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Alone but for the Lord

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2020 8:00 am

Alone but for the Lord

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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October 4, 2020 8:00 am

Weve all experienced times when we felt utterly abandoned--when it seemed we hadnt a friend in the world. Our Lord Himself experienced this very human emotion as he hung on the cross, and David experienced it in the cave of Adullam.Join Dr. James Boice as he describes Davids isolation and, his curefrom Psalm 142.

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In the cave of Avalon. David reached his lowest point abandoned and alone. His friends had deserted him and David felt nothing but the pain of utter desolation are welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically with nowhere to turn and no one to turn to.

David reached out to the Lord with the prayer and a plea.

This wasn't a normal prayer. It was one of great urgency to plead not so much from the heart, but a desperate cry for help in the midst of a crisis. Join Dr. Boyce as he describes a man whose only resort was the Lord who was waiting for David right there in the middle of his circumstances a lot of troubles in life, but few things are worse than to be in trouble and to be going through it entirely alone that usually the way this when life turns sour or when were in deep trouble.

We usually do have to go through it alone. I got a very many of you know the name of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. She's an American poet. She lived between 1855 in 1919, and although you don't know her name.

I'm sure you know two lines of poetry that she wrote. Ella Wilcox wrote laugh and the world laughs with you weep and you weep along I was her cynical words at the mostly true except on rare occasions where friends and except in Christianity now when we come to Psalm 142.

This is exactly what we find we find the David is alone in the David is in trouble.

We know it, not only because the Psalm speaks of problem but also because of that title line. This is the only Psalm in this last collection of songs by David that actually has a title line and this one says my skill of David when he was in the cave of prayer on is helpful to us because we know something about this. In David's life when it was in the cave and I love after he had fled from Saul was the lowest. In his life he had risen to fame in Israel by killing Goliath and after that he had entered the military service of the King. King Saul and he was very popular use to lead troops out the battle he was successful.

There and the people began to praise David more than Saul. Saul is slain his thousands, but David is 10,000s with one other song. So Saul got jealous of David.

It's understandable work on them eventually tried to kill him, and finally David did the only thing he could do under the circumstances, he ran away and fled into the wilderness on the way into the wilderness she went by law, which was a city of the priests.

He had no weapons, no army, no food, went to Ahimelech high priest asked if he could have some food like that. Nothing but the shewbread that was there in the older they gave it to him and they asked if he had a sword he had no weapons except the great sword that had belonged to Goliath was laid up there as a trophy in the city of the place David took back when that sort of the went off. He didn't know where to go first place he went was to gaffe the home of the Philistines and interestingly enough, also the home of Goliath. I asked the question what in the world whatever cause a man to do that was bad enough for David. One of the prominent Jewish heroes to go to the city of Gath Philistine city city of the enemies where he was in danger, but we remember when we study that narrative carefully.

The gaffe was also the hometown of Goliath. So here comes David into the hometown of Goliath bearing the sort of Goliath. It would certainly have been recognized by all of the people in the town and there it was, it would either be absolute arrogance on the part of some lofty hero or it would be sheer desperation that would push them to such an act was desperation course. He just had nowhere else to turn. He was endangering their people reported his presence to the king and David began to dissemble. He thought there going to kill me and the only thing I can do is pull them so he began act like a crazy man, which caused the King to say I not have enough crazy man in my kingdom without you bringing weakness additional one for Miss Rick getting out there and so David left in the blood in the wilderness and he ended up in the cave. A lot of now it was when he was in this cave art, it's about the time when he was in this game that the Psalm was written is alone. He's in trouble. He has absolutely nowhere to turn. And so the rights song Derek Kidner is one of the great commentators on the Psalms, and he has a very useful outline of the Psalm has forced answers in Kidner's outline of at one point for each stanza goes like this. First, my plea verses one and two.

Second, my plight versus three and four. Third, my portion verses five through seven and finally the last half of verse seven.

My prospect amazing people can come up with outlines like that all beginning with the PI can't do that I have to borrow it from other commentators, as I've done here. My plea my plight my portion and my prospect now that the first two verses had to do with this player may set the tone for the Saul because David is in trouble and here he is pouring out his distress before body seeking God's help in his trouble and is praying urgently time to time in the studies of the Psalms. I mentioned this characteristic of Hebrew poetry, which is known as parallelism it's most characteristic of the Psalms where one line says something and then the says almost the same thing but in slightly different words. You have four lines that are parallel to one another because each one says virtually the same thing. Look first line I cry aloud to the Lord. That's the same as I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy, except that the second line answer plea for mercy as the subject matter of the complaint and then site pour out my complaint before him. That's the same as before him. I told my trouble except the trouble now begins to explain what the complaint is all about. So here is David saying the same thing over and over four times as a way of saying very earnest about this. This is quite a serious prayer that is honoring something else about it. Words cry aloud in verse one literally in Hebrew read with my voice my cry so Psalm actually begins by repetition of an idea with my voice. I cried to God and with my voice.

I ask for mercy. So David isn't merely praying in his heart as we sometimes do. This is a prayer that is honoring audibly and openly and I think we have to say this loudly, but take the lifts our prayers from the wasteland of mere routine to the high ground of actually pleading with the Almighty white in the little all the answers to that might be the trouble helps.

