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Give Thanks to the Lord #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
November 25, 2021 7:00 am

Give Thanks to the Lord #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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November 25, 2021 7:00 am

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Those of you that been Christian for more than a few months. A few years don't you look back and understand now, in retrospect, that the deepest trials proved to be the times were God, most grew your faith isn't that true welcome again to the truth with John Green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hello, I'm Bill Wright and all of us at one time or another have experienced an extremely difficult situation or circumstance trial by fire. If you will. Today Don brings us part two of his message called give thanks to the Lord will see from God's word that no matter what's going on around us we can absolutely trust and unknown future to unknown God, a God who has not cannot and will not fail us.

Let's join Don green right now as he begins today's lesson here on the truthful. There's an interesting aspect of Psalm 118. Those who count such things tell us that the middle two verses of the entire English Bible are Psalm 118 verses eight and nine.

That's fascinating to me. 15,586 verses are before verse eight and 15,586 verses are after verse nine. Now this is the English Bible the Hebrew Bible is in a completely different sequence so we don't want to make too much of this what you count is the middle verses depends on what you do with verses that are contested in the realm of textual criticism. But still, the numbers are interesting and give us a sense of of providential focus here to the entirety of the message of Scripture look there in verses eight and nine with me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man, it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes the center of the Bible gives you a center for your thinking and hope a God centered, Yahweh centered, Christ centered hope and resolution of confidence that I am trusting in the Lord not in man and what is biblical salvation from sin, except a statement that says by faith.

I am trusting in Christ in his merits in his shed blood. I'm trusting in him, rather than in myself for my salvation before God is better to do that and trust in yourself better to trust in the work of Christ than in the works of man in your own words, the very principle of trusting outside of ourselves in Christ for salvation is expressed in the very center of the Bible. Now, what follows.

It seems as though beginning in verse 10 it seems as though a national leader of some kind is now speaking because he seen it seems as though he speaking in a representative capacity for the rest of the nation, not simply on a personal level. Verses 10 through 13. He says this all nation surrounded me in the name of the Lord. I will surely cut them off.

They surrounded me. Yes, they surrounded me in the name of the Lord. I will surely cut them off. They surrounded me like bees. They were extinguished as a fire of thorns in the name of the Lord. I will surely cut them off. You see the repetition there right I will cut them off. They surrounded me again and again you get this almost claustrophobic senses of hostility pressing in upon him and the danger is right in his face, breathing, it's hot breath right into his own nostrils so close is the danger that he is describing here. Then he goes on in verse 13 he says you pushed me violently so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me so all nations were hostile to the people of God in this time that he is remembering an end. In the course of the conflict he was about to fall. That defeat was right at his feet and it was at that very moment when the conflict in the battle was most pressing upon him when he was most surrounded when there were when it was like a a high Hornets were just as we were just attacking him relentlessly and swatting it away as you swatted away more cons in the midst of that he says was at that time that the Lord helped me look at verse 13, you pushed me violently so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me. The Lord had delivered him and the people in this this repeated phrase I will cut them off his shows in an emphatic sense of confidence even while this is happening and when this happens again I I am going to cut them off. There will be victory in the Lord why because the lovingkindness of the Lord is everlasting. I will have success in this. Why, because the Lord is for me the outcome is certain the outcome will be good.

Why, because it could be no other way because the Lord can be trusted to do good for his people. The look I'm saying this to myself is much as I I am to you, but if we would only live in the realm of that thought life would be so much simpler life would be so much happier in our sorrows would be softened in the hurts would be treated with ball. If we only kept our mind in this realm is enough to make you want to pray to the whole experience is in it and say Lord spirit of God, keep my mind in this realm. Help me not to so easily lose sight of where my hope is what my trust is.

Help me to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, help me to know the fullness of his trustworthiness that that has implications for the way that my life will play out, and I'm a natural pessimist.

As soon as something goes wrong. I think this is this is really really bad. You know what, that's not a good way for me to think and talk because as soon as my mouth is talking like that is giving evidence that it has forgotten these very things that I'm preaching on here. I know better. I know better. And so we come back to these things again and again in the beauty of grace. One of the aspects of the multi-splintered blunder of grace is that God's love is so loyal, so faithful that you and I when we know that we been like that we can go and say Lord I forgotten again, have mercy on me and forgive me because I've strayed from my confidence in you once again Lord in the loyal love of God is so great so perfect so full and abundant that that he washes us and cleanses us even from our own faithlessness, our own stumbles of faith and restores us back to the fullness of sweet fellowship with him and I want to tell you that's a great God that is lovingkindness.

It is everlasting that is lovingkindness that is loyal lattice lovingkindness that can be trusted and so have the sense of give thanks to the Lord in the psalmist now is responding to that knees worshiping God he's he's worshiping God by expressing his trust and confidence to them in this way now as you look there in verse 12. He said they surrounded me like bees.

They were extinguished as a fire of thorns, the nature of dry, brittle thorns is that they burn up really quickly.

