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October 18, 2020 8:00 am
Throughout the Psalms.
We been granted admission to view the heart of David, and to hear his desperate pleas for help in times of trouble. Now, as we approach the end of the Psalter we see David offering a completely different petition, not a prayer of desperation, but a prayer of client confidence in a God he's learned to trust welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. David is at a point in his life when he is quite aware of his own weakness and his inability to accomplish anything in his own strength but David's also aware of God's greatness and of the many times he's rescued David in the past. Let's join Dr. Boyce as he examines David's prayer of deep humility and divine sufficiency from Psalm 144 one other things.
Both are set on one occasion is the true religion is found in personal pronouns.
What Luther meant by that is that it is only when were able to speak of God is our God and speak of Jesus Christ as my Savior that Christianity becomes more than merely a tradition is actually I living faith for us. One example of lateral biblical example we found in the apostle Thomas and Christ's appearance to them after the resurrection.
You recall he was questioning the resurrection and doing it on the same kind of grounds that we would do it.
You say well we don't believe in miracles. Thomas didn't believe in miracles is always that I will believe it unless I see the evidence of when Jesus appeared to him and gave him the evidence of he could have placed his finger into the nail prints in Christ hand hand and the wound in his side of the chosen to do so. It was so overcome with the presence of Christ that he fell at his feet and said my Lord and my God.
That's the great climax of the gospel of John comes at the end of the next-to-last chapter. It's John's way of saying that's what it's all about. What have you here these things you might actually come to the point of responding personally to Jesus Christ. Now that's true religion is true religion in the Psalm hundred and 44 that were studying now is like that extremely personal, as David begins by confessing that God is my rock, my loving God, my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer and my shield these opening verses settings all the tone for the song and it's from this beginning that David then goes on to play, acknowledging first of all, human frailty, especially his own. And then secondly, asking God for help because of his frailty is great need. Third, offering new song of praise to God and then finally repeating his prayer for deliverance while he looks forward to a day of God's rich blessing upon his people and it's without that the prayer in Psalm, and blessed are the people of whom this is true. Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord is in these last lines. David commands when he is experienced and come to know of God to the people of God and what he saying in effect is this happy are the people who are able to make the same confession that I do and say as I have been doing this is my Lord and this is my God. Now I need to point out that the Psalm is a lot like Psalm 18 in any capital comparison a matching phrase for phrase when the KI think wife quickly that it's written by the same individuals.
Some of the scholars when they find one Psalm quoting another assume that it's a later writer borrowing on the earlier one, but you can argue the other way just as well certainly all of this sounds like David in your third home is different in Psalm 18. David is explaining how he had been in desperate trouble at one time but how God delivered them from it says things like this. The cords of death had entangled me cords of the grave had coiled around me. I was in great distress.
But then he says Lord reached down from on high and took hold of me and drew me up out of deep waters. I pursued my enemies and I overtook them that's all maintain now in Psalm hundred and 44 David's enemies are also present but here there at present France is not looking to the past in the past deliverance.
This is something he's experiencing right now and so he praised deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies. Verse 11 that in spite of the fact that this is a present need and what he needs is a present deliverance. The prone of the Psalms, hundred and 44 is called and settled in trusting. The reason is that David knows that the Lord it was his raucous fortresses stronghold is deliverer and his shield is going to give them victory and is going to bless his kingdom. He says in verse 14 God does, that there be no breaching of the walls know going in the captivity, no cry of distress in our streets.
Psalm 18 is described as a song which David sang to the Lord. When the Lord delivered them from I and all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. It's a victory song celebration, but here victory is needed still to come in the Psalm breeze and assurance that God will really give it now slightly introduced. That's the first few verses the next stanza of the song begins to talk about human beings in their frailty and David certainly includes himself in that old Lord, what is man that you care for him Son of Man that you think of him and is like a breath.
His days are like a fleeting shadow pointed out that much of the Psalm sounds like Psalm 18 but when you read these verses a sound very much like Psalm eight as a matter of fact, very few changes. This is exactly like that central section of Psalm eight in which the psalmist places man at this mediating position in the universe, man is an insignificant being when you compare them to the Angels who are above them in the stars of all of the heavenly host. This is what's quoted here almost word for word, and yet again there's a change because in Psalm 80. What causes this almost a marble is that although man is such an insignificant being God, is nevertheless pleaded him over the animal creation and has given them the possibility of fellowship with God himself. What David talks about in the Psalm as he thinks about the frailty of man and what amazes David, is that God should be a help and a stronghold for him what he saying is let's you know when I when I consider human beings and I look at myself and I think I'll insignificant. I am why do I have any right at all to think of the Almighty glory is God of the universe should care about me or help me in the answer to that. Of course, is not right at all except that God does. So David stands in perfect amazement when he thinks about that amaze you and I think very highly of ourselves, especially in our culture today and so we think about God. Pay attention to me because I'm so important to think of yourself in terms of the vastness of creation.
Think of your own insignificant then instead of thinking how important you are. You think how wonderful God is, as you say. Isn't it wonderful that the great God care about somebody like me. That's what David is doing G, Morgan, in his very brief commentary on the Psalm suggests that will appreciate it better for you. Remember the Psalms come before it. Psalms 135, 153.
