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November 26, 2021 3:00 am
Those who have been redeemed are the ones who want to be praising God and thanking God. Those who have been redeemed are those who can genuinely sing the song of thanksgiving for God's goodness in God's mercy to them. Goodness and mercy is the theme of the life of one who has tasted sweetness been invited to sing praises to that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. It's a beautiful word picture of the grace displayed when a person forgive someone who has wronged him. But there's a far more profound picture of the grace of forgiveness. Christ on the cross. The question is if you've experienced that grace. How should you respond what attitude should characterize your life. If you've been saved. John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary answers that question today on grace to you as he continues a series of Thanksgiving themed messages with a lesson titled giving thanks for redemption. Now here's the lesson when I think about soul salvation and an Old Testament context. I'm so often drawn to Psalm 107 and I confess that that I am stuck on this Psalm is a glorious. It has a special significance to me because one of the most startling and one of the most amazing and one of the most God glorifying conversions that is ever happened in this church and in my life occurred after I read this Psalm I didn't preach on and I just read it close the Bible sat down, never referred to it again. There was a young man sitting over in this area that Sunday morning, who was one of the leaders of the gay and lesbian community in Los Angeles well known in admired leader in that movement also dying of AIDS and he had said to somebody and in Hollywood in his environment. Diana I'm afraid to die, and that I don't know what to do about it. I I I need help whoever this person was said you need to go to a place called Grace Community Church and he did and I read to Psalm 107 and he was just literally shattered to the very core of his being, and he was a heap of brokenness in tears and sadness and joy all mingled together because that some says there is a God who breaks the chains and sets the prisoner free and he said to me later. He said that then you got up and you talk and you kept preaching and preaching and just kept going.
I Say why does that got shut up so I can get down there and find out how this can happen in my life and so finally I shut up and he came down here and was just totally transformed and revolutionized in the I had the privilege of baptizing that young man had an incredible testimony in that world before he died, so this Psalm is precious to me because it's a Psalm of salvation as much, as any part of the Old Testament. It puts us in touch with how people in the Old Testament were saved just a profound profound song and it's really all about praise, worship and praise and honor to God is really a matter of of thanking God is Israel. As you know, had been redeemed and rescued and restored by God over and over and over through the centuries they had been rescued from Egypt in the South. They had been rescued from Assyria and Syria to the north.
They had been rescued from the Philistines to the west and they were rescued from the Babylonians to the east. They had plenty of reason to sing about God's great deliverance.
The opening verses are a summons to thank God.
Verse one says all give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy and gathered out of the lands from the east and from the west from the north and from the south just in that summation rehearses all of the deliverances of Israel from every direction. The key phrase there in verse two is let the redeemed of the Lord say so.
Those who have been redeemed are the ones who want to be praising God and thanking God. Those who have been redeemed are those who can genuinely sing the song of thanksgiving for God's goodness in God's mercy to them. Goodness and mercy is the theme of the song and it's the theme of the life of one who has tasted sweetness and been invited to sing praises to a redeeming God as you look at it. You see four illustrations of God's redemption. There just very lovely very magnificent and yet simple pictures for pictures of God's redemption. First, in verses 4 to 9 God's redemption is like a lost caravan finding a safe city. Secondly, from verses 10 to 16 God's redemption is like a captive prisoner being set free. Thirdly, in verses 17 to 22 God's redemption is like a sick person, having found health and finally in verses 23 to 32 God's redemption is like a doomed sailor being rescued from certain death in a storm. Each of these poignant graphic analogies illustrates the blessedness of God's redemption. This is also from the theological standpoint, a clear picture of how it was that a person in the Old Testament came to salvation was when they realized that they were lost when they realize that they were prisoners when they realize that they were sick, and when they realize that they were doomed to disaster when they realize that they couldn't keep the law of holy God. They couldn't love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. They were disobedient. They were rebellious. They were wayward.
They saw the true lostness of their soul.
