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Our Covenant-Keeping God, Part 2

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
January 17, 2022 7:00 am

Our Covenant-Keeping God, Part 2

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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January 17, 2022 7:00 am

"Where is Thy faithfulness?" Something so grim had occurred in Israel that the Psalmist was led to question God’s faithfulness to His covenant with the king. In fact, the Psalmist states in no uncertain terms that God is responsible for the demise of both king and country. Questioning God’s faithfulness is not something the believer wants to readily admit, but most of us have experienced the feeling of abandonment and isolation when everything seems to go wrong.

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Where used by faithfulness something so grim had occurred in Israel that the psalmist was led to question God's faithfulness to his covenant with the king infect us all the states in no uncertain terms that God is responsible for the demise of both king and country, and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically questioning God's faithfulness is not something the believer wants to readily admit that most of us have experienced the feeling of abandonment in isolation when everything seems to go wrong. Join Dr. Boyce as he shows us from the second half of Psalm 89 that we may not always understand what God is doing, but he does we can rest assured that his covenant and all of his promises will eventually be fulfilled last Sunday morning we began a study of the 89th Psalm, and I pointed out at that time that it's one of the greatest chapters of all the Bible dealing with the faithfulness of God. It particularly stresses faithfulness in keeping his covenant with David but it doesn't in two ways.

Very interesting verse half of the Psalm up to verse 37 praises God for his faithfulness exuberantly and without any shadow of qualification that in the second half of the Psalm shorter half toward the end, beginning with verse 38, the psalmist expresses the gap between the promise and reality was as if we should sing that great him that we sing about the faithfulness of God. Great is thy faithfulness goes great is thy faithfulness of God my father. There is no shadow of turning with the way through that Psalm and then get to the end and tack on an additional verse to the him would go something like this where is thy faithfulness of God my father. There is no faith in your dealings with me. We would be wrong to sing it that way. Of course, and the psalmist is wrong.

To the degree that he actually thinks that the last. This is one of those Psalms, which is honest enough to express before God the things that the psalmist thinks he sees you and I don't have to fear to do that there are people who think and sometimes it's true that Christians hide their head in the sand when it comes to the difficult problems in life, pretending they're not there because that's inconsistent with their belief in a good and all-powerful God, the argument goes that God is all-powerful and if these goodly things wouldn't happen. I do happen.

Therefore either is not good or is not all-powerful, and Christians all in the face actually bite her head in the sand that isn't the case and the Psalm is a good example of that. Here's a man praises God for his faithfulness and then at the end opens up and tells what he actually sees it does look very much as if God is broken his covenant with David now is what he sent for first 39 you have renounced the covenant with your servant is hard to know exactly what happened what the circumstances are laying behind that particular complaint, and obviously had something to do with the monarchy.

Some people who date this event early.

I said well you can explain this long by the breakup of the monarchy in the days of Rehoboam after the long reigns of David and Solomon because they can fracture their into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah say when I would work. The advantage of that. The attractiveness of that is that if it's an early dating of the soul. In fact, it's early enough that it could actually have been written. If that's the case by this defendant, David appointed to be one of the temple musicians presumably that would have been laid in David's life.

This man would've lived all the way through the reign of Solomon. 40 years and into the reign of Rehoboam and then written a song that was an old man as possible. Other people think that the language itself points to something far worse than that. For example, there are references to the breaking up of the city's walls and the reduction of the king's stronghold to witness. If you take that as literal language not figurative language that that looks an awful lot like the overthrow of the kingdom by Nebuchadnezzar and the deportation in captivity of the last of the Davidic king's name. Jeroboam was carried off when he was only 18 years old.

After a rain of only three months and if that's what's being referred to. Might be that verse 45.

This speaking of this you cut short the days of his youth way of saying, not that he died young, but that he became, as it were an old man while he was yet young and I would fit Jeroboam and lender are using between one man thinks that this would fit the days of genocide are even Zedekiah just before the fall of Jerusalem. The truth of the matter is you just don't know made the languages selecting something very late but we don't know what we do know is that in the view of the psalmist. Something happened that was so grim that it really appeared as if God's faithfulness to the covenant that ended the language of this. How could God be faithful when the king's crown and been defiled in the dust. Verse 39 walls and broken throat verse 40 the city plundered verse 41, the enemies of the king exalted. Verse 42 the edge of the king's sword turned back in battle as they were defeated. Verse 43 and his royal splendor terminated. Verse 44 say things like that happen while understand how the psalmist would say you broken your covenant and how can that be if you are faithful God.

