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Evil for Evil's Sake

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
September 20, 2020 8:00 am

Evil for Evil's Sake

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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September 20, 2020 8:00 am

Its a given fact that theres evil in the world. The evidence is overwhelming. But is there such a thing as pure evil? Are there some among us who are so profoundly wicked as to be irredeemable? Join Dr. James Boice on The Bible Study Hour as he studies the essence of evil, and Davids response to it.

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There are those among us who seem encouragingly wicked seem to love evil, purely for evil sake. The world would tell us that they return to their malevolent ways by outside events and influences but God's Word tells us that the propensity for evil lies within us all are welcome to Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Bortz preparing you to think and act biblically. We are of the race of Adam and want to live for self, like the truly wicked of this world, we have the pension for violence and are ourselves in evil and crafty people. How do we deal with those who are truly evil and how do we deal with the malevolence found in our own hearts.

Listen, this Dr. boy study Psalm 140 and discovers David's remedy for the evil that lies both within us and around us have been saying for a number of weeks now that these lasts almost certainly sold her beginning with Psalm 135 are chiefly about worship as they tell us what worship is and they tell us how to do it how to do it acceptably, yet are some Psalms that don't seem to fit this category nicely on the Psalm to which we come now. Psalm 140 is one of them. It's about people who are encouragingly wicked people who love evil for its own sake. So we asked is a Psalm that deals with evil people like this really along with others that are written chiefly to praise God. Now I want to suggest that it does, that we don't have a mistake at this point, but actually a wise ordering of the arrangement of the Psalms by the Holy Spirit who stands behind them and I want to argue that for several reasons. For one thing, Psalm like this reminds us that even at the moment of our most transcendent and blessed worship. We nevertheless worship and praise God in the wicked world. We are constantly surrounded by people like this and by evil plans such as those that David describes.

And then secondly, although this song does deal with evil and with evil persons, it nevertheless moves in the direction of worship and begins to talk about it at the end, I would ask the question Justin in an introductory way. Whether the Psalm is actually about David. The general opinion of scholars is a David didn't write it, even though the ascriptions as he did when I read it.

It sounds to my mind, very much like the kind of things David had written elsewhere, is Psalm speak again and again of enemies is hardly a Psalm of David. The doesn't describe David asked to be delivered from the enemies all of the Psalms of David. Exhibit a steadfast confidence in God as the Psalm does even the imagery is Davidic you find it in the earlier undisputed Psalms of the father that are by David so I would say that instead of disputing David's authorship, it's better to think that perhaps there was a collection of Psalms by David that was found somewhat later in the history of the compilation of the book of Psalms and found its way here into the collection just before the final hymns that are entirely appraise the first two stanzas of the salt mine is verses 1 to 3 which are the first stanza in verses four and five which are the second.

These first two stanzas are nearly perfect parallels the characteristic of Hebrew verse parallel writing and what that means is that they say virtually the same thing although they varied the language poetically talking about those who love evil. It says that these people devise evil plan/startup war. I make plans to trip up the authors speak they spread out the cords of their nap and set traps along his path those things. David is set about enemies before but what seems to be unique about this particular song as it is describing people who love evil for evil sake.

Reminds me of a book that was on the New York Times bestseller list number of years ago by a New England psychiatrist's name is M. Scott Peck was called People of the lie. Peck had written earlier, but before that, was also very popular called the Road less traveled between the writing of his first book of the writing of the second book, he became a Christian. It's kind of an interesting sequence of writing often experience and in the second book he begins to talk about what he had seen a one is really evil in his psychiatric practice is a very distinguished background and I suppose that's necessary to give some weight.

Any minds to what he actually has disarray evil in a variety of ways and illustrates it by stories from his practice.

