Share This Episode
The Bible Study Hour James Boice Logo

Hope in God Alone

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 18, 2021 8:00 am

Hope in God Alone

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 586 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

October 18, 2021 8:00 am

Psalm 28 teaches us how to wait on the Lord and what we should be doing while we wait. Today on The Bible Study Hour with Dr. James Boice, we'll see David waiting on God to rescue him, and pleads with God not to count him among the wicked. All the while David continues to praise and trust God, asking God to save His people, be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Encouraging Word
Don Wilton
The Urban Alternative
Tony Evans, PhD
The Christian Perspective
Chris Hughes
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

Psalm 28 teaches us how to wait on the Lord and what we should be doing as we wait today on the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce David waits on God to rescue him and pleads with God not to count him among the wicked, all the while David continues to praise and trust God, asking God to save his people be their shepherd and carry them forever. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. Today we continue our study of the song God has become silent and David's perspective but David knows that God is still there and he will faithfully keep his promises. If you have your Bible turn to Psalm 28 last Sunday we were studying Psalm 27 is all very well known and come to Psalm 28, which is not so well-known that there's a connection on the connection is this very end of Psalm 27 we saw David stressing because he repeats it twice over where to wait for the Lord. Verse 14 verse wait for the Lord strong and take heart and wait for the Lord is good advice. We don't want to wait forever. Of course, we expect God to answer the question is why we're waiting for God to answer. What do we do, we simply back off and say, well, God is not answering my prayer forgot about it. Maybe I'll come back to it here. From our two years from now we let it go like that. We say God is sovereign God will do what God will do or do we keep on praying are supposed to do is keep on praying that brings us to this song because David obviously is doing that here.

I'm sure whoever joins these songs together to put them into the Psalter must've seen that connection because you can't very well read verse 14 of Psalm 27.

Wait for the Lord be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord and then come. Psalm 28 and find him saying to you I call the Lord, my rock did not turn a deaf ear to me without recognizing the to naturally go together. I Jesus taught us much to recall that in Luke 18 it told the story of women who had cause just one that she lived in a town where justice was distributed by an unjust judge. Jesus said he didn't care for God or man, certainly not for the laws of God or man want to give the woman justice because she was an important thing is, I suppose you have anything to bribe him with justice was often handled that way. In antiquity it's handled that way much today still.

Unfortunately, even in our country, but he didn't care for her and so he wasn't doing anything now, Jesus said she kept after him. Finally this unjust judge set even though I don't care for the laws of God or man here this woman and see that she gets justice was she bother me for ever with her petitions. I Jesus wasn't teaching the gods and unjust judge. Of course, is a matter of fact when he was teaching was the exact opposite. It was signed looking for in a situation like this woman who has no other help anywhere keeps going to the judge, unjust as he is, because eventually she hopes that he will hear her and give her just as much more is your father in heaven was absolutely just going to hear and answer the prayers of those who cry out to him.

He said God will see that his people get justice and I quickly asked what does that story about well the answer is given at the very beginning that Jesus told them a parable to indicate that men ought always to pray and not to give up if that's what the song is indicating I say not give up because as you read it, particularly verse one, it becomes evident that David's been praying for these things for some time says to you I call the Lord, my rock did not turn a deaf ear to me for if you remain silent. I will be like those who have gone down to the pit when he says remain silent. That implies that has been silent for some time and what's involved in this is David man after God's own heart, king of Israel one is writing the Psalms inspired of God and yet here's a man who confesses and is prayer that is pray for some time and God is not answered instead of saying well just going to sit back and do nothing. Keep praying and that is the first lesson for us. Now he has a good argument as he prays I hope you noticed there that verse that I just rent if you remain silent. I will be like those who have gone down the pit. She'll and that's one of the terms in the Old Testament that stands for help. I didn't have a very fixed idea what hell wiser number of terms all have different connotations, but nevertheless it's talking about the afterlife. When you read that your first instinct is to silently saying is God.