The thought here is that the Lord gave a quick victory to them by his power. There are times I would say that this is not the norm, by which life always occurs day by day with the Lord because if it was always like what I'm about to describe, then it would lose its sense of special splendor when it happens but there are those times where God just so powerfully moves in and and reorder circumstances suddenly and unexpectedly, and and in the midst of a battle suddenly suddenly the Lord provides an answer that you weren't even looking for and wouldn't have even had the faith to ask for if you thought about see it's not about our ability to contemplate what the outcome will be our trust is in the Lord who controls the outcomes and has the ability to give quick quick victory.

If you if it pleases him to do so.

Your member in the Old Testament when the Assyrians were surrounding Israel and they were they were under great siege and they were they were starving and famine the angel of the Lord came struck down 185,000 Syrian soldiers in one night and suddenly they went out they had an abundance. They went from famine and on the verge of death to having an abundance to be able to provide for themselves.

After the long siege because Lord himself had routed that a Syrian army by his own power. Well, the problem I think that some Christians fall into is that they wanted to always be that way you know as soon as we pray, we want the immediate answer to a well you know then where is the test of faith in this where is the sense of victory in a battle with its always instantaneous. The great battles in military history are those where where the outcome was in doubt where the struggle engaged was intense where the competing forces seem to be on equal footing and who knows what's going to happen. And yet in the end, when you win a battle like that.

That's a great victory. Those are the things you celebrate with national holidays things and come to us instantaneously are if that was always the way it was, we wouldn't appreciate it. In the same way so so a lot of times we have to slog through and be faithful when it seems like not much is happening but there are those times were the Lord powerfully moves and it's just like setting fire to a bunch of bramble dried out bramble that you just so I imagine burns and it's gone in the and in the Lord is made is victory. Quicken and decisive well when that happens, the psalmist shows us that when a victory comes like that the first thing that you need to do is to give glory to God to give glory to God. Look at verse 14. This is part of the act of worship for God's timely help. So he's delivered and he comes out and he says the Lord is my strength and song.

Verse 14 and he has become my salvation.

Verse 15 the sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous right hand of the Lord does valiantly the right hand of the Lord is exalted, the right hand of the Lord does valiantly see that repetition again right hand right hand, right hand, it does valiantly, it does valiantly well the right hand was the was the hand that held the soldier's sword and battle it was. It was a symbol. It was a metaphor for strength so what he is saying is, is that that God's strength is exalted the way that he has delivered me is a manifestation of how exalted his great power is, I was surrounded I was falling bees, as it were, were attacking me and sustaining me left and right and I couldn't get them off and all of a sudden the Lord exercised his power on my behalf, and the threat was gone. My case was resolved. There was immediate resolution and that could only be understood by recognizing it as a manifestation of the strength of God on my behalf.

The God who is for me has exercised his strength on my behalf, and has shown that he is worthy of my trust. I have not trusted him in vain.

So God exercised his power to defend his people can't miss it with that threefold repetition and so you look back at the trial and say what was what was the purpose of this what's the what's the spiritual lesson that is to be learned from this and what you find is in the act of worship you find this expression of faith. This expression of faith where he says in verse 17. I will not die, but live and tell of the works of the Lord, the Lord has disciplined me severely, but he is not given me over to death. He looks back on the trial and innocent in a sense of Hebrews 12 four 211 he says you know what this was, you know what this trial in this outcome was God had disciplined me for my own good, God was strengthening me through this trial. Perhaps God was marking out a sinful lack of faith in my life or I was bearing the consequences of my own actions. In my own bad attitudes. I went through a trial to God's brought me out on the other side. He's writing these telling the people, he says, got it done this for my good and my time of desperation acted as a purifying agent on my faith.

It cleanse my faith that strengthened it. It's sterilized.

It made it more purer and it deepened it. Those of you that been Christians for more than a few months. A few years don't you look back and understand now in retrospect that the deepest trials proved to be the times were God, most grew your faith isn't that true that is true without exception God is strengthening your faith through your trials. He is purifying it.

He is not acting against you if you are in Christ. That's impossible.

How could God act against the people for whom Christ died. God has been fully reconciled to us in the blood of Christ, he could be against us. That's ridiculous out on the thought out on the suggestion forget that's not true. In our past experience of trials teaches us that the most spiritual growth. The most significant deposits in our account of faith were being made.

When God was bringing us through the deepest of trials, and so the psalmist looks back and he says my experiences taught me that I I will live I will one day tell of the works of the Lord because my God has not given me over to death so that great victory of which he is speaking motivates him to express his public praise. In this act of worship goes in verse 19 through 21 he says open to me. The gates of righteousness. I shall enter through them I shall give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord, the righteous will enter through it.

I shall give thanks to you, received the repetition. It's just amazing.

They the echoes that reverberate through this in order to give emphasis and a sense of call to what his theme is and what he does not want us to miss. I shall give thanks to you.

Verse 21, for you have answered me and you have become my salvation.

The gate was the entryway into the presence of the Lord what he saying is I want to walk through that gate into the presence of the Lord and in and offer my thanks and gratitude and I want to do it in a public way.

One who's been truly redeemed is not content to keep his mouth closed and to hide away in a closeted time because you know because it is his faith is a private thing that's not biblical faith. That's not real salvation, one who is genuinely been saved.

