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Our Source of Counsel III - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
June 28, 2022 12:00 am

Our Source of Counsel III - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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June 28, 2022 12:00 am

“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me” (Psalm 119:18-19).


Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, The praise of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace. This is Lisera Bradley Jr. welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. We're in the summer months now, which we have traditionally referred to as the summer slump.

I've always hoped that we would someday come through a summer without facing that slump, but it seems that it is traditional over the years. People get sidetracked, they're doing other things, they forget that the needs go on with this work. So the expenses continue and we need to have the support of our listeners to stay on the air. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. We continue with our series of messages, sermons from the Psalms. We're in Psalm 119. We're looking at the third division of this Psalm.

As you know, the Psalm is divided into 22 sections, eight verses in each. We've noticed here in verse 17, the first part of this section. In verse 17, the first verse of this section, we see, Great expectation, deal bountifully with thy servant. In verse 18, Great vision, open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things. In verse 19, there is great need, because he acknowledges I am a stranger in the earth. And if we are but strangers and pilgrims here, there is indeed a great need in our life, a need of God's sustaining grace and mercy. In the 20th verse, Great desire, my soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

Not indifferent, complacent, or laid back, but a strong, sincere desire. And then last time, we looked at verse 21, Great rebuke, thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments. And we noticed how God has, through the years, brought down the proud and the mighty, and humbled them. And how if we understand the truth of his sovereign saving grace, we see that there's no place for pride in us.

It says, Because we are saved by grace, and that even faith itself is the gift of God, therefore we must not boast, but give all the glory and praise for our salvation to Jesus Christ. Now we come to verses 22 and 23, and here we see great enemies. Remove me from reproach and contempt, for I have kept thy testimonies. Princes also did sit and speak against me, but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

Great enemies. God's people have always had to face much opposition. You read it throughout Old Testament times. There were the pagans in the land, where God led his people to a land that he had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob many years before. God commanded them to drive these people out that they might not be influenced by their idolatrous practices.

In some cases, they failed to do that, and these people then were a plague to them, and many times invaded them, and they faced much hardship from the hands of their enemies. But it's certainly true in New Testament times. Jesus himself faced tremendous opposition, and he informed his followers that if they are serving him, that they can expect opposition as well. In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapter 5 verse 11, Jesus says, Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Now, you know, there's certainly nothing pleasant about being reviled. You don't look forward to persecution. You don't find some satisfaction when people are saying all manner of evil against you and accusing you falsely. And yet, it says these individuals are blessed. They're happy in the Lord.

Why? Because they are being identified with Jesus Christ in his sufferings. Therefore, rather than caving in, throwing up your hand in despair, saying, What's the use? I'm going to face all of this difficulty.

I might as well give up. You press on with joy because you understand that you are a follower of the Lord. Because you understand that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. And as he faced much opposition, his followers will face it as well if they are indeed following in his footsteps. If you've never had any opposition, that's time to examine the way you're traveling.

There's possibly something wrong. You're fitting in too well. Or you're missing those opportunities to take a bold stand for what you know to be right and what you believe and to give witness concerning your Savior Jesus Christ. So it says, Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

This has been the pattern all along. The prophets in olden times were persecuted. Even among the very people of God to whom they were sent, they found much opposition. Remember Jeremiah was told that he was disturbing the peace of the city. They didn't want to hear his message because he seemed to be too negative.

All he was doing was delivering the message that God had given him. He said, Judgement's coming, but they didn't want to hear that. And how many today want to hear only what they want to hear? They don't want to hear a message from God. They don't want to hear a truth from his word. They want to hear something that makes them feel good.

They want to feel good about myself. Certainly if we are faithful in proclaiming the word of God, there are going to be some things that will not make us feel good about ourselves. They'll be convicting. They'll show us our sin, our waywardness, our failings.

Hopefully as they're applied to our life by the Holy Spirit, we will be convicted and brought to repentance. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is speaking to his followers and reminding them again of this truth that they will face opposition and that they need not be surprised by it. John chapter 15 verse 18, if the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own. But because you're not of the world, but I've chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Now understand, Jesus is not defending an attitude that would cause an individual to be in constant conflict with neighbors or friends or people around them. We're also taught that as much as lies within us, we are to live peaceably with all men. But the fact remains that if you stand firm for the teaching of God's word, you're going to find some people that will very vigorously oppose you.

We see the trend going more and more in that direction today. There are more people that absolutely ridicule the word of God, saying how on earth can you have confidence in a book that was written so long ago? Don't you hear people say, well you know the Bible is full of mistakes, as though they're the final authority.

They're able to make that discernment because, well, that's the way they feel about it. But a lot of mistakes down through the years, you know, mistakes in copying, mistakes in translation, all kinds of mistakes, so you really can't believe the Bible. Who wants to conform their life to a book that was written so long ago? Anything that can be said or done to discredit the authority of Scripture is being done. Well if you stand firmly by God's word saying, I believe all 66 books of the Bible are given us by divine inspiration, divine inspiration.

