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January 4, 2022 7:00 am
The world sometimes points to God's people as hypocrites because we say one thing but do another. Sometimes that observation is correct. The Israelites were no different. While their worship may have seemed happy and joyful.
The Lord knew their hearts and while they claim to love him they would not listen and obey to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Bortz preparing you to think and act quickly. Dr. Boyce asked the question.
Is Christianity become mere Sunday entertainment political action committee or a 12 step program rather than a community of people who are learning to obey their God turn in your Bible to Psalm 81 as we examine what true worship looks like in the eyes of our great God. Earlier this year a number of very creative people in the church who works with the wall or one of our elders and trustee to develop an advertising campaign for the church was meant to present the challenge of the gospel to secular people about four or five different ads. One of them had the title Jesus hated church to that underneath was the copy that went on to explain what that was all about acknowledge that the church is often filled with hypocrites and smart by politics, where's often very rampant sin and a failure to live up to the standards of Jesus Christ.
But then it said I think this is where it communicated pretty well. Nevertheless, Jesus didn't give up on worshiping God. Maybe he knew something you don't, why don't you come to 10th Presbyterian Church. Well we did Romney campaign because a number of people objected to it. They thought that it made fun of the church Jesus would never have said I hate the church and we didn't want produce division certainly didn't want any kind of misunderstanding, but I find it difficult to understand, if for no other reason than that. Nobody spoke out more forcefully against the sins of the church and Jesus or God the father, for that matter. You know what Jesus said of the church of his day. The church of his day was Judaism that was dominated by a corrupt clergy on the call them hypocrites, whited walls, blind suckers and fools at stronger language I've ever used it. I don't think too highly of many branches of the church, myself, and then he said I want to gauge it. If Sarah and the 23rd chapter of Matthew, you shut the kingdom of heaven, and men's faces, you yourselves do not enter nor will you let those enter who are trying to pretty forceful language as far as the things that God the father himself, says about the book of Amos. This chapter on speaking I hate.
I despise your religious feasts. I cannot stand your assemblies, even though you bring the burnt offerings and grain offerings. I will not accept them away with the noise of your songs. I will not listen to the music of your hearts is pretty comprehensive. God doesn't like there assemblies he doesn't like their offerings. He doesn't like their worship. He doesn't even like the noise of the music and uses strong language. He says he hates it. Now those are good reminders for us reminders. It is because we go to church and worship doesn't mean that we really are worshiping certainly not worshiping the true God or the God is pleased necessarily with anything we do is very direct word Christian people to say is your worship really something is pleasing God. Now I begin our study this way because this is exactly what Psalm 81 is all about.
Interesting. Psalm 81 has to be understood as making the contrast between what people think they're going and what they're actually doing is how we see our worship and how God sees it explain 1002 parts of the first part is a wonderful call to worship verses one through five. Three comprehensive goals. All of the congregation worship.
One of the great German commentators friends devilish from earlier generation points out that verse one is a call to worship of the congregation is the whole verse two is a summons to the Levites who were the appointed temple singers and musicians in verse three is a summons to the priest rather specific job of blowing the trumpets so the stanza gives the impression that all Israel is not only called worship is worshiping and is doing it well when he read it sing for joy to the God our strength shout aloud to the God of Jacob begin the music strike the tambourine play the melodious harp and lyre sound. The ram's horn when the moon is full. This is a decree for Israel all that sounds pretty good to say the problem is that from this point on in the Psalm beginning in first sex. What we have are the words of God read truths the people for their disobedience and says that there worship really isn't pleasing to him of all calls on them to repent of their sin and repentance that says that they really want to acknowledge the strange anomaly is one hand you have this happy, joyous, worshiping congregation you thing any god would be happy with.
When you have the true God.
So I gotta like it at all because your hearts from far from it.
Always that strange but really not strange. Did you find it all over the place of life and you certainly find it in the Bible when those words of Isaiah, Jesus quoted them blind to the religion of his day. These people come near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from so we have asked ourselves as our worship like that is its worship with our lips only I we keep our hearts to ourselves and what we want to do day by day, or are our hearts and minds and soul and strength really given over to God in his worship.
Now that's what the song is meant to help us do now after that first call to worship God begins in verses six and seven. The next stanza is your habit in the new international version translation use of the use of you didn't bring one with you.
God begins with a reminder of what he had done in delivering the Jews from Egypt writing Jews.
They had called to him in their distress, says that he heard them answer them.
