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Listen and Repent (Through the Psalms) Psalm 81

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
July 23, 2022 8:00 am

Listen and Repent (Through the Psalms) Psalm 81

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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July 23, 2022 8:00 am

Welcome to Through the Psalms, a weekend ministry of The Truth Pulpit. Over time, we will study all 150 psalms with Pastor Don Green from Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. We're glad you're with us. Let's open to the Psalms now as we join our teacher in The Truth Pulpit.--thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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Welcome to through the songs we give ministry of the truthful teaching God's people.

God's word over time will study all 150 Psalms with pastor Don Greene from truth community church in Cincinnati, Ohio were so glad you're with us. Let's open to the Psalms right now as we join our teacher in the truthful open, glad that you're all here with us this evening as we finally return to our series in the Psalms and were up to Psalm 81. For those of you that are visiting with us. We've done the first 80 Psalms over the past three years or so as we go on in and out, and now we come to Psalm 81 and I've titled tonight's message listen and repent and the speaker of that command in Psalm 81 is God himself, calling his people to listen to him and to repent and follow him and I am very grateful to the Lord for the opportunity we've had to do what were doing in the Psalms.

As I've said and just maybe by way of reminder as we get back into them. We tend to think of the song says devotional writings and we go without expectation. But what you find when you go through the Psalm systematically is is that there is a fraud and a very broad range of of topics in settings and different things that are there to being set forth. It is truly a comprehensive hymnbook that deals with the vast array of things that come up in the spiritual life and and that came up in the life of Israel when they were the Old Testament nation and as we come to Psalm 81, having just gone through Psalm 79 and 80. Now that may sound like kind of a funny thing to do as though it weren't a statement of mathematics will of course you just did 79 and 80 you, you silly guy.

That's what comes before Psalm 81 and there's a measure of truth to that, I guess, but in the course of the development of the Psalter in the way that they were put together. There's a significance to that Psalm 79 and Psalm 80 had been prayers that were made in times of national distress, and I want to just show you this ever so briefly look at Psalm 79 verse one in Psalm 79 verse one it says, oh God, the nations have invaded your inheritance. They have defiled your holy temple.

They have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

It was a time of crisis and they were looking to God for help. Verse nine. Help us, O God of our salvation for the glory of your name and deliver us and forgive our sins for your namesake were in a crisis hero God deliver us, help us and that was the prayer the lament of Psalm 79 and in like manner in Psalm 80 it's a prayer for restoration no verse three of Psalm 80 just kind of picking up somewhat at random. Oh God restore us after he had just prayed in verse to stir up your power and come to save us. So God restore us because your face to shine upon us and we will be saved. Verse 40 Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with the prayer of your people, and so the point here first 70 not. Psalm 79 and Psalm 80 is that the there are these laments these are these these prayers for deliverance that that mark those two Psalms that we covered when we were with them a couple of months ago when now as you come to Psalm 81 Psalm 81 and the structure of the Psalter is functioning as God's response to those prayers.

The people of calm were in a desperate situation. God, what do we do.

God help us.

Now in Psalm 81 you get God's response and I want to read the song in its entirety. Now before we go in and unpack it a little bit verse by verse. As we like to do will deal with the entire Psalm in a single message here, so picking it up in the inscription for the choir director on the get to a Psalm of Asaph and then in verse one sing for joy to God our strength shout joyfully to the God of Jacob raise a song strike the timbrel. The sweet sounding liar with the heart blow the trumpet at the new moon at the full moon on our feast day for it is a statute for Israel and ordinance of the God of Jacob. He established it for a testimony in Joseph when he went throughout the land of Egypt, I heard a language that I did not know I relieved his shoulder of the bird in his hands were freed from the basket you called in trouble and I rescued you. I answered you in the hiding place of thunder. I proved you at the waters of Miramar Salah here are all my people and I will admonish you, O Israel, if you would listen to me.

Let there be no strange God among you, nor shall you worship any foreign God I the Lord am your God who brought you up from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it but my people did not listen to my voice and Israel did not obey me, so I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart to walk in their own devices. O that my people would listen to me that Israel would walk in my ways, I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their adversaries.

Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to him in their time of punishment would be forever, but I would feed you with the finest of the wheat and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you. And so, with the context that we established from Psalm 79 in verse 80 you have God responding to his people, and God bringing to their mind what he would have them do in their time of distress and we are accustomed, and I tend interact with people from this general perspective, we tend to be very sympathetic with people in their trials and we want to weep with those who wait the Scripture say and it's it's good for us to do that and to interact with people from that sympathetic, loving perspective that what we find in Psalm 81 is that there comes a time where the people of God need to simply come forward and believe what God has said to listen to him to repent of their sins and to take a proper attitude of joy and submission before him because he is our great God and the fact that he is God and that he is holy, and the Christ has come and redeemed us is enough for us to live life from a position of strength of confidence and with a sense of of deep-seated joy, even if the waters are swirling around us and threatening us with harm, so that's kind of the perspective that were going to see as we go through the song. Now in verse three. If you look at it. Verse three is kind of an interpretive key for the whole for the whole song for us and it shows us that this song was to be read at one of Israel's feasts. Verse three blow the trumpet at the new moon at the full moon on our feast day, and as you know there were there were national festivals national feasts that Israel celebrated this Psalm is probably written in conjunction with what's known as their feast of Tabernacles or the feast of booths same same event. It was a week long festival, which began on the 15th day of their seventh month and that corresponds to fall in our calendar and the purpose of this feast and this background is important for understanding the overall message of Psalm 81. That's what were spending time on it. This feast, the feast of Tabernacles commemorated how the Jews lived in booths after God had delivered them from Egypt. As they were going through a say before they entered the promised land. After they had left Egypt they they lived in temporary dwelling places as they move from place to place and the feast of Tabernacles was instituted by God to help them remember as a nation that aspect of their national history. And it would be at an exponential version of our consideration in celebration of July 4.

If you want to think about it that way. July 4 I say that you immediately think Independence Day in the founding of our country and has an immediate meaning to you. Well that is the nature of what God established that Israel would remember the things that he had done it for them in the past. Go back to the book of Leviticus. If you will, and we will just see this ever so briefly, this is background for Psalm 81 Leviticus chapter 23 verse 39.

This was one of the holy convocations that God established for his people. After he delivered them from Egypt.

Verse 39 it says on exactly the 15th day of the seventh month when you've gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days with a rest on the first day and arrest on the eighth day now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and bowels of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, for seven days you shall thus celebrated as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year, it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations you shall celebrate it in the seventh month you shall live in booths for seven days. All the native born in Israel shall live in booths so that here's the purpose of all of this so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God now beloved.

This is really really important. This is just very very critical.

You remember, don't you, that the children of Israel when slavery in the land of Egypt for a very long time. God raised up Moses and by the signs and wonders that he did at the hands of Moses and the plagues the 10 plagues. They brought on Egypt, he supernaturally delivered his people from that slavery and that bondage in a foreign land and transplanted them and move them out of Egypt with the attention and eventually to bring them into the promised land that so that they could be a nation set apart for him they did not have the power to deliver themselves from Egypt.

They lived in slavery for some 400 years there and it was an oppressive difficult time for the people of God.

And it's so important for us to remember that God delivered them from Egypt. God did something in their midst that he wanted them to remember over the course of time over the course of the net of their national existence. And so this feast was designed to preserve their memory of how God had delivered them from Egypt. So, during the feast of booths they lived in tents that they made from the branches of native trees all designed to impress this on their memory to remind them of how they as a nation.

