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A Weak Man's Strong Tribute

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
November 5, 2021 8:00 am

A Weak Man's Strong Tribute

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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November 5, 2021 8:00 am

God shows mercy to the merciful. This week on The Bible Study Hour, we’re studying Psalm 41, where the theme throughout is mercy. But what exactly is mercy? How do we receive it, and why should we be willing to freely extend it to others? David knows mercy. He knows that he deserves nothing, yet he’s received overwhelming and unmerited favor from God.


What does it mean to be merciful today on the Bible study. Our were studying Psalm 41 where the theme throughout his mercy. David is a man who knows mercy. He knows that he deserves nothing that he's received overwhelming and unmerited favor from God click and David's behavior toward his enemies, teach us about forgiveness and to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. David knows that he is received mercy and that showing mercy to his enemies will bring lessons. Let's find out how by turning to Psalm 41. You may recall, the ending of the last fault had to do with the poor and needy. Almost saying I am poor and needy.

May the Lord think of may well that's where the song begins.

As I say it's probably the reason why the Psalms are connected.

The way they are witnessing that before quite often. Psalm will begin to point the preceding song ended and I think that's probably why we have the order. We do here.

David C writes this last form of one that is blessed is the US regard for the week. That is the poor and needy that are spoken about in the previous verse is a special blessing upon them the theme of the Psalm is mercy.

You find a place of installments in verse four and verse 10 verse four says the Lord have mercy on me, heal me, for I have sinned against you and then verse 10 says, but you are Lord have mercy on me, raise me up, that I may repay, but it's not just there in the middle section of the song that we find it, it's there in the opening section may cause statement is announcing a blessing on the one was regard for the week and what that means is the one who shows mercy to those in need, and especially those are not able to pay you back and in the middle section when he begins to talk about his enemies/friends in the way they been treating him is real complaint is that they didn't show any mercy to him when he needed it. So as we study assault. Let's keep that in mind, it's a Psalm about mercy and its commending mercy for those over the people of God. One of the sand things about Christians is that often they are known for anything but that.

And yet they should be. You know what our Lord said one of the Beatitudes.

It's really the key verse of the song want to take it that way. Jesus said blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy is exactly the theme David develops in the first few verses and if you want to exposition of the Psalm. Are you also find it in Matthew's gospel key verse Beatitudes blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. The exposition comes toward the end of Matthew where read him your blessed by my father take your inheritance, for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. It was a stranger you invited me and I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me I was in prison and you came to visit me so mercy is the same way you do.

It is the way Jesus Christ describes their Psalm has three sections is very easy to say the first part of the first three verses is a statement of the theme is where we have the attitude in the Old Testament for second section, which I regard as containing verses four through 10. Although the new international version breaks stanzas up differently. But in verses four through 10. We have a plea for mercy on the Psalm as part in which he states his sad condition.

Why needs mercy and then finally and I handle it this way because of the change of subject matter versus 11 through 13 final expression of his very firm confidence in God you have the theme you have a plea for mercy based on the theme and then have the statement of confidence not on first section begins with the word blessed and that means it's a beatitude itself. Blessed is the US regard for the week. This is the third time in the book of Psalms 1 of the Psalms is begun.

This way, very aware of that first one because it's the first Psalm in the solar blessed is the man does not make his company with the ungodly, but it rhymes himself in the law of the Lord is the way the soldier began and then the 32nd Psalm begins the same way analysis last one of one of the solar in this essay myself.