And not only that, he rescued them, lifted the burdens from their shoulders, and he freed their hands from the baskets with which they had been carrying bricks in order to contribute to Pharaoh's massive building projects. This is an aside as his apprentice nothing to do with the outline, but you go back to the book of Genesis and you study the accounts Exodus and study the accounts. They are of the slavery in Egypt. You don't have any mention of these past here is something that you have in us all. You don't get out of the earlier chapters of the Bible, and yet we know from the inscriptions that exist in Egypt, particularly in Luxor in the Valley of the Kings that they did use baskets to carry the bricks what you have here is an independent memory later on in the Bible of something that happened wasn't recorded in the earlier books. It's a small little detail that substantiates the authenticity of this religious memory of the people and the book in any way. God said that he saw the Medicare now that is a direct echo of what you have in Exodus when God appeared to Moses at the burning bush. Marie called Moses to limit was going to send Moses is the human deliverer to bring the people out, the God begins by saying I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying because of their slave drivers unconcerned about their suffering. So I come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out into a good land, well, it's a echo of that memory of what God actually done now are equivalent today would be God's deliverance class from sin through the power of Jesus Christ of his death upon the cross Bible uses it that way. Egypt was a place of slavery for us sinners are place of slavery God heard their cry deliver them. God is hurt us and delivered us as well. So God begins by reminding the people actually done for the I said are two main parts of the Saunders the opening invocation is the call to worship. It's what we do in our service. We did earlier. I use these very verses to do it. And then there's the section that is God's word to the people. Now the second section which God speaks to the people is itself divided into parts by some of the Psalms in different ways, but the way the new international version doesn't withstand. This is probably as good as any. What you have is a reminder of what God is done for them in the past since the first of those four stanzas. Verses six and seven.
Then there's a warning to the people because of their idolatry. Verses eight through 10 you have a record of the people's disobedience. In spite of the warning that's in verses 11 and 12 and then finally the whole Islam jumps to the present of this point in speaking of the past other people is reacted in the bath and it jumps to the present application essay to the present time, indicate that the situation that's described earlier is still continuing in that the people need to repent now I'm getting the outline obligor gone through two sections 1 through that opening call to worship. He had guns reminder what he's done for the people. This next section of the very heart of the song I would stop heart structurally is in the five stanzas the third one is right in the middle is intentional but in terms of the content is also the most important learning about the People's idolatry here. Oh my people and I will warn you if you would listen to me. Oh Israel. You shall have no foreign god among you shall not bow down to an alien God.
I am the Lord your God about you up out of Egypt.
Open your mouth and I will fill it. Now that particular paragraph has a lot of echoes of earlier parts of the Old Testament Jews. The service will recognize right away when it begins euro Israel that's a repetition of the first words of the Shema Shema as well. So on euro Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. That's a reminder that the phrase's if my people, or if they would but some things that you find in Deuteronomy 532 references to a foreign God or from Deuteronomy 32 the great song of Moses and so forth. But that main echo of the Old Testament noticed when I read it is from the start of the 10 Commandments was very first loss is God's eyes as I am the Lord your God brought you up out of the land of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me is what picked up here. This is the command and yet the problem is that this is what people actually not done. Now this is the first of all laws is most important of all laws have to understand that you talk about religion. That's where you begin begins with the knowledge of the true God of the worship of God and him only when Jesus was asked on one occasion.
What was the first and greatest of all the commandments he even referred in the first commandment's ability to do that, but he referred to Deuteronomy 65 which is a commentary on God's Deuteronomy 65 says you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
That's what it is to have no other gods before God. Get that right all the other commandments, following their place.
Now the importance of that for us as it is also the great issue of all time. That is the knowledge of the true God, and the worshiping of him only as a great issue of religion. The great issue in religion is not during the existence of a God and atheism are few people that are real atheists and some who profess to be on even serious about it because they know better. I set the issue in religion. The issue is who is God you believe in God. I believe in God you have your idea, but I have my idea, but who's the true God. That's the issue.
What the Bible is saying is that the true God, the true God imaginary God. Another God of the true God is revealed in 70 he's done it historically with his really did it.