Some of it was relatively harmless, except to the person involved. One woman illustrated that as a woman, Charlene, I want to tell you something about her later. It seemed as work with her and he did that for a period of four years that she merely wanted to toy with one point when she was talking about her lie she says I live because it's fun and other cases evil was terribly destructive, especially in things that were done by parents and were destroying their children and their number really very sad cases that he mentions Matt. This experience eventually led him to participate in exorcisms which he regards in a scientific manner, and once the psychiatric profession to take seriously enough reason I tell this is that he defines this specific kind of evil as absolute autism, which means living for, and thinking only of oneself and then illustrates that I think well by the case of this woman Charlene at one point he was trying to get her to express what she thought life was all about and she had been toying with him back and forth and he was pushing a little bit to see if he could break through that and he said to her you were raised in the Christian church. Surely you're not so dumb as to be unaware of what Christians say is the meaning of life.

The purpose of human existence and Charlene booted in that way finally replied in a flat low monotone. We exist for the glory of God. Well, Peck said was a reflective silence and then the woman burst out I cannot do it. There's no room for me in that would be my death. Peck thought for a moment she was going to cry.

Then what had seemed to be our trip back sobs burst into Aurora.

I don't want to live for God I will not I want to live for me or my own sake after years of therapy and careful analysis that concluded that what she wanted most of all was power and power for its own sake, not powered it make any difference in the world not to improve society carefully family makers of a more effective person or anything like that.

He said her first repower was subordinated to anything higher than itself, and was probably this case, war, and the other that led them to participate in the exorcisms.

I only did that to kinda bring this up to date and to say that I think David would've understood that perfectly well because that's what he was up against in his day highflying textbook people of the lie to be perceptive and stimulating. But I find Psalm 140 to be even more perceptive and stimulating. Especially when I remember that the apostle Paul picks up a verse from the Psalm puts it in the third chapter of Romans and says this is what the human race is like my going our own way apart from God are like Charlene, we want to live for ourselves and ever going to be delivered from it. It's going to be by the grace of God the way, Paul describes the human race. There is no one who does good on even one.

Their throats are open graves. Their tongues practice deceit, the poison of vipers is on their lips.

That's the verse that comes from our song, their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood ruin and misery, marked their ways in the way of peace they do not know there is no fear of God before their eyes. Every one of those statements is a quotation from the Old Testament, mostly from the song Charles Haddon Spurgeon was writing about this all me said David's enemies were as violent as they were evil as crafty as they were violent and as persistent as they were crafty at stroke, but if Paul's use of the Psalm is accurate, then this must also be said about us.

We too are violent and evil and crafty either actually or potentially that's the case, then David's prayer for deliverance from those who love evil for its own sake must also be a prayer for God to deliver us from ourselves.

The words we too need a Savior, and the only one who can save us from ourselves is God. None of this means we don't also need deliverance from evil people, we do is what David is praying for but were not going to pray self righteously going to recognize that God has been gracious to us and we need his grace and deliverance as well.

Now the question we ask here is what we do when we're surrounded by people belie should be our response when we are confronted with those who seem to love evil for evil sake or even those were just practicing evil at our expense. Have lots of examples of that many people have it in their work all the time, somebody in the office was utterly corrupt, lying, cheating on everything always blaming someone else often the Christian people have it from their families. Families treat them that way people experience it from neighbors. Some live in neighborhoods where evil is rampant, you do in a situation like that. David experience that because he was the king and everybody was out to get him. I would hate to be a politician. Everybody's out to get you and they were out to get David what you do when you live in a situation like that. Well I think you have to do what David did what David did was turn to God is the only one who could deliver him from himself and from others places needs before him, ask for help and then praise him for the deliverance that he gives. I mention Charles Spurgeon. He had a sermon on the second half of the Psalm, beginning with verse six, in which he traces a rising note of confidence on David's part as he lays this problem before God sermon had five points based on five important things David Sansone and characteristic. Spurgeon passionately develops this brilliant outline and here's the way it goes. First, he picked up on verse six. David said you are my God, and Spurgeon called this a possession asserted. Then David says here, O Lord, my cry for mercy. Spurgeon call this a petition presented and thirdly, David says, oh, sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer who shields my head in the day of battle.

