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Not to Worry: Part 2

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
November 1, 2021 8:00 am

Not to Worry: Part 2

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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November 1, 2021 8:00 am

Don’t worrythe sovereign God is on our side! It's The Bible Study Hour with Dr. James Boice, and we’re focusing on the second half of Psalm 37, where David continues to contrast the righteous and the wicked. David reminds us that blessings abound when we choose to follow the ways of the Lord. And what about the wicked? God has a plan!

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Don't worry the sovereign God is on our side today about Bible study hour with Dr. James Morse refocusing on the second half of Psalm 37 were David continues to contrast the righteous and the wicked David reminds us that blessings abound when we choose to follow the ways of the Lord.

And what about the wicked. God has a plan to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Bortz preparing you to think and act biblically when we choose to follow God and to live out our faith through our words and actions. Blessings will follow. God doesn't promise us material wealth, but he gives us spiritual riches beyond measure. If you have your Bible now turn to Psalm 37 verses 21 through 40 last week when we began to study 37 Saul. I pointed out that it is really an exposition of 1/3 of Jesus eight Beatitudes from the sermon on the Mount, or Beatitudes concerns the meat blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.

Jesus doesn't explain what that means and sermon that we probably did things that are not recorded for us in the New Testament and sermon on the Mount doesn't explain how we become meek, but that's what Psalm the song is really a great Old Testament exposition of something that wasn't given until the thousand years or so later, doesn't mean that meekness is not mentioned in the New Testament, it is somewhat hidden anymore because they translators of the new international version have chosen to render the word not by me meekness but by word gentle or sometimes by the word self-control didn't do that where the beatitude itself is concerned and I don't know exactly why, except people probably are used in the beatitude as it stands, blessed are the meek may change their people would think they were tampering with Scripture by another places it has been changed. And yet that's a word that lies behind it. Send Galatians for example in that long list of the fruit of the spirit that Paul gives in the fifth chapter, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, that's the word actually meekness and self-control are again he does the same thing in Colossians 312. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility and gentleness and so were the word, meekness and patience.

Peter talks about third chapter of the first letter.

Verse 15 always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have to do this with gentleness or meekness, and respect.

And James also says get rid of all moral filth and the evil that so prevalent and humbly is a different translation but it's the same word meekly accept the word planted in you. Now those horses all teach a great deal about lateness that it is a gift of the Holy Spirit in its given to us so that it will bring blessing in our lives and the lives of other people. And yet, in spite of that, it is nevertheless true that the passage in the Bible that best explains what this is and tells us the steps for becoming gentle, meek, or humble person is 37 Saul now last time when I introduced the Psalm. I also said is very difficult to outline and I think is a good reason for that.

This is one of the acrostic songs acrostic songs of the Psalms in which each verse or a collection of versus public begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet and that progresses in sequence so the first verse would begin with the letter a. For example, in the second verse of the B and so on. Often, those songs seem to have no particular outline at all because are simply following the alphabet and yet I think there's something of a sequence of major ideas in here although it overlaps and I suggested that in the outline I gave last time first 11 verses describe the client spirit leading up to the beatitude because the 11th verse of the Psalm is where Jesus actually got the third beatitude quotes almost directly the meek will inherit the land and then there's a second section that describes the way of the wicked. I said that was verses 12 through 23rd section contrasts the ways of the wicked with the way so the righteous. Verses 21 through 26. Then there's an old man's counsel to the young verses 27 to 33 and finally the last section 34 to 40 where the chief the most weight upon God or take a long view a lot about overlaps and so that kind of an outline is somewhat arbitrary, and yet it helps us, I think to see our way through the song. Now we look at the first two of the sections last study and we look at the last three second half of the Psalm in this section were looking at now is according to the outline I just given contrast away so the righteous with the ways of the wicked, and yet we already anticipated that a little bit when I was talking last time about the ways of the wicked. I show that there were four contrasts found from verse 12 through 20.

There very clear because the word occurs in each one and the first two of those talk about the wicked may propose one thing but God proposes something else for them. But the third and the fourth contrast bring the righteous into the picture, and it's sort of in the continuation of that idea and that we get into the contrast we find here one contrast introduced earlier is that the power of the wicked is going to be broken with the Lord is going to uphold the righteous and the Lord is going to provide for the righteous. In times of famine difficult financial situations, low the wicked are going to be cut off for now. We pick up that in verse 21 we have three more contrast here to the very clear and one is they are not quite so clear now, what are they well first is in verse 21 the wicked borrow and do not repay the righteous give generously.