Their forefathers had lived in the wilderness. He reminded them of a mighty deliverance and it reminded them of God's care for them in the wilderness. This was a festival of rejoicing. This was a time of remembrance to remind everyone we have a God he is the real God and he is a powerful God and he loves us as a people and he is shown that in time and space in our history when he delivered us out of a miserable existence in Egypt and so every year they would celebrate this feast of booze and would have that repeated in their memory again and again and again so that it was imprinted on their national consciousness that they would remember these things, God gave them a teaching tool, a teaching device that was designed to imprint those things on their mind so that they would never forget. Now that context supplies or background for Psalm 81 and will refer back to it as we go along. Now let me just say something, there's a three-part outline that I'm going to follow here this evening and there's a little funny story behind it that I doubt anyone would ever come across. But just in case they did and also it's just a funny little thing. I prepared this three point outline based on some some of the study that I had done and I went about basically finished my notes and then I have this is really funny. Then I pulled Steve Lawson's commentary off of myself. I like to see what Dr. Lawson has to say about the passages in the Psalms from time to time and just I found that his outline was exactly the same as mine, which gives me a sense. Maybe I got it right. If Steve Lawson thinks it's good. Maybe I got something right but it's just interesting and it's there something affirming and saying that you develop an outline and then you find that somebody else and independently come up with the same outline as well and so that's just a little bit of interesting history on my exposition of Psalm 81 that no one else cares about me, but there you go. This Psalm is a call from God on his people, and it is a three-part call that he makes on them in the midst of their time of distress and as I like to do.

I'd like to just say a little bit of a pastoral word as we go to this. Those of you that are that are in the midst of some dark times some difficult times. I know we all go through those sooner or later, but I would encourage you to let the word of God speak to your heart and to call you to higher spiritual ground. It's not always the best thing for us to do to simply commiserate with each other in our in our difficulty in our sorrow and just walk out from the conversation walk out from our fellowship in the same place that we were but say well lease. My friend sympathized with me okay there's a place for that. I've said that I don't need to repeat it here, but there is a time for us to step back and remember who our God is and to remember who Christ is and that there is a spiritual response that should take place in the hearts of his people as we remember who God is and what he has done for us, there comes a time where it's time to stop complaining, there comes a time where we stopped simply always asking for deliverance and we recognize who God is and we respond to him rightly and we respond to him for the sake of who he is. God is God. Christ is Lord Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ has ascended Christ is coming back and for the people of God for true Christians who have been born again by the Spirit of God that should evoke a spiritual response that takes us out of the leads us out of our self-pity that leads us out of our fear and in our hearts we respond to God simply for who he is and who he is, calls forth a response from his people. Serena look at this from three different aspects. First of all I were going to see a call to rejoice. A call to rejoice.

Philippians chapter 4 says rejoice in the Lord always again I will say, rejoice and this responsive joy is not simply an emotional reaction to favorable circumstances.

A sense of satisfaction because life is going the way that we want to beloved, we need to we need to realize we need to come to grips with. We need to grow spiritually and say say there is a responsibility that I have two to live in joy simply because of who Christ is simply because of who God is.

Rejoice in the Lord always and as we remember that there is a responsive joy that is the appropriate and even commanded response of the people of God to their God, and it's a lot easier to preach this from a pulpit, rather than to try to have this in a private conversation with people that are people who are in difficult circumstances. It's easier and it's better for you to hear this for yourself and to apply it to your own heart and to let that be your own response to the word of God here tonight. Now after their laments and Psalm 79 and 80 the people of God needed to get back to the basics they needed to get back to the basics. Look at verse one.

Sing for joy to God our strength shout joyfully to the God of Jacob raise a song strike the timbrel.

The sweet sounding liar with the heart and then in verse three. Blow the trumpet at the new moon beloved.

There are five imperatives in those opening three verses saying shout rays strike and blow and all of this is calling for a musical joyful response to the reality of who God is.

God is the God of omnipotent strength. He is the night present omniscient Lord who is sovereign over all things. He is the God who has shown love to his people.

He is the God of loyal loyal love of faithfulness to his people and that transcends our individual circumstances that transcends national life for the people of God for us living in America today. The greatness of God in the goodness of God transcends our circumstances in such a way and with such certainty and with such power that it is always the right and appropriate response for us to offer up joy to him from our hearts that says God I find my satisfaction and you alone. I rejoice that you are who you are. The fact that you are God and that you rule over the universe, and you rule over my life gives me occasion to sing to respond to you with joy to shout it out to bring music to bear on the nature of my responsive worship and the mere fact that God is who he is, is enough for us to rejoice and we need to have that clear in our minds. Think about it couldn't be any other way. Beloved it really couldn't. We do not offer God conditional worship. We do not offer God worship that is conditioned on our circumstances, we worship God before he heals us.

