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Slandered Yet Singing #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
February 18, 2022 7:00 am

Slandered Yet Singing #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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February 18, 2022 7:00 am

In a society where people hurl unfounded accusations like chicken feed in a henhouse. Especially when those slanderous seeds are tossed in your direction, only to be gobbled up by those who are willing to believe anything and repeat anything, today, as Pastor Don Green continues in a series called -set apart for God,- he'll continue with his look at how King David in the Old Testament reacted to those who were spreading vicious falsehoods about him. Stay with us if you want to know how God wants us to respond to lies and slander.--thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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We once again welcome you to the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Don is teaching God's people God's Word.

Hello, I'm Bill Wright. In a society where people hurl unfounded accusations like chicken feed in a henhouse, it's not always easy to keep your cool, especially when those slanderous seeds are tossed in your direction, only to be gobbled up, if you will, by those who are willing to believe anything and repeat anything. Today, as Don continues in his series called Set Apart for God, he'll continue a look at how King David in the Old Testament reacted to those who were spreading vicious falsehoods about him. If you want to know how God wants us to respond to lies and slander, stay with us for today's message.

Here's Don now with Slandered Yet Singing, here on the Truth Pulpit. We've seen how the Slandered pray and how David prays in this, and now we look at the protection of the Slandered. And we see, first of all, as a subpoint here, the first subpoint, the protection of the Slandered. The first subpoint is this, is that God judges the wicked. God judges the wicked.

Verse 12, look at it with me. He says, if a man does not repent, he will sharpen his sword. He has bent his bow and made it ready. He has also prepared for himself deadly weapons. He makes his arrows fiery shafts. These swords and this imagery of weapons are expressing the inevitability of the judgment of God. In the warfare of ancient times, arrows were dipped in oil, set on fire, and then they were shot against the enemy.

It was a very effective and destructive manner of warfare. And David is ascribing that kind of power to God. God is a warrior for righteousness. He will fight for truth. He will fight for integrity. He will fight and defend his people, and that means that he will judge the wicked who rise up against his people.

He is a God of righteousness, and that's a fearsome thing. And for all of us, it's good for us to step back and to just see the holiness of God on display in this manner, and to remember something very essential about the nature of God and the response that it produces in our heart. Look over at the book of Proverbs chapter 1. Proverbs chapter 1.

For the believing heart, we see a good thing here. For the unbelieving heart and the unteachable heart, we see words of warning in Scripture that are directed against these kinds of situations. Proverbs chapter 1, verse 7. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.

Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Now look, my friends, when you understand what Scripture says about the character, the nature, the attributes of God, when you believe the Bible to be true, when the Spirit works that into your heart, and you receive the word of God as truth, and you understand something about what it reveals about the nature of God to you, there can't be anything other than a genuine response of fear, respect, and reverence to who this God is. This God is holy, and he judges the wicked. This God is holy, and he judges sinners. And every one of us is a sinner before God. We've all fallen short of the glory of God. Well, if God is holy, and he judges the wicked, and I'm found to be a sinner, what can that do but provoke fear in my heart?

And a desire to receive his instruction, a desire to plead with him for mercy on my own sins, a desire to look to Christ by faith and to cry out, have mercy on me, the sinner. God judges the wicked, and a corollary of that is that wickedness, second subpoint here, wickedness backfires. Wickedness backfires.

Like a boomerang, if I can use an Aussie figure here, like a boomerang, wickedness returns to the one who commits it. Look at verse 14, 15, and 16, which we had looked at earlier, the first verse anyway. It says, Behold, he travails with wickedness, and he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood. He has dug a pit and hollowed it out and has fallen into the hole which he has made. David is looking at this somewhat prophetically.

It's so sure to happen that he can express it as a past tense event, even though it hasn't taken place yet. It's so sure to occur that this wicked man has dug a pit, he himself is going to fall into it. Verse 16, his mischief will return upon his own head, and his violence will descend upon his own fate. David pictures the wicked man there in verse 14 as though it was like a pregnant woman giving birth. He travails with wickedness. He's so full of evil that it has to come out. The baby has to come out of the mother's womb at the end of the nine months, and the wickedness has to come out of this man, and he's so full of it that it can't be any other way, but David says it's not going to succeed.

A man digs a pit, then falls into it to his own destruction. The whole point here is that that which the wicked man meant to harm someone else comes back to harm him. What David is talking about here is that the wicked may not realize it at the time, but their wicked acts are like that.

They throw it out, and nothing occurs, there's no harm, there's no threat to them, and they keep doing it, and they keep doing it, and they keep doing it. But one day, in a fearsome display of the righteous order of the universe that God has established, one day, in the providence of God, that wickedness is going to come back on their own head with great power, and there's not going to be any avoiding or escaping it, and it's a frightful picture. And beloved, that's what slander is like. Sooner or later, it returns to the head of the evil doer.

