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An Appeal to the Passionate God

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
January 11, 2022 7:00 am

An Appeal to the Passionate God

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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January 11, 2022 7:00 am

It’s been said that in the Christian life there is nothing more important than mercy. Yet we understand so little about it. David was a man who realized his need. He was a great man of God but he was also a great sinner who depended on the mercy of the Lord in both his personal life and his role as king.

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It's been said that in the Christian life. There is nothing more important than mercy that we understand so little about it.

David was a man who realized his need was a great man of God, but he was also a great sinner who depended on the mercy of the Lord in both his personal life and in his role as King go to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. David knew his own heart, and he knew the deeds he was capable of faith left to his own devices. Let's join Dr. Boyce as he examines Psalm 86 and discovered David's unique insight into mercy.

This wonderful quality of God's almost by David or at least a Psalm by David and every book of the shoulder and yet we have come now. Very near the end of the third book, and we've not had a Psalm of David. Yet you have solved the last of Psalms of the sons of Carl but not David Psalm 86 to which really gone the day is a Psalm of David is the only one by David. In this third book, many in one anymore in book Joe some occur also toward the end. But in this mini book of the five. This is the only one that is actually by David characteristically it's an appeal for mercy based on the character of God.

I was almost filled with petitions which wife called a prayer of David you count them up your finder at least 15 of them terribly long Psalm but at least 15 different things that David asked for, and yet when you begin to analyze what he is asking for and put it all together.

There are really variance of one idea and that is that he's asking God for mercy, mercy, and an appeal to mercy occurs explicitly at least three times you see it there in verse three, have mercy on me. Oh Lord, for I call to you all day long minutes in verse six, hear my prayer. Oh Lord, listen to my cry for mercy units in verse 16 adverse as turned to me and have mercy on me rent your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant will nothing is more important to sinful man and women like we are than receiving mercy from Almighty God Charles Haddon Spurgeon recognize that he said in one place.

The rest of men need mercy and appeal to mercy day to nothing else but mercy problem is we don't do that naturally come naturally to our hearts to ask for mercy from anyone east wall from God know everything about mercy. If you have studied literature at all. It's hard to avoid thinking of that wonderful speech in behalf of mercy that is uttered by Portia and Shakespeare's merchant of Venice, you may recall how that goes. The quality of mercy is not strained it fall if has a gentle due from heaven upon the place beneath is twice blasted by Seth him that gives and him takes it becomes the monarch more than his throne would crown was a beautiful words about mercy and yet the sad thing is most of us know very little about.

It speaks of the blessing of giving and the blessing of receiving we don't want either. We don't want to receive mercy. All we want is justice want to get our do naturally and were not very merciful with other people. Although sometimes we think we are what David understood was that he needed mercy. So he was far wiser of us are spiritually and in this Psalm is what he prays for, he prays for an extensively alignment of the soul is very straightforward and it follows more or less the paragraph divisions that you have been some of the modern translations including the new international version. There's a lament is one through seven. There's a section dealing with praise God. Verses eight through 10 and there's the prayer itself. Verses 11 through 13. Finally, there final petition. Verses 14 through 70, but that difficulty with that kind of outline is that the different elements overlap, you find requests with your prayers throughout the sum up at the end picks up things that are said earlier, I think that best way to study it is in terms of the Psalms. Great ideas and so I suggest that they are these first of all, David's relationship to God. That is the way in which is coming. Secondly, David's request of God are scattered throughout the Psalm. Third, the reasons why God should answer his requests as a lot of them and then finally most important characteristic of all which is what we've been talking about so far and that is God's mercy begin with mercy, we analyze the flow of the Psalm chief ideas and then we come back to mercy in the end, now it is consistent with David's appeal to mercy that has mentioned for the first time in verse three as I said that he begins his prayer by acknowledging that God doesn't owe him anything contrary. Notice what he says.