Here, David is in trouble and are easy times our prayers are easy to what they take on a new urgency when trouble comes now we going to the next stanza here and I should say it's possible that verse three should be placed at the end of stanza one explaining why David is placing his troubles in God's hands because her spirit is growing faint. Kidner sees it that way and he sees this verse three as the first of what he calls three modest summits of faith in the Saul going to see the others as we go on, he sees it as meaning that's when I'm ready to give up. You're the 1 Who Knows My Way is I don't know what you do and so David here would be throwing himself on the omniscience and wise counsel of God.

Somewhat the way he did hundred and 39 Saul that we studied earlier.

Well, that may be, but I think probably that the new international version is right where it dies because it's here that David begins to describe what really is troubling him, verses three and four, he lays these difficulties before God.

Now notice a change of pronouns in the first two verses babies writing in the first person writing about himself says I cry aloud I lift up my voice. I pour out my complaint. I tell my trouble, but now in verses three and four. He speaks to God himself saying it is you who know my way.

Even verse four is spoken to God as bold as it may same because what he says there is this God look on my right hand. See, no one is concerned for me puts me in mind of the 23rd Psalm because it's exactly the same thing happens in Psalm 23 in the first part of that Psalm and David is describing the Lord's ample provision for him and his presence with them in life. He is using the pronoun he talking about God. He says he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul he guides me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake, but as soon as he comes in the middle of that Psalm to talk about walking through the valley of the shadow of death returns from the ample provision in good days to talk about the troubles the pronouns change. Now it's no longer key but it's you and your even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death will fear no evil because you are with me your rod and your staff they comfort me safe for our troubles in life and when the troubles in life, natural for the believer in God turn to God and begin to address them directly.

We can be abstract and distant than philosophical about our faith in other times, when difficulties calm returned to God and we say you alone all Lord our my strength how he explains what his problem is here. It's twofold. First of all path before them is a dangerous one, full of the stairs of his enemies. David is in the cave. He doesn't know what the immediate future holds. We understand that saying I need help. And then secondly he says I have no friends here I'm alone so you know support man lost was a turnů Support him and comfort him and provide for them because it was while he was there in the cave that other disenfranchised discontented people beginning with those from his father's own household began to collect around them.

By the time he left the cave Alana, let me have the core of his future army 400 strong beers fighting men. This is earlier and he felt that it was actually no one, no one to help in his time trouble ask a question. Why does David ask God to look to his right adverse look to my rights and see no one is concerned for me. Well, it's because it's on the right hand of the software and the people of importance would normally be for that was the place for an honored guest place where the chief figures of the Army generals would stand and so what David says it's what I look where my real help should be. There's no one there. I look in front of their enemies.

I look behind their enemies. I look to the left or enemies. When I turned to look to the right is no one we asked the question one really know and I wonder if David remembered that he had written earlier in the 16th Psalm I have set the Lord always before me because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken. I think he did remember because the next section of this verses five through seven begin to talk about God and they are a reminder to David himself by David the God is first of all, his refuge second is portion 30 Savior and forth his liberator from his prison cave you put it this way. God didn't need to look to David's right, but David did when David looked to his right, and faith. He found that God was there. Now verse five is what Kidner calls the second summit of faith in the Psalm because it begins to express faith in God in spite of the circumstances. As far as David could see that is with his physical eyes. He was along.

McKay nobody was there to help them but in solitude faith begin most to see what is invisible to the physical.

I why David saw when he looked up and faith was God now first thing he realized is that God was his refuge. He says I have no refuge. No one cares for my life verse four, but here he says you are my refuge. I portion in the land of the living was God refuge from well from his enemies of course was from those who had hidden the snare for him. That is exactly what he says also in the companion Psalm Psalm 57 Absalom describes his enemies as ravenous beasts to pursue him spread Annette for his feet. Dig a pit in his plant, but it also says in you. My soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster pass David here confesses God is a refuge for his saints about our refuge to these refuge from our enemies.

Whoever they may be, but I want to point out if I may put it this way, the God is also our refuge from God stop to consider in the unsaved state your greatest enemy is not people that you see on every hand but your greatest enemy is God because God punishes sin and God is the author of the final judgment we stand under his wrath in an unsafe state every single day. Where are we going to be sheltered God's wrath only possible answer to that question is in God himself. God himself provides a shoulder from his wrath in Jesus Christ and his work upon the cross. Charles Wesley wrote on this idea, other refuge have on non-times by Gus this top lady author of some of our great hymns wrote rock of ages left for me. Let me hide myself in the last question you found refuge in God, one who is able not merely to help you through life and save you from your sin bring you into a state for the work of Jesus Christ, by which you are able to stand before him, clothed with a righteousness, not your outlets with the Christian life is all about standing in Jesus Christ before God.

Secondly, David calls God is portion we have a great illustration of these points in the Old Testament in the case of Abraham. When Abraham returning from the battle against the kings of the East who had attacked the cities of the plane and carried off Lawton's nephew, family, and the spoils Abraham would attack them, disperse them by night by a surprise attack bringing back all the spoils and the captives.

