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Cry Justice!

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
September 14, 2021 8:00 am

Cry Justice!

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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September 14, 2021 8:00 am

Today on The Bible Study Hour, we’ll continue our series through Psalms with a message entitled, Cry Justice! As believers, we’re called to stand for what is right, integral, honest and fair. But before we can plead for, or administer, earthly justice, we must first be made right before God by Heaven’s standards. Be sure to join us as we learn together from Psalm chapter 7.

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In this broadcast of the Bible study hours will continue our series through Psalms with a message entitled cry justice as believers were called to stand for what is right.

Integral, honest and fair.

But before we can plead for more administer earthly justice. We must first be made right before God by heavens standards. Thanks for joining us as we learn together from Psalms chapter 7 to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly when we are wrong we should bring our case before God, the great judge in ultimate defender. Let's listen in together as we learn from David's example studying Psalm seven. So if you have your Bibles. Please open to and follow along as we see what God has to say to us service portion of his word and experience of King David first two songs are not by name. As far as we know there more or less introductory Psalms. The small urban beginning with Psalm three Psalms are identified as David's and that continues for the most part throughout the first book of the soldier.

It contains Psalms 1 through 41. Most of the songs in that first book by David and in these earlier Psalms I mentioning there is a certain intensifying feeling explain what I mean. Psalm three David is in danger, real danger, but David isn't particularly distressed by it.

As a matter of fact as you read the saw what emerges is feeling of his quiet confidence in God call the morning saw because he says in verse four I lie down and sleep.

I wake again because the Lord sustains me. That doesn't seem to be any particular emotional turmoil there. All of the danger certainly is great when Psalms on the floor for risks on distress on David's part. He comes to quiet confidence in God. In the end it's called evening song because the very end. He says I will lie down and sleep in peace that only after he wrestled through the problem with the first part of the song deals with Psalm five intensifies, the more you only have to begin to read it to say that give ear to my words of the Lord, consider my sliding listen to my cry for help when he talks about his enemies and lists all because the arrogant. Those who do wrong. Tell lies their bloodthirsty and deceitful man. You can understand what's happening here. Same thing is true in song six.

Larry says the was sighing and groaning so much over danger he was in the problems he faced that the literally flooded his bed with weeping trenches couch with peers same building in intensity carries over to the Psalm were to study now, seventh Saul Gary's been accused been falsely accused matter of the Psalm is slander. David is so distressed by it that he calls out to God protesting his innocence and asking for divine judgment or intervention.

He really wants is vindication vindication online, but in life he's letting now as we have stunning little bit about the circumstances and the title that precedes the song identifies with the word we don't understand brands a certain kind of meter certain kind of song that it to say that this is a Psalm of David which he signed of the Lord concerning Kush Benjamite. Now some of the little identifying phrases you find in your Bibles been added. There by the translators. That's true in the new international version, particularly in the New Testament were paragraphs are divided up little subheadings that's not in the original language that is not true of these headings in the song is headings of the Psalms are there in the Hebrew text as matter fact if you look at the Hebrew text, they go right in with everything else.

So part of God's inspired word we read that that is obviously intended. Not by a translator to maybe help us out by God to explain the situation.

The only difficulty is we don't know a whole lot about it was that man Kush that's mentioned there. Kush Benjamite were not told anything about him anywhere else we do know something about the situation of David's life. However, it does give us some understanding of this David's predecessor as king of Israel was Saul. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin.

When Saul was killed in a battle with the Philistines and David ascended the throne, which took a long, long time ingrained in Hebron for seven years before finally came to Jerusalem as king over the United nation he experienced opposition from this tribe.

It's understandable. Saul had been their champion. Saul had been one of which they were proud of. Now along comes David of the tribe of Judah and suddenly David is getting all the glory shifts to him was a lot of opposition and carried on for a long long time. We know that because years later after David reigned in Jerusalem for a long long time. As a matter of fact, even as late in his writing when he experienced the rebellion of his son Absalom. There was opposition to and from this tribe when he was driven out of the city. When Absalom took over almost 1 the kingdom away from them.