Another couple of ways you can look at that and the commentators do they even invent ways of no rational person would look at but want one of the ways it does make sense is less one of the commentators are very good ones as well. The reason the wicked borrow and only pay is a God doesn't bless them. I don't have the means to repay, and reason righteous give generously as God prospers something to be said for that because it is talking about the prosperity of the of the righteous to some degree going icing with reason I choose a different interpretation is that the words themselves don't suggest that contrast. Contrast would be between the material blessing and a lack of material blessing and the words don't say that the contrast here is actually between generosity on the part of the righteous and the spirit in the heart of the wicked that the opposite of generosity.

So I think that is talking about. There is selfish grasping attitude on behalf of the wicked and generous unselfish attitude on the part of the righteous. Now what it says about the wicked is that they borrow and don't repay what were talking about here is not an inability but actually a moral failure than the problem with the wicked is that there for themselves.

That is for number one have to go very far to see that if that is the measure of the wicked. We live in the midst of a very wicked world this is the very essence of our culture culture that says look out for number one.

Take care of yourself and put it in a funny but not really so funny why the one who wins is the one that dies with the most toys are that said that's the spirit usually want one of the commentators I think says what you fear is a difference between perpetual takers and constant givers wicked are perpetually taking the reason they don't repay is that their borrowing money to get a hand that is the shortcut to success.

To build a fortune and they don't repay because I want repay them. When I hang onto the capital as long as they can, and perhaps it's true as well that they overextend themselves in that kind of greed as a result of that, their enterprises fail, and they can't repay. The problem is not the inability, the problem is the greed that lies behind, I think we do have to talk about that in terms of our culture. You can take out a verse like this is not understand it in terms of our culture because what is happening in in the Western world and particularly in American life is aware being encouraged to be wicked in exactly this way is to live beyond our means tomorrow and not repay very short time ago. Last week when the chairman of the trustees was speaking the morning he mentioned how the credit card companies send you notices telling you that your credit is so good that they have update from what your limit was before the something higher if you had credit of $500 well because you're such a trustworthy customer in your credit is so good that's being raised with thousand dollars and if your credit was $3000 and raising at the five that's about as far as I got some of you will know that it goes higher but that's the kind kind of letters most of us get now somebody really has to be out of their mind to be taken in by that it would be a fool indeed who thinks that these credit card companies and some of them are coming have the herd of letter sending their cards with preapproved lines of credit, you have to be out of your mind.

Indeed think of these companies are searching throughout all of American culture find people whose credit is particularly good, so that they could extend the great line of credit and you just happen to be one of the very small number for that category. Why they're doing that all anybody knows anything about what's going on is that the reason they're doing that is that they get more money for their money by encouraging you to buy on credit than they do. By letting a commercial rate is 11 commercial rights of the bank supply right now is now somewhat about 9 1/2% last week.

I understand the 9/2%. But if you can encourage somebody to overbuy so that they have to pay interest on what they have bought on the credit card you get 18 or 20%. That's double.

That's why they're trying to get you to borrow money and live beyond your means. That's wicked, that's wicked the Bibles against the Bible as it is against usury. That's the Bible word for it, and yet that's the very cornerstone of what we imagine to be a profitable culture and in this course, the government leads the government is going beyond itself to borrow astronomically and when the government cuts back as I tried to do on the current budget intellectually cut broccoli cut back on is the rate of growth getting into more debt all time and again, I'm not so worried about that where the government is concerned, I think it's a disaster. But governments do all kinds of disasters when it when I'm really worried about is how that impacts Christian people because people get into that as well. Only got caught up in their worldly very basic sense, and then they can't repay if you take all those offers are credit card succumb to find out how much credit you haven't added a lot by simply applying review of these guys within a very short time. You can have credit of 100,000 hundred $50,000 in the blank.

After that limited then you'll all that money you have a mortgage on your house for 100,000 hundred $50,000. You know how long it takes to pay that back and you, how should I thing rates as high as you do on the on the loan on your credit cards. Yet that is the way were being encouraged to live there going to be among the righteous in this verse would have to break with that Christians are going to have to take a different policy entire.

I will give you two principles were what we should do credit cards and I'm not saying cut them all up walking the site.

Some people have to do that. It's like if you're an alcoholic mechanic take a drink if you're addicted to credit card, you better get rid of them, but I'm not saying that we live in that kind of a culture things cost so much money can't carry hundreds and hundreds of dollars around with the all the time to pay for the use credit cards, but here is the policy Christian should follow.

Never put on your credit card what you're unable to pay immediately when the bill comes without paying any interest whatsoever.