I know a man who lost his job many years ago, lost his job to the lies and slanders of his boss, and, you know, it took a few years before it came out, and the boss was exposed as the one who was the wicked one, and my friend was vindicated and restored to the position of prominence that character of his life merited. And what you and I need to see is that when slander is coming to us, you and I, we don't need to see the outcome before we trust God. It's enough for us to know who God is and what he is like and to rest in that. God, you're a righteous God, you're a loving, faithful God, you're a merciful God, you are good to your people, you are a shield and a protection to your people. And so I understand in the midst of this, Lord, that even though this is happening now and I don't see the outcome of it, and I may be humbled more before this finds any resolution, and this may go for a long time, O God, and there may be great consequences, O God, to this slander, but God, here in the quietness before your throne, here as I reflect on who you are and your righteousness and your care for me, I know that you will care for this in the end. You will protect me.

You will help me. And whatever comes in the interim, O God, I trust you for that final outcome. You will vindicate me, and unrepented wickedness will eventually return to the head of the evildoer. Often we see that work out in this life. Certainly we'll see it work out in final judgment in the end.

And so the outcome of this problem is assured. And as a result of that, David can sing with faith, as we'll see in the final verse in just a moment. I thought it might be helpful to go on a little bit of a, take a scenic view here before we get to verse 17, and to just work out some practical implications, some practical thoughts for our personal lives and for our life in the body of Christ.

There are some things that I know I need to emphasize at this point. To help you for some, maybe to caution you, rebuke you a little bit, maybe, from God's Word. Because it's the nature of things in the life of the body of Christ that all kinds of relationships are taking place, and as elders we see how these interactions take place, and we see a lot of different things happening all at once. I want to remind you and ask you to turn back to Proverbs, Proverbs chapter 18.

This is remarkably, remarkably important for us individually and as a church. When someone comes to you with a bad report or a bad word about someone else, maybe you're hearing it for the first time, maybe it's the repeated refrain of someone speaking about someone else, a family member, a spouse, whatever the case may be, you need to stop, my friends. You need to stop and pay attention to what's going on and what your position is as that's being said. Possibly the person is telling you the truth.

Possibly they're not, whether intentionally or unintentionally. But you and I need to, we need to honor God and His Word, and we need to honor our relationships with one another by keeping a couple of very simple verses from Proverbs 18 in mind. First of all, Proverbs 18 verse 13 says, He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him. In other words, don't be too quick to judge a situation based on one report from one person that you've heard.

Not only is that bad, it's folly that you are doing by doing that. Verse 17, and you know, in spiritual leadership, and I know that we have men that aspire for spiritual leadership, I'm grateful for that. We have a lot of good men in our church.

And I just want to say to you that it is especially imperative for men in spiritual leadership, or who aspire to it, to pay attention and to drink deeply from the well of Proverbs 18 verse 17. The first to plead his case seems right until another comes and examines him. You know, if you're only hearing one side of the story, you need to understand that you are vulnerable to misjudging the situation.

And so you must, you need to honor God and to obey Him in your own right. You need to be careful about how you respond when you're hearing the first report and you haven't heard the other side. Because it may be that someone else has something to say to you that would completely reverse and change your perspective on the matter. And Scripture warns us against that, and there is no excuse for us.

There's no excuse for me. There's no excuse for you to judge a situation or to judge someone that you have not talked to, that you have not addressed. If you're so concerned about the situation and you haven't even talked to the other person involved in it, there's no excuse for that of drawing conclusions without having at least the benefit of the other side of the story. This is very, very critical, and it's a very serious issue when that principle is violated. And so when someone comes with a bad report about someone else, we need to step back, say, you know what, that may be true, but I need to at least reserve judgment here because I haven't heard the other side of the story. I don't know what the other person might say about that.

That's a responsibility before God, not simply a responsibility before man. And it's very easy for people to sound really convincing, but unless you know the other side, you're in no position to judge it, and we need to protect each other in this way. Sometimes the slander happens really close to home, doesn't it?

It comes from people that you love. In Matthew 10, verse 34, I want you to turn there. He said, Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth.

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. And so Jesus tells us to expect the fact that in following him in righteousness, there will be times where there will be opposition under our own roof, and the pain of that is immeasurable. I understand that for those of you that are in it, it causes you to lose sleep at night, and that loss of sleep is not an indication of a failure to trust God.