He says that he is poor and needy is one is God's servant verse two he is one of looks to God for help. The seams are repeated later in verse seven where he speaks of his trouble. Verse 14 he speaks of the arrogant who are attacking in verse 16. He described himself again is God's servant, and then in verse 17 he again draws attention to his enemies. We find it hard to pray that way because if we really think it over and are honest with ourselves. Most of us don't think were very poor and needy man enemies agree with that but mostly want God to recognize us for who we are.

We want to be acknowledged as people who deserve something better than what were actually getting in so frequently when we pray to God that's with complaints. We say that why are you doing this to me because obviously I deserve better than what I'm actually experiencing now as I sigh David didn't think that way and it's a secret of his greatness as he understood that he was just a center and that everything you have all the good things in his life and there were many of them came from God, but even so we didn't deserve them. And so when he begins his petitions to God and the has things to pray for it has serious problems, but when he begins his petitions to God.

It's recognizing his spiritual poverty. In other words, it is because God has been merciful to him in the past giving him what he hands which he didn't deserve that. He's encouraged to appeal to the mercy of God in the present for what he needs now. He also makes requests and as I said a moment ago. There a lot of them 15 on all the places I count them. Notice verse one. He asked God to hear and answer verse two garden savers three to have mercy. Verse four.

Bring joy verse six here.

Listen verse 11 to teach him, and given them an undivided heart. Verse 16 to turn and have mercy grant strength and save and then finally at the very end to give them a sign of God's goodness. A lot of those requests had to do with David's perilous circumstances and we may remember from our earlier study of Psalms that bear the name of David that there is hardly a Psalm in the Psalter by David the doesn't mention his enemies. We think of them as an all-powerful king, one who is highly regarded.

It certainly was highly regarded by God and by godly people, but like anybody else in power or in a position of influence and a lot of enemies and he wasn't nearly as secure as we might think he is. He was securing God humanly speaking, he wasn't in so mentions these enemies again and again. Now that's in the background but in the midst of all these requests of God had to do with God strengthening them and protecting them and hearing them and answering them as he speaks about his enemies is really a remarkable stands in which he prays that God will teach him his way and give him an undivided heart defined in verses 11 to 13 I said a moment ago that the key to David's greatness was his recognition of poverty before God and his appeal to God's mercy. This is another aspect of the same thing. You might also say this is the key to David's greatness. He wanted to walk in God's way needed deliverance and needed help and wisdom, strength, all that went with the position in life and the responsibilities that God given them, but most of all he wanted to be blessed by knowing the way of God.

We have learned from that because quite often in matters of religion. We want salvation without the duties of the words we want God to take care of us and save us and bless us take us to heaven when we die. But wait, very much concerned with serving in here an hour walking in his ways. David has altogether actually got the proper balance here.

I suppose it means of the Psalm was written late in life. It's sort of indicates age of maturity that you would think somebody would live with the Lord a long time hands.

He knew his heart he knew how prone he wants to wonder from God and so he asked God to give this great blessing of teaching in his way. So I might walk in them. Now the third thing I mention this matter of arguments request, but by argument Joe Charles Haddon Spurgeon often had a theme he spoke about it in different places and different sermons which he called praying with arguments of the words making your requests to God and then articulating your own benefit. Mostly, not for God why he should answer God doesn't need to be told why he should answer he knows why. Also knows why not.

He doesn't do it sometimes, but it sharpens our thinking to come with arguments. It's a good thing to practice your Savior making requests to God. And then you find yourself unable to back them up with arguments that is explained to God what he ought answer the probably making a run requests and what happens when you go through that kind of a mental exercise is your redirect your requests when you're praying. Morgan according God and then naturally he's inclined to answer no notices, arguments that David uses are eight of them here is very easy to find them because each one is introduced by the word for ammo are which of course means because it sees reasons forward in support of the request that is making and he does it into categories. For these reasons, it had to do with who God is and therefore of them that had to do with who he is and his need and the ones that had to do with his need come first and then as he seems to work through the prayer and begins to focus more on God, which is what happens in our prayers. He begins to focus on God's character and bases his needs. Upon God is sound works really very interesting. First of all, verse one. He says, for I am poor and needy. We've already mentioned that, but he brings it forward you see as a reason why God secure them and help them is not mighty is not self-sufficient. Although we would say he was on the contrary, as he looks at himself and says it is poor and needy. So if God isn't going to help others not to be found anywhere in itself.