Exodus taking the people out of Egypt showing his power in the Sinai where he revealed his law and since that is revealed himself in a personal way and Jesus Christ consistent without Old Testament revelation what Christianity says is that this is true God saw this great commandment is the issue of all time. Do we really believe in you claim to be God's people and come to church to worship are really worshiping him are his God of our own imagination, but it this way, the great issue today as always, is the truth or falsity of the statement. I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, you shall have no other gods before me. Is that true, and should we obey sometime ago I came across an article written by a professor's name is Robert welcome was published in first things magazine. He's a professor of history, history of Christianity at University of Virginia secular school particular article was entitled, no other gods are issue were talking about and it was an attempt to apply the first commandment to our times share a little bit what this man is professor says he began with an analysis of our current secular Western culture which he accuses of undermining beliefs, attitudes, and conventions. Those of nurtured civilization for centuries by cynical them exactly the purpose. The goal of secular Western culture is to dismantle Western culture to turn everything into a subculture. Secularism once religious practice, especially Christian practice banished to a private world of feelings and attitudes while at the same time the realm of the public is to be expanded to include every aspect of one's life only to agree in the history of religion, or sociology are contemporary times though that's exactly what's happening exactly what is being called today postmodernism, pre-modernism was the idea that truth can be discovered both through reason and revelation of the word science tells us certain truths revelation.
The Bible tells a certain truth, then Modernism came along, rejected revelation and said you only had discovered truth by reason have that for a while. Christianity was pushed aside. Now you have an postmodernism, something that destroys even that not only is no truth to be destroyed. Everything is relative and so reason is worth anything at all. That's what it's talking about conscious attempt in our age, postmodern age, to destroy, undermine all values that have given culture any meaning. Now Christianity stands against the course of the reason we stand against as we say God has revealed himself. The truth is no. We will like that today. Postmodern age is about about even the claim that you have any knowledge of the truth is regarded by some, this is what they say is hates language. If you claim to know the truth you're saying somebody else doesn't know the truth, they disagree with you every eight all is as irrational as it can be true, but nevertheless that's what set her so much opposition to the Christian stand against that you cite weekly safe. God is made himself known that's what you're here for. That's what we want to tell people made himself known in the challenge of the see if in fact that is not true. God is really revealed himself in Jesus Christ. This article lacks in operation expected scholar to do. He goes back to the days of origin of Alexander Alexandria. He was a great Christian apologist in the third century Roman Empire was beginning to break down the same way our culture is breaking down. Eventually, Rome was overrun by the barbarians, as you know, and he pointed out that origin was writing a secular world just like ours and he stressed, as is apologetic for Christianity that what we are concerned about is the truth. Christianity's end stands even in tumultuous times because of what we know and it did Roman Empire collapse Christianity stood and rose from the ashes was strong as our civilization, such as it was through the Middle Ages. Now we acknowledge that the kind of certainty we claim for truth in Christianity is different from the kind the world has to world talks about reason alone we talk about revelation God is made himself known, but to talk about revelation is not irrational Savior talking about God making himself known in this area primarily in Jesus Christ.
Rational statement and if you don't like it well you examine it and prove it to be untrue you find it to be true is true and you want to order your life in accordance with the that's when origin was signed, that we speak of what we know. You know those early days. One of the great verses in the Bible.
The apologists love was John 118 used it often in support of their position.
That verse is no one's ever seen God was and acknowledges our inability to find the invisible God says God the only son who was at the father's side is made in the ways that we come to know who God is through Jesus Christ. How this professor also brings us up to date a little bit by some observations of T.S. Eliot you know who he is the author of the wasteland. The reporter in the Cathedral. He lived between the wars, seeing the same thing happen in Britain. That origin was sitting in the third century with Roman Empire.
Between the wars in Britain and in Europe was a time of world K society seem to be falling apart same sort of thing we have today. And so Elliott roach about this. He gave a series of lectures and published them in a book called Christianity and culture. And here's a way put actors the choice he says that we have today. The choice before us is between the formation of a new Christian culture and the acceptance of the pagan one.
Instead of showing the Christianity provides a foundation for morality.
We must show the necessity of Christian morality from the truth of Christianity. Send the difference begin with truth went on to say it's not enthusiasm but dogma that differentiates the Christian from a pagan society. All it really is is another way of saying first commandment still matters. You know the true God and worshiping him only is Lukens summary. Christians are called to persuade others, including many within the churches in our first duty as human beings is to honor and venerate the one true God, and that without the worship of God. Society disintegrates into an immoral aggregate of competing self-centered interest destructive of the health of the society. Only God can give ultimate purpose to our lives and direction to our society. Last line the first commandment is not just the text to be memorized in the catechism class is the theological basis for a just and humane society let something that Christian people always know Lisa should've known what they should be practicing versus sad thing is that they don't that's what the soul is saying looking for the actions of these people in the past, the Jews had this revelation God says that he had heard to be delivered to me and instructed them and he warned them.