We worship God before he delivers us from our financial distress. We worship God now because he is worthy of worship, independent of our circumstances, he is worthy of worship, independent of anything and we and the call of God. The call of Scripture on our hearts is that we would respond to him in that way, and to love him even if nothing about our circumstances would otherwise command an attitude of joy and worship to him. Let's go to the passage that we've looked at multiple times turn to the minor prophets of the back of your Old Testament to the book of Habakkuk, or as our beloved friend Andrew Snelling would say Habakkuk, and other places in the world would say Habakkuk, but we in America say Habakkuk, I want you to look at the end of chapter 3 and Habakkuk as we contemplate this there is something challenging about this when you work your way all the way through. There's something immensely liberating about it as well.

In chapter 3 verse 16.

Habakkuk is responding to the vision that God has given to him that not only are things bad, but they are going to get worse because a foreign nation is going to invade his land and carry the people off into exile and God has prepared him for that statement through 2 1/2 chapters of Habakkuk, and now the book ends with Habakkuk's response of faith look at Habakkuk chapter 2 verse four says behold as for the proud one. His soul is not right within him, but the righteous will live by his faith. Now what does that faith look like what is Faith like when life is adverse to us. When circumstances are adverse when relationships are broken and were simply left with who God is and we have nothing else to go on. What then what does faith look like then Habakkuk says in chapter 3 verse 16 he says I heard in my inward parts trembled at the sound.

My lips quivered decay enters my bones in my place. I tremble because I must wait quietly for the day of distress for the people to arise who will invade us. Then he goes on and says in verse 17 though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail in the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls devastation, famine. When that comes God. This will be my response. Verse 18 yet I will exalt in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. Beloved, are you in the midst of have you been discouraged and despairing for very long period of time. I've been there.

What I want you to see is is that the simplicity of this statement is the answer to all of your despair. God is who God is. God reigns God loves his people, God is independent of time, God is independent of circumstances. He rules over all and it for us in this New Testament age.

We know him as the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one who loved us and gave himself up for us on the cross, one who who loved me and gave himself up for me first person singular.

Galatians chapter 2 verse 20 and what I want you to see even if it seems murky and cloudy to you right now what I want you to see is that this is the light shining in the darkness toward you and you move in this direction. Even if you don't quite have your hands in your mind around it all together just yet, the, the person of Christ. The reality of who God is, is sufficient to bring you joy even in the midst of circumstances that won't change. It is all that you need and it could be no other way.

We rejoice not in God plus something else we rejoice not in God plus healing. We don't rejoice in God plus financial windfall. We don't rejoice in God. Plus I got the relationships I want no no no, I will exalt in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation who he is and all of his great perfections is enough to satisfy my heart and that declaration is a declaration of faith that responsive joy is right and proper. Even when life is going downhill fast on the roller coaster. It is right. It is proper. It is good.

It is possible for us to have a settled joy simply because God is who he is, Christ is who he is. Christ reigns Christ has died, Christ is risen and that's enough. When we return that kind of joyful worship to God in the midst of things we are showing forth his glory. We are manifesting his inherent intrinsic worth. He takes away sometimes.

Everything from us in order to establish his sufficiency in our lives. In the long term. Once you seen that my friends suddenly you are gloriously liberated from the tyranny of your circumstances, you are liberated in principle with even if you're fighting the battle, sometimes along the way your liberated from the fear of the future. I've lost it all.

You say, and I found my sufficiency in Christ. I found joy in Christ even when there were no cattle in the stalls. That means that if I lose it again in the future is sufficiency's going to be just the same because he is immutable he is unchanging. He is God overall and that is enough to satisfy my heart and that beloved is all you need. That's all you need Christ and Christ alone is enough for the broken heart. I go back if you will to Psalm 81 that was an extended excursion on things but I say this gently.