So this book usually begins with a blessing and it ends with a blessing. 32nd Psalm is about forgiveness based on the shed blood of Christ. So you have a blessing pronounced on the one who loves the word of God grounds his or her life upon it blessing upon one who has been forgiven of his or her sins. And finally, in the Psalm have a blessing on the one who out of that experience of forgiveness shows mercy to the poor and needy were all about us allergen ways this blessing pronounced here can be taken, it can be an encouragement on the one hand, to show compassion to those who need compassion blessed to see US regard for the week. That's what you should do the wild and care for the week or the first three verses could be understood as David saying this is what I have done in the way I've operated in my life and because of this I know that God is going to take care of me when I need it. I probably both of those are true. We read on further hearing the song we find out the David was in a position where he really didn't need the mercy of God. People were not showing it to him he needed from God. And so that's what he's praying to God for but at the same time. What he saying is that you and I should be people were characterized by mercy to others who are around us were seven things and David says God will do if we make it our goal to show mercy to other people here. They are number one. The Lord will deliver us in times of trouble. Number two.

We will protect us. Number three he will preserve our life before he will bless us in the land. Number five, you will not surrender us to the desire of our flows. Number six he will sustain us in our sickbed and number 70 will restore us to health is verse three verses David makes those seven statements is an interesting progression there is in therapy. Look at them carefully, you'll see that they moved from the more general to the more specific most general of all is the first God will deliver us in times of trouble.

All kinds of trouble.

But as he begins a list these things, he gets more and more specific and finally he says, toward the end, the Lord will sustain a money sickbed verse three and restoring from his bed of illness. Now David is sick and ill.

And that's exactly what he needs.

You see, he's moved from the general principle of the specific in these verses that's worth thinking about, because when we think, spiritually, very often the way we think is in general terms.

Pray that way and we think that way and we are specific with God.

But the wonderful thing about our God is care for is generally we dies and preservers in time to trouble. Generally, though he dies he cares for us in specific things here. David is sick so he needs a God is able to sustain him in his sickness is Ellen. I need to. God is able to raise him up and restoring the health of God certainly is able to do that. Whatever your specific need may be, particularly if you're aware of it in an area of weakness you're looking to God for mercy find that that's exactly the point at which he meets you, I expound a text like this. I don't know every individual parts and I certainly don't know all the details of your life. You can see your own situation reflected in these verses whether telling it was a God knows you where you are and he knows you need and he wants to meet that need to come to him the way David Dot's I we move on to the second section because that's the statement of the theme.

Blessed are those who show mercy. Verse four David calls out to God, mercy, reason, I put verse 10. With these other verses is that this theme of these verses all has to do with that flight in which David finds himself in before we move on to see exactly what he says here about his enemies and his false friends. We should look at that word mercy understand it in a way that will help us understand the first few verses receipt. One thing I said is a David is not only urging us there to be merciful is also stating a great principle on the commentator says is probably the first time biblical history that this principle is been stated know our Lord did it very clearly in the Beatitudes that is you show mercy to other people. God will show mercy to you.

Probably the first time, is nevertheless very clear statement to see if we look at that and say well what David is saying is that's he saying I show mercy to other people. Therefore, God knows me mercy right everything on the way we missed what he saying is mercy by its very definition is not something that's deserved. If David had said, well, I given money to other people there forgot to give me money while at the least a logical connection wall or I went to visit somebody and now I wish God would be close to me that we could understand what that is and what he says going about mercy and mercy is God's unmerited favor is even more than that is God's favor, the people who deserve the opposite say we know is we've gone verse for the David is aware that he doesn't deserve anything from God because he is confessing his sin and heal me because I've sinned against you sinners need mercy and justice to sinners is judgment.

Sinners need his mercy. So when we begin to think of what he's praying for in the Psalm is mercy understand the way he's talking about it in the first verse, he is saying. I believe I am show mercy to other people and that is true, and he is stating the principle that God chose mercy to those who show mercy, but that is a different thing claiming mercy of God because you show mercy see understand what mercy is. It's always showing favor to someone it doesn't deserve it. And in fact deserves the opposite what David is really saying is that I'm in that position where the more because of my sin. I more in that position than anybody else there. Somebody was poor and I when they help them out. But that doesn't compare where I stand before God in terms of my sin. Your somebody was lonely and I went and visited them with their loneliness is nothing and what I did is nothing compare my sin. Mercy that I need from Almighty God, to see how that operates you want to receive favor from God. The way to receive it is not my coming to God to say you owe me this and God knows you was hell should come to him, saying, Lord, have mercy upon you say that was the Republicans prayer, the one that was her name spring for healthcare.

