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Up from the Pit

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
November 4, 2021 8:00 am

Up from the Pit

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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November 4, 2021 8:00 am

David just can’t stay quiet! Today on The Bible Study Hour with Dr. James Boice, David is praising God for His deliverance from the miry pit of sin and despair. David knows that there will always be trials throughout his life, but he also knows that trust and obedience in the Lord brings lasting peace and ultimate deliverance.

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David just can't stay quiet today on the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce. David is praising God for his deliverance from the miry pit of sin and despair. David knows that there will always be trials throughout his life but he also knows the trust and obedience in the Lord rings lasting peace and ultimate deliverance welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. David knows from experience that faithfully trusting in the Lord brings comfort, hope, healing and deliverance.

God is good and can be trusted as David says in Psalm 40 verse 16 the Lord is great. Grab your Bible now in turn to Psalm 40 anybody who has attended church for any length of time at all, is undoubtedly heard this old red and even if you've not heard it read in church undoubtedly heard it reflected in other ways it talks about a man who was in some desperate straits in life so bad that he could only describe it as being in a slimy patch stuck on the bottom of the mod in the mire. What he describes how God lifted him up out of that pit.

This home is a reflection on a person who had that experience was King David, I suppose that's the most important thing that should be set that that was David's experience because David was an extraordinary person time to time in history people emerge that are giants in many ways. There are giants of ability and achievement, and if were thinking in spiritual terms, giants and devotion, and David was all about. He was a man after God's own heart.

By God's own testimony, he walked closely with God. For nearly all of his life is responsible for nearly half of the Psalm so God not only my statement guided him and preserved him.also spoke through him so his spoken words and is written words such as those we have here have been a blessing to God's people down through all the ages and yet it is this David. David was so blessed describes himself as being in this slimy pit that means that if a person like that could have such an experience that you and I can certainly habit as well is a way of saying that slimy pets are the experience. Treatment of the greatest saints and mud mire or something that even kings know. I suppose we should deal with a preliminary question concerning whether this is a messianic Psalm are not number of very important commentators of CH Spurgeon on others. St. Augustine, of course, he thought. All of the Psalms are messianic, William Pettengill, Harry Ironside, and others. The chief reason is because verses six through eight are quoted in the book of Hebrews in reference to Jesus Christ.

The course doesn't make the entire song messianic and we should be warned against that because a little later on in the Psalm David confesses his sins, and that at least cannot be said of Jesus Christ we have here that is not test Psalm which is itself messianic and some of them are that his prophecy of the Messiah was to come in which every part of it fits the coming kingdom but rather a solemn parts of which have been taken out and used in the New Testament with messianic meanings more interesting question, at least by way of introduction is the relation of the Psalm to Psalm 70 turn to Psalm 70 and compare closely with the Psalm.

You'll find that it's almost an exact repetition of verses 13 through 17. That is the latter third of Psalm 40 say well what's the relationship between the two liberal scholars, for the most part imagine that an editor took two separate Psalms and combine them in the discipline somewhat awkwardly reason I say somewhat awkwardly because the first part of this talks about a deliverance David experienced a deliverance from the pit and that latter part of it is looking for another deliverance. I think that's kind of a strange combination of ideas and yet this is usually the case, liberals go astray. At this point are always trying to outthink the Holy Ghost, and in this case they missed seeing that that is the way many of the Psalms are written.

The author will describe a situation in which God has blessed him to encourage himself in the present situation in which he finds himself going through trouble so he'll think back to how God is lifted them out of trouble in the past and he'll repeat that and explain it the benefit of those for whom he is writing. And then he will say, because God is done that. I'm encouraged to go on and pray that God will do it in the future. That's exactly what we have here the song really falls into three interesting parts and to a certain extent you can define them by reference to the past and the present and the future first three verses are talking about the pamphlets that pass deliverance what God is done.