I believe you actually to be, not what is most striking about this seventh stanza where beginning to talk about what God is done is that in this list of accusations we case God is seen to be responsible. Notice that notice the repetition of the pronoun you, beginning with verse 38. If the subject of nearly every sentence in the section 11 Times Way the new international version is translated that you have to read it that we have to emphasize it but you have rejected. You have spurned. You have been very angry with your anointed one. You have renounced the covenant with your servant and defiled his crown in the dust. You broken through all the walls and reduced to strongholds ruins you have exalted the right hand of disclosure made all his enemies rejoice. You will turn back the edge of the sword and supported him in battle you put an end to his splendor, and cast his throne to the graph you have cut short the days of his youth. You have covered him with that mantle of shame that's pretty heavy. No wonder they just have a seal at that point. Not sure exactly what Selah Mehmet seems to be an indication of some sort of pause while we had very well better pause at that point God has done all that and ponder on what it is a God is actually doing to see that problem isn't just bad things happen medic happen all the time may be a problem. But the real problem from the perspective of the exogamous to is a honoring believing man is a God is responsible for monthly domain is the author of evil sure let it happen. That's the problem. The problem now, but as part of the solution to his just think it's through suppose God is not responsible.

Suppose all things just happen in a random way so that some good things happen to some people and bad things do a lot of bad things happen other people that's the case, and nothing in life really has any meaning as it made her lucky things go well, you might just as well not be.

And if you achieve something alike to mean anything. Is it a real purpose behind it just all meaningless.

On the other hand, if God is responsible of God's behind you might not understand what he's doing and why should we understand what he's doing his ways are in our way sees God work is limited by a very very short amount of things that we can save a short amount of time that we don't understand what he is doing really, because nobody's doing so light does have meaning and in the greater perspective of things. Even the suffering has meaning. If we suffer those who really believe and trust God and some are going to say when Christian speak that way. This is just hiding your head in the sand. Your failing to face up to reality, but actually the contrary is true as people go blithely on her hiding her head Christians face up the ladder should because you see this is not a choice between an unfounded optimism and stark reality. This is a choice between leaf and despair here is that psalmist says I sure don't understand what's going on and it certainly does look like God is broken his promise, so much so that he can say you've got you broken your promise, but nonetheless these addressing at the God. So even though race is trouble wrestling with the thing he faces reality with all different. Now let's look at the next stanza we find ourselves pointed in the right direction. This final stanza versus 46 to 51. Because the appeal is focused on the question how long will Lord to find in verse 46 you see it is a common question of the saints that arises out of the problems we go through week look to God for deliverance and, as always, was not according our timing so we say, oh God, how long will it be in Revelation. This is what the saints are asking God six chapter verse 10, how long, O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood, things of the martyrs speaking to believers asked that question when they feel abandoned by God when they pray and they don't get an answer. God doesn't seem to act, but their praise and unbelief is to say to God, how long will Lord is not unbelief it's placing ourselves before him, and actually praying that he will act and act while he can still help us. In other words, you see the final analysis, the saints know that the problem they're dealing with is not God's unfaithfulness, though it may seem that way, but rather God's timing, or their own perception of what is doing. It gives a different slant on what we have here in this last paragraph one of the commentators Marvin take says based on these verses God is charged with having broken his covenant obligations to David by his rejection of the Davidic kingship and by giving victory to the foes of the king. Now it's true that the language reads that way. Psalmist is not afraid to describe God when he actually sees but when you realize that what he saying is how long how long is the state going to continue to stand in the nose deepest level that God is not been unfaithful and what is doing is waiting for God to act now that's a way the final stanza.

God is asked to please for God act you look at it you find it falls into two halves.

This is not a passive man was writing. He wants God to do something, and furthermore he wants God to do it now as well. He still alive and so here are his place.