If you don't help me. I'm going to die. Now there are Psalms and I would be an appropriate interpretation Psalms in which David is surrounded by enemies. He says they're pressing in on me by every hand and let you come to my aid them in the parish certainly means I'm going to die this particular phrase was in that Psalm are one of those solvents, I will. That's what it means he's crying about here is not in danger of death when he sprang about is that he won't be dragged away with the wicked in their evil schemes and that, rather, on the contrary, God will judge the wicked. So what is he really say what he saying is that Scott don't speak to me. I'm going to be like those who are in she'll when other words, if you don't speak to me. I'm going to be as if I were spiritually dead. I wonder if you think about prayer.

That way they was going to make his petition must first section is an appeal God to be heard and it's urgent. For that reason I wonder if one of the reasons why were not more urgent in prayer we don't take prayer seriously as we don't understand what David says they're in adversities.

We don't believe that it is true what David is saying is that if you don't speak to me. I'll be as good as dead. We really thought that we really believe that unless we hear the voice of God through Bible study on speaking to us personally through Bible study as his Holy Spirit applies into our hearts, we might as well be spiritually dead. We really believe that, wouldn't we pray we study the Bible, wouldn't we be more godly men and women than we are. Let me put it another terms using David's own image is talking about. Let's think of it as a literal pit because that's what the word implies, she owes pit so you're standing on the edge of the pit near about the fall in him: and yeah but you're about to fall and then somebody is there, next to you is able to help you. Would you cry out for help of the person and respond quickly when you cry out again and they didn't answer immediately when you cry out, "you what you would Sam about the parish to keep you got the help he needed. You don't keep praying. If you're not importuning God in prayer, persevering in prayer. Either you don't know how desperate your situation is apart from his intervention in his speaking, you have an exalted sense of your own ability to care for yourself is not true when other possible explanation could there be now reminds us of something that Jesus said Jesus after his baptism by John the Baptist was driven out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil in the Della came to him. He had been fasting for 40 days were told he was hungry and the first temptation of the devil was on that physical level, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse three.

The devil sent to them first. If you're hungry, white, why don't you turn the stones to bread. Just heard a voice from heaven saying you're the son of God. So if you are the son of God, you have the power go ahead and do it. Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 83 to say it's written, man shall not live by bread alone, by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God is a that's exactly the point we have here Jesus was teaching by his own response to Satan and by the way he acted under the temptation that he understood the principal spiritual life is far more essential than physical life in that spiritual life comes from feeding upon the word of God. What David is saying is that that is true, and I know it and therefore I come to you as one who is as good as dead unless you hear me respond my prayer another couple other things to be seen about this. First of all, the attitude with which he comes to cousin, arrogantly disabling the king have to hear me say I'm a righteous man, you have to hear me say I pray louder and longer than anybody else. You have to hear me to say I give to the community chest or whatever you have to hear me but he says in verse two is hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help. That's his attitude comes for mercy again and again in the Psalms we find in phrases or stands as a don't sound like that at us going to find that next extends it doesn't sound that way, but you have to bear in mind before you get to that the David is first of all, one who needs mercy words he saying is the center and has no standing before God. The only thing you can possibly appeal to is the mercy of God say we have to come that way is his instruction in prayer and is telling us how to get the things that were going to pray for Mrs. that's all you have to, you and I have to come to God as sinners. That's why when we pray, one of the first things we ought to do and when we talk about prayer and teach the nature of prayer. One of the first things we teach that you have to confess your sin and then after that you can move on to Thanksgiving and supplication, so remember that.

Something else to not only the attitude with which he comes, but the place to which he, as latter half of the second verse as I lift up my hands toward your most holy place on his lap while the most holy place was the holy of holies the innermost portion of the tabernacle of this day. It was a form of intent and that's where the ark of the covenant was the ark of the covenant was the place where the high priest of Israel once a year on the day of atonement took the blood of an animal that had been sacrificed for the sin of people and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat.

