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November 24, 2021 7:00 am
Whatever else is happening. No matter how I have stumbled I can trust in him because his lovingkindness is everlasting beautiful incident. This is a wonderful God to know we are greatly privileged to know this God and our Lord Jesus Christ hello and welcome to the truth pulpit with gone green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hi Bill, right today.
As we continue with the series titled of Christ filled Thanksgiving will see that although life circumstances can sometimes make it hard to trust God. We can know with absolute certainty that he will never fail us as we simply place our trust in his word and his everlasting faithfulness to have your Bible open and let's join our teacher right now for part one of his message titled give thanks to the Lord on the we have the privilege of turning to Psalm 118 and I invite you to turn their Psalm 118, the Psalm is precious to us because of what it tells us about our God. It honors God for his loyal love, the disciple of Christ the true St. understand something about the loyal love of God. God is not simply a lawgiver. God is the God of our salvation.
God is the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in loyal love to his people. He sent Christ into the world in order to be the propitiation for our sins. That is a God of great and loyal love what this song does is it recognizes that the national deliverances that Israel experienced were not something that was accomplished by man. It was something that God accomplished on their behalf. It's a great celebration of the loyal love of God and what I want to do this is kind of help you help you understand that this is the nature of the God that you know the God who is your Lord, if if you are in Christ. There is an aspect of this that I want to particularly bring out so I want to take you to first John chapter 4 just to give us a sense of how great the loyal love of God is from a New Testament perspective. In verse seven it says, beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God wanted is not love does not know God, for God is love. And in verse nine it it says this. By this, the love of God was manifested in us that God has sent his only begotten son into the world so that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins. This is only tangentially, admittedly only tangentially related to Psalm 118, standing alone, but it's very important for us as New Testament believers to to understand this when we talk about the love of God, the concept of the love of God in your mind should always be inextricably linked to the cross of Jesus Christ because it is at the cross of Christ, for God supremely manifested his love for sinners, where he supremely manifested his love for his people.
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life, and the fact that Jesus Christ was God himself that God himself took on human flesh, the God himself went to the cross, the God himself at the cross for the wrath of God against sinners, unworthy, undeserving, ungrateful sinners, Christ voluntarily laid down his life in order to be that substitutionary sacrifice for his people, shedding his own precious blood that his people might be saved. And when you think about that with any depth at all. You understand that that is the supreme statement of the love of God, and it is it it cannot be refuted, the God is a God of love when he loved sinners just like that and so when we go to Christ and we are conscious of our sins and and as it were in an inner mental understanding we see his bleeding hands in his bleeding wounds that that was the price of our salvation that that it was that the cross of Christ shed his precious blood that that is where our redemption was accomplished we see what it cost Christ in physical suffering even more.
We see what it what it cost him and in spiritual suffering is a more eternal wrath in his body and the perfection of who he is, whatever that was like he endured alienation from the father that he had always had perfect fellowship with so much so that he cries out my God my God why have you forsaken me. Beloved understand that there's a sense in which that's a cry of supreme love because it was a supreme sacrifice that he was suffering like that for you and me at the cross and I'm quite certain that we take that far too much for granted were far too familiar with that truth. If we can think about that and not be moved in our part as a response to it and understand that that it is at the cross, that the love of God has been manifested and in your times of sorrow in your times of suffering those times we where in your weakness. Your questioning God. This God really loves me and why is this happening why do I suffer so what's going to happen to men and all of your all of your thought processes start to sink down upon you and pull you down like quicksand. It's hard to get out of that is in it. When you start going into that. I know by direct personal experience. I'm prone to that I'm prone to that kind of discouragement. I have to battle it. I have to find it in the way that you overcome that is consistently going back to the cross again and again and again. If you have an angry, frustrated spirit. If you're discouraged about things in your life and your discontent with the province of God and in your life in your marriage and your family in your church or in your job or whatever it might be beloved.
You need to come back to the love of Christ is its expressed cross, you have forgotten if they if that is become the prevailing state of your mind, you have forgotten the source. The fountain of your salvation and how wonderfully saved you are and how wonderfully God has loved you in Christ, and we all need to repent of our ingratitude and our thankless notes and are grumbling, complaining spirits. We all need to repent of that in light of the cross. In light of the love of Christ.
Because if that's central to our thinking. The only thing that we can respond to it to that is to look at that and say give thanks to the Lord for he is good right that's where Psalm 118 takes us in this Old Testament sense and so we've got we got the cross of Christ echoing in our mind as we consider this great expression of gratitude. In Psalm 118 they were going to look at now this song, as I said honors the loyal love of God and we see that as the primary theme in the opening and closing verses. Look at verse one with me as we kind of do a helicopter view of the song before we land on the pad and go through it rather quickly. Psalm 118 verse one.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his loving kindness is everlasting and then the Psalm closes on exactly that same theme with the exact same words give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his loving kindness is everlasting and as in so many Psalms that structure that envelope structure or you could say that bookends structure and starts the book and on the left and ends at the book and on the right everything on the shelf of the library in between those two bookends is telling us why we should give thanks to the Lord. It's reinforcing that sense of gratitude that he wants to express and so this Psalm is the climax of the Egyptian Hollowell is honoring God for his everlasting loyal love and and we see textual clues for how these songs are linked together.