Of course, in the phrase he uses heal me actually means heal my soul reason I mention that is that it broadens that your CV just says he'll make everything in terms of physical healing, we say well he sick and he wants to get well, but he puts that in the same sentence he says I have sinned against you and that broadens it to see saying I want you to all of me, body and soul. I have a spiritual illness as well as a physical illness. So you see when you're beginning to think in terms of your debt to God, mercy, what you need. Inevitably, your horizon expands and you begin to think, I'm sure you understand this, you begin to think and what we would call a Christian way and not merely in a secular way and I point out that even secular people who have no real spiritual understanding. All can pray they pray in secular terms what they mean is, I'm sick. I'm thinking in terms of bodily illness and bodily health, I want to get well. I pray that because we have bodies we can bring anything to God, but essentially that's a secular prayer when you say, as David does human body and soul. He's thinking he wants to be healed, not just in his body, but it is solely once forgiveness for his sins. He wants to be restored to a right healthy spiritual relationship to God and pray spiritually because it's a think in terms of divine dimensions. Now he begins to describe in verse five the kind of things that have been happening to him, and it's at this point that we really begin to identify with David and his suffering for different things. He says his enemies and false friends of Don the first assume verse five. Then see it again in 6778 together and then for thing in verse nine he say first of all, in verse five he says that his enemies are hoping for his death. Way says it is this enemies say of me and malice. When will he die, and his name parish. That's not sort of an innocent kind of question.

You know, I'm just wondering now. Theoretically, when King David's going to die is not that kind of a question they say one in the world is this man going to die and get out of here so we can get on the change in government that were wanting the kind of question was being asked by his enemies. Say to yourself.

We have such a good picture of David, because of what's told us about it in the Old Testament, and because of the things that he obviously did the way it was regarded by most people that we say on the world could a person as bright and successful in as much integrity and honest as David possibly have enemies like you don't think very deeply to know that it is quite possible.

Matter fact it is often the most upright people who have the most enemies will say when they're trying to explain dishonest conduct well you have to go along to get along what they mean is that you bring yourself down to the level of everybody else get along fine when you tried to lead a moral life the right thing and set a good example. Well then, and evidently you're going to develop enemies and that's what happened today, but we know that he had enemies early in his life from the house of King Saul Solomon disobedient but nevertheless he had his loyal followers. And when God raised David to the throne and remove Saul well those were loyal to slow enemies of David later on in his life. Even his son Absalom turned against him tried to undermine his authority. David had to flee from Jerusalem. And because Absalom was successful for a time.

We know that all of those who followed Absalom from the palace in the Army were obviously, enemies of David, at least at that time they were, say, why is that was jealously chiefly. David was an outstanding man. They were jealous because he was because he had conducted himself with integrity and with high moral standards we say that that has great bearing on the Christian church.

There are lots of divisions in the church and some of them were violent and had to do with truth. Some of them had to do with matters of conduct and where vision takes place in the basis of an important truth for the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ that is a justified division. But if you spend any time studying church history. It doesn't take very long to decide the most of the divisions of taken place in the church, by extension, most of the schisms that exist even with in a single congregation or not do the contention for the truth of the gospel at all but rather jealously that one Christian has for another Christian and often it's true Christian leaders language will try to plug the thing that's really going on.

Somebody will say well I think he's aired in his eschatology very important that we stand against error or are II think is terribly wrong in the way practices baptism or something like that. So I'm going to separate over that issue.

You see often. It's simply that there's jealousy of one who has more power, more influence in leaders.