I talked about the meaning of propitiation. I got into the symbolism at length because the picture of the ark which symbolized the presence of God over the ark which contained the laws a picture of judgment. God looking down on the law which we are broken when the high priest came once a year and sprinkled the shed upon the mercy seat, which was the covering of the ark that is between the symbolic presence of God and the law which we are broken. It was an indication that atonement taken place in innocent victim had died on the part of the one who was actually guilty and so the love of God to go out to embrace and save the center. Now that's what that ark of the covenant in the most holy place symbolized.

Usually when David prays for mercy and lifts up his hands toward the most holy place.

What is really saying is I come on the basis of the sacrifice, the basis of any righteousness myself. I am not completing mercy and the mercy is found there where the blood is shed. Now I'm referring to a lot of stories that Jesus told her things Jesus said having to do with prayer because they illustrate or express an explicit language exactly what we have in the solid minute twice already is another example. Jesus told the story Pharisee and the tax collector variceal brain thinking about himself, the exact opposite of what David is doing in this first stanza, and then the tax collector was off in the distance and who break in quite a different thing he pray God have mercy on me a sinner now when I talked about that before I pointed out that when tax collector says, have mercy upon the Greek verb. There is actually the bar which in its noun form refers to the mercy seat what he was saying is, have mercy upon me on the basis of the shed blood.

That's the way I come and Jesus judgment on that was it was Batman that is the tax collector that everybody would look down on who went home justified before God rather than the pharmacy that everyone looked up to and said there's a righteous man. Why because he came in that way.

We looked at David and putting in one of the two categories Pharisee with all his righteousness tax collector was despicable. We was able David obviously fit the category of a righteous man is a man after God's own heart and man of integrity and yet Batman man we would look up to. Says I come to you, God, and the basis of your mercy and ice plead for you to hear me on the basis of the shed blood.

Let me say that that's the only way anybody comes tax collector, you have to come that way right sinner have to come that way you by yourself as a righteous person. The model member of your community. You have to come that way because you safe.

No matter how righteous you may consider yourself to be.

You only consider yourself that because you're measuring yourself with other human being only see something of the holiness and the grandeur of the righteousness of Almighty God, then you understand you have to come on the basis of the shed blood because it's is a sinner that you, as one industry versus Hunter.

The song is divided into four stanzas and is a technical term for the way it's written. It's called by podium that really mean stands to versus each. That's what we have here except for the second stanza to which we come now for stanza consists of verses one and two in the second verses three through five in the third stanza six and seven in the fourth stanza date in mind.

Third stanza, which has an extra versus the most important it's the heart of the song because it contains the petition and see what happens.

First of all, we have an appeal to God to hear the psalmist that's teaching us how we should come to God that we have the appeal itself. The petition I petition might be quite different is versus are something that we would substitute we put something else in the concerns her own situation, but still we have become the way David is explained, we need to come in verses one and two see what he says he's talking about here is the wicked, and I mentioned earlier and in their two things and he saying he doesn't want to be carried away with them to do evil knows that judgment is coming and then secondly he's praying for God to judge them.

The first two of the three verses in the third verse says he knows God's going to do it now. Things like this in the Psalms greater problem for many people this is the only place we have seen it, nor that the only place were going to see it. We already were looking at it in Psalms earlier, six and seven and statements like this are going to occur in Psalms later were David is praying for God's judgment upon wicked men and women were bothered by that because we say are very laid-back culture everybody to be free to do their own thing it on invoke the Almighty to judge people you don't like and then secondly, and this is more to the point, as Christians, we remember that Jesus set an example of forgiveness even when they were crucifying him. He said father forgive them. They know not what they do and when we hear them say that we recognize that supplanting sets for some people do wrong against us were not supposed to call down fire from heaven to destroy them. On the contrary were to break give us receipt their salvation. That's what we are here in the world to do and intercede for as a Christian.