Verses four through 10 are dealing with the present because David is commending the grace and goodness of God. Those for whom he is writing you say you can experience this to man. The latter portion of this verses 11 and following, including the verses that are repeated later in Psalm 70 verses which David looks to the future and says I need deliverance from God in the future as well, in my judgment. What is happened here is that David wrote this song and then at some later point in history and editor extracted the latter part. In order to be able to use it in a more general way in the service of the congregation, perhaps placing Psalm 30 here in the earlier part of the Psalter. We have most of David Solms and the other one later in a more eclectic section indicates that kind of interpretation well look at the first part and here's where he describes his deliverance from the pit. Jeremiah was delivered from a literal pit may know that story. It's in the 38th chapter of his prophecy was very unpopular in Jerusalem because he been given the true message of God which contained a large measure of judgment in those days and I kind of a message is never popular and Jeremiah was saying that the city was going to be handed over to the Babylonians and some of his enemies that what this is moralizing the soldiers one flight there pulled something like this, you have to get rid of Jeremiah, so they threw them in the cistern literal pit dug well where they used to store water in the story is rather grim Jeremiah were told sank down in the mud at the bottom of the pit that water in it, or he would've drowned, but it had all of this accumulated mud from the centuries and there he was stuck at the bottom of the cistern. I would've died there of starvation. If it weren't for the foreigner man from cushy Ethiopia was in the city went to the king and explain the situation and the king said, yeah, get them out so they took 30 men and they went and they pulled him out of the sister I was a little slimy pit reason to think that what David is talking about here is a literal pit and back is worth saying because if it is not a literal pit. It's a metaphorical pit and it's metaphorical. It's meant to describe the kind of pitch that you and I experience thinking about some of those one kind of pit I think of is the pit of sin. Some people are caught in the mud and the buyer sent David himself had been at one. His life you know the story stayed home in Jerusalem, and the season were told when it was customary for the kings to go to war while he was there he saw Bathsheba bathing on the roof of a house near the palace inquired after she wasn't found out she was wife of Uriah the Hittite and I didn't deterrent me invited Bathsheba over.

He slept with her and when he discovered later that she was pregnant he had Uriah killed in battle by giving Joab instructions to put them in the forefront of the Army in advance on the city they were talking and then as soon as the soldiers began to fire back to withdraw the troops and allow them to perish, and that's what happened. I was certainly a pit of sin.

David was caught in it he continued in that paper nearly a year until God sent Nathan the prophet bring it into the open and David confess the sin got back on track, but it certainly was a grim time in his life. Now some of you may be caught him something like that.

It's the way sin operates. Not surprising you see is why you can't ever in your life say well why isn't it all right for me just to send a little bit you know it it's just I know it's wrong, but it's a little something I'd like to go and if I do it then I'll get back out of the acting out.

Go on in the Lord's way doesn't work that way it's like flypaper. Romans one describes that you know it it's when you run away from God. You start on the downhill path of the way. Romans one talks about that. There's no bottom to the path. It's a way of saying not only as of the pit, it's a bottomless pit and you know that's the phrase the Bible used to describe hell bottomless pit. Something on which you can escape.

I say you're stuck in the kind of a pit you know and if you are, how are you going to get out your certainly not going to get out by yourself. You can't do it. You cannot overcome sin by yourself. That's why you need a Savior is why David, regardless of what is describing in these particular words called on God, the only kind of pit we get stuck and I can think of another example, some of us get stuck in the pit of defeat. As you try to do something and you failed at it and then that that failure is been followed by another failure and another failure. I've talked to people in counseling sessions when they say my whole life has been one long defeat I don't want to make light of that tendency to do that sometimes in preaching say well you know gonna make it all better if you just surrender to it may not happen quite that well you may be in an area where you're not going to succeed and I don't want to pretend the solution in the case like that is easy but I will say this, God does have victories for you may not be in the area in which you're currently working but he certainly has things for you to do and victories you to achieve what you have to do is stop again the listen to him and call upon them, and wait patiently for him and find that that's what he will do with you and is on taught notice of. That's the way David begins the Psalm. He says I waited patiently for the Lord was after you Dunlap got turned to him and heard his cry again. I say I don't know what David is describing here from his own experience was a period in his life, for he had a lot of defeats was when he was a young man had a great future before him that Saul was against it. But no matter what he did. He couldn't please King Saul. Finally Saul tried to take his life. You try to do it more than once David had run away and he had the existence of 100 man for years on the king of country slotting down hounded nearly to death. David was certainly upset at that.

I'm just not succeeding at anything. Nothing I do seems to work yet. He waited patiently upon the Lord that God's own time. He brought them the throne. Well let me give you 1/3 example of some of the patents we get into. That's the pit of bad habits from people are stuck in something like that. Know habits are terribly addictive, so I kind of pit is obvious. People get stuck on drugs and can't get off of them.