I recall a statement of Abraham Lincoln. On one occasion he said he had been driven to his needs. Many times by the simple recognition that he had nowhere else to turn.

That of course is true of us in spiritual things.

Nobody can help us spiritually. But God so David says the reason you should help me because I have this great need. I am in need of your help. Secondly, verse two, for I am devoted to you at the second reason and what is pleading there is that he stands in a special relationship to God the Hebrew of that particular phrase involves a matter of the covenant stands in the covenant relationship to God. In other words, God has made him certain promises is one upon whom he has said his favorite's promise to bless a lead in his way. David stands in that relationship to God and so he pleads it are equivalent for that would be the fact that we are children of God through the new birth, and so we turn to God for that reason it is interesting in this song many times he calls God added by, which is translated Lord really means master is seven times in this one song. So what he is saying is I stand you in the relationship of a servant to his master, and I have obligations to you masters have obligations to their servants to and so the places covenant relationship number three verse three I call to you all day long.

Now that's 1/3 reason the gas was he saying he sang the reason you should answer me as I'm asking you then survey. He knows that God is obliged to do it. God operates toward us in grace. Grace means mercy apart from our merit, but nevertheless they know something about God.

He knows that God is not indifference to the prayers of his people is answered in the plastic bubble in the future so they social care. I'm praying take notice of that and answer me because I'm asking this of you. Number four verse 44 to you oh Lord I lift up my soul. You say that's almost the same thing as a way of saying answer me because I'm praying yes it is but it has its additional ID and it is that he's praying to God alone of the pagans and all kinds of prayers and and all kinds God's. And so they would pray all kinds God's but the problem with that is that by appealing to a variety of God's all they were showing is that they had no real confidence in any one guy won't work better pray to another one.

Maybe that will work, but I'm not really confident that he will meet her and so I pray to another. David is like that is hunting around for a variety of God's I know the God they can help cure the God so he says I make my request may make it to you only those of the four reasons that are based on his need hears ones based on the character of God were 74. You will answer me, see earlier in verse one. He had asked God to hear and answer them without he reasserts his confidence in God will do that. Words what he is saying is what James says in that letter that we have in the New Testament of the fifth chapter, the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective way of saying that it's not an empty exercise. Prayer is not something we go through without any hope of ever making a difference. As a result of our praying God is a prayer answering God so he says I know when I pray you're going answer me always answer the way we expected to did we get in all kinds of trouble because we offer an awful lot of foolish prayers and he answers, and answers wisely. Here's the six reason stand for. You are great and do marvelous deeds.

In other words, God is not only a prayer answering God.

He's also the God who is able to do what the one who is praying.

Yes, she's great and powerful, and he consistently does great deeds now. David acknowledges that in the saw me to list them all and come to Psalms that do that in terms of the history of the Jewish people a look back over their history and they select all these wonderful things that you've done then on the basis of lactate God because they say you're able to do that you're able to do it now. You live with the Lord any length of time as he done anything in your life. It's really made a difference be been Christian for a long time can say that. Well that's a good reason for praying that God I am praying should answer me because I'm praying I believe that you're going answer prayer should answer me for that reason, I also know that you're able to do what I ask, and so that's another reason that he gives seventh reason verse 13 for great is your love toward me. Yes, it would be possible to have God who is able to do what we ask him to go but a God was willing to do it because he doesn't really care about us. David says I haven't found you to be a God like that. I know that you're a God who cares refers the love of God that the covenant love of God. The request you love me, he said, let me with this covenantal love and therefore he says I appeal that really has to do with family relationships that I was saying earlier David belonged to the family of God sending Jesus was talking about when he talked about prayer.

You know he he said that we should pray he knows that we don't waste not as much, as we should, so he encouraged at this place and I look I give you an analogy which of you, if his son ask for bread, will give them a stone instead or the aspirate officially given the snake says you're evil, but even so, you know how to give good gifts to your children well then how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.