There was a man name she my Benjamin who cursed as he left the city called him a man of blood in the scoundrel. He said the Lord is repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul and whose place you will drain.

I say that phrase here at Psalm 70 signed of the Lord concerning Kush Benjamite doesn't tell us a whole lot when you go back and read a text like that you understand with a lot of feeling. There might try and even after David came back to Jerusalem when Absalom was defeated by David's armies commanded by Joab. There was a rebellion led by another man of this tribe's name was Sheba story is described in second Samuel chapter 20 verses one to following not either of these men can be identified with this class but the situation obviously was the same here was intense opposition from a body of people who greatly resented what happened when David took the throne they would doesn't give a great deal of detail even in the Psalm about the accusation that was made. The slander that was directed against him, but he does give some clue outed verses three and four is rated it would seem the least talking about is this.

He had been accused of doing evil. Somebody had no cause to regard as an enemy wraps more than one and of robbing one who, although he was an enemy he had no cause to abuse a list of things we need to note about this introductory way before we begin to see how we handle but as it wasn't a trivial matter. That's the first thing we have a tendency to dismiss slander accusations or lies as something of no consequence. We say well sticks and stones may break bones names will never hurt me but it was not trivial in David's case and generally it is trivial with ourselves either. We sometimes only say that when it concerns other people running.

David was the king. It was David's responsibility to administer justice in order to administer justice.

Man must be just David's integrity were undermined. This would be the beginning of a severe undermining of his kingdom. David was known as a man of integrity is where the strength of his rule came from. So if there was a slander going about this was not something that David could simply shrug his shoulders about and say well names will never hurt they would hurt my well be that a slander of this nature would be the cause for an armed insurrection, perhaps even overthrow the kingdom that he had just experienced that perhaps her afterwards he experienced in the case of his own son so serious matter and it is often serious for us as well. Second thing that's important about this is the difficulty of dealing with false accusations, as I say we tried to just shift our shoulders pass a law especially when it concerns other people. We don't do that quite so well when it concerns ourselves, but generally is inadequate is a problem when somebody saying something about us possibly to know how to deal with it. We do, and were falsely accused of falsely attacked, we reply inclines. I said something means honestly say something mean that they lied about as we lie about them. If you do that if you do that you go down to the level of your accuser. You become like them. You can even justify the very thing they are saying that they say on is lying to doesn't work or do you protest openly and widely present time, and we should do that. We certainly have to state our innocence of the risen essence of the difficulties they as a people always assume that wherever there's a commotion. There must be something behind it say whether smoke there's fire sale. We don't know the whole story. Alonzo might be right there. Hands also might be right. Something wrong there.

We actually fan the flames. When we reply that way sometimes. Quote Shakespeare when somebody is protesting their innocence. We say methinks he doth protest too much and sometimes that's the truth. The person is doing that, really, because the is guilty what you do.

How do you vindicate yourself.

How do you get out from under the shadow of false accusation only one thing you can do and that's what David does, it brings it to God. And that's the way in which you have to understand Saul.

I don't know whether you and I experience generally a whole lot of slander, false accusations, but it does happen from time to time when it doesn't hurt so that's a problem. Now here's the Psalm whole chapter of the Bible you will is given to us to show us how to deal with and bring it to God as one David all Lord my God, I take refuge in you and so will we wise men and women we study that way, but will return to the Psalm and begin the study and we do, the things that are very problematic for us have to work through them. If the Psalm is going to benefit us in any way. First thing is problematic is David's claimed innocence. Sally doesn't verses three and four, oh Lord my God, if I have done this, and there is guilt on my hands. If I have done evil to him was at peace with me or without cause of Rob.

I follow and let my enemy pursue and overtake me and trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust, maybe even worse versus further on in verse eight he says judge me oh Lord, according to my righteousness.

According to my integrity almost by say this is who is sent to us and we have been taught to say that we all lay before God, there is no one righteous you been taught to save and the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are at best unprofitable servants. Can David protest his innocence, whether things we have to keep in mind.