So we come to something like this in the Old Testament, and we say well may not understand it is something that we ought to throw out because it is now part of the old covenant is not a very safe way to treat the Bible you do that when you do it with other things. I don't think that it's today so out it goes like the time to do that you don't know much left no I treated that way but rather what you have to do is understand and I want to suggest some principles that we have to think of whenever we come to these passages only say before I give them to you that wouldn't be necessary to do that in David's day and the reason for that, quite obviously, as they just didn't think the way we think we have a different perspective and the things are problematic for us. They obviously were not problematic for the psalmist, otherwise he would've explained the set I hate to put it this way. This is the reason I'm doing it like that is natural so then think the way we do and we have to kind of fit into their thinking in order to understand that now is the principles I'd suggest guidance in the matter. First of all, when David prays away does here he is not self-righteous is what bothers us the most.

We say here's a manner says judge those evil people and that's because he didn't think is even himself God take care of them. But of course me and all like me, but very many course the slow route of the righteous but that when you spare us the way it sounds that's not what David is saying it is not what this all mean why.

Well first of all, we have already seen him cry for mercy and come to God in the basis of the sacrifice. It's not a self-righteous manager knows that the Pharisee was self-righteous. He didn't come that way tax collector wasn't David's coming like the tax collector is not doing that which is even apart from what is done in verse two you get that same picture. In verses three through five because the very first thing he says in verse three. Is this. Don't drag me away with the wicked with those who do evil to speak cordially with their neighbors, but harbor malice in their heart. Why would God possibly dry giveaway with the wicked that he was a self-righteous man.

He's not like that God would judge that. Why would he possibly judge David the only reason David is afraid of that praying that God won't do that to him. He recognizes the potential for sin in his heart that I was talking earlier when we were looking at one of the Psalms and pointing out how David is very careful to say keep me separate from sinners.

I want to associate with them main course that you have to dissociate yourself from anybody who's a sinner because everybody is what it means particularly evil people ought not to be hanging around in the company and will be what David recognizes that if he does that make maybe his position as king would force them to do it is easier in a position like that, you can always choose so you have to associate with anything.

I recognize the potential for sin in my own heart and I am around these people. I don't want to be around by choice, but maybe I have to be around them. Despite virtual circumstances, the work I have to do. I recognize I'm capable of the same thing that I do the same thing they know I'm going to suffer the same consequences as they will.

And so his first petitioner sees God let that happen to me but save me from that. Not because he self-righteous but because he recognizes how simple he is memo I'm talking about that we were looking at Psalm 26 that I referred to CS Lewis in the way he handled it. CS Lewis that the reason we don't want to associate with sinful people is not because we're better, but because were not good enough or Jesus Christ didn't have any trouble associating with anybody because he wasn't tempted to do the things they were doing. He was always an influence of righteousness. But you and I generally are not that strong and it got put you in a position like that to give you the strength to do it. Don't seek it out say here's David saying he doesn't have the strength to seek out some personal David is not self-righteous on second and we have to realize when David says the things he does in the Psalms and some of the people say them to the David particularly is not speaking as a private citizen but rather is the king of Israel and is responsible for justice is a judge is quite one thing for you and I be offended by somebody and say it's all right. I forgive you. Christian should forgive you. I will not bring it up again.

That is right. But if you're judge a Christian judge. You can't do that with other people. You have a case before you in an injustice is been done you can say to the offender. Well, I'm a Christian and the judge and so that all Christians are supposed to forget. I forgive you that's not your role, your role is to dispense justice and David had that role is a so when David is playing along these lines, you have to understand it in that context, he saying I have a responsibility here and gone. I appeal to you work in my life and the exercise of this responsibility so that evil will be judged and those who were doing the right might be vindicated when others talk about that another Psalms is 1/3 thing you have to remember, regardless of how we may feel about evildoers and we should certainly pray for them and seek their salvation evil itself should not prosper.