Sometimes it's alcohol. Sometimes it's habits like smoking that also is addictive something on quite like that. But we build them into our lives in such a way that it really is almost impossible to break them things like overeating, terribly bad in itself done once or twice occasionally when it becomes a habit, something that you get stuck. Some people develop the habit of self-pity, always feeling sorry for themselves, and of course it works their entire personality in years down the road after they practice.

I just can't get out of that where you break those bad habits were you going to find new habits that you need to go on and live a prosperous life.

You're going to get it from God is going to happen.

I say that because I recognize how difficult the problem is what you need is to wait patiently on God and allow him bit by bit to lift you out of that pit about habits and such on a rock where you begin to go in his way and break those things which are so constructive well and suggest in the fourth place that sometimes it's a bit of circumstances. For an example here. I think of Paul. Paul describes concerning the trials of the went through and he was trying to bring the gospel to the Gentiles.

He talks about it in the Corinthian letters, especially in second Corinthians of those weren't bad habits, they certainly weren't sin was just the opposite case, always experiencing these things because he was trying to be faithful to Jesus Christ in the gospel again when he describes it. Listen to this five times I received from the Jews 40 lashes -13 times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night in a day in the open sea. I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen danger from Gentiles in danger in the city, in danger in the country in danger at sea and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled often gone without sleep. I have known hunger and thirst, often gone without food.

I have been called a naked beside everything else I faced daily pressure of my concern for all the churches I don't think it would be stretching the salt for Paul to have prayed in those circumstances, the Lord, lift me out of this pit interesting thing is a God didn't do that, so far as we know, this is the kind of thing that Paul experienced the very end of his life calling God had for him to glorify Savior in those circumstances God inherent in the circumstances because qualities writing about them can also say not only is he describes them how bad they are, but how God gave them victory even in the midst of such things. Second Corinthians 4, eight, nine, we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down, but not scrolling might be experiencing circumstances in your life that are like that.

I want to assure you are coming in your life because of your faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the gospel then what Paul describes here is going to be your case as well be beaten down, but you're not going to be destroyed by those things.

Because God is going to hold you up in them in order to glorify himself in the middle of the software.

All of these things you say we can look at it and say well they are examples of what David is talking about Saul at some point or another everyone of us can identify what he saying you see that what is really saying is not that he was in the pit, but that the Lord delivered them out of the pit interesting to look at those first three verses that's where he talks about his past deliverance really mentions the pit once in the mud in the mire. Once the verses are really filled with is what God is gone.

I see five things that he says God is done he turned to me as he noticed me. He lifted me out of the slimy pit. That's the second thing number three set my feet on a rock number 40 gave me a firm place to stand number five. He put a new song by mouthing him praise to our God wonderful that we have a God like that God or notices is first of all, why should he notice us great sovereign marvelous God of the universe where a little speck. We are less than the spec we are a small portion of the spec in God's great universe. Why should we be concerned at all. You and I get in the slimy pits is great because most the Carl Sagan thinks is so wonderful all that ever was all that ever will be is in taking any notice of you if you fall into a pit great God of the universe.C is not the God of the Greeks. It was unmoved by the affliction of his creatures on his one and takes notice of you no matter what you're going through. He sees you he knows your suffering.

That's the first thing David says thing is that he lifted them out.

She couldn't get out by himself, but he'd lifted them out. He lifted Joseph out literally on one occasion Joseph had been thrown into a pit by his brothers and thoughts in the Midianites by as a result of that sold in the Midianites and that's how he got out of there and God is done that different ways with his people all down through history, many of his people can say yes I was in the pit. God lifted me out.

I was in the pit of sentiment lifted me out. I was in the pit of self-pity and other bad habits of the lifted me out. I was in the pit of defeat and discouragement lifted me out. That's what David is speaking of here. Not only did he do that except my feet upon a rock. Give me a firm place to stand because of lack put a new song in my mouth, new song in my mouth as a song of praise to him for that deliverance and that's what he says is he's reflecting on the past section of this as I said is present tense portion of the Saul in which David is looking out now to the people to whom he speaking and in which he reflects on God's past goodness for their benefit falls into three sections itself. Verses four and five of the first of what he does in these verses is to recommend his own trust in God and other people because it in the form of a beatitude verse four Blessed is the man who makes the Lord's trust does not look to the crowd to those who turn aside to false gods and reminds us of someone weight Salter began as the man does not associate with the ungodly studies the word sinks its roots deep in the gods teaching. The teaching of Scripture.