We have to be on guard against that and especially in the evangelical church. If the devil is unable to defeat us from without a will certainly try to defeat us from within. In the most effective way wall of doing that is to create divisions among Christ's body lets the first thing on the sickening. David says he was experiencing is that is supposed friends about his enemies. Now the supposed friend came to him and they paid proper courtesy as you would expect them to go when they were in the presence of the king, even though he was ill, but as soon as they went out they said quite different things about them. They were hypocrites, but everyone comes to see me. He speaks closely while his heart gather slander and he goes out and spreads abroad. I suppose when I came to see David, his bedroom lying in his bed sick, attended by his physicians. I said things like this, they said over very sorry to hear that you we just got the news as we got the news again right over because we just want to say how sorry we are we been praying for you that you get well. I'm sure God's going to hear our prayers. We hope you're going to be better real soon the learning in the meantime, everything is being taken care of. Real fight is anything we can do the kind of things they were saying. But as soon as they went out they said to one another.

I suppose while they were still standing in the hall. Didn't he look awful.

And then they would say I don't think he's gonna make you then somebody else would say well not to worry, has been handling things very well in recent years anyway. I suppose the sooner we have a change, the better the kind of things they were saying David knew about, well, unfortunately, that sort of thing happens to David as it hurts anybody and is one of the aspects of the suffering that is laying before the Lord, is the third thing he mentions instead of sympathizing with David in his illness.

Some attributed the illness to God's judgment on them for some moral failure.

That's what's being talked about in verses seven and eight. All my enemies whisper together against me and they imagine the worst for me saying mild disease set in me will never get up the place where he lives. The last phrase of mild disease. Literally thing of Belial in the Hebrew and that's a hard phrase to interpret Belial as meaning awesome so that commentators do the best they can kind of day. There radiology is vague as well. Here's kind of things they say Perrone. The commentator says translated some shocking thing the King James is an evil disease, the RSV says it deadly thing. The NASB's is a wicked thing any beast is an evil spell and ideas usually sense of mild disease. It's attributing the cause still a moral failure, saying he is in bad shape because of something that he did.

I was vague and it's intentionally solid as the very nature of that kind of an accusation that they say when David really had done something is adultery with Bathsheba that is scheming to have Uriah kill Nathan the prophet came to when it wasn't vague at all gave him a story about a man who stole the sheep from his poor neighbor and as soon as David pronounced his judgment. Nathan said you're the man. No question about that. See what enemies do this sort of thing is they say all well what is going great.

Must've done something bad is what Job's counselors made in throwing light on Job suffering at all they did was increase the misery of the soft St. was learned from that as well. We are going to see it from David's side we want to do that when I see it from the side of these false friends and enemies to have to remember the suffering comes in the lives of people for very different reasons. Some suffering that we experience is just the common lot of land we live in a fallen, sinful world and there are bad things that happen. Job said man is born to trouble, as surely as sparks fly upward so he said, sooner or later you're going to have bad things in your you're going to get sick. Eventually, you are going to die and sometimes you are going to lose your job and that doesn't necessarily mean that God is trying to do something in it with you.

There does bad things that happen. That's the first thing sometimes God sent suffering into our lives in order to accomplish things and in my first category, God will even accomplish things in Matt Paul was speaking about that when he said suffering produces perseverance as long as things go well learn anything about perseverance, because, well, who has to learn how to persevere when things go well, but when things are bad that you have to persevere. That's what proves the metal of the St. on the her going along from success to success. Well find is when things don't go well. The job doesn't go well in the church doesn't grow when you have all kinds of people saying things about you and you hang in there and do what you want to do and that's where you develop perseverance of some suffering is meant to develop character and the sayings and some suffering simply to glorify God.

I was a case of Joe Job was a righteous man, and that anything wrong.

Even though his friends were saying that he had read the story you find what God was doing was demonstrating in the life of job that a man or woman will praise and bless God for who God is, regardless of the blessings that they receive from his because Satan was saying the only reason Job praises you because you give him a lot of money and God's will take away the money and you'll see that is case law. You see, God was bringing glory to himself through Job suffering all those reasons. It's only a portion I would say a small portion of suffering that comes into our lives because of some particularly evil or moral failure or sin that we have not say when, where, thinking about other Christians that is far more likely if there suffering that God sent suffering into their life on earth descended into their life as a punishment so have to remember that we deal with other people.