There's not any part of it that is the mere opinion of men. This is the word of God. I'm not only going to embrace what it teaches, I'm going to seek to live by it.

It is the counsel to which I will resort. You're going to find people that will, at the least, think you're a little strange and not want to have that much to do with you, and may be very vocal in telling you how ridiculous you are, how far behind the times you are. And of course there are those that, if they had opportunity, would shut down every church in America where the Bible's being preached. Now somebody may say, I think that's a little extreme.

I doubt anybody feels that way. All you got to do is just read some of the material that's being circulated in this day, just some of the recent letters to the editor in our local papers as people were responding to the opening of the Creation Museum, and you see how antagonistic they are toward those that believe the Bible. And so Jesus says, don't be surprised when the world hates you.

There are many enemies. In the book of 1 Peter chapter 4, verse 12 says, Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened unto you. You don't have to be surprised. You don't have to say, well, I just can't figure this out. Why is it that I'm being opposed? Now sometimes this opposition comes from a number of people who have committed themselves to their own philosophy and concept, and they stand in opposition to the Bible and to the testimony of the church. Sometimes it comes from individuals.

Sometimes it may come from members of your own family. Say, I don't like what's going on in your life. I liked you better when you didn't talk about God. I liked you better when you weren't reading the Bible.

What's the problem here anyway that you're taking a different course in life? He says, Beloved, think it not strange when these trials come upon you, but rejoice in as much as you are partakers of Christ's suffering, that when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy, if you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye. There's a word of caution to be sure that you're being reproached, not because you've got a bad attitude, not because of some improper conduct on your part, but that you're being reproached for your testimony for Christ. For the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. On their part, he is evil spoken of, but on your part, he is glorified.

But let none of you suffer as a murderer or as a thief or as an evildoer or as a busybody in other men's matters. God's people then are often opposed. And the psalmist is speaking of the fact that there were princes that did speak against him.

It wasn't just the average citizen. These were men in high places. These were men of authority that spoke against David. Now, of course, there's some challenge to maintain the right attitude when you're being slandered and spoken against by anyone, but particularly if it's someone in a role of leadership, if it's someone that has some clout and credibility to be able to speak their mind to a group of people that will embrace and receive what they say, that's painful.

If it's somebody that you have esteemed highly, somebody that you respect, somebody you would like to have their approval, but they're slandering you, they're speaking against you, they're misrepresenting you in the flesh, that's difficult to endure. But here we're told that we must be patient, understanding that these things are not unusual. So in 1 Peter chapter 4 verse 19 he says, Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Notice that. He says, suffering according to the will of God. God has not promised to exempt his people from suffering.

As a matter of fact, he says elsewhere that they are appointed thereto. What must be their response? Commit the keeping of your soul to him. You continue to do well. You continue to do what is right, understanding that your faithful Creator is the one who must sustain and support you. And then verse 24, Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.

Here we come to great help, great help. Speaks of God's testimonies. Someone has counted that in the Old Testament there are 3,808 times that reference is made to the Lord said or the word of the Lord came. Now if the Lord said something, we ought to be interested in hearing it. What has God said? If the word of the Lord came, what was it?

Now obviously in some cases there was something specific to an individual or to a people of that time. And yet we learn in the New Testament that these things were written aforetime for our learning and admonition. So if we're applying it correctly, there's something for us to learn even from those many times in the Old Testament when the word of the Lord came. We can see this in the life of Jesus. Here is the only man that ever lived that is without sin.

Here's a perfect man. Here's the God man. He's God manifest in the flesh. So it's not as though he was in a weakened state and needed to rely upon scripture, but he's showing his confidence in the very word that has been delivered, in that inspired record. And so when he's tempted in the wilderness in response to Satan's temptations, he says in Matthew chapter 4 verse 7, it is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. How does he confront Satan? Referring to the testimonies of God.

It is written. This is what the Old Testament says, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them and sayeth unto him all these things will I give thee if thou will fall down and worship me.

Then sayeth Jesus unto him get thee hence Satan for it is written thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve. So Jesus Christ himself in one of the most critical hours of his life used the scriptures talking about that which is written. Now if Jesus therefore used the inspired record, should we not follow that example? Should we not recognize how desperately we need the counsel that comes alone from the word of God? Refer to that also in the Gospel of Mark chapter 12. When some had tried to ask him a question that they assumed would be difficult for him to answer and talked about a woman whose husband died and then she married the man's brother and this went on through the family and now asked the question ultimately who is who's going to be this woman's husband in heaven? And Jesus says you're ignorant of the scripture.