Psalm 117. The shortest Psalm and look at how it ends on in verse two it says for his loving kindness is great toward us and the truth of the Lord is everlasting.
Praise the Lord and then verse one picks up that theme of lovingkindness right away, and it's repeated multiple times through the first four verses, and that gives us a sense as we go through this text. There are going to be multiple instances of repetition of key terms that you find as you go through this song and this is the psalmist way of saying this is what I really want you to see. Look at the emphasis look at the repetition hear the echo of the terms resounding throughout the text and you have a sense of the reverberation that he wants to be going on in your heart and all of that like a like a good stimulating pacemaker stimulating your heart to beat and to beat not with physical blood but to be with spiritual gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord because he is so good to us.
So look for that repetition. As we go along.
I'll try to pointed out along the way there's another striking feature about this song and it is the use of God's name. The use of God's name. The name for God.
The proper name for God, Yahweh, which in most of your English taxes expressed in the capital letters L ORD Lord that's the Hebrew is the Hebrew term pronounce Yahweh that name for God occurs 28 times in these 29 verses that is the supreme repetition going on and that reinforces the theme of the of the nature of God, the lovingkindness of God because that name Yahweh tells us it's an indication that he is Israel's covenant keeping God. In other words, God keeps his promises.
In other words, God is faithful to his people.
In other words God does what he says and he can be counted upon to do what he says and to be faithful to his people. In the end God is always faithful his loving kindness which means his loyal love is everlasting and is faithful to keep his promises. And God brings this word to us here, not to condemn us but to encourage us to help us to strengthen us by calling to mind his own character in our believing hearts that we would rest in him, as he would want us to do as we would find the spiritual rest of his promise to us in Christ. So let's look first of all it at this first section, the first four verses of this we could call this section. It's a a call to worship for timeless love. It's a call to worship for God's timeless love and we will have a total of three points here in the first point is this. It's a call to worship for God's timeless love transcends it transcends time, it transcends circumstances, it is with us always. He is with us always, even to the end of the age.
So in verse one we see it again. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his loving kindness is everlasting.
All let Israel say his lovingkindness is everlasting.
O let the house of Aaron say his lovingkindness is everlasting. All let those who fear the Lord say his lovingkindness is everlasting. There's that repetition that I was pointing out to you from the start four times in the first four verses this theme is established for the rest of the song God's lovingkindness is everlasting to his people and that means that we are, we can believe that we can rest in it. We are to trust in it and he he sends the command out to the different aspects of the nation. We see a general call to Israel. We see a call to the priestly line of Aaron and we see an encompassing call to all of those who fear the Lord to remember this have this central fundamental fact and the cornerstone of your worldview. The lovingkindness of God is everlasting.
The lovingkindness of God is let everlasting O let truth community church say his lovingkindness is everlasting. That's the embracing sense in which this Psalm opens up to us. It's interesting to me and and just to see how how Scripture has come to us and how we have received from those and transmitted it to us over the course of the centuries look over and Psalm 115 verse nine see the same groups being called upon to trust in the Lord. Psalm 115 verse 90 Israel trust in the Lord. He is their help and their shield O house of Aaron trust in the Lord. He is their help and their shield, you who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord.
He is their help and their shield and so you see in one of the things I've tried to bring out as I've taught the Psalms. Over the years is is that we should not look at the Psalms individually but often their place together in context and the Psalms were compiled in a way by the compiler who is likely Ezra the scribe and compiled in a way to reinforce things as you're reading through the Psalter and and we see that here.
Psalm 115 Israel Aaron, you who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord. Well, there's an echo now in Psalm 118 Israel Aaron, you who fear the Lord's lovingkindness is everlasting. Watch this watch this because I think it's kind of cool. You take the Psalms together you take the message of the songs together and you see the call trust in the Lord, you who fear the Lord because his lovingkindness is everlasting. This statement of his everlasting loyal love is not simply an assertion of his attribute. This is meant to engender a responsive trust in your heart to inform your faith. This is like water being poured on a thirsty plant that shriveled up. Maybe it comes to you like that your heart is shriveled up in unbelief in in in doubt and in fear and intimidation and then falling into sin well let me just encourage you take God at his word.
This is God's word take him at his word. If you know Christ take him at his word and say whatever else is happening no matter how I have stumbled I can trust in him because his lovingkindness is everlasting. Beautiful isn't it. This is a wonderful God to know we are greatly privileged to know this God in our Lord Jesus Christ, and this has an effect even on the way that you pray, you know, I mean you don't have to do things just exactly like this, but there's there's a sense in which if you've been wrestling with an issue for a long time you seen the kindness of the Lord shone in your life but there's something that you been praying about repeatedly and repeatedly. There seemed nothing seems to change.
There seems to be no answer.