The ones that follow Psalms of Ascent. He says five of these elaborate, the sufficiency of God in their followed by four which declare the other helplessness of man, both crews he says are present here.
Psalm hundred and 44 the divine sufficiency is seen encompassing the human helplessness until it is so lost sight of as hardly to be discoverable.
In other words, David is utterly aware of his weakness, but even more is aware of the greatness of God and so is kept from being arrogant on the one hand, and being defeated. On the other many to learn from David learn that this is what true religion is all about. Now, with the exception of the two opening verses portion of the salt which is most like Psalm 18 as the person or to come balance.
Verses five through eight. It's a section in which David asked God to come down from heaven and robbed his enemies that berated part your heavens, oh Lord, and come down touch the mountain so that they smoke sent forth lightning and scatter the enemies shoot your arrows and wrap them reached on your hand from on high.
Deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies is right hands are deceitful.
Psalm 18 also describes God's parting the heavens to come down touching the mountain so they shake scattering the peoples enemies with lightning like arrows but important thing about the similarities is not that Psalm 144 is like Psalm 18 which is what so many of the scholars get hung up on because and they say what is the relationship between the two. How does one depend upon the other.
Many of them say well Psalm 144 must've been written later and certainly not by David is copying the early Psalm. That's not the significant thing about the similarities significant thing about the similarities is that both Psalms or drawing on well-known established common Old Testament imagery words doing what the people of God doing the people of God come together remember what God is done in the past and so Psalm 18 doesn't and so to Psalm 144. Now here's the way it works.
When verse five uses language like it does, it's referring to the dissents of God to Mount Sinai to give the law through Moses was accompanied by a shaking of the earth. Dark clouds and lightning Hebrews in the New Testament does the same thing because it describes Sinai as a mountain burning with fire darkness bloom in storm so terrifying that even Moses said, I am trembling with fear is referring to this.
When he asked God to come down and touch the mountains what he saying is that he wants God to be is real in action in his own life in time as he was back there in the days of Moses in the wilderness were six touches on God's intervention in the war against the Canaanites, time the Jewish conquest under Joshua, particularly against the southern Confederation on the battle that's described in Joshua 10.
That's when God sent hailstones probably accompanied by flashes of lightning against the Jews enemies verse seven. The deliverance from mighty waters may refer to the parting of the Red Sea may refer the parting of the waters of the Jordan River either, it's referring to the Exodus is referring to the conquest.
What is happening in these verses is that David is reflecting on God's manifestations of his presence and power in the past and he's asking that something of that same power and presence might be seen in his own time and also means this by alluding to these past proofs of God's presence. David is declaring the God of Moses and the God of Joshua, the God of the other Old Testament figures is his God. In other words, he's standing in the line of the covenant people possessing the benefits and the blessings that God imparted to them.
As a result of the covenant that was made. Mount Sinai, here's the point.
So do we. We belong to the covenant people of God. Think of these past stories in the not merely stories manifestations of the power of our you think you come to church to say yes to God of Abraham is my God and the God of Moses is my God and the God of Joshua is my God. David is my God and the God of the apostles is my God only one true God is the God it was acted powerfully in the past and is operating the present as well by his Spirit to do what is determined to accomplish our you say at this point.
Well, what should be a response to this, how should we respond to the fact that this God is our God and the God it was powerful then as powerful today as well. David's response after he rehearses the things that God has done is what he calls the new song presumably the song that we are studying the first time he's done this title to Psalm 18 says that David saying that the Lord, the words of the song when the Lord delivered them from the hand of all his enemies in the hand of Saul and toward the end of that Psalm Psalm 18 verse 49, he says himself. I will sing praises to your name is the same thing again in the 40 assault.
He put a new song in my mouth. I have appraised our God not here in Psalm 18 he thanks God for what is going to do and this is the song that thanks them for a pair Thanksgiving is petition is still waiting for God's intervention, but he so confident that God's help that is already singing about it they didn't have the song that we often saying but if he had this would've been appropriate space for him to sing our God, our help in ages past our hope for years to calm our shoulder from the stormy blast and our eternal home. We sing a song like that we place ourselves in this great sequence of the people of God.
I don't just thinking about song. Let's not forget that new song it's mentioned in the New Testament in the book of Revelation. It's an antiphonal song sung by different groups of people look for in 20 elders and the Angels and then all creatures of the earth and under the earth, on the seas and they sing this new song to God and it goes like this.
First of all the elders you are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on the earth of the elders and the Angels join and they perform their part, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise and then at last, all these creatures sing praises to him who sits on the throne and the Lamb praise and honor and glory and power for ever and ever.