That's kind of thing. They say that we want to ask at that point. Why is a man like this blast. Amanda makes the Lord's trust answer is obvious in view of what is come immediately before reason Amanda trust God is blast is that God is a God who can be trusted as a good God's character doesn't change because he's been good to his people in the past we can know that is going to be good to his people in the future.

Earlier solvents on 34 verse eight.

David said taste and see that the Lord is good is what he saying here.

You want to know how good God is. You need to trust it when you trust him. You'll find out how blessed is the one who actually trust God aftertaste God to see a good he really is. I suppose somebody could invite you to a banquet and it might be most wondering banquet that had ever been spread for anyone yet.

You never know that benefit from it.

If you sat there and didn't eat what was set before order to understand how God is you have to try them out. God is like back testing God is just trusting God and that's what David was doing. The second section of this middle portion of the Saul is in verse six through eight, and here he's talking about the proper relation of the trusting person to God say he's described what God's dawning is broken out into song. He says look I recommend this relationship of trust to you, but now he says, look, let me carry it a bit further.

Here's what's involved, what you have to do is obey God and obeying God is far more important than sacrificing to what he says in verse six is a statement that we find all through Scripture you can get on a concordance look about obedience and sacrifice of all a lot of you find it again and again in the Bible God says that obeying him is far more important than sacrifice. It's a way of saying that heart religion is more important than external religion. Good to come to church because you hear Bible taught it's good to fellowship with other people. It's good to take part in the communion service. All those things but you can do that you're not obeying God, it doesn't count for anything at all. As a matter fact account worse than what's good because it's only hypocritical other hand, when you will buy you come to God than the other things become a blessing there meant to be.

Verse six is a bit of a puzzle for commentators sacrifice and offering you did not desire what you desire my ears you have pierced. What is that mean of the Hebrew word there is actually the word DU G literally means my ears.

You doesn't seem to mean a whole lot so because that word can also mean peers it's been translated that way and the reason is that in the book of Exodus. There's a description of how a servant slave who has fulfilled his his maximum seven years of servitude to a master, but he wants to stay with his master could go through the ceremony by which he became a slave of that good master permanently and what's described as this master is to take him to the judges of the city is to declare his intention and then there pierced his ear with them all is making a small hole in one of his ears as an indication that he is now a voluntary serve under a voluntary sleigh out a number of commentators looked back and said well that's what it's talking about here. And of course it makes good sense in the context doesn't aim it's talking about the right relationship of the trusting person to God, and he saying look what that would mean is that you are voluntary serve under slave of God, who is your master we can understand that your servants of Jesus Christ in exactly the same way, but is a problem with that and the problem is this and that ceremony described in Exodus only one here was pierced ears talking about to hear my ears.

You have pierced doesn't bother some people. They say well just wanted to be doubly sure of it. So he said to my other ear as well. While I can imagine that an individual might do that but the way you would normally refer to it in the Saul would be exactly the way it's described in Exodus and it's not done that way here for that reason most modern commentators think that it does mean something else to dig the ear was a Hebrew idiom which meant to unplug the year and understand that you go to your nose and throat man first thing he does is examine your ears, and he digs out any obstruction might be there accumulated. Watson such a thing.

Most of the modern commentators, I will. That's what David is talking about. He saying cleaned out my ears so I can hear what you're saying and that fits the context doesn't good be. Either way, David is talking about the law of God when he says in verse seven. Here I am.

I have comments written about me in the scroll.

I desire to do your will of my God what he saying is I find your will and Scripture. That's what I want to do. So that's the case what he saying is you have given me ears to hear, so I might not perish about the courses throughout the work brought as well.

Let me amplify upon that. A lot of people have ears but they don't hear and I know some of the time when I'm preaching that I don't prepare sermons with anybody's particular problem in mind as a matter of fact, it occurs to me I generally back away from it because I like to be a direct usually I avoid talking specifically to somebody's problem from the public will do it personally, but sometimes when I get in the midst of something the Lord is bringing up my mind that some money was there exactly. I say to myself, that's exactly what they need to do is God's word to their exact situation.

Talk to them afterwards hear a word of it all ears were plugged what they needed was there appears to be digging in it ears unplug.

I only know one person who could do that, giving hearing to the death. That's the Lord Jesus Christ.