That's in verse seven. Spurgeon call this a preservation experienced and fourthly, verse 12. I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy Spurgeon call this a protection expected and then finally verse 13. Surely the righteous will praise your name and the upright will live before you call this praise predicted.

I've never been able to develop neat little outlines like that but I recognize a good one when I see it, and what I like to do is just follow that progression. None of those words necessarily just follow it because certainly that is what is happening with David as he lays these requests before, but look at this first thing possession. You are my God this is the ground for his appeal.

He has a special relationship to God. God is his God is one true God.

Mr. Hove is his hope is a simple words are all of one syllable, you are my God that we shouldn't take them for granted because in a certain sense. Nothing is more amazing in all the world than that God should be ours is not amazing that we should be his everything in the world says made it autos everything he controls everything is in charge of everything cattle on a thousand hills are his.

But the amazing thing is that God should be ours. We wouldn't be able to claim that would be a bold, audacious, indeed almost a blasphemous thing to do unless it were for the fact that God himself is authorized us to do it.

That is what is done, you find it there in the Old Testament as early as the book of Genesis.

Genesis 17 eight. God says to Abraham, I will be there God speaking of Abraham and his descendent in Exodus 6 or seven.

I will be your God. God said to Moses on the brink of the Exodus from Egypt or afterwards in the 20th chapter. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt out of the house of slavery. The words I am the Lord your God occur 22 times in Leviticus and again and again throughout the Old Testament and in the New Testament we seen that reading from John 20 verse 28 were Thomas Paul's the feet of Jesus and says, my Lord and my God. Make it personal by asking the question this way is Jehovah God of the Bible, the great God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament the father of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Your God as you become your God through faith in Jesus Christ. And can you say you are my God to God as David does. One thing to say it to the minister go to church would say that all the time. Oh yes, our God is God even possible to say it to your friends.

I'm a Christian. Yes I believe in God is quite another thing to say at the God you question your heart, look into your own spiritual experience. I asked the question. Can you say it to God. That's the acid test of your profession will know whether it's a true confession or not.

Remember that in the preceding Psalm Psalm 139 is talking about the omniscience of God and he says God knows me knows me inside out from top to bottom. I can get away from that searching I have God. God knows you. So if you say to God, you are my God, he's a God who knows whether that's true or not.

You cannot fool them so I encourage you to find out whether God is really God and find him if he's not through Jesus Christ because is a wonderful peace and joy that follows from it now. The second thing is is petition verse six.

Here are O Lord my cry for mercy. You see, whenever we turn our thoughts to God and really doing not just verbally or formally as people sometimes do in charge, but actually doing thinking about God and who God is. The thing that we are always impressed with his holiness find that throughout the Bible whenever one of the Bible characters has a vision of God. What strikes them about God is the holiness of God and the same time, the sin of the one who becomes conscious of what God's holiness exposes sin.

So if that happens, your next request should be this petition you should come to God for mercy. Best, where unworthy servants and the only way we can ever come to God is on the basis of his mercy, which he is made known to us in Jesus Christ. You see the difference between David and his enemies is not the David was holy and they were not the David was aware of his sin and because he was aware of it had come to God for mercy and he found it is a great New Testament example of that is Christ.

Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector apparently was highly regarded and so when he was asked to pray he prayed in a way consistent with his own estimation of himself. He said I thank you Lord that I'm not like other man I I of my possessions are not guilty of any particularly gross sin. Above all, I'm not like this tax collector over here was a man of low reputation tax collector, standing over on the side didn't most of his assignments. He had not, but he prayed simply God be merciful to me a sinner in the climax of the story comes when Jesus says that it's not man the tax collector went home justified before God rather than the man who prayed about his attainments recite the difference between the tax collector and the Pharisee was not that the Pharisee was holy and the tax collector was a sinner. Both of them were sinners difference was that the tax collector knew it. And so we came to God on the basis of his mercy, as David does. So the second question I ask is this. Are you willing to come to God on the basis of his mercy made known to you in Jesus Christ is to be a Christian. Christians are not better people than other people we know, saying all look how good we are good at all member Becky Peppard saying one occasion, the problem with Christians is that they forgotten that there sinners say this is different.