Above all we have to learn how to be merciful and not be ready to pronounce our judgments for things that happen to David and his illness and is ready described in verse mind, even my close friends whom I trusted, see who shared my red is lifted up his heel against me how that may have happened more than once in David's life.

No doubt did Mammon's position, but we do have one story and second Samuel, that alone is enough to explain it. He had a trusted counselor.

A wise man by the name of the hip without when Absalom led the rebellion against him. Isabel went over to Absalom side gave Absalom advice. Fortunately this man was very wise and he understood. David fortunately God blinded mind of Absalom, so he didn't take his advice and when that happened.

Absalom took the wrong advice and David was unable to escape and eventually regain the throne and development home and hanged himself. But here was a man whom David trusted went out of the side of the stable to be traded now that really hurts and it's not your enemies are out to get your hide worse when your friends are hypocritical and say one thing to you and another thing behind your back but when your close friend, when you trust it does that it hurts most of all, Jesus of course you well know. Referred to this verse and drawn 13 chapter verse 18 in reference to Judas because he sent us to fulfill the Scripture spoken even my close friends who shared my bread is lifted up his heel against me for studying the way Jesus use that text by the way, because Jesus did included exactly left out the words of my trusted that tells us that Jesus knew what was in the heart of Judas didn't actually trust betrayed by his friend, but he didn't trust me. Not only does it tell us that it also tells us something about the way Old Testament quotations are used in the New Testament.

Some of them are direct prophecies, they don't really relate to what happened in Old Testament times. I refer to the coming of Jesus Christ will fill them exactly. But there are others verses like this that aren't strictly messianic in that sense, but are picked up in the New Testament is a principal or a statement than in the secondary way implies what was happening in the New Testament. People are set does this verse prove that this on the 41st Psalms messianic know it doesn't do that anymore than the quotation by the author of Hebrews.

Of those verses from the preceding Psalm makes the 40th Psalm messianic that at all.

But these verses are picked up and used in that way. So the principle is one that Jesus Christ himself experience valid Jesus Christ perfect son of God would never send it all and therefore certainly never sinned against any individual of Jesus Christ to be betrayed by a friend, as he obviously was my Judas, you and I can certainly experience that but with far less justification our case. You see, we have sinned, as David had send we have offended people as David and offended. Undoubtedly, so we pray not for justice. We pray, as David has for mercy. And that's exactly what he says following a reference to his friend, but you oh Lord, have mercy on me, raised me out that I may repay them. Something like that.

We talked about that problem. The Psalms before I pointed out that the great difference between David functioning as the King's duty is to maintain order and establish justice and David functioning as an individual is an individual, David was extremely forgiving and so he was very careful not to take vengeance on his enemies is mine. I will read pay. Saith the Lord is King he had responsibilities and there's nothing at all wrong with him, praying here that God would raise them up in order that he can execute a proper judgment on those were really traders to the kingdom second section we have had the statement of the theme of the song having to do with mercy. I we had a plea in which David is asking God for mercy.

In view of his sad condition. We come at the end, especially in verses 11 and 12 to a confident statement of his trust in God. What this means. You see, is that the tone of the Psalm at the end goes back to the beginning started off talking about God showing mercy to those who have been merciful second section pleads for mercy here at the end he says and that is just what God is going to do what is going to be merciful to me. I know it and look at this not only is he saying that God is going to be merciful to them in the sense you see as if he were saying you will be pleased with me some day and my enemy will not triumph over me.

Eventually though he's triumphing over me now and you will uphold below you're not doing a very good job at the moment is not saying that all this is in the present tense why David is really saying is this my enemy does not triumph over me.