It's only getting worse. The sorrows only going deeper. The conflict remains unresolved. And you say, I've been praying about this and praying about this and nothing is changed. Words of Habakkuk the prophet I crowd you violence and you do not say well there is the sense in which beloved, when you take God at his word. Trust in the Lord for his lovingkindness is everlasting. There is a sense in which you can you can pray back his own character to him and say Lord Shirley Shirley your you haven't deceived me as I trusted in your promises.
Surely you haven't abandoned me here because your lovingkindness is everlasting.
So Lord while while you continue to delay in answering the circumstances continue to go unchanged, Lord. Surely this can't mean that you have abandoned me. Surely this cannot be a violation of your faithfulness.
That's utterly impossible so I'm going to renew my trust in you.
Even now, based solely on your word, not because there's anything in life, stimulate my trust right at this moment, the circumstances continue to disintegrate around me Lord but I rest in your word. I trust you and Shirley will honor that trust in the Shirley you will. You can't do anything else but that because that's who you are and you see how that starts to transform the way that you think the way that pray see how that gives you fresh courage and an impetus to move on and in trust the Lord and haven't you in the past were so quick to forget under the pressure of today were so quick to forget the 10,000 yesterdays that we have aren't you quick to forget the way that God is manifested is faithfulness to you in the past. Those of you that a walk with Christ, for any period of time. Don't you have a thousand battles of faith that God has one on your behalf.
Over the course if you would only stop and remember them and he is he is undefeated in your past battles. Isn't that true Lord is absolutely undefeated in your past trials. He is absolutely conquered in every one of them well beloved the trials that you're going through today are just another victory waiting to be accomplished by the hand of our great God on your behalf.
And so we live in light of the outcome that we know to be certain the outcome has to be a manifestation of the loyal love of God. If you are in Christ and God's word informs your response of faith your past history of walking with God informs your response of faith. Today the certainty of the outcome informs your response of faith today so we go back to the streams and we drink this fresh flowing, cool mountain water this pristine water that refreshes our hearts and we come back to it again and again to call to worship for timeless love and so God's word friends.
God's word is calling you to set aside whatever it is that you've been grumbling about whatever you've been fearful about set it aside and respond in worship for his timeless love. Look at the cross look at is faithfulness to you in the past. Look at his promises in a Psalm 115 says you who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord is your help and shield. Secondly, theirs is called a worship in the first four verses could say that the next lengthy section of the Psalm comes an act of worship for God's timely help and active worship for God's timely help. So there's been this general call to worship. It says his lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to him and now starting in verse five. The psalmist responds by giving thanks to the Lord in response to that call to worship that was issued at at the start. What follows is an extended section expressed in the first person now that goes from verse five through verse 21 were going to have to look at this quickly.
What I want you to notice is that starting in verse five the language changes from the third person. Well, the third person let Israel say house of Aaron say, but those who fear the Lord say third person, second person, give thanks you give thanks to the Lord for he is good, but now what we have starting in verse five. Is this extended section expressed in the first person he starts speaking in the first person singular and you see that right from the start in verse five. From my distress I called upon the Lord, the Lord answered me and set me in a large place. So what he's doing here is he's giving an account is expression of thanks is taking the form of an account of answered prayer that had occurred in the past, the Lord had delivered him from a tight place of stress and now he's in an open space of relief, and that experience from this answered prayer in the past. What's this, the experience of past answered prayer gives him lessons that apply as he looks to the future.
Verse five he looks to the past. He said I called on the Lord and he answered me past tense now beginning in verse six you see in pivoting to the future. The Lord is for me. I will not fear what can man do to me. Verse seven.
The Lord is for me.
Among those who help me. Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me, having responded to the call to worship, to give thanks. He says I give thanks for my past answered prayer. Now he says that has implications for the way that I look to the future how I live going forward. I understand something significant here. The Lord is with me. Therefore, I'm not afraid of what man might do to me. Look at verses eight and nine here. He says it is better to take refuge in the Lord Santa trust in man is better to take refuge in the Lord Santa trust in princes. So you see this theme of trust we saw in Psalm 115 being echoed here in Psalm 118 again. Trust in the Lord don't trust in what man can do for you. Indeed God's past faithfulness to hands our present trust and friend were so thankful that you spent this time studying God's precious words with this now.
Just before we end our time together. Done. One of the things you talk about today is trusting God to come through for us, even when the situation looks bleak and that's something many of us can relate to her, especially given the way things are going in our world today. What you say about that done my friend when it comes to these matters of the difficult things in life in our world or in our personal lives.
Let me just give you this encouraging thought.
As we close you and I as Christians we have to look beyond this world for answers. We look to the person and work of Jesus Christ. He has delivered us from sin and Satan at the cross and he will keep us both through the trials of this life and ultimately through the very valley of death itself.
We can rest in his power and love, come what may. And so if you're struggling today.
My friend, I encourage you to look up to Christ look up to that loving Savior who gave himself for you and know that you are in good hands hands that will keep you completely safe.
Thank you for that great insight done and friend. You could hear more of Don's teaching any time that the truth pulpit.com. While you're there.
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