's pleased to speak the word and cause the storm to end, in either case, my times are in thy hands. The good times and the bad times. The times of prosperity, the times of adversity.

My times are in thy hands. What about when you're lonely? I can't remember the figure now, but I read some kind of a survey not long ago that indicated a very large percentage of the population struggles at times with a sense of loneliness. Even people that are in a crowd, even people in their own homes sometimes feel a sense of loneliness. I'm not being understood. I don't even understand myself sometimes.

I feel very much alone. You go to Psalm 142, verse 3. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privilege laid a snare for me. I looked on my right hand and beheld, because no man that would know me refuge failed me. No man cared for my soul.

That's reaching the point of being sure enough down and out. You decide nobody really cares. Even people who profess that they love me, I'm not sure that they really care.

Now, of course, it's very easy to fall into self-pity at this point and to make assumptions that are absolutely not true. But whether it's real or whether it's imagined, if a person is at the point that they feel there's no one to care, he says, I cried unto thee, O Lord. I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

Where did you go for help? Thou art my refuge. Thou art my portion in the land of the living. When we turn to the Lord as our portion, He's our possession, He's our treasure, then we become satisfied with Him and feel a sense of His presence. And see, as you experience the benefit and blessing of these promises in your own life and then have occasion to suggest them to somebody else, maybe the opportunity is not there to go into a lot of detail as to how it affected you or to even give your understanding of the passage, but even to cite somebody to it.

Have you read this? But when you can go into a little more depth and talk about how you have delighted in the Word of God, it can be a great help and testimony to others. One other thought in this connection, what about struggling with guilt? A person has just bowed down, just broken. Oh, how many times have we talked to somebody who's just overwhelmed with grief because of situations that are sinful indeed? It concerns their past, but they can't change it.

Can't retrace their steps, can't go back and fix it. But the good news is, there is forgiveness with our God. Psalm 103 verse 11, For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.

Do you have any trouble believing that? Do you sometimes struggle on with guilt and assume that the Lord still holds it against you? Now, this is not a justification for sin.

This is not to defend our disobedience. God, as our loving Heavenly Father, will chastise us and correct us when we have sinned. But to think of the fact that our sin has been separated, it's as far as the east is from the west, He's removed our transgressions from us. What greater cure for guilt could you possibly have? Sometimes a person will say, Well, I think I'm suffering from a guilt complex.

Well, generally it's not a complex, it's true, they're guilty. But when you're guilty, there's a solution for that. There is forgiveness with God. So, the psalmist says, I delight, I delight in Thy law, in Thy testimony, in Thy commandments. And we're encouraged to delight in it when we're using it. Now, what's the manifestation of this delight? He goes on here to talk about lifting up his hands. I'm delighting in the commandments of God.

I love them, they're the commandments that I love. My hands also will I lift up unto Thy commandments, which I have loved, and I will meditate upon Thy statutes. Well, sometimes our hands are not lifted up, they're hanging down.

An indication of our mourning spirit, of our grieving, sometimes of a state that might be described as depression. But Isaiah chapter 35 verse 3 says, Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. How are you going to do that? Say to them that of a fearful heart, be strong, fear not, behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense, He will come and save you. How then are the hands that are hanging down going to be lifted up? With a reminder that God will come to deliver you. I think there are two ways we read of the hands being lifted up. One of them is, I'm lifting up my hands as a sign I'm looking to God. I'm addressing my prayer to Him. I'm lifting up my hands in the process, Oh Lord, it's to Thee that I look.

I'm not looking anywhere else. We see that in Psalm 143 verse 6. I stretch forth my hands unto Thee, my soul thirsteth after Thee as a thirsty land, Selah. My soul thirsts for Thee, so I'm lifting up my hands, Lord.

I can't look to the left, I can't look to the right, I can't look within, I can't look to the world. I'm lifting up my hands to Thee. I thirst for Thee. I long for Thy communion.

I must have Thy fellowship. I lift up my hands. In Psalm 28 verse 2, Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry unto Thee, when I lift up my hands toward Thy holy oracle. Lord, I cry, I cry unto Thee, and I lift up my hands symbolically saying, Thou art the source of my help.

I look to Thee and nowhere else. But we find an interesting example of the hands being lifted up in way of praising God. You know, we have certain customs that we're very familiar with, very comfortable with. Sometimes we get the idea that if anybody has a differing custom, there has to be something wrong with it because it's not the way we do it. But there are some things we read about in Scripture that maybe you haven't done, maybe you wouldn't be comfortable with it, but there's nothing biblically wrong with it.

And lifting up of the hands is one of them. Let's look at the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah chapter 8.

You know the story of Nehemiah making this long trip from the court of King Artaxerxes back to Jerusalem where the city was devastated and the gates were burned with fire and he's calling on the people to build the wall and they stand against the attacks of Sanballat and Tobiah. And now in chapter 8, the people are all gathered together. Verse 1, it says that it was before the Watergate that they might hear Ezra the scribe bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women and all that could hear with understanding upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the Watergate from the morning until midday before the men and the women and those that could understand and the ears of all the people were attentive under the book of the law. Here's a man that reads at length from the law of God but the people are attentive.

They want to hear. Verse 5 says, Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was above the people and when he opened it all the people stood up and Ezra blessed the Lord the great God and all the people answered, Amen, Amen with lifting up their hands and they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. So as they hear the word of God they lift up their hands as an expression of worship. We're praising God. We're blessing the Lord, the Lord who is the great God. The people respond, Amen, Amen.

This is the truth. We assent to it. We agree to it.

This is God's word. We love it. We treasure it. And so there was the lifting up of the hands. Now if you never lift your hands physically surely the lesson contained in that symbolically is in order for us all that as we delight ourselves in the law of God in His commandments and His inspired word that we lift up our hands in supplication and prayer for His help but also in praise.

It's so easy to forget that. As we struggle with our problems and our burdens we sometimes are consumed with them to the point that we forget about the goodness and mercy of God and all of the great things that He's done for us but may we lift up our hands and our voices in praise and in thanksgiving to God. What manifests this delight? He mentions lifting up the hands and He mentions meditation. In Psalm 1 in the second verse He says, speaking of the righteous man, His delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law doth He meditate day and night. It's one thing to read the Bible. It's another thing to study the Bible. It's another thing to meditate upon it. After you've read it, after you've studied it, after you've given it some thought, think about it some more. You go back and think through some of the things that you've heard preached, some of the things that you've read. What does this mean? What does this mean to me?

How can I apply this in my life? And as you recall it, roll it over in your mind, you're praying, Lord, give me the understanding of it. Help me to delight in it. In Psalm 119 verse 97 He says, O how I love thy law, it is my meditation all the day.

It's not just a matter of going there, it's a moment of crisis, but it's an integral part of my life. I continue to meditate upon it all the day. So we see here a love for the commandments. I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved and I will meditate in thy statutes. Oh, the tremendous value of the Word of God. Not just the fundamental doctrine, which tells us about who God is, the condition of fallen man and the source of our salvation being entirely by His grace, but those practical things that tell us how we should respond in our darkest and most difficult times, how we should honor God in the challenges that we encounter along the way, how we should direct our paths in a godly course. May we be able to say sincerely and truthfully with the psalmist that we not only believe His word, we delight in it. We find it a joy in our lives from day to day. Well, I'm glad you've been with us today. 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 go to our website at 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 Praising my Savior All the day long
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 19:29:23 / 2022-11-27 19:38:30 / 9

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