First of all the shortness of human life versus 46 to 48 casinos in God's timing is is is what he says God how long is a God will do it when he wants to do it knows that God is in rush of the million years, billion years to going in your hundred billionaires God that when arrived wants to help him. He just a human being and human beings don't live very long.

So he saying look God, you can take billion years. If you want but don't forget that I'm here I'm going to be dead before very long. So if I'm going to see your faithful as I have to see it now. That's not a bad argument with God doesn't mean that you can manipulate God. That way that's truly God will do what God will do and certainly pray that way on if I'm going to be able to testify to your faithfulness. I have to see it now so you can ask God act as a second of his arguments. He says that's God is being dishonored by his enemies versus 49 to 51. That's the same argument that Moses used in the wilderness when God said he was going to destroy the people because of their sin and worshiping the Golden calf Moses pleaded for them in one of his arguments was as he said one of the Egyptians and the say you demonstrated great power there in Egypt and bringing your people out.

They believe that your powerful God now if you destroy them in the wilderness are going to slightly brought about with evil intent to kill, God, is that it might be powerful but wants to follow him as I think of the of the witness before the world that's not the bad argument either now in these verses the writer seems to combine mockery against God mockery of the king and mockery directed at himself as he takes his personally as versus 50 and 51. Remember, Lord, how your servant has been bought out, I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations, the consulate, which are enemies of Dr. Lord with which they have bought every step your anointed one, the enemies are blocking the king and the nation and me and he says I shouldn't be because where your people and they should be able to praise you and us when we pray selfishly is not a selfish prayer is for the glory of God. We pray selfishly. Our prayers don't have a lot of power with God, but they do have power. What we can say as Paul did in Romans the insults of those who insult you fallen on me my owners Your Honor really is at stake. Now I can't in this treatment of Psalm 89 without pointing out that Paul seems to have dealt with exactly the same thing in the book of Romans is not important middle section, verses nine through 11 situation is in exactly the same. Paul is well aware that the faithfulness of God to his covenant with David is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the King was setting upon the throne of David, forever and ever will never be shaken. He knows all of that. The problem Paul is dealing with is the fact that God is not working in his day and a great way to save many Jews. The gospel seems to be going to the Gentiles.

But that problem nevertheless is the same because it deals with the covenant.

Paul says you made a covenant with your people your nation Israel and you don't seem to be fulfilling it. So that's what he deals with what he says is that time God is going to do it, we might say now how long how long time God will act in time. He says all Israel will be saved is 1126 of the reason is that God is faithful to his covenant. Let's take that and take the lessons of all develops and apply them to ourselves because we are party to a covenant as well.

Theologians talk about a covenant of works. God entered into with Adam broken on Adam side by his disobedience of the wrath judgment and death came upon the race and covenant of grace which is established in Jesus Christ, so that those were joined to him by faith are now part of an eternal covenant of salvation through a believer in Jesus Christ are part of that covenant. What that really means is that you can count on God is faithful and you can count on him even low in any particular point in your life. There may be difficulties of God is seem to be solving right now. JI Packer and is very popular but knowing God lists six areas in which God doesn't change, in which we can count upon them, and it's a good summation of what this is all about number one. He says God's life doesn't change created things is everything that God have the beginning. In most cases, they have an and not human souls but heaven and earth are going to pass away God's life is like that God doesn't grow old. God doesn't mature God doesn't week. God doesn't change for the better because is already perfect. And he certainly is not going to change for the worse. Number two God's character doesn't change what God has declared himself to be in the past. He still is, you know, one of the great passages in the Bible that speak of the character of God quoted many times in the Old Testament particularly is Exodus 34, section 7 Moses asked to see the face of God, God said you can't see my face and libido tell you this but you and Mac left Morocco cover you with my hand. I'll pass by and as he passed by. God spoke, God revealed himself to Moses and the words of this is what God said the Lord of the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands of forgetting.

Wickedness, rebellion and sin doesn't leave the guilty unpunished. He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers of the third and fourth generations. That's what God was like in the days of the Jewish Exodus and that's what God is like today God's character doesn't change is a righteous God buddies the compassionate Percival were given God. He wasn't like that.

