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December 8, 2021 7:00 am
When we are attacked.
Do we bring our case to God and ask him for justice.
The arrows of our enemy may come at us suddenly and take us by surprise today on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce assures us from Psalm 64 that God our defender will return those arrows just as suddenly, our part is to simply call on him as David did. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically.
David reminds us that the swords and arrows of evildoers are their tongues and the words that come from them within their pride in their rush to harm us. Our enemies have one fatal flaw. They forget about God turn to Psalm 64, as we see how God deals with the enemies of the believer back to our study of the Psalms and I invite you to have a Bible with you to turn to Psalm 64 this is the second book of Psalms there are five of them that I should stay first book a long time ago now were making progress in the second book the first two books of Psalms contain a lot of Psalms of David. This is another Psalm of David and were in a block of Psalms, or by day. Never notice probably haven't thought of this before but I wonder if you ever notice that it is very seldom in one of his Psalms of David fails to mention his enemies. Other exceptions of course, not many. And his references to enemies sometimes occur in the strangest places. Psalm 23. For example, we think of Psalm 23 is that great Psalm of David installing God as his faithful and true shepherd, and it is but verse five. Remember, it says you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies back to David mentions an enemy so often give some idea how many enemies he had a what it was like for them to be the king of Israel. I said were in a block of Psalms by David Locke began with Psalm 51 with the exception of that song, which is a Psalm of repentance and an appropriate Psalm for David to be mentioning his enemies. Every single song from that point up with this one mentions enemies to change next one won't do that and on through the end of the second book of the solar there are different themes that are developed but thus far he's mention enemies again and again.
I'll be starting now to see what he says about his enemies, and when we study what he says about them Psalm 64 that were looking at now were able to learn something about the wickedness of the world and have some insight into those who are our enemies that we have them.
Also something about trusting God because the point of it all is that although David had many enemies, crappy enemies, shrewd enemies, hateful enemies always brought his burden about them, the God of the two great themes the enemies of God. I was seen it in the last Psalm as well and we see it again here in the last Psalm Psalm 63. The focus was on. Although David mentioned his enemies. They had a subordinate place in this Psalm going to mention God, but the emphasis is upon the enemies are less people saying the same thing you see it when you get to the end because the ending of Psalm 63 was this, but the king will rejoice in God, all who swear by God's name will praise them while the mild suppliers will be silenced this on the next one to conclude saying almost the same thing, though in different words let the righteous rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him. Let all the upright in heart. Praise him all David surrounded by enemies but he does. The only thing you can do that is to call upon God. One of the great commentators on the Psalms. Alexander McLaren applied lesson this way saying however high and closely encircling may be the walls that manner sorrows build around us. There is always an opening in the dungeon roof, through which heaven is visible and prayers and mild we would be very wise. Each of us if we learn that lesson the keyword in this particular Psalm is suddenly going to twice means unexpectedly and without warning and it's used in the two main sections of the song Psalm begins with a title line explaining what David is doing and then there's a part deals with the wicket. That is, those were his enemies, and they are said in verse four to shoot at the righteous. Suddenly, without fear, on the second part of the Psalm and tells what God is going to do it says that God is going to shoot at them suddenly or seven God will shoot them with arrows suddenly, I will be struck down.
That is intentionally parallel word suddenly itself would be a clue to that. But if you miss that.
Certainly the imagery of shooting with arrows makes it clear wicket shooting at the righteous with arrows. Suddenly, God's going to shoot at them with arrows suddenly get the idea that's how it goes is a way of saying that there something like poetic justice, and the wicked in the parish by their own weapons. How I said that the Psalm begins with a sort of title verse and that's what verse one really is here me of God as I voice my complaint protect my life from the threat of the enemy will use that word complaint will usually use it and that negative sense because we talk an awful lot about complaining and lead don't like people who complain but that's not the way the word is used here just in the technical sense, almost a legal sense, that really versus what we would call a formal allegation. You know, in a court of law.
Complainant is one who brings an accusation is looking for legal redress. That's the way David is using the word here he brings this formal complaint to God about the wicket and is asking God to intervene on his behalf, which is what got us how we have to ask the question we want to apply this all the way along the question is do you bring your case to God when you're unjustly attacked as David describes himself as being most of us don't do that. Where unjustly attacked me know about what we generally retaliate, try to fight back incline that we know we shouldn't do that on tells us that were not to do that.
He says it's mine to avenge, I will repay those of the words of God were not called upon to retaliate.
Moreover, were called upon to do the exact opposite. Paul says in Romans don't visit evil with evil, but rather return evil with good. So that's what Christians are called upon to do.
And David, of course, did that as well. He didn't attack his enemies in South. Rather, he brought his complaint. God is a the problem of course is that these complaints are behind his back complaints of words and slanders them innuendos is no real defense against that kind of attack and so David brings it to God is what we ought to do that bring everything to God and of Peter writing in his first letter was writing about the cares and worries that get us down stresses and he says cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Where's David has a lot of anxiety about the things he's going through, but he brings it to God. Revising God is not deaf to his prayer. I said a moment ago that the Psalm spends most of its time speaking about the wicked. The emphasis is there, and so it provides us with an analysis of this particular kind wickedness all kinds of wickedness.
This is a particular kind of evil or wickedness that David was struggling against and we find these verses, especially versus two through six, analyzing it, we find it doing as this teaches us about the nature of the evil that's the first thing secondly weapons that these evil people use such the second thing.
Third, their methods forth their plans and for their pride, which is what stands behind what they're doing and also as a resultů Look at it verse while verse two refers to the nature of their wickedness hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked is what David says where conspiracy is interesting. I really means. If you take the derivation of the English word is for people to put their heads together and breathe in and out one another because scone means where the conspiracy is from Spirit hours. This means both breath and when. So when people put their heads together and are breathing in and out together conspiring. That's where the English word comes from how it can be for good or bad purpose. Generally, when people are doing that bad purpose. That's what's going on here.
These people are doing this today, but were not foreigners they foreigners don't have to do this sort of thing secretly latest all a big war consul and say let's go get David on what was happening about people that he knows people that are there in the court.
People who greet him day by day with a smile and with A. But as soon as they got out of his sight with their heads together and say what can we do to bring forward David down we know is we read the story of David's career in the historical books of the Old Testament, but some of those people were even within his own family son Absalom. For instance, we saw that story very sad thing it on nothing affects us so much and gets us down. So much for someone's close to us attacking us expected from people on the outside and I'm always anything we really owe them anything. We think that what somebody close to us and does that then it really does get us down now. Sometimes it makes people better. David didn't allow that to happen to him. He could've been better go to Sedlock.
The only reason these people have their position is because I'm getting an agreement on the position. The only reason these people have any security here in Jerusalem is alive a great general, and I been able to drive all the other reason here. They are turning against me got very hard and bitter about that as we sometimes do, but David didn't do that you read all through the Psalm who do not find bitterness.
David defined distress coming to the Lord to say what in the world am I going to do. God help me in the situation without bitterness and the reason is just back brings it to the Lord.
We talk about the nature of this wicked salt has been with us conspiracy second verse three talks about their weapons or other weapons or weapons or words people sharpening their tongues like swords and aim their words like deadly arrows out. I things been developed in other places as you begin reading through the Psalms of your look to it and you find it again and again you recognize others what David faced all the time, see it in Psalm 52.
For example part of this section. Psalm 57 to 59 and Psalms 57 and 58. David even compared the words of his enemies to arrows that are shot at him, secretly providing exactly as he does here.
Obviously this is something that David was very much afraid up hardly know how to deal with live. It was an enemy attacking him head on how to deal with that not only able to do it in the military sense, know how to direct the Army how to protect himself how to wage an assault even knew how to do in terms of administration. He could deal with divisions and all that sort of thing. But when this was going on secretly by words behind his back.
Well, he really did know how to handle that words can be very destructive. You know, that happens today sometimes read about political career.
Being early destroying because somebody has reported, what are called unconfirmed rumors. Sometimes it's information supply quote by someone who is close to the source declines be identified sort of thing you see can absolutely destroy a career.
James the apostle understood that the Lord's brother.
He wrote about it in this letter. Some of his harshest words had to do with words says you know words a little thing, but it really is very, very dangerous. The tongue is a little thing.
The tongue is very, very dangerous in the words that are spoken casually or in malice or like a fire that burns a little sparkle settle for aspire ablaze so he says be careful what you do when you speak should reflect your relationship with God, and you should not be harmful by your words only think about the harm that words do. Let's not forget that words are also a weapon of the Holy Spirit and words do good prayers of the righteous are effective. Reporting to James same book I just quoted from the prayers are expressed in words again talk about the words of God.
They are extremely effective. How about that great text in Isaiah 55 sometimes use it as a call to worship when it's raining or snowing outside.
At least additionally I do the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bod and flourish. So that it yields seed to the sower and bread to the eater so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to be empty, but will accomplish what I please and achieve the purpose for which I sent it on the words the words of the wicked are like a fire that destroys the words of God are like rain that waters the earth and causes it to be fruitful. That's what the Bible says.
Now we are called upon in Scripture to fight the Lord's battles. Let's remember that when we do that our words are our weapon, not the weapons of the world. One of the weapons of the world. Well money and power and pressure wealth and such things are weapons words are words that are to be spoken truthfully and gently depending upon the Holy Spirit to bless them. Remember that in the book of Revelation said of the saints in their warfare against Satan. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. See if you and I speak what we know Jesus Christ. What we've learned in the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit honors that same God who spoke words bring all of the universe and the being will bless those words to bring forth spiritual life and the lives of some who don't know him that we counter evil words to do great harm the words of the spirit of great blessing verse four and the Psalm talks about the methods that these people use in the secret of their method was its suddenshoot from ambush of the innocent man, the shooter them. Suddenly, without fear is particularly effective against the innocent. Just because innocent person is innocent guilty person might be on guard probably would be on guard.
Don't catch him offguard quite so easily, but subversive is expecting anything and here suddenly say attack comes against MLS.
The first point in the Psalm where that keyword suddenly occurs to be arrogant. In verse seven ideas strike suddenly when your enemies least expecting it works very well in military campaign Romans were certainly well known for being able to do this, Julius Caesar use that tactic very effectively and ball. You know, if you thought your enemy was 100 miles away and then suddenly shows up on your doorstep catches you off guard and the person who can move troops around that quickly to bring the sudden assault is often victorious, which is what Caesar wants asked the question who can protect you from an enemy like me who was plotting behind your back doing it secretly together with other people and then suddenly stripes when you least expect it can protect you from the arrow fly by night terror lies hidden is only one answer and that is God course.
David knows that and so he lays it all before got the Psalm is all about. Verse five talks about the plans of the wicked. Now the word encourage and that verse is actually a bit stronger than the English word suggests a SATA English word suggest bucking one another up what in courage means. It means that that courage and push a little bit of courage and the other person encourage them word in the Hebrew actually means more than that, it actually means strengthening the other person with this particular goal in mind of hardening him or her, and that one's evil purposes. Charles Spurgeon had an interesting comment at this point. He said good manner frequently discourage did not infrequently discourage one another, but the children of darkness are wise in their generation and keep their spirits often. Each one is a cheering word to say to his fellow villain, while the wicked can do that one another. Why can't we do it is Christians encourage one another, particularly when we say somebody else under attack.
Unfortunately, sometimes often join in it, we become a Spurgeon says a cause of their discouragement, rather than actually lift them up. Last phrase in verse five is an indirect question they say who will see them way that reads it sounds like it refers to their snares. They hide their snares and they say who will see them. It is probably the case that it is simply an indirect way of their saying who will see us other words, it's not the plots but the people themselves or in view.
They work secretly in the dark I don't think anybody can see them in some way shape or find out about this what they forgot about is God. God sees everything God sees the monies going to reply. We find out in just a moment. Verse six talks about their pride last thing said about the wicked in this verse is that they think they have devised a perfect plan for large there proud and their devising space.
I hope never got esteem as perfectly as we got things going upset.
Our scheme certainly gonna work in a bring David down. They look down on everybody else I say were smarter than the other people there foolish their stupid bear dog, but they don't understand is that there really the foolish one because they have forgotten God. The Bible says anybody leaves God out of his calculations, the real fool find it. Psalm 1453 you've already looked at those littlest one set us in his heart there is no broader because that's really practical atheism is really saying is, God doesn't see me because God does. The section ends with verse six of the last phrase is a little bit of an aside in my Bible. I put parentheses around it because it's really a comment by the psalmist on the nature of man and the terrible evil that's within them. Surely the mind and heart of man or cunning work, cunning in our translation is saying interpretation because in Hebrew the word is actually deep that doesn't translate very well say, surely the mind and heart of man or deep which is why they changed it to cunning, but the idea is that men in their wickedness possess almost bottomless pit of evil almost an infinite capacity of doing harm other people thought the way we tend to look at the human rights and human rights doesn't want to look at itself that why we certainly don't look at ourselves that way. That's the way God sees us know Jeremiah said, the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure Romans trailers great versus Paul says that all have turned away all of become worthless.
There is no one who does good, not even one.
Well that's evil analysis of the planned nature methods and their pride, but honors for seven God will shoot them with arrows suddenly, I will be struck down young first Thessalonians 53 says this while people are saying peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. That is exactly what we got here and saw 60 4C45 versus the wicked and hatching their plots against David secretly cunningly mutually bucking one another and with encouragement and they have finally reached the point of congratulating themselves on their effort, saying we have devised a perfect plan. Nobody's going to see us.
But suddenly, just when they think they have succeeded brilliantly. God set them from his position in their struck down. See the has had the many sites all along. I haven't seen him pacing them suddenly shoots at them and it doesn't take a quiver full of arrows to do it when arrow is enough suddenly there swept away. Now if you look at the Psalm carefully or find the Psalm structure reflects what the words are side of anything. I have been surprised with my study of the Psalms of learners. I certainly never knew before, it's how directly the structure of the Psalms reflects the content notice that you've had a long section here dealing with the plotting of the wicked, wicked nest takes a long time is also easy to do, and here's what these people have been doing from versus 26.
I have been plotting and hatching what they finally say is the perfect plan and suddenly universe and 1/2 God shoots at them and their immediately brought down to read that without thinking of a great example of it in the Old Testament story of Haman and Mordecai in the book of Esther Haman was a Jew. He worked in the court of Xerxes, the king of Persia, and Haman was a high official in the same court. Haman was so close to the king that he gave himself heirs and he liked it when other people would bow down to them, almost as if they were bowing down to the king. Mordecai wouldn't do that was against his understanding of proper behavior is a Jew and so Haman hated Mordecai decided he does do away with them.
Get rid of him and so we hatched the nasty little bit of anti-Semitism. They approached the king and he said you know king, I have uncovered here because I'm concerned about your well-being a race of people who don't pay any attention to the king's decrees by really matters. Mordecai won't bow down to me by any attention to the king's decrees. He said king to enact a law, whereby on a certain day.
All the people of the kingdom were authorized to rise up to the Jews and take their property very attractive thing to do if you didn't care about the Jews you enriched yourself at their expense well but he did know is that Mordecai had a nieces name was Esther and she had been taken into the policy did know she was a Jewish and she had won the favor of Xerxes. The king of Persia, and she had been chosen as his queen so she had access to the king. She had been chosen by God and placed there for this very moment.
And so it Mordecai made known to her what was going on, got her to intervene, she did. She didn't like this king Xerxes Esther the queen and Haman highest official were having dinner together on one occasion, and while they were sitting there and Haman's presence. Esther told the king that there was a plot against her and her people, somebody is trying to get me killed.
She said king was outraged that anybody would try to do that against his queen he said where is the man who was dared to do such a thing. Esther simply leaned over the table and pointed to Haman and she said the adversary and enemy, is this while Haman well.
First Thessalonians 5. While people are saying peace and safety, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman.
Haman must've been struck with terror like a man turned to stone was exposed.
Suddenly, and was no escape. The king was furious and that very day Haman was hanged up on the gallows via prepared behind his enemy. Mordecai poetic justice. Yes, poetic justice, but also swift and certain justice, which is what David says of the Psalm is going to come upon the wicked is going to come eventually bought everyone who despises the offer God's grace in Jesus Christ. Well, we come to the end of the last 2 1/2 versus very simply sketched three lessons that are to be drawn. First of all, the wicked will be exposed so that those were watching from the sidelines will shake their heads in scorn last part of our site. Secondly, people will be directed to fear God and ponder what is done.
Verse nine does not always happen abundance.
The wicked fall, especially in our godless agent. People don't think about God of all that you say had a coming to him or something like that. Sometimes people are directed to God.
They stand in all God and his justice not only at the end of history in the final judgment, but within history as well is that by some thirdly the righteous are told to rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him. Verse 10 course. That's what David is doing this as you read the Psalm. The judgment upon these evil persons is still future. Diversifying David saying God will shoot at them suddenly they will be struck down.
People will look on and shake their heads in scorn yet verse 10 the righteous are called upon to rejoice. Not in some future day but to rejoice right now because that's what God is like, and justice will be done. It takes faith to trust God like that and look ahead to the future destruction of the wicked, but that's the true faith and is a kind of a faith that wins the victory. Father, we thank you for the Psalm that has been our privilege to study installment deals with a sober theme.
The destruction of the wicked were tender related to our enemies is a sobering thing to realize that justice is done in the moral universe ruled by a holy God. So assets if there are those who are not trusting in Jesus Christ would not lead to him for refuge against that rate day of terrible judgment that they might be led by understanding who you are. Do that. Do it now and for those who are suffering because people been unjust of that move attacked and perhaps because of their righteousness because they stand for truth because are identified with Jesus Christ prey which will strengthen the faith of such ones and give them an possibility to strengthen one another so we might not be discouraged, but rather in faith.
What do you not only the ring justice but also to preserve those who are afflicted to do it. Even now we pray in Jesus name. Thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaimed biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church.
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