First of all, David is not protesting that he is perfect. Not saying that is innocent of all sin and we have to read the earlier Psalms no. When he pleads for mercy of God's acknowledging guilt.

You don't plead for mercy unless you acknowledging guilt always saying here is that he's innocent of this particular accusation.

So what is calling upon us God to intervene in show that he is innocent in this particular thing at the same sort of thing that David would have been called upon to do in the case of other people. Again and again is the head of the nation.

He was the one who dispensed justice when the case came before him, and somebody was accused of something. It was his responsibility to determine whether that was caused accusation of the person was guilty or whether he was not to be set in a particular case the person is not guilty of that go for a year under no condemnation whatsoever in saying that the person was innocent of all sin.

Only that he was guiltless so far is that when friends Russian was concerned that one alleged transgression was concerned. That's what's involved here serious thing. But only one thing is not protesting his innocence in all areas. Secondly, and this is also important to note that he doesn't take vengeance into his own hands. You and I can always do that but David was that the Army's somebody was falsely accusing him it was well within David's power to say we all know Joab not arrest. I got thrown into prison about what I'm going around saying this and not me anymore.about may also remove moss in the kingdom of putting in his place like in prison say doesn't do that instead of doing that he takes his case to God doesn't. David responded in that way he would have showed himself inside said earlier, to be just like the person was accusing me with a fan the flame.

It was shown that he was guilty. After all, the admin building Forex or legally now and so David takes it to the Lord. We should do that as well. Righteous in times of trouble, of always going to the Lord. The problem is we don't always do it when he attacks us and we fight back.

God says vengeance is mine, I will repay, but say I rather I get it now myself. You're going to do it properly, or do it at the last day and so we take it in our own hands they didn't do that we need to learn from it is the third thing is well which I think you need to say and that is that although he is concerned about justice in his own case is not only for himself that he pleads is also concerned about justice for all use phrases that is common in American law.

So he puts them together is really very interesting in verse eight refers phrase in verse eight says let the Lord judge the peoples. That is the nation's just the people of Israel and judge everybody whole wide world. Let God be the judge of the whole wide world and establish justice and do right. X-rays judge me oh Lord, according to my righteousness the auto is pleading for justice in his own case he doesn't sign the fact that he needs also to plead for justice for others. Evangelicals, particularly understand this, we are sometimes suspected in the secular world which we live, especially here in America, only wanting to protect their own interests and sometimes as I listen to the things that evangelical sigh. I think the suspicions of the secular world are entirely right thing of some evangelicals that seem to be champions of a particular kind of justice that I would scramble to see in a position of power in public office, because I wouldn't trust him to be evenhanded in the justice they accuse others of being unequal in the dispensing of justice. We gotta be sure that we are not guilty of that ourselves. We want justice for evangelicals. Our point of view we want to be heard and so forth. We have to be concerned justice of those who don't believe what we do has to work that way. Here is David as king of Israel doing exactly that.

So that's the first problem the protests innocence. That's a problem to us, but we have to understand in those terms saying that he's innocent of everything is only discharge and what he wants his vindication but he also wants it for other people as well is a second problem here in this perhaps carries is a little bit further along. Not only is he protesting his innocence.

He is asking for justice. Again, that's a problem for assessment been taught in the matter of innocence were not innocent on righteous, no not one. We been taught in the matter of justice told ever asked God for justice and you heard that said in her that said Yemen coming to temper during church.

I saved five justice from God. The justice of God is going to send you hello what you want is grace God for justice asked for grace. Grace is what you find in Jesus Christ. Justice is what you find the final judgment in the condemnation of wicked we been taught not to ask for justice and yet that's what David is asking for is even asking for and been very vigorous language. Look at all the imperatives you find in verses six and following his Lord your anger rise up against the rage of my enemies. God sitting God get up off your throne of doing something is what you say awake, my God, God seems to be asleep degree justice you been silent on the matter rule over the assembled peoples from on high that the Lord judge the people judge me oh God, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the right to seek those imperatives directed toward audible thing. I just do it now. David's cry well when we do that very well help to this point by chapter CS Lewis and his little book reflection on the songs.