Not one of us will have any hope to see God holds out that mercy to those who have an Jesus Christ number three God's truth does not change what that means is that God's revelation to us in the Bible doesn't change and become outdated. So we say, as some people do. Well, that was them that this is not God tells us them is true now because his words don't change number four God's ways do not change. He still continues to act toward sinful men and women way does in the Bible and all the stories he shows his freedom of wardship by discriminating between sinners, causing some to hear the gospel and some of those who hear it respond.

Still, he blesses those in recesses love in a way that humbles them all the glory might go to God alone. Still, he hates the sins of his people and he uses many things to cause them to grow in grace number five God's purposes not change the ups and downs of history don't frustrate God they frustrate us. God is the Lord of history. He knows where it's going is guiding into his own pointed ends. Therefore, it always accomplishes what is planned to do is eat plan to bring many sons and daughters in the glory through faith in Jesus Christ and he'll do it as a purpose to bless Israel national event will come to pass God's plan. In eternity, he brings about time. Number six, God's son doesn't change, that's the most blessed truth of all Christians, because we know God through Jesus Christ and so what we find them to be in the Gospels.

We also find them to be today remains true today that he is able to save the uttermost those who come to God him no and the great protector Oliver Cromwell was dying in his pain, sickness, the end of his life became overcome with depression and he began to wonder whether he was still in grace. He asked his chaplain that questionings atomic is it possible to fall from grace strap and said to them, know it's not possible to fall from grace. Then said Cromwell. I am safe because I know that I was once in grace, the poorest retro ever lived, but I know God is love me give you a question from the Heidelberg catechism refer to it often, but it's a wonderfully written document.

One of the questions is this what is my only comfort in life and in death. And this is classic answer that I would body and soul both in life and in death and not my own but belong to my faith Savior Jesus Christ, who, with his precious blood is fully satisfied for all my sins and redeemed me from all the power of the devil and so preserves me without the will of my father in heaven not hear him fall from I had gay all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore buying his Holy Spirit also assures me of eternal life makes me heartily willing and ready. Henceforth, to live under him one last point in the targums documents written by the Jewish rabbis, the rabbis interpreted verse 51 as a reproach to God because of his delay in sending the Messiah, said that she delay so long in coming, that they say he will never come throwing it up to God.

I'm not sure all that's what this almost actually intended and that verse speaks of your anointed one. He probably meant the reigning Alaska training Davidic king, not the Messiah, but whether the author of the Psalm had the Messiah in view or not. It is certainly the case that the Messiah is the fulfillment of the covenant with David so we come to the end of the song.

Also, the end of the third of the solar supply books and where brought face-to-face with Jesus Christ and the promises of God are fulfilled in him you remember that verse I mentioned, referred to, briefly, the cry of the saints in Revelation how they are saying and that six chapter the 10th verse how long the Lord how long private permeates the book. It's common among the saints, but is very common throughout revelation and it's right there at the end you get to the end of Revelation and get the answer as well because there Jesus is speaking the last words of Jesus are these behold I am coming soon.

My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what is Don I am out for and Omega, the first and the last beginning in the saints. To this point. Still don't see the end. Believe it respond and they say amen.

Come, Lord Jesus, may I point out that that's where the editor pulled these things together had his faith, because that's the way ends the third book. Here's a Psalm ending with the question of the faithfulness of God, but the editor after you put it in there that it be the ending of the third book answers the words of praise be to the Lord forever.

A man and a man. You and I say as well.

We have all the answers I could see all the problems, let alone understand the answers Jesus sees the problem is, the answer is coming again so we say praise God and amen father we do thank you for this Psalm, we thank you for the honest way traces the problems and also confront us from time to time, and many of us a great deal. Thank you for the faith of the psalmist were told in Scripture that the faith is shared from faith to faith that is strong faith of one of the weaker faith of another private you will bless this Psalm to that end, as we have studied it as we meditate upon it. The rest of this day and throughout the week blessing.

Many hearts unnecessarily by resolving problems of the face by lifting our hearts and minds to rest in your character, your faithfulness, 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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