Nevertheless, verse 11. My people would not listen to me, Israel would not submit to me remarkable thing about this ignorance of the true God, and the failure to follow the true God is that this is being said of the Jews who had the knowledge of the true God being said about the world. Nothing amazing about that said about the world world is no God, consistent with their knowledge of God and later action is pricing the world goes away it doesn't at least make your consistent scores are consistently wrong. We think are to pay the price for that is why we warn them not a secular way of life doesn't work because this is not a secular world is God's world have to live in accordance with his laws and things are not gonna work out for you! Much of the misery of your life but nonetheless said of the world is that a Christian people, my people would not listen to me as Israel people of God who would not submit. And I said more than on occasion when I travel around the country as I do.
What amazes me about the evangelical church is not a liberal church is not the sex with evangelical churches is how little awareness of the presence and the existence of God, there actually seems to be that of the structures and churches.
They are prosperous at lots of money, lots of programs.
Everybody's having a good time and where is God. I hardly hear mention some churches. I wasn't red. Does Scripture readings anymore think God had revealed himself in the Bible that doesn't really matter, and as far as talking to God, which is what prayer is all about is almost evaporated when it come in place of that is low kind of entertainment competition with Hollywood door or the stage hymns not even about God anymore.
Great hymns are all about God and his attributes. What is done in the modern indrawn about us and how good we are feeling things like that. Maybe they have their place all kinds of songs at their place items in popular song sometimes but see God as being pushed out just from what I hear Christianity in many of these churches has become either a form of Sunday entertainment to political pressure group or twelve-step recovery process rather than a community of those who know and are learning to obey God's that's what we have offered cultures.
Christian is a greater wisdom. Anybody else but politics or psychology science will only have the offer is the knowledge God is made himself known to us in Scripture and in Jesus Christ, and the question is do we really know what my court says one of my friends what is required in our day is even many non-Christian thinkers are saying is nothing less than a spiritual quest. Will we Christians be there ready for the ultimate questions with answers from the personal God of biblical revelation. Who is the source of all truth.
But we still be entangled in the ideological movements and draw our water from streams which have run their course, progressing from a mighty ocean to a stagnant ponds we got to the end of this Psalm to the fourth stanza refinement. God indicating the result, to his people when they won't hear his voice. What he says is that he gives them up to their own devices is at first well so I gave them over to their stubborn hearts of all of their own devices. That is exactly what God says of the unbelieving world in Romans one spent eight years studying Romans ensure you don't remember that far back in Romans one is a God gave them up. Well, I want to go their own way and one God, God gave them up if we got secular culture. You want me know what religion go your own way to see what a mess we make of things when we do it that way.
See what God is saying here in this Psalm is its true Christians to acknowledge God and go God's way. God will give you want to give you up to is your own devices and say what you find yourself being is the world become just like the world is very in our day. What that means for evangelicals is that we become as materialistic and secular as those around us is what the polls are showing is virtually no difference in many cases between those who profess the name of Christ knows more about them. All major beliefs and so on were just as materialistic and see its snow good is to say, let's worship God make a lot of noise this point the trumpets sing real loud. If not worshiping God because even when you're doing that you become as materialistic and is secular and is sinful and as narrowly as the world what's needed. Well, I think your second Chronicles 714.
Great Old Testament texts written to the church is what it says my people who are called by my name will humble themselves right. Seek my face and turn from their wicked ways is if they'll seek the true God and holiness as he can be found then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. Problem with Christian people is that they want other people to be humbled the world to be humbled, especially in the presence of the church when them to confess their sins want them to turn from their wicked ways what God says is that's not where revival begins. Revival begins with God's people, you and me have to humble ourselves and pray and seek his face and turn from our wicked ways world can't do it not by itself were to proclaim God reveals himself to us. That way order that by God's grace. Many might actually hear about him find salvation Jesus Christ so be on their way to help spray father were thankful that we had a chance to study the song the Passover some of the song we just read their words without understanding and many times as we do for Scripture without application to ourselves. But here's Psalm so relevant for our day, surreal and for us to grant that we your people who are called by your name. We might actually worship him in spirit and in truth and so have something so real in our own fellowship that those who don't know you might be drawn towards saying well I don't know the answer but if the answer to be found anywhere must be somewhere here so by your grace, Jesus, 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. We love to hear from you and pray for you. Our address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601. Please consider giving financially to help keep the Bible study our impacting people for decades to come. You can do firstname.lastname@example.org over the phone at 1-800-488-1888 or send a check to 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 176014 Canadian gifts mail those to 237 Hills Dr., Scarborough, ON M, one scene two line 9. Thanks for your continued parents, and for listening to Bible study. Our preparing you to think and act