Maybe some of you read that Lewis is very perceptive is certainly a great critic of literature and he apply some of those skills to his understanding of the Old Testament text begins in a very interesting way.

Distinguishing between two kinds justice. There is a heavenly divine justice. And then there is an earthly human justice is perfectly valid. We understand that as well.

He says these two kinds of justice lead naturally to two different attitudes on the part of human beings toward it.

Christians traditionally focused on the heavenly or divine justice, and what we think of when we think about justice, we tremble in the face of that kind of judgment. What we recognize as were sinners were not innocent or not before God. We all deserve to be sent to hell and only through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ and the imputation of his righteousness than any of us have any hope whatsoever of standing before God, and that final judgment day when he says Martin's other justice goes earthly human justice. This was particularly the concern of the Joe what you find.

Throughout the Old Testament is what you find in the small says in quite a contrary matter that you thinking of earthly human justice is not asking to be absolved through an atonement but rather these crying for justice. He wants justice to come problem that he sees is that on earth, justice is not and just because he is a child of God and concerned about the right which is a reflection of the character regarding one's God intervene and do something justly justly here in his particular situation or interesting essay, Lewis says we perhaps rightly as Christians today prefer one concept we say that's higher than the other. And it's true it is. Lewis says let's not be unconcerned for earthly justice that should be our concern is well met with David is concerned about here. Sometimes we allow our theology to get us off the track at that point we talk about the Christian virtues. We say well because you want to show charity and be nice and all that kind of thing shouldn't be too worried about earthly justice says that isn't quite right. This is a great writer and he has little illustration that is worth sharing to imagine two boys were fighting over a pencil and let me get this to you in his own words because he writes so well. Lewis is the question whether the disputed pencil belongs to Tommy or Charles is quite distinct. The question which is the nicer little boy and the person or parents allowed the one to influence their decision about the other would be very unfair.

Many Advil (it would be still worse if they said Tommy ought to let Charles have the pencil whether belong to them or not, because this would show that he had a nice disposition that may be true, since Lewis but it is an untimely proof and exhortation to charity should not come as a rider to a refusal to justice. It likely to give Tommy a lifelong conviction. The charity is a sanctimonious dog for condoning theft and for whitewashing favoritism is right in that and for that reason, when we come to these Old Testament songs that speak in a different voice we sense that a different voice for what were used to thinking of our feeling ourselves as Christian. Certainly a different voice from what is characteristic of the New Testament we have to remember that they are nevertheless talking about a very valid concern what they say we take this seriously is that there are several great needs and let me share some of that with you because their needs we have today. Do it briefly we champions for the poor disadvantage because it is chiefly poor. The disadvantage that failed to get the earthly justice Lewis as you see reason we don't think about that so much today is that we live in a world where generally we suppose justice is done without favoritism.

But he said the ancient was always a difficulty that the poor had to get justice. That's why the Lord told the parable about the poor widow who had been unjustly treated and she came to the judge. The judge didn't want to hear them the money to bribe him with finally did hear that it is only because she was so persistent she got badgering him with a request says that much of the world today that that is quite common in on any money you can get justice because you can get your case heard you say we should be concerned with justice.

