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February 18, 2022 7:00 am
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. Once again, welcome you to the truth pulpit with nongreen founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio were done is teaching God's people.
God's work LOI bill right in the society where people hurl unfounded accusations like chicken feed in the 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 buy those work willing to believe anything and repeat anything today is Don continues in his series called, set apart for God will continue a look at how King David in the Old Testament reacted to those who were spreading vicious falsehoods about them.
If you want to know how God wants us to respond to lies and slander stay with us for today's message. Here's done now with slander gifts singing here on the truthful. We seen how the slander pray and how David prays in this and now we look at the protection of the slandered and we see first of all is a sub point here. The first sub point the protection of the slandered the first sub point is this is the 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 is bent his bow and made it ready is also prepared for himself deadly weapons. He makes his arrows fiery shafts.
These swords and the symmetry 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 is very effective and destructive manner of of warfare and David is ascribing that kind of power to God. God is a warrior for what 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 you know, and for all of this. It's good for us to step back into 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 it produces in our heart, look over the book of Proverbs chapter 1 Proverbs chapter 1 for the believing heart. We see a good thing here for 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 seven the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
Fools despise wisdom and instruction to look my friends when you understand what Scripture says about the character. The nature of the attributes of God. When you believe the Bible to be true when the spirit works that in your heart and you receive the word of God is truth and you understand something about what it reveals about the nature of God to you.
There can't be anything other than a a genuine response of a fear respect and reverence to who this God is this God is holy and he judges the wicked is God's holy and he judges sinners and every one of us is is a sinner before God. We've all fallen short of the glory of God.
Well if if God is holy and he judges the wicked and on found to be a sinner. What can that do the provoke fear in my heart and desire to receive his instruction desire to plead with him for mercy on my own sins desire to look to Christ by faith and to cry out, have mercy on me, the center God judges the wicked and the corollary of that is that wickedness second sub point here. Wickedness backfires wickedness backfires like a boomerang.
If I can use an RC figure here like a boomerang. Wickedness returns to the one who commits it. Look at verse 14, 15 and 16 which we looked at earlier. The first verse anyway says behold the travails with wickedness and he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood is dug a pit and hollowed out and is fallen into the hole which he is made.
David is looking at this somewhat prophetically and so sure to happen that he can express it as a past tense event, even though it hasn't taken place yet is so sure to occur that this wicked man is dug up ahead. 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 paid David pictures the wicked man there in verse 14, as though he were it was like a pregnant woman giving birth he travails with wickedness he so full of the evil that it has to come out. The baby has to come out of that of the mother's womb at the end of the nine months and the wickedness has to come out of this man and and a so full of it, that it can't be any other way but David says it's not going to succeed 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 there wicked acts are like that.
They throw it out in it and nothing occurs that you know there's no harm, there's no threat to them.
They keep doing it in the keep doing it in the keep doing it. But one day in a fearsome display of the righteous order of the universe that God 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 took a few years for the four came out and the boss was exposed as the one who was who was the wicked one, and my friend was vindicated and restored to the position of prominence that character of his life merited what you and I need to see someone slanders 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 your righteous God your loving, faithful God or a merciful God, you are good to your people. You are a shield and a protection to your people 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. This may go for a long time know God and I there may be great consequences old God to the slander the God here in the quietness before your throne here as I reflect on who you are and your righteousness in your care for me. I know that you will care for this. In the end you will protect me, you will help me in whatever comes in the interim, O God, I trust you for that final outcome you will vindicate me and then repented.
Wickedness will eventually return to the head of the evildoer. Often we see that work out in this life certainly will 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, and 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 law-in the body of Christ. There are there are some things that I know I need to emphasize at this point to help you. For some, maybe two caution you to rebuke you a little bit maybe from from God's word because it's in the it's the nature of things and live the life of the body of Christ that all kinds of relationships are taking place in his elders.
We see how these interactions take place.
We see a lot of 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 or 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 in 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 gives an answer before he hears 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 the and in spiritual leadership. 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. It is especially imperative for men in spiritual leadership or who aspire to it to pay attention and to and to drink deeply from the well of Proverbs 18 verse 17 the first to plead his case seems just right until another calms and examines them.
You know, if you're only hearing one side of the story you need to understand that you are vulnerable to misjudging the situation, 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 in Scripture warns us against that and there is no excuse for us is no excuse for me. There's no excuse for you to judge a situation or to judge someone that you have not talked to the you have not addressed.
If you're so concerned about the situation you have 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. So when someone comes with a bad report about someone else. We need to step back said you know what that may be true, but I need to at least reserve judgment here because I entered 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 responsibility for man and it's very easy for people to sound really convincing.
But in less you know the other side, you're in no position to judge it and we need to we need to protect each other. In this way. Sometimes the slander happens really close to home doesn't come from people that you love in Matthew chapter 10 verse 34.
I want you to turn their he said do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. Fry came to set a man against his father and 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. 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 they that the pain of that is immeasurable. It it I understand that that for those of you that are in it, it causes you to lose sleep at night that that loss of sleep is not an indication of the failure to trust God.
It's an indication of how much you love the offending party and and it's just so hard to reconcile in your mind and you long for 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 with a comment with with with having realistic expectations that there are afflictions and sometimes Christ tells us the afflictions will come within the walls of our own home about you. I find that helpful and comforting. The Lord told us to expect that the Lord saw this coming. He he told me prepared me in advance so much so, so much so that he says a faithful disciple of mine will find this to be true in times while in so 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 while he goes on to say in verse 37 and he makes promises he makes a warning and the promises he says these things he says he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me and he loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me and he does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Verse 39 but he was found his life will lose it, and he was lost his life for my sake will find it. Christ tells us says you you give it 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. And yes, 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. 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 of opposition from your own household your own family. I just want to encourage you with this word from the Lord that he's anticipated, and he promises to bless us in the end the bigger picture. The broader picture. We take comfort in the fact that the Lord knows the way of the righteous.
Psalm 16 Lord knows the truth about the situations we can rest in that Lord you know that's enough for me. Where does that leave us well go back to Psalm seven now and we see this third and final point, the praise of the slandered the praise we seen the prayer of the slandered the protection of the slandered now. Finally the praise of the slandered Psalm seven verse 17 David Ken saying, because God protects the innocent God protects his people.
Even though we are sinful in ourselves. Christ 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 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 cattle that's been brought to full boil.
There's all of this internal action. This internal pressure that's taken place as we contemplated the attributes of God and we see the moral order of the universe, 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 it is so far beyond our ability to orchestrate so far beyond our comprehension.
Step back we take a deep breath. 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 rain 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 couple of closing thoughts here. Time always goes so so fast beloved Scripture comforts us, tells us and encourages us that that the 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 first Peter our Lord himself, the Lord 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 first Peter chapter 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.
With 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, the captain, trusting himself to him who judges righteously, there is the New Testament pattern of what was seen in Psalm seven and the overlaying for New Testament believers to be able to look back on the remarkable thing is that is that as Christ did that as he hung on the cross, while men mocked him and slandered him blasphemous lady 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, so what do we do when were 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 sing his praises that's done green with a powerful close to today's lesson from God's word. If you 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 the true pulpit.com again that's the truth. Pulpit.com that's all the time we have for today by Bill Wright, inviting you to join us again next time. As Don continues teaching God's people. God's word here on the