You can pay that bill when it comes. A month later, don't put it on your credit card waved okay. That's a first principle I repeated Christians. This is serious. That's the difference between the wicked and the righteous is what my text says never put on your credit card what you're unable to play with that bill comes immediately without any interest whatsoever. That's a first principle is the second never charge so much on your credit card that you are unable to give the Lord's work. What you should get. I suppose that's 10% of time have money over to help people who needed which charge that's all right. Be sure you can play along with people within bounds.

That's not so hard. Just a question of self-discipline. We should be disciplined when another text is a great text for our age. The 10 Commandments thou shalt not, that's what our society is built on greed is what will and we mustn't do it that way were to come at the end of this is to wait on the Lord right in the Lord exalt you in due time put down the wicked is another way in which you should wait. Wait for the things until you have the money because that's the Christian way.

Now there's a second contrast here verse 21 the wicked borrow and do not repave the righteous give generously. The second one is in the verse that follows those Lord blesses will inherit the land for those he curses will be cut off now and that's all it says inherit the land. It certainly is talking about the land of Israel because the Old Testament I was a great blessing to have a part of the land was significant. There were laws to protect the right of the land to the various families and if for some reason particular family would lose its share of the land was an obligation based upon Kinsman. The buyer wouldn't depart out of the family says inherit the land. Certainly what it's talking about and is obviously that doesn't apply to us in the same way all promises in the New Testament that Christians are going to inherit the promised land or any other lamb any earthly way. And yet there is the third visitor third beatitude says blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth onto significant change word land RX reversed Israel. The earth something else broader lesson speaking about a kind of inheritance in Jesus does use the word know what is referred to, whether several things that could mean and it's been interpreted in this way by different people. For one thing, it could be. Looking forward to a day in the future and eschatology when the Saints are going to rain on earth of Jesus Christ on areas logical outline permits that interpretation and so those that don't hold the Vatican weeded out. But if you believe that the sites are going to reign with Christ on earth in any sense.

Well, that's one way in which that can be fulfilled as a second layer can be fulfilled and that is with you the prosperity in general not talking necessarily about owning real estate in Philadelphia but it means. Generally speaking, the Lord will bless the meek following God's way kind of things that are here. God will prosper you and that's not categorical because it isn't true in every single case. Often it's true. Generally it's true in the course are millions of Christians would testify to that could mean that I can also mean that if we are really meek before God, humbly submitted to God, then there is a sense of very real sense in which the whole earth is ours reason I am inclined to that interpretation is because the apostle Paul said something very like that himself.

He was not a rich man was poor. He was an itinerant evangelist and at times he barely had enough to eat. The body had to work, often for a living just so he could support himself.

He certainly wasn't prosperous of this world's goods, and yet he says in first Corinthians poor, and yet possessing all things. See a certain sense in which EE understood. He possessed all it was God.

He was God's. And so it was always, he says the same thing explicitly writing to the Corinthians, says all is yours Paul recalls her life or death, or keep us really think all is yours because you were Christ and Christ is God. Now if that is the way to take it then that is significant because it means that Christians are going to have a different approach the material things from non-Christians. Someone it doesn't have this attitude and understand they possess it in the sense of Jesus Christ is going to try to acquire it. You know you on something and that yours is not mine and and when I want to do is get what you have myself and so I go about his business to acquire more and more things in the strange thing about that. Of course, is that the more we acquire, the less secure we seem to be the great wealthy ones and suddenly topple and you read about in the paper on the go bankrupt. The Taj Mahal is a business event type type of thing, but as a Christian it's to have to acquire in order to possess it. We can go anywhere in the world and recognize it is God's website. It's it's worse.

You can look out on the ocean on the ocean to enjoy the ocean.

You can sign that wonderful God is given to me to enjoy. For this moment I don't have to put it in a bottle and take it home or to be mine look at the sky a wonderful sunset. That is what a wonderful sunrise that is was a glorious day God is given it to me.

I think it's really in that sense probably the meek inherit the earth. We really do it really is ours because God has given us joy.

Well, there's one more contrast. This is what I said this, not quite so clear at this point, every one of those has been connected with the economy at the six of them. When you get to verse 23 and four. There is nobody, and I think after understand it is preceding the verse. In other words, it picks up from the latter part of verse 22 those he curses will be cut off. Not the Lord delights the way of a man steps each made firm even though we stumbles some Christians do stumble and fall, because ultimately the Lord upholds them with his hand. Many of you will know the 23rd verse better in the King James version and maybe rightly so, because the King James had a very good translation. At this point that old authorized version said the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord is a good thing to know because we walked through a world of many uncertain paths and many occasions for stumbling and we do stumble, but the steps of a righteous man are ordered to the Lord. If you're doing what is described in this Psalm then God is with you is going to direct your steps, even though you may go through difficult times. Harry & in his commentary on the Psalm tell something that comes from life of George Mueller.