You and I need to have unplug ears so we hear what he has to say to us with the Scriptures, red and were going to have that done. The Lord Jesus Christ have to do that to us. I suppose at that point we could look back in verse four where it says blessed is the man and we could say, Blessed is the man who can hear is it is the mannequin hear what God actually says to and when he speaks to them through Scripture while as a final section to attend final section. The final section of the middle portion is what you find in verses nine and 10 and what David is describing. There is his testifying that these things before the assembly, I proclaim your righteousness in the great assembly. I do not seal my lips.

I do not hide your righteousness in my heart I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. Jesus said that when he was talking about the human heart and he said, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Ever wondered when you're with people why some people have such vile speech very simple answer. I have a wild heart speak what's in their heart but it works the other way to see if your heart is filled with the goodness of God because he's delivered you in the way that the Psalm is describing that you're going to speak about and Christian should be doing that. Say I don't know whether you have actually experienced these pits that I talked about the pits of personal sin but a bad habits, the circumstances, but you and I are Christians of all been lifted out of one. That's the pit of the sentence, keeping us from fellowship with God and Jesus Christ remove that by his death on the cross. That is the greatest of all deliverances you and I am experience that then we should be able to do what he's talking about here in verses nine and 10. We should be willing and able and actually proclaim what is happened. I think as I read that David is actually thinking of silence is a sin.

What he says in these verses that is going to be silent but we come to the end. The last section, beginning with verse 11. Here, David begins to pray for a future deliverance is he still in trouble and he wants God to deliver them in the days, I find that interesting. Here he is described in the opening verses a great deliverance, God is given what it is God gave them a great deliverance in some way marvelous things testifying about it.

He wants everybody to know it's an example of the goodness of Almighty God.

Now we get to the end of the saw what we find we find he's in a pill all over again, and he needs help as a way of saying is that life is one long trouble. Even Jesus Christ said in this world you will have trouble can't be any other way can Christians what kind of a world you think it's a sinful world. The world is in rebellion against God week this this idea kind of is this false kind of spirituality in the evangelical church because I'm a Christian because Jesus is taking care of me. Everything's going to be all right.

I want to have any problems at all.

I have problems because as a sinful world. Jesus Christ is going to take care of you and have troubles as long as you're here Jesus Christ said you will have troubles in this world you will have troubles, you know what else he said just after he said that he said. But take heart I have overcome the world. What he means by that. You see is if you're drawing to him saving faith as you are. If you're a Christian and you're not going to be discouraged even though you have the troubles you find yourself in a pit. David did you find yourself in trouble. Currently you're looking for the future deliverance you're going to have trouble you're going to be dismayed by the trouble you're not to be utterly cast out or pessimistic while you're going through it. Trouble just pessimism.

No, I think that's the tone as we come to the end. David is expressing himself very clearly and he's having grief but he's not pessimistic.

The reason is not pessimistic is that God is good with them in the plastic delivered and before and therefore expects God to deliver them again. The cries are rather plaintive, but nevertheless cries that are founded upon the shore. Certain hope. Verse 17 yet I am poor and needy. May the Lord think of me poor and needy you for needing?

All poor and needy. We are poor week sinful DD sailing lonely uncertain individuals to see that doesn't matter because we have our God. What is David doing when it comes to the very end of the Psalm answer is he doing exactly what he was doing at the beginning was he doing at the beginning verse one.

I was waiting patiently for the Lord you get to the very end and is waiting patiently for the Lord again.

I suppose you can wait and not wait patiently wait patiently, but not wait for the Lord of the right combination is all three wait patiently for the Lord and therefore to wait hopefully because he is the Lord you are my help and my deliverer. That is true.

So, my God, is David, do not delay father, we thank you for the Psalm to the way David handles these difficult moments in his life.

We find a pattern for how we can deal with them as well because we all certainly have difficulties of one sort or another, and in some cases for some of us, and sometimes become so intense and so hopeless that slimy pit is actually the way to talk about yet. What a slimy pits to you. You are a God, it was able to lift your people out and you do do that have done it, and will do it again. While there, we commit these things to you. We pray for any who may be suffering in that way that you give them why you have them in that circumstance, a sense of your presence greatest to wait patiently and call upon you, and that also grace to praise you rightly adequately and boldly when you finally reach down and lift about pray these things in anticipation of what you're going to do in the name of Jesus Christ.

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 net.org 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.

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