We have a great tendency in our culture today to assume that evil doesn't has the right to our courts don't help us in this area I think are courts often frequently break down in the administration of justice and we sort of take that say well you know maybe that's all right. Send doesn't really matter in the long run anyhow yes it does evil and not prosper and no Christian should be on the side of evil prospering. That doesn't mean that you and I have the authority to take vengeance in your own hand.

Vengeance is mine, I will repay, say of the Lord, and he imparts a certain measure of that responsibility. Specific figures who have that power the state is explicitly given what Paul calls the power of the sword means the power to dispensing justice estate is to be judged when it doesn't do that and it's a sad thing in a society when the state is not maintaining justice. We don't have the responsibility to do that. Nevertheless, you see, we mustn't favor the prospering of the evil and that's why, among other things. When we pray as we do for our country and our city.

We pray for those of those positions of authority say that evil not prosper in rather than the good be vindicated. That leads me to the last thing to remember and and it is this, namely that it is important for all, especially those who are looking on that the right be vindicated is if you have a society in which evil prospers and people looking on, without any kind of Christian training morning our spiritual life with endless. I will obviously leave the way to go is the way to go because crime pays doesn't what David is saying is, if for no other reason than for the sake of those were looking on it for no other people than for the children right should be vindicated and evil should be put down because you mustn't have a situation in society in which people say, well, it pays to be bad. I am afraid that that's what's happening in our society we have got a culture which has been unable to maintain righteousness or to dispense justice and as a result, the generation of young people are saying look at pays to do wrong, and people don't have the morality of the young people of the previous generation. I'm not glorifying a previous generation sinners to let our young people today, even from Christian homes think nothing of lying to give just a simple example my mind children or church don't mind likely lighting. Here we hear things that are said that we know are true, and in areas are even worse than that, I think, well, for example, why not sell drugs.

If you can get away with this way to make money as a whole lot easier than working so they see as they think that crime pays anybody a price to live righteously is a fool and doesn't prosper, say, when we read a Psalm like this.

We start off by saying all that's quite a different day.

We live in a Christian nation were supposed to forgive our enemies but when you begin to analyze the passage and see what David is praying for you. Find that has a lot of bearing on exactly where we are today.

One of the problems of where we are today is that we have forgotten some of the teaching of the Old Testament. Well, we may be able to pray repay them for their deeds for their evil work repay them for what their hands of Don bring back up on them what they deserve it before we do that, let's be sure we pray, don't drag me away with the wicked, those who do evil. Don't let me fall into the same trap. This is actually positive because David is so encouraged as he comes to God and praise, knowing that God will do what he asks.

Even low in the first stanza, God is apparently been remaining silent. He says in verse five. Since they show no regard for the works of the Lord. What is hands of God, he will tear them down and never build them up again may not come already, but it will come says David is coming. I think he expected to see in his lifetime to see it work out in history.

But even if it didn't happen then was going to happen at the final judgment because regardless of appearances regardless of what our culture tells us regardless of what the evil people put forward by mass means of communication, is nevertheless a moral universe in the final judgment evil will be judged right will be vindicated because a judge of all the earth right to return to stanza three.

And what we have. There is Thanksgiving and great Thanksgiving is really a joy to come to this portion of the Solomon see how David is crying say oh my, what a difference, or is here between verses six and seven in verses one until you see versus wanted to say here me Lord silent.

I need an answer now. He says God is answered for six praise be to the Lord for he is heard my cry for mercy. 20 mentioned in verse 27.

The Lord is my strength and my shield my heart trusts today when I am help my heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him and so I think he literally was leaping when he said all those phrases that have to do with thanksgiving got past, present and the future there, eventually, has heard my cry.

I am help, and therefore am expressing thanks and at the very end. I will give thanks to him and saw how to keep on doing it wonderful. I suppose a lesson for us at that point is to be thankful because often we are not to seek once a lesson to learn about prayer.

One of them is perseverance and what we should pray for and how we should pray, and all that but certainly a lesson we need to learn about prayers being thankful and telling stories from Christ ministry member.

The time tells about it when 10 lepers were outside of the city and Jesus met the cry for mercy healed him.