He is the man ability orphanages in England great man of faith and prayer. He always laid his request before God in prayer never mention them. God provided everything you needed for these orphanages for a whole lifetime. It was a remarkable story on-site story has to do with somebody who was a friend of George Mueller and on one occasion picked up George Miller's Bible and was thumbing through and came to the song and next to the 23rd verse, which should in the authorized version said the steps of a righteous man or a good man ordered of the Lord. Mueller had written in the margin and the stops and Ironside said that was significant because obviously this man meditating on that man of faith God richly bless but who had experience also times when he had been put on hold and he recognized what I think true spiritual insight that that's part of God's direction to Izzy.

We live in such a mechanistic progress oriented society that we are moving forward regularly and sometimes rapidly we think nothing's happening. I can speak to that because that's the way I feel instinctively that's where I am, doesn't have to be great progress with a has to be progress. I got to see to see it happening happening regularly know when I came into our culture is when we we started that connect our country by trains and schedules had to run on time. So, for that's what will that change before that people to think that way they were willing to wait.

It was said, you know, back before the coming of the locomotives and everybody traveled by stagecoach didn't matter if you missed the stage you could catch one next month. But today people get upset if they missed one turn of the revolving door and that's a is more or less the but the way I am. What we have to learn is a God uses the stops as well as the steps and the stops ordered of the Lord as well, I suppose. We understand the basis of this text came to stumbles there disarming the three essence.

If you want to be alliterative in the stumbles because God uses a stumbles to we stumble. God teaches us certain things and he uses those for his glory. While we get to the end of this section and there's a testimony on the part of David wrote and that's what we've heard it mentioned it last time I was young. Now I'm old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread what he's doing there is adding his personal testimony to the truth as it is just enunciated in the previous section, let us make us pause because we want to say is that our testimony can we say now some of us aren't old enough to say that, but assuming we are however long we've lived. Can we say I've never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. The first part.

Yes righteous are never abandoned by God. None of us would say that but we never seen four Christian sends poor children. Spurgeon interestingly enough, great man of God, a believer of the Bible certainly was a bit troubled by that wrestled with it and he saw that this way, he said, that's David's testimony that I can say that that's mine that I've helped many poor families and I help children of people that were undoubtedly upright people so recent. Generally speaking, true, but he wouldn't say was categorically true from his experience.

I suppose my experiences somewhere in between. I don't think I can say I have ever literally seeing the children of believers begging bread but I don't doubt for a minute that there are poor Christians I know that some of them and I don't doubt that there are places in the world where the children of Christians bag because everybody begs because is nothing to eat. I think that much is true, but generally speaking you say this is that is a good principle that it simply David's saying God is faithful to his people. God takes care of they may go through hard times physically, just as they may go through hard times and temptation.

They may stumble, and so forth.

But God provides for them and millions of Christians, testified about the say as I look back on hard times. Many even in our generation. Looking back on the depression live through that are old enough to have done say those were terrible times people lost everything they were jumping out of windows but we never went without anything to eat. God provided us enough to eat all the times he millions of Christians would say that Derek Kidder is one of the good commentators on this and he does something kind of interesting that this point he's trying to outline the song number.

Explain how difficult it is to outline it and he does it for versus 12 to 26 by taking a bunch of phrases from Paul's letter to the Corinthians from second Corinthians, 496 10 and he breaks it up using Paul's phrases as the titles and it's interesting here is really not section 1 persecuted, but not forsaken verses 12 through 15 as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. Verses 16 through 20 and 25, number three, making many rich verses 2122 and 26, and finally for cast down, but not destroyed. Verses 23 and 24 other words, what is saying is this was false testimony to the testimony of David in the Old Testament of the testimony of Paul and the new one and the same and is a testimony to the grace of God, even in hard times when we have the next section. The next section is what I call the old man's advice to the young minister people 11 live quite as long as he has. He has given his testimony in verses 25 and 26 now as an old man he speaks those with less experience and he says look here's my counsel.

Now there are two things that are said one here and one in the last section to imperatives of your well verse 27. Turn from evil and do good and then verse 34 which I've separated out as a last section because it's really the message of the Psalm wait for the Lord and keep his wife. That's what he's telling us to do. Trust turn from evil and do good and trust in the Lord wait on the Lord and turn from evil. Interesting that he and Shawn and do good because that's what we've already seen in verse three. Remember we talked about it. You have a list of things that were doing that earlier portion of the Psalm in the very first one is trust the Lord is immediately and do good because as a trust God will do good.