The true imprisonment of their spirit. They realize the sickness of their sinfulness and the doom that awaited and they came to God and cried out now. Each of these four pictures falls into the same pattern. The psalmist follows a sequence here. First there is the predicament.
Then there is the petition then there is the pardon and then there is the praise. The predicament is the dangerous situation described the petition is the cry for deliverance from that danger.
The pardon is the merciful deliverance provided and the praise is the call to thanks that follows our own redemption from sin is imaged in these magnificent analogies. We too are like people lost in the wilderness locked in prison languishing in deadly sickness in life threatened on a storm tossed sea. This picture then is not only of the redeemed of the Old Testament, but us as well.
Let's start with the first pictures very very clear that of being lost in the wilderness verse four. They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way.
They found no city to dwell in hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. There's the predicament there's the predicament restless lost sinners without resources starved and thirsty wandering hopelessly in a trackless desert aimlessly looking for a city which can provide food and water, rest and safety. Obviously this could well depict Israel and the 40 year wandering in the wilderness when they came out of Egypt, wandering restlessly and aimlessly roaming around in a wasteland, a howling desert between Egypt and Canaan, where they all eventually died under divine judgment.
It also surely could be used to describe the terrible plight of Israel in the land of Babylon lost as a nation diffused into a pagan culture in a religious desert of godlessness at the very point of perishing also describe us any trouble.
Destitute, forlorn, lost soul wandering aimlessly in the barrenness of sin without the soul supplying spiritual bread and water of life itself. Sinners are wander looking for city someplace where there's water someplace where there's food where there's provision enjoying fellowship and rest and security and safety from the ever present and impending death that leads to the petition in verse six.
This point, psalmist says and they cried out to the Lord in their trouble. People ask me all the time. How are people in the Old Testament saved when they realize their spiritual condition and cried out to the Lord at Sarah. They cried out to the Lord in their distress, is Israel certainly cried to the Lord in Egypt, they cried to the Lord and Babylon beseeching God for redemption from bondage and redemption from barrenness.
They told God of their famished end and a serious plight in condition they illustrate really sinners of all times recognize their failure to keep the law of God, to recognize their lostness, their aimlessness, who recognize their deprived and their depraved and dangerous can mission there really looking according to Hebrews 1110 for a city whose builder and maker is God city that has foundations, it's not transient. This is where the sinner has to come to a desperate sense of need. The Old Testament person saw the law of God, and saw that he or she couldn't keep it, and recognize the desperate condition recognize the alienation from God recognize that there was impending death on the horizon and cried out to God in the condition of lostness like sinners of any day you realize the whole world was a barren wasteland of vast, empty desert stark and deadly will become desperate enough and hungry enough and thirsty enough and pained enough and frightened enough to call out to God for a way to a city city with limitless resources provisions rest security and satisfaction.
Verse six says so wonderful and he delivered them out of their distresses and he led them forth by the right way they might go to a city for the dwelling place when Israel called the God he heard them and he delivered them, and he led them to a right way. Actually, the Hebrews and straightway literally means a road without humps and bumps and curves and turns an easy road, the grace of salvation makes it an easy way, the journey is depicted as a straightway an Easy Way, God provided goodness and mercy and grace and it was him who did all the work we had to do was receive it well. The petition leads to the pardon of the pardon and leads to the praise in verses eight and 90, that men would give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men, for he satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness, what could more deserve the praise and thanks of God's people then that they are safely on their way to the heavenly city second picture here is also lovely picture it's the picture of being liberated from the present lost in the wilderness, and secondly locked in a prison verse 10 is the imagery very clearly those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound in affliction and iron so there is a picture of a prisoner in a dungeon in the darkness in the shadow of death people and those kinds of places died from the filth of those places chained in iron chains. The created tremendous suffering. They were there. Verse 11 says and here's the key because they rebelled against what the words of God, and they had despised the Council of the most high. Therefore, he brought down their heart with labor. They fell down.
There was none to help the sinner not only understands the aimlessness and the hopelessness and the despair in the emptiness, but he also understands that he is imprisoned as a result of a violation of God's laws.