You're not aware of what the word of God teaches and so in the Gospel of Mark chapter 12 he says verse 26 and it's touching the dead that they rise have you not read in the book of Moses how in the bush God spake unto him saying I am the God of Abraham the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob he is not the God of the dead but the God of the living he therefore do greatly err he says that in heaven we shall be like the angels there will not be marriage in heaven but he cites these individuals to the book of Moses have you not read do you not know what the word of God says? Jesus then is confirming the importance of turning to the inspired record as being the source of our counsel. Now can you say in the words of our text thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors?

Where do you go for counsel? Millions of people in America turn on their television set listen to some popular talk show hosts and their invited guests and make the assumption that whatever they hear is worthwhile and valid they go to bookstores and buy books in large quantities and make the assumption that if somebody is highly esteemed and has a degree of recognition by others that they must be giving good information so they turn to these sources for their counsel but David says he relies upon the counsel of the word of God now failure to turn to the counsel of God's word brings great difficulty. Isaiah chapter 30 depicts that for us in verses one to three woe to the rebellious children now notice how they're addressed these individuals who fail to turn to the counsel of God are described as rebellious children.

Have you ever had to struggle a bit with that rebellion in your own heart? Maybe you already knew basically what the Bible said about a particular issue but you were hoping to find some possible justification to go another route. So rather than to go to the word of God you started asking other people's opinions you started reading a variety of books somebody said well you know you really need to know what the professional says as though someone who is deemed to be a professional will have greater insight than the word of God itself. It's about these being rebellious children sayeth the Lord that take counsel but not of me. They're looking for answers they know they need help but they're taking their counsel elsewhere not from the Lord and that cover with a covering but not of my spirit that they may add sin to sin. Why is it they don't want to the counsel of the word of God? Because they're rebellious they're self-willed they're determined I'm going to do it my way I'm going to try to justify my own actions I'm going to do what I think is best for me and so they don't want interference from the counsel of God's word. That walk to go down into Egypt and have not asked at my mouth to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh and to trust in the shadow of Egypt. Egypt in the scripture often represents the world they're going to the world for help rather than to stay in the land rather than to rely upon God rather than to turn to his counsel they go down to Egypt for help therefore so the strength of Pharaoh be your shame and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. What's the result of neglecting the counsel of God? Confusion. Have you ever been in that predicament where you say I'm really confused about a lot of things I just don't know which way to go just not sure what's right could it be because you've already been consulting the wrong source for your counsel because rather than hiding the word of God in your heart that you might not sin against him you filled your mind and your thoughts with all of the vain philosophies and speculations of men the result is confusion. How sad that multitudes are in such a state today often giving lip service to serving God and at the same time rejecting his counsel. Another warning is given in the 50th chapter of the book of Isaiah talking about those that walk in darkness and have no light let them trust in the name of the Lord but in contrast he says in verse 11 behold all ye that kindle a fire that compass yourselves about with sparks walk in the light of your fire and of the sparks that ye have kindled this shall you have of mine hand ye shall lie down in sorrow here individuals that say I'm in a measure of darkness I'm somewhat confused I don't know what to do well I better build a fire in other words I'm going to stir up something myself I'm not going to depend upon the light of God's word I'm going to kindle a fire I'm going to make something happen I'm going to draw some conclusion I'm going to figure this all out I'll sit down with paper and pencil and I'll draw some lines and some diagrams and I'll put some thoughts on one side of the page and some on the other and I'll try to try to weigh it all out and see what's right but the word of God's been neglected what's he say the result of this you shall lie down in sorrow we see two things are the result here of neglecting the counsel of God one is confusion the other is sorrow oh that we might be diligent in turning to God's word not as a last resort not when everything else has failed not when we've complicated things because we've gone our own way but go there first and foremost in all things the book of proverbs chapter 28 and the 26 verse he that trusteth in his own heart is a fool but who so walketh wisely he shall be delivered who so trusteth in his own heart what a warning somebody says but you know I've thought about this and here is how I feel one of the most dangerous things you can do in your life is to base your choices your decisions on how you feel because you may feel one way in the morning and entirely differently in the afternoon and another way at night your feelings fluctuate they change but you may feel one way change God's word doesn't it'll say the same thing tomorrow that it says today it's reliable you can count on it but somebody said well you know I just I feel God must be in this because I feel real good about it is that the final test if a person really wants to do something very badly sure they feel good about doing it because that's what they've been thinking about that's what their old flesh desires so if I'm having my way I feel good about having my way but that doesn't mean it's right he says the one that trusts in his own heart is a fool and then in chapter 12 of the book of proverbs verse 15 the way of a fool is right in his own eyes but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise the way of a fool is right in his own eyes if a person has made up their mind this is what I want to do this is the way I'm going to go they can think up a thousand reasons to try to defend it and justify it I'm glad you have been with us today and hope you'll come back at the same time tomorrow if you can help with the support of the program we'll certainly appreciate it during these challenging summer months our address is baptist bible hour box 17 037 cincinnati ohio 45217 so we greet you next time this little sarah bradley jr bidding you goodbye and may god bless you so O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 16:17:34 / 2022-11-27 16:26:50 / 9

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