It's an indication of how much you love the offending party, and it's just so hard to reconcile in your mind, and you long for it to be different, and yet the situation just prolongs day after day. Some of you know about that, don't you? Well, we see here in the words of Christ, and I opened this with a comment with having realistic expectations that there are afflictions, and sometimes Christ tells us the afflictions will come within the walls of our own home.

I don't know about you, I find that helpful and comforting. Ah, the Lord told us to expect that. The Lord saw this coming.

He told me, he prepared me in advance. So much so, so much so that he says, a faithful disciple of mine will find this to be true at times. Wow. And so the conflict is not necessarily, Lord, an indication that I've done something wrong? That's right. There are spiritual forces at work here, and we should not expect a life of unbroken peace even within our own home.

Wow. And he goes on to say in verse 37, and he makes promises, he makes a warning and a promise as he says these things. He says, He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.

Verse 39, But he who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for my sake will find it. Christ tells us, says, You've given all to follow me. He has us protected.

He has us covered. He will bless us for that. We do not believe in the Lord in vain. The one who believes in him will not be disappointed.

There may be disappointments in life along the way, even seriously provoking ones. But in the end, the faithfulness of Christ will prevail over it, and we will find that he blesses us in the end. And so I'm grateful to those of you that have been faithful to Christ in the midst of opposition from your own household, your own family. And I just want to encourage you with this word from the Lord that he's anticipated it, and he promises to bless us in the end. In the bigger picture, the broader picture, we take comfort in the fact that the Lord knows the way of the righteous. Psalm 1.6, The Lord knows the truth about the situations, and we can rest in that.

Lord, you know that's enough for me. And where does that leave us? Well, go back to Psalm 7 now, and we see this third and final point, the praise of the slandered. We've seen the prayer of the slandered, the protection of the slandered, and now finally the praise of the slandered. Psalm 7, verse 17, David can sing because God protects the innocent.

God protects his people. Even though we are sinful in ourselves, Christ's blood cleanses us, God forgives us, and he protects us. And where does that leave our heart at the end of the day? In the midst of all of these things of which we've discussed. Verse 17, I will give thanks to the Lord according to his righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

You know, it's like a kettle that's been brought to full boil. There's all of this internal action, this internal pressure that's taken place as we've contemplated the attributes of God, and we see the moral order of the universe, and we place ourselves in it, and we entrust ourselves to a holy God, and know what he does with the wicked, and all of this that is so far beyond our ability to orchestrate, so far beyond our comprehension, we step back, we take a deep breath, and we say, all of the certainties of these things bring me to a point where I can give thanks to the Lord, and praise him, and honor him. God has a universal reign, and he will remove evil in the end, and David's temptations to despair are transformed into a present reality of hope. And so David, though he is slandered in real time as this psalm is being written, he sings.

He rejoices. What can we take away from all of this? Well, just a couple of closing thoughts here.

Time always goes so, so fast. Beloved, Scripture comforts us, tells us, and encourages us that God's people may be harmed genuinely by the slander of men. It shows us that rather than to retaliate, we can go humbly to the Lord and find our rest in him. We can find the best outcome by trusting the Lord. We can only find peace by trusting him in the midst of it. And isn't that what our Lord did?

Go back to 1 Peter. Our Lord himself, our Lord Jesus Christ himself, walked this path. The Lord himself, the righteous one, who had no sins of his own.

So anything that spoke badly about him was by definition false. We find that Christ has gone before us in this. 1 Peter 2, verse 21, For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in his steps. Christ, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth.

Look at this. The eternal Son of God. Jesus Christ himself.

What happened to him? Verse 23, and how did he respond? While being reviled, he did not revile in return. While suffering, he uttered no threats, but kept entrusting himself to him who judges righteously. There's a New Testament pattern of what we've seen in Psalm 7. And the remarkable thing for New Testament believers to be able to look back on, the remarkable thing is that as Christ did that, as he hung on the cross while men mocked him and slandered him blasphemously, is to recognize that our very redemption arose from the crucible of such slander. Verse 24, He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. For by his wounds you were healed.

Chapter 3, verse 18, Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God. God knows how to turn even slander to good. And so what do we do when we're on the receiving end of it?

Simple. We remember his sovereign righteousness, and we ask him to help us. And while we wait for his help to come, we sing his praises. That's Don Green with a powerful close to today's lesson from God's Word. And if you've been blessed by today's teaching, please share this message titled Slandered Yet Singing with a Friend or Loved One. The good news that Don brings us every day is just too good to keep to ourselves. And you can find out all about this ministry by going to thetruthpulpit.com. Again, that's thetruthpulpit.com. Well, that's all the time we have for today. I'm Bill Wright inviting you to join us again next time as Don continues teaching God's people God's Word here on The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-03 10:11:24 / 2023-06-03 10:20:02 / 9

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