Sinners, yes, but sinner saved by the grace of God by the mercy that he's made known to us in Jesus Christ died for our sin, taking our sin upon himself, paying only of our sin.

So David anticipating that in verse six says hear my cry for mercy. The third thing we have here is the statement of preservation of sovereign Lord by strong deliver who shields my head in the day of battle versus elaborate this point because having reminded himself that God has been merciful to them in the past is help them in the past. He then ends the talk about the present and asked for deliverance against those people who are practicing evil. Even then, what is the asked for really ask God to confound his enemies.

Those who have been setting traps for women verse five he says don't let their trap succeed.

Verse eight. These are people who have been troubling others with their belligerent designs. Verse two says therefore let the head so those who surround me be covered with the trouble their lips of cause they been trying to destroy others. Verse one. Therefore let burning coals fall upon them. May they be thrown into the fire in the fiery pits never to rise firsthand.

They been wounding the citizens of Israel.

The faithful ones by their slanders. Verse three. Therefore let slanders not be established in the land. Verse 11 very appropriate precursors by those who are intent on destroying others themselves be destroyed.

May God be God of mercy and justice. Save those who have come to him for it. Well here's the fourth thing protection. Verse 12 the Lord secures justice to the poor and upholds the cause of the need to. You see how his confidence has been growing throughout the song been laying his request before God is been remembering God's help in the past. He is prayed for God's deliverance in the presence now he talks about protection for the poor and the needy, and he reminds himself that that's exactly what God does. God is done it in the past he would do it in the future to judge of all the earth will do right. Those who practice evil will get what they deserve. Then, having come through all of that, the very last verse, he begins to burst out into praise saying shortly.

Righteous will praise your name in the upright will it be for you and that versus the climax of the Psalm.

He has looked at those who have been practicing evil is identified with their evil recognizing it in himself is look to God, praying for his mercies. Remember God's deliverance.

He is prayed for it in the future, and now he's not only praising God buddies asserting with real confidence that the righteous will do that in the days to comment. So this great Psalm begins the discussion of evil and evil people and this in praise, so it should. That's the way everything is going to end this is a very evil world. One day the righteous are going to stand before God in heaven and they're going to praise him. The great God of the Bible and for the mercy that they have found in the Lamb.

This is man's chief in what is chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

So we will you among those will do it. Psalm invites you to make sure it's prayer father, we thank you for what you taught us this great Psalm have had great poet of Israel even a great King David and we pray that you will so use it in our hearts, we may find Christ if we do not know him, that we may find confidence where we of lactic confidence in yourself. We pray in Jesus name your listing to the Bible study hours between the teaching of Dr. James Boyce if you enjoyed today's message you want a free copy of our CD entitled to present evil age by teacher and author Michael Horton, the New Testament warns that were living in the last days of an evil age but were not to give up hope. Give us a call at 1-800-488-1888 we be happy to send you a free copy of the presence evil age again.

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How has the Bible study our impacted your life are you more confident in your personal ministry has Dr. Boyce's teaching inspired a fresh appreciation for God's word will be sure to tell a friend and then tell us our entire staff would be greatly encouraged by your story when you call or write our email address is contact at the Bible study our daughter work by Mark Daniels thank you for listening. In Psalm 141 is another in a series of Psalms that teaches us about worship and specifically about prayer as part of our work is both a unique Psalm and a difficult one because prayer itself is often difficult.

Join Dr. James Boyce as he answers the question of why such an insensitive worship can be so challenging for the believer. That's next time on the Bible study our appearing you to think and act biblically

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