The fruit of the new life within is going to express itself.

That's why James later on in the Bible can say you say you have faith well and good that I want to see evidence of show me your faith by your works. On the many works. I'm not going to believe you have any faith because faith got express itself that what is exactly what David is saying twice over the song is about doing good. We understand as we read on these thinking not just about deeds of social concern is also speaking about right.

Words are good words because verses 30 and 31 begin to talk about that mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom that his tongue speaks what is just really good that when you think about doing good dirt expressing the life of Jesus Christ within is not just doing things it's speaking on his right saying things that are just we are so casual with our talk was that was just words does matter, all I didn't mean it.

There I was exaggerating is a righteous person is touched by the spirit of Christ doesn't do that. He speaks truth and if you say well how is he able to do that why the answer is verse 31. Because the law of God is in his heart. You don't have a Bible in your hearts, and I think that means more than simply having read it once or coming to the church. Breached on from time to time means actually knowing it, memorizing it.

Dwelling upon it meditating upon it.

That's what it means if you don't have a Bible in your heart that way will then you're not going to do what's right or speak what's right because yours going to drift along with the culture and you're going to follow the same standards of the world do all those things we see here, but if the word goes you and that's what you're thinking about, well then you will speak what is right. You do what is right as well any way become to the last section, beginning with verse 34 and it says wait for the Lord and keep his way, we seen this before. This is a new theme but did is the dominant theme of the last section that really wraps it up by saying here is that there are times in our lives when both Christian why doesn't seem to be the right way to say this business of living the Christian life. Look at all the trouble I'm going through. David says yeah but you need to take a long view, it is true, ungodly people will prosper for a time, God allows it brings actually greater destruction upon them. In the end that they are brought down in the end, and it is always better to serve the Lord will keep you even during hard times and he will bless you a great deal at the end uses it interesting in the chair, which is the exact reverse of what we saw in Psalm one recall what he said in Psalm one about that righteous the righteous are like a tree planted by the rivers of water to bring forth their fruit in their season here uses that same image, but it's reverse. Now it's of a wicked man I have seen the wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, but he soon passed away and we read that medicine seem to be very good image. At least if you read it critically.

As you might if you were critical poetry you would say earlier, we saw that righteous compared to beautiful flowers in the field. Verse 20 the Lord's enemies will be like the beauty of the fields.

That's right, flowers of spring up last only four days as the sun comes out that image that's their fine for time, but when you're talking about a flourishing green tree in its native soil.

How is that tree like that disappear overnight must see maybe thinking about a dozen so I think the answer to that is exactly what I've been saying here's a great green flourishing trade and this is an ungodly person. They've gotten that way by unjustly by dishonesty. We know and over. Here are the righteous, and there compared to a flourishing trade and you look at that from the outside and you say well okay what's the use of a 19 just as well by being ungodly and maybe that's really even furnishing more is a look at external, since what you're going to think what the Psalm is teaching us to do is not do that to look at it on the basis of the word of God.

To think in a godly way to meditate upon the screws to hide them in our hearts, to let that guy are thinking and form our mind and understand that although righteous flourishing seem to do as well is the ungodly, sooner or later to be cut down is really saying what Proverbs 3, five and six say crust of the Lord with all your heart and don't mean to your own understanding. In your own understanding. It looks like it's pace to be sinful all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

Blessing now care now comfort now and blessing and glory hereafter. I suppose at this point someone will say, I just can't do that I can be like that. Talking about what it means to be meek and the answer is what we saw at the beginning to trust in the Lord and do good or delight ourselves in the Lord commit our way to the Lord, still before the Lord were not different for refrain from anger. I do all those things. So I am angry. I do flat. I am not. Still, I don't command I don't delight I don't trust what I just can't be like that you will answer the that's right. You can't buy yourself to see you can.

If you'll come to God because that's the character that he'll develop in you Jesus Christ said come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek on the meek one to come to me. I'll teach you what it means to live in a godly meekly consistent and not to worry because ultimately, everything is in the hands of the sovereign righteous God our father, thank you for the song which is been a blessing to so many people so many ages people in times of trouble. Consultant people are upset too were worried about the future and who have found reassurance here because by reading these words say find themselves anchored once again in your character and you are the one who changes brother help us to follow in those godly steps and do likewise. So grow that character which is godly and so different character of the world and prosper spiritually as you have determined we should start.

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