That's what our God is like to say and so when we produce that kind of reason in our prayers were really reminding ourselves of God's character and resting in him and then finally the last of these eight reasons verse 17 for you, oh Lord, have helped me and comforted me other words the final reason is that God and help them in the past because God and help them in the past anticipated that God would help in the present and future, so it is consistent with every past experience of the grace of God. David should ask for mercy.

Now, God brings us to the final theme which has the same mercy.

We began with it. We looked at David's relationship to God, how we appeal that his arguments now we come back to this theme of mercy is been appealing to this really in one way or another and everything he says so I asked the question how did David know that God is merciful. One answer would be to experience some of that in the past, but that only pushes off the question out of the note in the past. Well the answer is a God and revealed what God reveals in Scripture that is merciful God want to take your mind to something we have in the book of Exodus, because if you're going to see in a moment. If the background for what they've actually says here in the saw go back to the 33rd chapter of Exodus. It takes place after the people had worshiped the golden calf God said he was going to destroy the people. Moses interceded for them. God spared them and then Moses had an opportunity to make requests for God in this 33rd chapter of Exodus. He makes three requests, but it said that because their people were such a sinful people and he was a holy God.

He wasn't to go with them anymore and send an angel to take care of the money wouldn't go with them anymore and Moses was dissatisfied without even want take a step without the presence of God.

So that's really what is concerned about Matt comes right in the middle of these request where he began first request, Moses makes is that he might know God. Remember, by this stage, and Moses life. He had spent 40 days the mountain with God twice 80 days and so long period of time. He learned an awful lot about God and that time is guarded and giving them the lawn, revealing his will and his ways but all I had done with Moses is what his appetite to know God more so here in this first request. He prays that he might know God. If I have found favor in your eyes, teach me your ways so I make know you and continue to find favor with you. Sorry question every Christian should make often what we really need to know is the character of God is a lot of us spend a great deal of time trying to find out the character other people in the character of a job in the marketplace are any of those things because we function well.

The more we know is the ultimate reality is gone. We need to know what God is like God's world to come to terms with him and so as Christians we automate that request often now a second petition had to do is matter of God sending angel and he said I don't even take a step out of here this valet if it's only an angel going with my own care is Michael or Gabriel or any of my i.e. is in the hall.

I want you and Zoe make that request of God and God grants that he says I will do the very thing advanced because I'm pleased by you and you know me by name. Remember, he just asked know God. God says on the door because you really do know me and I went to see the next request has to do even further with knowing God is Moses you see is a bold man. Holy boldness is what he has here in the second request he had gotten God to agree to do what he wanted God to do is praying the same way David prayed, but he recognizes that this is a golden opportunity and so what he says in the context of this holy moment is this now. He said what I really want to do is see you face-to-face when he puts it to show me your glory.

You know what God says God replies I like to do that but I can't do that. Nobody no human being can look upon my face and live if I would reveal myself to you on failed result in your death. Instantly, guts, and I'll do the next best thing while do is hide you and the cleft in the rock, put my hand over the opening I passed by, and as I passed by reveal something of myself and so that's what happened. God did pass by a notice what happens is what the text says.

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name Lord to see you just said you know me by name. Now God is proclaiming his name Moses that I know you but I want to know you more, God is revealing more about himself. The meaning of his name Jehovah what it actually means any passage in front of Moses proclaiming the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining on the thousands, and forgiving wickedness and rebellion said those words are a revelation of the name which means a revelation of the character of God is expressed in his mercy and grace to all the will come to him now.

That is one of the greatest revelations in the Bible and it meant a lot. Israel reason we know it meant a lot.

Israel, as it is quoted again and again throughout the Old Testament you find it.

For example, in Nehemiah 917 Psalms 103 verse eight 145 verse eight. It's in Joel second chapter verse 13 is also in Jonah chapter 4 verse two out. Here's the point. Reason I take the time to tell that story. It is also in Psalm 86. Matter fact it occurs twice in Psalm 86 is there briefly in verse five. You are kind and forgiving overlord, abounding in love all the call on you and it cited extensively in case we missed where it's coming from in verse 15, but you oh Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness. That's where David learned that God was merciful as I mean, one from the Bible is where you learn the character of God.