He was met by Melchizedek because the deck is described as a priest of the most high God and Abraham bowed before him and offered 1/10 of the spoils. Melchizedek after you done that. He gave back all the rest of the spoils to the king of Sodom because he said I don't want you to go around saying I have made Abraham rich Abraham wanted his richness to be in God.

That particular point in his life. Abraham was not in a very enviable position yet benefited from the battle at all and furthermore he was in danger because who was to say whether these kings of the east might regroup and recognize what it happened the top of the hill country and attack and kill Abraham.

It was at this point God came to them with a very great promise, Genesis 15, one God said do not be afraid. Abraham I am your shield, your very great reward. What he was saying I'm your shield against your enemies. I'll protect you and I'm your reward. You do not need the spoil of Sodom person who possesses God is richer and the eternal things that even the richest and most famous person in the world. By the third thing David confesses in these verses is a God is his Savior, Savior, and those who were pursuing embryos were too strong for him. Course this isn't expressed in direct speech the way the first two points were but there is a petition, he says rescue me from those who pursue me for there too strong for me. So by his prayer to God to rescue him.

He is recognizing the goddesses Savior. So I asked the question again is God your Savior need a Savior from a lot of things. You need a Savior from sin and its destruction. Unita Savior from Satan's wiles you even need a Savior from yourself and you need a Savior from the world and its enticements don't have a Savior and you don't turn to God to be a Savior. Those things are going to gang up on you and sweep you away. What you need is one and can save your soul and lead you in the way everlasting and that is God alone and finally the fourth thing. He confesses a goddesses liberator saying set me free from my prison that is the cave that I may praise your name that's a step beyond mere rescue. David needed to be rescued, but more than that.

He wanted to be free to leave the cave. It seemed to be is present so he might bear witness and serve God in a variety of ways of God with all those things to it very clear about so we come to the last verse, and here we have a satisfying climax on notice what David has said he is in danger of being killed by Saul, but he found a refuge in God. He's been driven away from home, possessing nothing but God is his portion he's in danger of being overcome by people who were stronger than he is.

But God is his Savior and he feels that he's been shut up in the prison of his K but goddesses liberator will set them free. What he says. He comes to the end of the factors that she knows he's going to be the king of Israel, and so what he anticipates. Finally is a day when the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me this means that in the final analysis as we prayed about it and thought about God and God's provision.

He know that he wasn't going to be alone all knew that God was with them and he knew that in the end righteous would be standing by him to so I come back to the point here where I started out there are aspects of suffering that are entirely individual. No one can ever really experience our suffering as we do, but the righteous are still with us and standby S company of the redeemed are our friends and they will be with us here somewhat and then certainly with us forever in glory is also this think of Jesus Christ was Jesus alone yes no man was ever more alone than Jesus, especially during those hours would he hung up on the cross while he was on the cross. Even God the father forsook him as he took our sin upon himself, he cried out from the cross by God, my God, why have you forsaken me yet he knew the God would return to him again even since he had been meditating on Psalm 22. He must've been reminding himself a way that ends that they would come when in the company of the righteous reading he would stand and praises God as I remember, Jesus also remember what the book of Hebrews tells us about them in the fourth chapter.

Therefore it says, since we have a great high priest was gone through the heavens, Jesus the son of God.

Let's hold firmly to the faith we profess. We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one. It was good tempted in every way, just as we are and yet without sin.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. You feel alone. Jesus was alone. You feel deserted by those who have been closest to you.

Jesus was deserted but Jesus is not deserted you. Moreover, he understands you and he is with you and will help you is probably the case that some of the righteous will to remember what Job said Job had this testimony, he knows the way that I take when he has tested me listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce Christians are becoming fearful because the voice of the culture is deafening.

Telling believers that they are bigoted, backward and foolish so clearly to turn find out through our free CD entitled the church's comfort in a challenging world by pastor and author Jason hello call us at 1-800-488-1888 will be happy to send you a free copy of the church's comfort in a challenging world again. That number is 1-800-488-1888. It's a great feeling to be part of something bigger than ourselves, something that has a profound and positive impact on others. When you support the Bible study hour with your financial gift. You are part of the great commission helping others to hear the good news of Jesus Christ, you can make your tax-deductible donation online at the Bible study. Our daughter work, you can call us directly at 1-800-488-1888 in our mailing address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601 in Canada. You can reach the Bible study hour at PO Box 24097 RPO Josephine North Bay, ON P1B 0C7. Thank you. We appreciate your support.

Would you like to explore even more reformation 21.org and a place for truth.org are websites of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals, proclaiming biblical doctrine to foster a reformed awakening in today's church, find blogs, articles, and podcasts from today's most influential reformed thinkers connect to it all from the Bible study hour.org Mark Daniels thank you for joining me today. Nothing we do is ever entirely apart. Sin said even my repentance needs to be repented of house a Christian to co-joined Dr. James Boyce next time of the Bible study hour as he looks in our unrighteousness and Psalm 143 that's next on the Bible study hour preparing you to think and


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