Beloved one who is genuinely been delivered by God is so overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for his loyal love the says I've got to tell other people about it. I have to make this no, I have to give public glory after ascribed glory to God publicly is the only proper response to what he is done for me so it's part of his act of public worship. To do that. Thirdly, we see an acknowledgment of the cornerstone in verse 22. The psalmist is asserting how much the Lord is in control how fast his sovereignty is solely says in verse 22 and 23, the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing. It is marvelous in our eyes. Now the cornerstone sets the lines and the balance for the entire building. So it's the most important stone in the structure because everything is built around it and what he is saying here is using that concept is a metaphor saying the builders rejected that stone is being unfit for construction and what the Lord did was he came in he use that stone he built everything around it. The builder saw no value in it.

It was actually precious in the side of the Lord. It was actually the most valuable stone of them all, and so perhaps from an Old Testament perspective what he's talking about is that the great nations of the time despise the small nation of Israel but God and chosen them and made Israel that the foundation of his revelation at the time down the road when Christ was here. What did the Jews do, they rejected him they would. They said we will not have this man reign over us his blood be on us and on our children.

We have no king but Caesar. This is the Jewish leaders rejecting their own Messiah, rejecting the most valuable one of them all, and in their rejection. God takes Christ the rejected Christ and makes him the cornerstone of the entire church. Everything is built around him.

Everything is built around Christ. And so while the oppressors had rejected the psalmist later to reject Christ. God built from that point of rejections so that he says in verse 24. This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it. Then he turns to prayer. He says, oh Lord, do save, we beseech you, oh Lord, we beseech you do send prosperity. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We have blessed you from the house of the Lord, the Lord is God and he is given a slight bind. The festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar, and so the psalmist is praying for the nation as he prepares for this worship, animals were bound with cords and and brought to the altar where they would be sacrifice the appointed sacrifice being offered in thanksgiving to God is always giving thanks says you are my God and I give thanks to you. You are my God, I extol you so is been talking in plural times in the past. Earlier in the text.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Verse 24. Now he brings it down to the personal level.

He says you're my God and I give thanks to you, you're my God and I extol you and in that act of worship. In this acknowledgment of the cornerstone.

He is exemplifying the very purpose of the song. Look at verse 29. As we close, give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his lovingkindness is everlasting.

You can see why a song like this would conclude a group of Psalms dedicated to praising God for his compassion to the lowly. God had brought the nation out of their distress in Egypt give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness is everlasting God brought them into the promised land and driven out nations before them. Give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness is everlasting God had sustained them and kept them through the cycle of judges the sand and decline confession and restoration.

Give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness is everlasting God exalted them under the hand of David and Solomon give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness is everlasting through the through the divided kingdom, and all of the evil kings that were over his people with occasional exceptions. God preserved a remnant, save 7000 had not knelt down before bail. Give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness is everlasting during the 400 silent years after the end of prophecy, and before the coming of Christ and the Jewish people were being oppressed, there was times of deliverance where it where he rescued them from foreign oppressors and then the 400 years were the silence of those years were shattered by the prophetic voice of John the Baptist, who announce the coming of the Christ was immediately to follow him.

And Christ comes in manifest God in human flesh.

He who has seen me has seen the father and I lay down my life for my sheep. I am the good shepherd, and he goes to the cross and he he suffers and he dies and is buried in God raises them from the dead, indicating that our justification is complete that there is a perfect salvation, and the one who cried out, it is finished and now this Christ is ascended to the right hand is earthly work having been done where he represents his people at the right hand of God and intercedes for them. According to the will of God. What can you say to all of what can you say to all of but give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness is is everlasting. We read in the epistles about what our salvation means we been delivered from sin its power, its penalty one day from the very presence we been delivered from Satan. We been delivered from death because Christ lives will live also. We been delivered from damnation and instead of damnation.

We have eternal blessedness. What can we say that except give thanks to the Lord for for his lovingkindness is everlasting.

He saves us when we are on the verge of destruction. Give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness is everlasting. I ask you, my friends, whether you know this God like that and if you do, whether you're giving thanks to him because his lovingkindness to you is everlasting that's done green wrapping up a message called give thanks to the Lord. You're on the truth pulpit will find if you missed any part of today's message or any of the messages in this series titled a Christ filled Thanksgiving.

You can access them anytime just by going to the truth. again that's the truth. now just before we bring our time today to a close. It was done with a special invitation, my friend, if you enjoy these broadcast. I am sure that you would enjoy the live stream of our church services from truth community church we meet Sunday morning at 9 AM Eastern time and Tuesday evening at 7 o'clock you'll find the live stream length prominently displayed at the top of our website.

The truth and you know if you do join us like that, drop us a note at the website to let us know. Even your brief note helps us know that our resources are reaching friends who want to grow in God's word.

Thank you and may Christ be with you. Thank you, Don, and friend. When you tune into the live service done just mention. Be sure to invite a friend to join you once again the web address is the truth. hi Bill, right will see you next time. For more from the truthful

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