God revealed himself in Scripture and David had the Scripture. Zoe Rentz said this is the revelation of your name yourself of said I am a gracious and compassionate God. I am slow to display anger and I show mercy upon thousands repented. Seven come to me.

So David says that's how I want to come want to come confessing my sin, my knee, my weakness I want to come to you because you have revealed that you were merciful. I want to say that this should be our theme often should be. Often in our minds we all be applying life also's away. So these are just for applications that we can't afford to miss. First of all we need mercy ever going to be saved. We never say that enough because we don't naturally think that way week weaving in terms of merit. One thing that keeps people from God want God to recognize that somehow they deserve his favor was Mercy's exact opposite.

Mercy is the favor of God and people who don't deserve mercy is a fact for people deserve the very opposite and so we come insisting on our rights and that the barrier we throne up the barrier we have to say it again and again we need mercy. If you're going to be saved. Israel needed mercy. Moses needed mercy. David needed mercy. Paul needed mercy. John needed mercy on the mercy and so do we can come to God in any other way. Secondly, God is a God of mercy. Now that's the good news is true is also a God of justice and wrath says in other places. I'm a just God punish sin even says I visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation. Sin has its effects. Or for other people's sins is a the good news is a God, is nevertheless merciful God, and moreover, it is mercy that emphasizes say when he is. There Moses. Moses made his request. Show me your glory.

I didn't say I'm a God of justice and laugh pouring out wrath upon those who sin against me. It is also true God said the very essence of my name is Mercy so we have to remind ourselves that number three.

We can appeal the mercy we can appeal to God is not compelled to show us mercy of God were compelled to be merciful wouldn't be merciful. It would be our dessert. Again, God would merely be doing what is just or see something that goes beyond that involves grace when we don't deserve it but nevertheless were encouraged to appeal to Lenten thing. The Scriptures are full of appeals just like that in our Psalm is one example of the tax collector and Jesus story the very essence of his prayer was an appeal for mercy.

Pharisee stood there and he was very proud of himself. He is the one who led.all these things that he thought somehow deserved a special favor of God. After all, he didn't do any of the open visible sentence. In addition, he gave money to find everything you need.

Went to synagogue all the time off in the distance was a tax collector in the tax collector simply said God be merciful to me a sinner, feeling the mercy of Jesus said in the conclusion of that story was that man tax collector went home justified before God, not the man it was self-righteous with the gospel for the gospel for sinners hospitals for failures gospel for hypocrites to see the gospel reaches out picks people up like that makes them right with God and sets them upon a different path and it's all due mercy is the fourth thing we can proclaim mercy to others, it's true, the God is sovereign in salvation, he says I show mercy on whom I will to show mercy and compassion on whom I choose to have compassion.

That's absolutely true. Nothing undermines that, but nevertheless God displays the fact that he is merciful. You and I come to receive his mercy if we are Christians can save other people come to the merciful God. I believe we can even put it this way, we can say God is never turned a deaf ear to any awning was come to him in Jesus Christ.

God is never sent gospel is not for you, saying, I plead for mercy because I'm a sinner and I stand in need of your grace. What are rate hymn says, every soul I sin the pranksters mercy with the Lord and he will surely give you rest. By trusting in his word only trust him only trust and he will save you now.

He will save you, he will save you only trust him now. See if a person by the grace of God comes to believe that really trusts in Jesus and that is exactly what God will do if you do that you find to be true as well. You'll find that he is a gracious and compassionate God exactly what he declares himself to be in your pass from death to life, and the fullness of life in his presence prior father. We are thankful for the screws from your word confess that there's a great deal that we don't understand, but that much. We understand that you're a God who delights to show mercy say that very clear and we are people who need it. Every one of us so we pray for your mercy's sake she will show mercy this hour to those who call upon you and say God be merciful to me, sinner is.

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