A result of rebellion against the counsel of God is a real result of rebellion against the word of God when Israel was in Egypt and when Israel wasn't babbling.
More recently, the experience was like, imprisoned, and they had really no hope of freedom. They were there because of rebellion. They were there because of disobedience.
They were as it were chained in the darkness and gloom of that pagan place there like people in it dungeon a stinking smelly filthy dungeon on death row awaiting either execution or death from the conditions without light and without hope. This calamitous situation was brought on by rebellion against the law of God by sin in the Old Testament it was that the sinner not only had to come to the realization of his lostness and his insecurity and his aimlessness in his pointlessness.
But the fact that he had to come to grips with the fact that he had violated God the broken God's law that he had rebelled against God and a righteous God had sentenced him literally to a prison of judgment. Sinner has to come to the recognition of this, and in the Old Testament.
That's where the sinner who would come to God would come to the realization that he rebelled against God, and that he was in the prison of his own sin sentenced to damnation you would come to the recognition of his spiritual imprisonment that leads to the petition in verse 13.
They cried out to the Lord in their trouble. That's where they come. That's where the sinner has to come with same as verse six they cried out to the Lord in their trouble. The same exact pattern and then you go from the petition to the pardon in verse 13 the same immediate reaction, any save them out of their distresses. Jesus said it this way him. It comes in the mail in no wise what cast out any save them out of their distresses and he brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces as that is glorious is not in such pardon leads to praise in the psalmist pleads if if this is happened to you. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of that's the refrain that ends each of these images, the joy, have you forgotten the joy consequent to such deliverance. Oh man would give thanks to the Lord for his goodness, lost in the wilderness, restless locked in a prison guilty miserable.
Thirdly, languishing in a sickness. Another graphic image. Again, the indictment comes because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities were afflicted. They were made ill's like a fatal deadly illness fatal deadly sickness and this would be true of someone with that kind of illness. You will notice that in verse 18 it says their soul aboard all manner of what food that when a person reaches the last throes of the deadly illness they have no what I have to, loss of appetite, and he says in verse 18 and they drew near to the gates of death. This is some this is a picture again of the sinner in his lost condition. Here is the imagery. Sinners are sick with a deadly incurable ailment requiring divine and miraculous intervention for a cure. So the sinner not only realizes his aimlessness not only realizes his profound guilt and misery, but he realizes his impotence.
He doesn't have the strength or the capability to bring about a cure. Yes condition that is hopeless. He is unable to handle life. He is unable to deal with issues in life. Yes no peace. He just wastes away to death.
When a sinner comes to this realization. Verse 19 says. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble same exact flow then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble in the petition leads again to the pardon. This is so wonderful.
Any save them out of their distresses. He said his word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions. Is this not the goodness of God's is not the mercy of God. Here are these lost here are these locked here are these languishing crying out to a God who eagerly eagerly hears ended pardon leads to the praise again. Verse 20 10, that men would give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men. The psalmist is pleading here the psalmist is pleading again. He repeats himself four times with this and it really is a plea saying please don't be thankless. Please don't be thankless. Praise this what is appropriate worship and adoration.
Gratitude when the church gathers.
This is what the church gathers to do worship and praise and honor God and lift up his saving character in his saving work and exalt the Savior, through whom this salvation was provided.
Jesus hadn't yet died but the pardon God offered to a penitent sinner was offered because Jesus would one day bear that sinners guilt even though he had yet died, he would be the sacrifice for that Old Testament penitent and sins of that Old Testament penitent would be placed on Christ would bear them loss to know in a wilderness locked in a prison languishing in a sickness, and finally life threatened in a storm. Verse 23. Those who go down to the sea in ships who do business on great waters. They see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep, for he commands and raises the stormy wind which lifts up the waves of the sea, they mount up to the heavens.
They go down again to the depths. This is the surging sea and the soul of the sailor melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man and are at their wits end.