We should be concerned to have champions with the poor disadvantage Christian should do that we tend to say well that's always some other country or another part of the world. We have a great judicial system. Here we do a good one but it's not great. Certainly not perfect, and the longer I live the more I see the validity of the complaint of the poor that say they really don't get justice. At least they don't get equal justice under a system because I don't of the money to pay for justice and less those who are able to obtain and become their champions is a need for that second thing we need today is upright conduct ourselves. We want justice in the world. We have to live justly problems with evangelicals in the public mind today is that it is anything but just communion or fellowship television contains the scandals people who at one time were in prominent places not only being convicted of immoral conduct being sentenced actually sentenced to jail for theft world looks of that says Look at evangelicals Christians were justice are just as bad as anyone else. If we want to have justice in the world. We have to live justly third thing is the vindication of the righteous. That is to say we have to stand beside those who are right and we understand against those were wrong. I would say we have to say that those of do-gooder acknowledged that the wicked are identified as such dispute. Any of those needs to ignore those needs is to abandon the poor disgrace are calling and encourage wickedness. Let me say this. At this point if, in your own experience in your progress and religion as you come closer and closer to Jesus Christ and arrived at this point yet you're not sure of your salvation you know anything about heavenly justice and the fact that is taken care of by the blood of Jesus Christ. Don't go on this other thing until you deal with that there is an important first of all, you have to know that you stand on a right relationship with God.

What you need is a change character to know that your slate has been wiped clean is only on the basis of that really that you will ever be able to show charity or justice to another and besides that the salvation of your soul is at stake on the want of the latter must develop of the first. You have dealt with the first.

You know that Jesus died for you and although you deserve to be condemned or go to spam the day of judgment clothed in his righteousness be welcomed in the heaven is one of God's children. Then in this life you have a responsibility dealing with the justice question on the lower level date. It's an outworking of the life of Christ within you, who himself was concerned with justice. Well the second half of the Psalm, which are not going to treat in detail because it says much of what is said in other places will find again we find David expressing confidence in God truly wonderful because God is going to be shield trust God to do that we were going to be shooting at him or some more prominent you are, the more they'll shoot God will be your shield says in verse 11 that God is not only content to do that God is expressing his wrath against the wicked every day is true and evil brings about its own fall, says number three if this evil person or evil people do not relent. God is going to strike out against them, and finally down in verse work daily business I got is even arranged that moral laws of the universe in such a way that evil brings down judgment on itself uses an image. The apostle James picks up newsletter chapter 1 verse 15 about sin being conceived in the heart, bringing forth evil and so forth.

He says he who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble. The disillusionment it's a way of saying evil doesn't work think you're going to get there by doing wrong, but it brings its own disillusionment. Many people find that out to their sad experience.

Want to dig the hole and scoops allows them to fall into what Hume causes trouble will find oils upon himself then at the very end of the Psalm he expresses his confidence in God.

Once again, even thanking God in the midst of the accusation. I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness, and all sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.

I do know something interesting about that. Here is David resting his confidence in God, thanking God at the end of the song, but so far as we know, at least in the context of the song is not yet been vindicated is what is crying out for his cry out for it vehemently, once God intervened justly see that his name is own name. David's name is upheld because he hasn't done this thing come to the end of the song we don't know that God is done that yet to get here is David praising him expressing confidence in God. That's what we have to live you say it may be, we can certainly ask God for vindication were falsely accused may be that God will do that often.

He does offer the righteous are vindicated, but is also often the case that they are not.

That's the case well and we wait for the vindication of God in the final day truth all truth will be established along all along will be revealed good all good will be rewarded evil all evil will be judged.

In the meantime were to do as Christian people is continue back righteously. Later on in our series were going to come to a song that asked this question when the foundations are destroyed, what shall the righteous do one great preacher on that text of an earlier generation answer the question saying why go on being righteous course cry justice. Yes, let's cry justice and work for it. In the meantime, let's live righteously because goodness, justice, righteous life for their own reward program.

Father, we thank you for the song. We thank you for the practical matter with which it deals. We know when we come to the song. You always practical matters.

Sometimes the things that are touching is now sometimes their problems that don't touch us now but certainly will someday we would ask that you would use our studies Christian mind and us in Christian character, so that in the midst of the troubles when the troubles, we might be found living like the Lord Jesus Christ and looking to you the author of our salvation of the finisher of our faith in the meantime, awaken us from our own lethargy grant we might not be complacent when others are suffering above all others are suffering injustice of the hands of the wicked give us grace to work for them and their vindication as well.

Jesus I pray his name.

Thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaimed biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church.

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