He sent them away to decrease have a formal certification of their cleansing is the Old Testament law required and then after a short while one of them was a Samaritan is not even the full-blooded Jew came back.

Thank you Jesus words were were not 10 cleansed, where are the nine is only this one. Return to thank God and him a foreigner.

I'm afraid that if the truth were told in most of our lives when we receive answers to our prayers. We would fall in the category of the mind and not see. It's hard for us to persevere in prayer, but sometimes we do it if something is on our heart that weighs upon us enough for us really to keep praying about it. We sometimes really do persevere in prayer. But then when we get the answer very easy justice. I well find we go on.

We don't really think God when you come to the last stanza, and this is quite different. There's even a sense in which if you're looking at it and that purely literary way. Say it doesn't fit first part of the song is all the first person. David is praying is an individual and the three stanzas following up on the other. He appeals to God to hear him expresses his prayer and then he thanked God for having heard and that's where it would normally end and now in verse eight, you find them suddenly changing the tone and speaking not as an individual now but on behalf of the people and what he says says the Lord is the strength of his people fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

Save your people, and bless your inheritance be there Shepherd and carry them forever to get a magic scholar say well it just doesn't belong and stacked on, but it does belong remember that this is David, the king praying is quite appropriate. The king having pray. First of all for himself in terms of his own responsibility to pray for the people over whom God had made him an under Shepherd say what he saying is this a saying I pray for myself and you've heard me now.

I pray for my people in exactly the same way some of the terms that occur earlier the career say he has just said in verse seven, the Lord is my strength on verse eight he says the Lord is the strength of his people, so money is pray for himself and found to be true enough praise for others.

We told to do that is not what the Lord's prayer is all about. It's not written, I me my. It is give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses and lead us not into temptation. She prayer, not just for ourselves but prayer for other people needed further example that you have the Lord's own prayer prayer now, not by teaching but by example recorded in John 17 the fall is exactly the pattern of Psalm 28 Lord beginning with prayer for himself. He glorify God on earth. Now he prays to be glorified with a glory he had with him in heaven before he came to her that having under that prayer and having been heard against. Pray for his disciples after lattice he says explicitly in the prayer. Many who are going to believe on me through your work is you saying that he was praying for us because we're part of the church of Jesus did that were to do it to. First of all, God recognizing your center.

Secondly, you come on the basis of the sacrifice provided, which we know now to be the sacrifice of Jesus Christ holy one of God died for us, then boldly praying for righteousness thanking God for what he does. Not forgetting the same time. Also pray for the people to pray. Father, we have all received many answers to prayer and is true that we forget about them. And so we go through periods in our lives and we find ourselves feeling and sometimes even saying what God is answering me when in point of fact you have any Bennett again and again. And it's because we forgot to thank you and then there times when we pray, as David was praying here where we pray for a certain thing for a long while and really are not answering your times are not our times and you don't always do things according to our timetable usually not and in situations like that, we need to learn to keep on praying. Help us to do that.

And as we pray to pray for others, so that by our prayers. We demonstrates that expression of our thoughts and hearts before you demonstrate what is actually the case that our help is in you alone, and if we don't find help there. We are is those who go down to the pit. So here us father answer bless us for your own sake and as an expression of your mercy for Jesus, 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 proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church. To learn more about the alliance visit alliance and while you're there, visit our online store reformed resources.

You can find messages and books from Dr. Boyce and other outstanding teachers and theologians, or ask for a free reformed resources catalog by calling 1-800-488-1888. Please take the time to write to us and share how the Bible study our has impacted you. We love to hear from you and pray for you. Our address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Please consider giving financially to help keep the Bible study our impacting people for decades to come. You can do over the phone at 1-800-488-1888 or send a check to 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 176014 Canadian gifts mail those to 237 Hills Dr., Scarborough, ON M, one scene two line 9. Thanks for your continued clearance and for listening to Bible study. Our preparing you to think and act

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime