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December 17, 2021 7:00 am
Have you ever felt that your prayers weren't being answered and that God was slow in coming to the rescue. As David continues his plea for help. He goes a step further. David not only asked to be rescued from his enemies, but also for the swift judgment of those who seek to do him harm. How do we as Christians relate to David's plea for vengeance. In light of Jesus teachings on forgiveness to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast featuring Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically.
The key to understanding the righteousness of David's plea for judgment on his enemies, is depending on knowing David's heart and just whom he is asking to bring about that judgment. Turn in your Bible to Psalm 69 as Dr. Boyce makes clear that the reality of judgment and the seriousness of sin should draw us to the Savior. Last week we began our study of Psalm 69 I pointed out as we began lab that if there is ever a form of the smaller. This messianic is this what all of them are number various on the way the interpreter sees the Psalm. Some find more references to Jesus Christ in the Psalms and others. St. Augustine saw every song is a reference to Jesus Christ.
I suppose most commentators today and I'm among them would only blame 20 or 30 is explicitly messianic but nevertheless among that relatively small number that are explicitly of Jesus Christ. This one stands out regarding miss it because number of its verses are quoted in the New Testament in reference to Jesus Christ. Only 36 or 37 versus year seven of them are quoted in the New Testament is referring to Jesus Christ and there are other places in the New Testament where the themes that appear in this song are developed, so clearly it's about him. We began to look at it that way. I pointed out that on the surface at least in its historical setting it/Psalm of the settlements, who was in trouble and is calling out to God for help.
And so the messianic parts parts to refer to Jesus Christ our secondary as it were solid. We have to look at it in three different ways we have to look at it in terms of David's experience. That's way to understand historical setting.
Secondly, you look at it for what it tells us about Jesus Christ, although perhaps in David's mind wasn't risk explicitly about him. Jesus and others in the New Testament drew from the Psalm to explain what Christ went through so we look at the Psalm for what it tells us about Jesus suffering and then finally because we go through the same things ourselves, we decided to tell us about how we should go through suffering. Obviously, Jesus is our example he suffered for us, leaving us an example. That's what Peter says we should follow in his steps.
I want to say what is that mean how do we do that well before going to go through suffering the way Jesus Christ did it have to be by his power because you and I certainly can't do that now. That's the way we began to look at it.
I also last I gave you an introduction to the sermon outline and I pointed out that I come back to that outline. This particular study because of the long Psalm has a lot of parts is little hard to get them all down begins. You may recall, in the first four verses with a lament on the part of the psalmist of the plea to God for help.
All wrapped together and those for four verses is in trouble and he was God help them out so that theme. Indeed, the themes of the Psalm are set in that opening section followed by a single verse that stands all by itself. Acknowledgment of the Psalm is folly and his guilt is foolish and ignorant man. And furthermore, is guilty before God particularly striking. In contrast to what he just said in the previous verses because he said that his enemies are attacking without a cause in that anything because the kind of hostilities getting from, we might expect them to say at that point.
When he turns and begins to address God directly on you know God, I really haven't done any of those things are accusing me, but he doesn't do that. Instead, he says before God. I nevertheless am a very guilty man that is the heart and the mind of the godly want to live in a righteous way. As we can in this world before other people not wanting anyone to let any persecution that comes to us is for the sake of righteousness sake our testimony to Jesus Christ. But when we stand before God. We don't claim to be sinless or free from guilt, acknowledge our utter dependence upon him in anything were able to do is utterly by his grace, certainly not by any merit that occurs at the beginning, not at this point the sun begins to repeat.
First, the lament and then the appeal for help and it does not two times over.
Here's the outline verses six through 12 contain the first renewal of the lament selling is in trouble as late in the beginning out says it again in verses six through 12 and 13 through 18 contain the first renewal of his plea for help. Saw when we looked at that that they don't merely repeat what he said in the first four verses repeated. That's the theme that they introduce a new element and so each time this comes around is carried a higher note in the second section of the song.
This is the section were going to begin to look at now verses 19 through 21 contain the second renewal of the lament verses 22 to 29 contain the second renewal of the plea is introduce those two things at the beginning repeats them twice, then we get to verse 29. We have similar thing that we found in verse five, a little one verse interjection which is kind of comes into the middle of it.
And at that point, beginning with verse 30 and going on to the end. We have a formal conclusion in which the reader is invited to praise God along with the psalmist. In other words, he is anticipating his deliverance as a God's going to hear his parents always is praise God along with me.
That's the way it operates how we pick up in verse 19 which is the second renewal of the lament, but I want to say as I did when we talk about the first renewal that it introduces new elements each time around, though it saying roughly the same thing it says new things and the first new element here is the writers claim that God knows how is being scored. That's a second time in the Psalm. He said the God know something the first time in verse five he said God does my folly and my guilt.
You know what Lord now. They mentioned the God know something else, and what God knows is how he's being treated that's important because it's helpful for us in the Christian life to know that God knows the often when you're going through something difficult in life. You have the feeling and probably it's right nobody really knows what you're going through your hurting pretty deep inside and and people that look on don't really understand that if they if they say to you, how are you doing what you say you say most of us.
I am fine thank you enough, because that's really what they want to hear. If you're honest and you say I'm hurting. I sent something terrible happened in my life. They say all that's good and they move under they don't really, really want to hear about it when a situation like that. Well you see when we go through those times and we do is a great comfort to the Christian to know that God knows I suppose that's the reason for the popularity of that him that was written back in the last century by Joseph Scriven was entitled what a friend we have in Jesus. Now as I look at it as an English major spot great poetry and that the musicians I supposedly look at it from the point of view of music would say is not great music. And yet it has commended itself to devout hearts ever since it was written out about hundred and 40 years ago. Why because it saying that you can bring everything to God, and know that God knows the way it goes. What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and griefs to bear when it privilege to carry everything to God in prayer, what peace we often forfeit what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. In this verse that we trials and temptations. Yes, we do is there trouble anywhere. Yes, most everywhere we should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful will all our sorrows share Jesus as our every weakness they get to the Lord in prayer. See devout hearts and understood that and that is exactly what David is doing in the Psalm. Now we just say that if you are hurting, you need to remember in case you doubt God knows that the Jesus Christ went through all those things before you one of the meetings of his incarnation, not just that he became man so he could die is important central of the site is but the meanings of his incarnation is that he suffered temptation get just as we do. According to the author of Hebrews was sin.
Of course we went through all of those things are the passages we often think about and talk about holy week is the 53rd chapter of Isaiah and you know the description.
They are the kind of things that Jesus endured. He was despised and rejected by men feel despised because of your stand for Jesus Christ trying to do the right thing ever feel rejected. Here rejected by their families who don't appreciate their Christianity and so practically force them out because of that, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering, less want to really take that title to ourselves man of sorrow, a moment of sorrow that many of us have real sorrows.
Many are familiar with suffering.
Many suffer a great deal, physically, mentally, psychologically, all sorts of other ways. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. That's what Isaiah says, was to be true, Jesus Christ, and the ones we know the accounts of the stories that's what he went through listen to the way the author of Hebrews takes that example as an encouragement for us. Chapter 414 through 16. Therefore, since we have a great high priest was gone through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. We do not have a high priest was unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.
That's what David is doing is what we should do as well. He knew the comfort of knowing God knows should be said about verse 21 which is part of this section because there are not many verses in the Old Testament that are quoted in the New Testament explicitly and if verse in the Old Testament are a couple verses the Old Testament is quoted more than once of the New Testament. That's very significant. Something is referred to in each of the Gospels, either directly or indirectly. It has to do with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Verse 21 they put Gaul in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst mentioned in Matthew 27th chapter of Mark the 15th chapter of Luke the 23rd chapter in John 19 referencing John is most explicit. When these observers bear and saw what happened at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I remembered this from the Old Testament and they said yes that was written about him. He fulfilled it literally in those last hours of his earthly life before his death and resurrection now have verses 22 to 28 we have the second renewal of the plea for help. Please also go on what was said earlier in the way in which these verses go beyond what was said earlier, is that they are actually a request for God's swift and utter judgment on the Islamist enemies lowers. This is an imprecatory prayer number of them in the Psalm. Some Psalms are almost exclusively prayers were God's righteous judgment on the Islamist enemies and this section is just like them. May the table set before them become a snare may have become retribution and attract in their eyes be darkened so they cannot see in their backs be bent forever.
Pour out your wrath on them at your fierce anger. Overtake them in their place be deserted.
Let there be no one to dwell in their transfer they persecuted those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
Charge them with crime. Upon crime, do not let them share in your salvation. May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. As I read that you understand I'm sure you catch the flavor of violence moving those verses are building in intensity. Start off David just as upset with what they're doing and want some kind of judgment on all this evil but as they go on and on.
He ends up saying in explicit words that he wants them to be blotted out of the book of life. In other words it wants him to suffer and Helen to do that forever. We naturally pull back from that sort of thing, and rightly because Jesus taught us to forgive our enemies to curse those who curse us. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, say, the Lord, that we come to verses like this and we say well now you handle them to some of that before because isn't the first time we come across sections like this in the Psalms.
One thing we saw is that although David prays for God to execute judgment on his enemies. He's asking God to do it.
He doesn't take it into his own hands and do it himself. Mostly that's where we get in trouble. We think somebody deserves something we want to get out there and see that they get it. And David doesn't do that you see in that sense, what he is acknowledging is simply the truth of the way things are in the universe. God is the judge and God will judge the God of all the universe will do right. So instead of setting himself against God or tried to detach himself.
Somehow, from what God is doing the he says wickedness carried to its extreme, deserves the judgment of God will surely receive it will talk about that much today because that's when those things people don't like all upset. We got trim down our message, but you have to remember that in the Bible God teaches us that he is going to judge sin and continuing in sin without repentance and coming to Christ as Savior means loss of eternal life. If there it's very clear. Similarly, I really notice about this is that it is David, the anointed one and thought it was speaking the words when he had enemies were enemies were attacking the kingdom of God and set up through David and his line of us are in quite that position. So it's always tempered by that unit. At the same time. When we think of these sayings, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you and father forgive them. They don't know what they're doing. We have to say we have to go very very slow the way we think through these things ourselves. Alexander McLaren was a good biblical scholar Scotsmen certainly believe in the judgment of God. But these things troubled him so much that he wrote this it is impossible to bring such utterances into harmony with the teachings of Jesus in the attempt to vindicate them ignores plain facts and does violence to plain words is better far to let them stand as a monument of the earlier stage of God's progressive revelation and discern clearly the advance which Christian ethics is made on them is something that I am not entirely satisfied with that because the whole of the Scripture is given to us for our instruction. There is a section 2 saying God I need help in the way I need help is for you to judge my enemies ever feel that you need help me God intervened. That's exactly what God is saying only point out that this section is used by Paul in Romans 12 chapter of Romans are quoting from. Here Paul says do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath for its written is mine to avenge, I will repay, says the Lord. He does that in verse 19 I went to take engines in their own hands. Paul very clear about that but that's because we're not to take vengeance into our own hands doesn't mean that we are not to desire that righteousness be established. The will of God be done in sin be punished and Paul very one who says in that chapter don't take revenge close verses 22 and 23 of this Psalm is a prophecy of the judicial blinding the majority of the people of Israel because of their rejection of Jesus Christ.
Salo have to be very careful how we handle it and it is difficult because we always want to improve ourselves into the picture, and not leave it up to God when time is a balance here. We don't want to do it. So many people in our culture are doing and saying simply well hello everybody does their things. We all make mistakes really doesn't matter that it does matter. It matters desperately recognizing the reality of judgment.
The seriousness of sandlot across to the Savior that I mentioned Paul and his use of these verses in Romans and the unique aspect of his teaching. There is that unbelief will cause even the blessings that God has given us to become curses. That is something that works against our spiritual well-being writing about Israel and since illustration gives a lot of examples in the ninth chapter says have a lot of spiritual advantages. The adoption of sons the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises the patriarchs of the wonderful things but he also says that these if they are received in unbelievably, and I'm using his own words snare a trap stumbling block and retribution.
People continue in their unregenerate states is an important point. At some point we need to consider strongly in the church. You see the things that God has given us in the church are blessings God gives us blessings we have many of them. We don't allow those blessings to cause us to turn from our sin and embrace Jesus Christ in faith and even those things that are blessings to us become curses on drawing that for Malachi, Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets lived in bad days and people were led by their priests were very far from God himself and onset Malachi with his message. Of reproof, calling for correction turning from sin and faith. The object and self righteously asked questions like this. God says you don't love me. I say what you mean we don't love you. They say we despise your name we wearied you were we to return not only Robbie, what we said again seriously very self-righteous attitude.
Malachi says. At that point from God. If you do not listen if you do not set your heart to honor my name, I will send a curse upon you and I will curse your blessings as I have already cursed, because you have not set your heart to honor me as the network comes home DOS of what God is saying in Malachi. The book of Romans from the pen of the apostle Paul and application of the Jews is true that there blessings will become curses they know allow them to lead God to leave work through them to lead them to Jesus Christ and the same thing is obviously true for us in the church.
These are just strictly church. Blessings, baptism, first of all, one of the sacraments baptism is an outward sign of an inward spiritual union with Jesus Christ is meant to strengthen our faith, we find ourselves somewhere along the line, wondering about our past.
It's the kind of thing where we live, we can say yes I was identified with Jesus Christ that would baptism signifies and I belong to him to see if you don't have true faith in Jesus Christ. If it's not the reality that is dominating your life and filling your heart then the outward signs I do. Baptism becomes a curse to you because what happens.
It has happened so often, as the church is the people trust for their salvation say to the more you save the lessons they not been baptized in a living for Jesus Christ and the minor's sake I been baptized thing that is supposed to be a blessing actually becomes a hindrance and it is true for many allegedly Christian people.
The Lord's supper is a great blessing to the church were meant to repeat it again and again remembering by that means the Lord's death until he come from large branches of the church that bloodsucker is taught as if it somehow is mechanically a means of grace so the grace of God is imparted along with the elements you eat, the elements drink the wine then well automatically. You partake of the grace of God and so some people begin to depend on why you save and save you like a communion or because I go to mass to say that's just assignments is the symbol of the reality what it points to his union with Jesus Christ Jesus Christ and become a part of it was as real a part of you is eating bread and having it become part of your body or drinking wine. So if you're thrusting sacrament for your salvation, that which is meant to be good and strengthen you becomes a curse about material possessions. I suppose I don't have to elaborate on this money and material goods are a blessing from God week receiving we should thank him for the is blessed us in his blessed us abundantly. But you know as well as I do there mixed blessing. Very easy for possessions that draw us away from God so we spent all our time with our possessions.
We have very little time for him. The very thing that is the blessing of God upon this actually becomes a curse one more example and I want to give an illustration of the Lord's day when we worship on Sunday. Isn't it wonderful that God is not Since it were the grinding wheel seven days a week and said seventh day is the day which you shall rest. Everyone progressed such a wonderful thing with fast Christians had that observed it used in the love that name where we go apart from our secular concerns worship God what happens. Of course, is today. It's not made into a day of work which is in very many places it becomes a day for that kind of occupations have nothing whatever to do with God, and in some cases, simply a debauch which is what many people do on the weekends delay some have to pull himself together in order to go to work on Monday morning.
Gilliam's illustration of the date of December 7, 1941.
That's when the Air Force of Japan bombed the American Navy of Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the second world war in order to course of history. It was a great tragedy for the United States. Virtually these for a time wiped out Pacific Fleet and it claim 2403 young lives on the bombing took place in a Sunday morning, which is what December 7 was what really wasn't known at the time it was discovered afterwards when the war was over, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur sent translators to work on the archives of the Japanese military is that several years before the commencement of the war the Japanese that sent professors to the United States to study our national character, and to see where we would be most vulnerable to an unprovoked attack and the recommendation which appeared in the archives and was translated in those postwar days was this the United States would be most vulnerable on a Sunday morning following a Friday on which both the Army and Navy had a payday of the words to get their money and they go off and have a binge. And of course that is exactly what December 7 was the early days. You see, Americans of that day is a blessing from God, and they use that were thankful for it. But that day of national blessing become by the time of Pearl Harbor, a day of national hangover and the judgment of God was a result he changed the former blessing into a curse to God isn't mocked.
So we come to passages like this, we have to remember that the judgment of God will in time surely be meted out to sinners, even though that is not a task that is entrusted to us. Forget the truth like that at our peril. We come to the end I mentioned verse 29 it's a brief interjection corresponds to verse five in the first part of the Psalm is quite different. Verse one verse section was a confession of sin. Psalmist was acknowledging his his foolishness here is quite different in this verse, David seems merely to reiterate his profound pain and once again call on God to help. In other words, what you have verse 29 is one verse summary of everything that's gone before I'm in trouble.
He tells God and asked God to help and that seems to draw the main body of the Psalm to a close and it prepares us a very different material appraised material comes at the end, beginning with verse 30. Let me wrap up in this way is a great deal of sorrow and tragedy in his life person would have to be blind not to see it to save the Christian tragedy and suffering. However, acute they may be.
However, frequent situations like this may come into our lives for the Christian tragedy and suffering is never the final word final word is always victory and praise and so this is the way in which the Psalm ends even though when dealing with the tragedy all along this case, the psalmist first pushes his praise to God.
Then he calls on heaven and earth, the season all that moving them to praise God also said when I introduced this last time that the very last section contains something that it seems probably impossible.
The David wrote talks about God rebuilding the cities of Judah, sure you notice that there in verse 35 God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah, then people will settle there and possess the same appropriate for the time of David, because Jerusalem and Judah were occupied seem to of been thriving.
It seems more appropriate though. After the Babylonian conquest where the people were taken away.
Cities were destroyed and the words prayer for the reconstruction. I suggested that what is probably the case here is that later, Paulette added on the final phrase in order to broaden what was David Psalm for a later contemporary audience. If that is true, of course, they might be true but that's the right approach to it, then verse 33 really is the ending of the song, at least as David wrote is appropriate is because what it says is this, Lord. Here's the needy and does not despise his captive people that wish I stress lab complaint that upon your heart that really is true times in life seem that God hears us, what the Psalm is telling us is a God does not only does he care as he strengthens us and keeps us think of Jesus Christ himself playing in the garden to disseminate before his arrest and crucifixion. He prayed with great cries and it seemed for a long time during the prayer that God didn't hear of anyone at the end of it was private were positive that the cockfight be removed from them.did not remove the cup what God did was send angels to strengthen them. And Jesus went through the suffering and the power of his father to his glory. Well that's what you and I are called to do and you can be assured that this will be your case. Also, across your given ever cross you may be bearing of the present time.
Tell God about have a friend in Jesus and you'll find that not only will he. Here you can know that he hears and strengthen you and you can also know that you will certainly praise for that strength and for his deliverance Monday pottery.
Thank you for this song for the practical way speaks to the kinds of problems that we go through each of us in various ways throughout our lives we rejoice in the fact that you hear us rejoice in the fact that your suffering that you have control of all the things they don't come into our lives by accident. Rejoice that you are all powerful. You're able to strengthen your people as they go through trials and then the final word is not the word of discouragement and despair. Rather words of thanksgiving and praise. We look forward to that day when we will praise you, even as we try to do now is a great God glory was saved us in Jesus Christ and whom we love. Prayer is 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. Please take the time to write to us and share how the Bible study our has impacted you.
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