Even now, and you uphold me even now. It means you see, even though my sickness may cause other people to think that you have abandoned me of not abandon me because you're with me in my sickness even though my enemy is working against me. You are holding them at bay and I am triumphing over him.

Even while I'm down and you're holding me up even in this.

Now that's a great testimony. See that's greater than anything the world can even begin to conceive. If the world thinks of all, in spiritual terms.

When people in the world are in trouble.

They say God get me out of this trouble.

Lots of people in counseling session say that to me why in God do something or thought about before, but suddenly there's only one God get a monument that is not strictly the way the Christians think we can pray for deliverance.

David certainly is doing that, but as we do. We know that the greatest triumphs. He gives us is in the very midst of the trouble is he what is the victory in the in this particular song is the victory that God has given them health and brought them out of it. We believe he didn't actually know the story of David.

It happened eventually that's not happening in the Psalm the victory in the Psalm is a David is not cursing his enemies even though they are cursing him you see there, there's the Christians victory sometimes pointed out in terms of the death of Jesus Christ. The victory is the victory of the cross, not the resurrection. Resurrection is a very important thing demonstrates that the atonement was accepted in the sight of God. But the victory was a victory of the cross of Jesus went to the cross and it was on the cross that he achieved salvation for us from our sins.

See the victory was in the something not not apart from the suffering that instead of the suffering not suffering over the suffering victory was in the very suffering itself.

David experiencing this saying I found it to be true no matter what I go through. God is with me as I go through it no matter what is said, able to respond in a way that honors you and not in the way about me and I'm able to praise you seek your face, bless you and commend you to other people. Even though I'm suffering, and using that's where he comes to the very end. Interesting how these five books of the Psalms and verse three and exactly like this. Amen and amen. Four ends with the words. Amen. Praise the Lord Lord is actually hallelujah in the Hebrew and then late last look at the sold or the very end.

Psalm 150 ends with a double praise the Lord. How can we not do that.

We studied enough of the Psalms. Know that we must we should we can. We will Psalm 1000. God blesses those who root themselves in his word. He watches over sand to assures us of the final victory of the divine Messiah even our Lord Jesus Christ. Psalms 3 and four teach that God is with us in the morning and in the evening because he watches over us. We can lie down in safety and sleep in peace. We can rise up as God on six and 32 Telus of God is willing and able to forgive sin.

Psalm seven speaks of God's justice all made of his Majesty.

Psalms 920 3435 and 40 speak of deliverance from enemies of the preservation and trouble about the King and the nation. Psalm 14 exposes the folly of spiritual fools. 16 Psalm is a prophecy of the resurrection. Psalm 22 is a prophecy of the cross Psalms 22 through 24. The shepherd Psalm Psalm 22 Psalm of the good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep. Psalm 23 the Charlotte Psalm of the great Shepherd guides protects a shape. Psalm 24 the Psalm of the chief Shepherd return in righteous judgment to reward the shape Psalm 27 teaches that God is our light of our salvation. Psalm 28 tells us how he answers prayer. Psalm 29 emphasizes God's glory and Psalm 30.

God is our joy in Psalm 31 is our refuge because of the Psalm 37 affirms a week of rest secure in God in all circumstances and Psalms 38 and 41. Explain God is our help, even in sickness or another trying moments of our lives. That is why we person is able to give such strong tribute to Almighty God is why we say praise be to the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen amen spray or bother were thankful for the Psalm that we have studied in which David such grim circumstances abused and slandered is able to lay it all before you, and because it does that it knows you is able to respond in a way utterly different from that of his cursing, he blesses instead of seeking destruction.

He prays for mercy and he commends it to all like ourselves who have followed them in the faith rather to just be like that we see somebody deserving judgment. Help us to be merciful teachers to show mercy and so I speak to them. And so, bless our witness that they might find you to be the God of all mercy in Jesus Christ died for the righteous, but for sinners just like ourselves. Thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaimed biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church. 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.

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