This is again the predicament he always starts with the predicament the fearful dangers of man's sinful condition is like a storm at sea with its impending drowning. This really requires little comment.
The Jews knew that the storm of the Babylonian captivity and swept over the whole nation and threatened to drown them all, but more than that it was an individual storm that would drown each soul.
The world is a seed to sinners.
It's us it's a troubled see it's a sea full of temptation and sorrow and suffering and its waves will one day drown. And so again comes the petition simply uttered in verse 28.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses.
If ever there was a question about whether God was a willing Savior. It should be answered by the assumption it these people aren't deserving. These people are undeserving we all are in the petition is answered with a pardon he brings them out of their distresses.
He calms the storm so that its waves are still then they are glad because they're quiet so he guides them to their desired haven. Just beautiful language from the restless, miserable, sick, fearful, aimless wandering life headed absolutely nowhere with no resources hopelessly near death and hell calling on the Lord so it requires like some people may assume that people were saved in the Old Testament by some other way than we understand the New Testament not at all. It was a matter of the sinner recognizing his condition. Recognizing he was on the brink of death. Recognizing he had no strength and no ability to solve the problem and deliver himself, knowing that he was a rebel who had violated God's law and couldn't satisfy God's law and earn salvation. He couldn't get himself to the holy city. He couldn't get himself out of prison, he couldn't get himself out of the storm to the safe haven. He couldn't do anything to cure his own illness and so he cries out to God. God is in the business of hearing the cry of the distressed sinners, and so the psalmist says in verse 30 10, that men would give thanks to the Lord for his goodness and his wonderful works to the children of men, you know will not happen every time your people meet every time you gathers a church, you ought to be thanking God for his gift of salvation. We want to just be so caught up in worship that elective prescriptions 14. A sinner would say God is in this place and folded want people to eavesdrop on a worshiping community of people who are thrilled and excited last full of joy and gratitude thankfulness. It's a fitting response for anyone who's experienced the transforming grace of redemption. That's John MacArthur's message today on grace to you and is less entitled giving thanks for redemption.
Well John it's the day after Thanksgiving and it's traditionally been the biggest shopping day of the year and for people who may be turning attention to picking out Christmas gifts for loved ones, you have some great options to consider and not one of your options requires fighting traffic and crowded shopping centers. I have never been shopping the day after, nor have I have a fit. But if I were going to shop and maybe I will truthfully, I would shop on the grace to your website but I would do and I would just like to remind our folks that the we have the MacArthur study Bible that this is the flagship resource of this ministry. The text of the Bible, new American Standard new King James the ESV we have all kinds of additions hardcover of leather soft premium leather. The MacArthur study Bible has 25,000 footnotes explaining the tax that it is in multiple languages and by the way it's been discounted 25% for limited time, so take advantage of the lower price on the MacArthur study Bible, including all the leather additions and all the non-English translations so that's that's the first thing you could order for yourself or for those you love. And then secondly we been mentioning this over the last couple of weeks, the MacArthur daily Bible.
It divides down the Bible into 365 daily readings and including some notes that will enrich you as you read through the Bible and you can do that right at the start of the year January 1. If you get one right away in order some for your family and then the MacArthur New Testament commentary series women said a lot about that recently. But we have commentaries 34 volumes on the entire New Testament. That's right I said 34 volumes. Matthew through revelation verse by verse.
You should get this set or get some volumes of the set. Maybe start with the your favorite New Testament book and you'll find yourself tremendously enriched.
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Our number again 855 grace and our website TTY.org well friend on what may be of very busy Friday for you. Thanks for spending time with us today.
In these days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I encourage you to take advantage of the gospel conversations that are likely to come up this time of year.
If you're not sure what to say.
John has a lot of sermons on effective evangelism. The key elements of the gospel and how to share the good news with boldness. Just go to our website and search for the term evangelism and you'll see the sermons and other resources that can help our website again TTY.org now for John MacArthur. I'm Phil Johnson reminding you and your family to watch grace to you television this Sunday and make sure you're here Monday for another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you