When they finish that there's nothing left for anyone to do but say amen is what the 420 elders and then the chapter tells us that they fall down and worship. I am set a great deal about worship so far but you recall, in the study of these last Psalms of the solar that's what we're dealing with. Have a marvelous illustration about the worship of the people of God is and has always been what does it consist of. First of all, it's a rehearsal of the great and mighty acts of that's why we remind ourselves of these things is why we teach the Bible. That's where this is recorded, we have course have the advantage of understanding what God is done in Jesus Christ, which is the climax of it all David could only anticipate that slightly as if he were seeing through a glass darkly, we look back we have it all, but we begin at that point then you see Christianity isn't just a collection of ideas. It's not just a history lesson because all of this is for our benefit and for our salvation. So we respond we respond personally and when we do it is by singing a new song or thought of that, you have the privilege of singing not just the song but a new song, one that arises out of your own experience. I'm not sure that means that you have to have new words to simply have a new content to it are God, our help in ages past, our help.
For years the complex. Your personal testimony. If you sing it well with blocked so the people of God. Do that and they do it week after week after week, and will continue to do it week after week after week until Jesus comes again. And even then were going to keep on doing is what will be doing in heaven is reminding ourselves of the greatness of our God responding in a personal way. As we sing praises to him how very last section of this anticipates the blessing that David expected God to give his kingdom after those who were threatening him or defeated Alexander McLaren usually think is a marvelous commentator and right on think this actually belonged with us all.
They call these last verses 11 through 15 and appended fragment has been attached to the earlier verses and what he called an embarrassing fashion because these last verses don't have echoes of other Davidic Psalms is the first versus doing. He can see a connection between the two, but I think the flow of thought is obvious God delivers the nation from the hands of foreigners browser full of lies in his right hands are deceitful. Verse 11 then there will be no military at no breaching of the walls going into captivity. No cry of distress in our streets, young men will grow up like world Burchard plants the young women will be like pillars carved wood door to palace and the efforts of the people will be directed away from Warner to the fields and flock so that the country will flourish and become increasingly prosperous.
These last verses are not even added in an embarrassing way McLaren supposes their actually tied in beautifully for the prayer for deliverance in verses seven and eight repeated in verse 11, which introduces this last section with the omission of just one line lying when the prayers were answered.
The days of prosperity will come of this prayer is not a desperate plea. Some of the other Psalms of been sometimes David has been so great trouble that he simply didn't. Virtual desperation calls out to God. That is the tone of it here instead.
This is a confident prayer that leads to the vision of blessing that's expressed in the last four verses what kind of a blessing is significantly.
It begins with the family is the foundation of any strong society, verse 12, and it advances to the peoples prosperity. Verse 13 follows from the stability of the people and the culture then verse 14 to the security of the city. Finally, blessing is anchored and is only adequate source which is God, which is why this all men's by saying that the greatest blessing of all is to have Jehovah as one's Lord now, the point is that without Jehovah. None of the other blessings follow. This is the way we think turning out the way the world thinks most people want the blessing of these last verses. People are not made to be alone will need other people, so most people dream of being part of a warm and supportive family community that substitutes for the family or something like that.
But with God. The family collapses and relationships are destroyed. The collapse of the American family in our day is one proof of how it happens, people also want to prosper.
Everybody wants to prosper. When I worked it out loudly when our bank accounts to grow.
There's nothing wrong with that but even when this happens, people are still insecure without God because I find the things alone don't satisfy the longings of the heart. Finally, people want to be safe. When the culture is crumbling as our culture is they know that they're not secure, and that violence and even death can strike them from nearly any source of any moment by having Jehovah as our God is not in itself immediately guarantee these blessings. We live in a fallen, sinful world. David didn't experience uninterrupted blessings.
The families of believers also fail is David's dance we do not always live lives utterly free from want to wear often in physical danger. As David was when he wrote the Psalm were blessed by God. All the same, because of God is the greatest of all blessings and knowing and serving God is the best insurance path. Other blessings as well say the world says blessed are those who put themselves first. Blessed are those that look out for number one.
Blessed are those who trample down the opposition, the word of God says blessed the manna does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law he meditates day and night shall be like a tree planted by streams of water yields its fruit in its season, whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does, listening to the Bible study featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce. Have you ever wondered just what it means to be blessed by God. Have you ever question whether you are receiving his blessings.
If so, we be pleased to send you a free CD entitled the full measure of God's blessings. It's also by Dr. Boyce give us a call at 1-800-488-1888 will send you a free copy of the full measure of God's blessing right away again. Our number is 1-800-488-1888, many in this world find themselves in desperate circumstances. Unlike David, these people have no knowledge of the loving God who cares for them. Dr. Boyce's messages offer hope to a world in need and you can be part of this ministry with your gift of any amount to the Bible study our you might choose to become a monthly supporter of this ministry by calling us directly at 1-800-488-1888 or you can visit us online at the Bible study our work. Finally, our postal address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Thank you. We truly appreciate your support now has the Bible study our impacted your life are you more confident in your personal ministry is Dr. Boyce's teaching inspired a fresh appreciation for God's word will be sure to tell a friend and then drop us a line, our entire staff will be greatly encouraged by your story. Our email addresses contact at the Bible study our God who I marketing it was David's last song on the bank of her lifetime lived with God and attribute of praise to God, who had never failed.
It's a song that provides a pattern for our praise as well join Dr. Boyce as he unpacked Psalm 145, the last of the acrostic verses and last song with the Mets next time one Bible study our you to think and act biblically