I say it is an encouragement to you I say to beckon you to hire spiritual ground you will do your soul a favor if you hold yourself accountable to that kind of principle in your walk with Christ.

Rather than giving into the press of discouragement giving into the press of disappointing circumstances so why am I worried here why is my soul cast down.

Hope again and God turn to Psalm 42 you find this woven throughout all of Scripture in you, and you preach to yourself.

You come and you speak to yourself about biblical reality about spiritual reality as it is revealed in Scripture as God has made himself known as the one who loves your soul has made himself known to you and you you start to reason within your heart, you start to speak to yourself in this way.

Psalm 42 verse five. Why are you in despair over my soul and why have you become disturbed within me. Hope in God. For I shall again praise him for the help of his presence.

The course is repeated in verse 11. Why are you in despair of my soul. Why have you become disturbed within me. Hope in God. For I shall yet praise him the help of my countenance, and my God, and again in Psalm 43 verse five. Why are you in the spirit of my soul. And why are you disturbed within me. Hope in God. For I shall again praise him the help of my countenance, and my God. The biblical pattern in times of discouragement is for you to speak truth to your troubled heart, rather than letting your troubled heart manager mind and your emotions and drive you places where you don't need to go and you speak truth to your heart. Why are you discouraged, why are you in despair. Why should I be discouraged when Christ is my Lord and Christ is my champion. If you're a believer in Christ. Your heart will respond to that it will conform to the truth, it will submit to the truth that you bring to bear upon it. You have a responsibility to stir that responsive faith up in your own life, your pastor, your husband, your wife, your children can't do it for you have to do it yourself and this is the way that we exercise our faith. And so here in going back to Psalm 81 now we find God calling them to rejoice and we see that this is a pattern elsewhere in Scripture. And so the psalmist here in Psalm 81 is called Israel has called the whole nation to sing to the Lord, who is their strength and how does that fit in with the context of the national amounts in all of that. Well, the answer to their lament was to respond in obedient joy to exercise faith and to rejoice.

Accordingly, in their weakness to look to the strength of their God, and let his strength be the answer to their weakness just like just lie in Egypt. His strength was the answer to their weakness and slavery. They've already been through this nationally.

This is been proven in the course of their national existence. God's strength is the answer to our weakness. God's joy in our responsive faithful joy is the answer to our discouragement and so he is stirring them up to an obedient internal response in the midst of their difficulty sing for joy shall joyfully raise a song blow the trumpet verse four for it is a statute for Israel and ordinance of the God of Jacob. You know, one other place that I want to take you to and Lord knows that I'm retracing some of my own spiritual footsteps and some of these things that I'm saying in places where I fell short so many times because I either didn't do this or didn't know at the time that this was what it was supposed to be like in the book of Job, chapter 1 verse 20 Job chapter 1 verse 20. You know the story you know the devastation he lost it all. He lost his family suffers wife and later on he probably kinda wish he lost her to but at this point he had just heard that he lost his sons and daughters. He had lost his wealth he lost his flocks.

It was all gone and what did Joe do in chapter 1 verse 20, Job arose and tore his robe, and shaved his head in expression of humility and expression of submission and he fell to the ground and worshiped.

And he said naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked. I shall return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God the responsive joy the responsive worship is response of dependence of submission of recognition of the Lord's sovereignty and even in the midst of our adversity and say Lord, just as you brought me prosperity in the in the past. Now you've brought adversity. My circumstances have changed but you haven't, and therefore I give you the same responsive joy full, dependent, faithful faith informed worship and read in this time of adversity that I gladly gave to you and prosperity I give you equal worship.

Whatever the spectrum may be, and there's a point where sooner or later, only only the real Christians. Only the true Christians can do that.

And so if your adversity has been severe, take it as a spiritual opportunity in which you say you know what I'm going to do here what anybody else is going to do what I'm going to do some little rise to the occasion. I am going to ascribe to God with joy the worship, the faith, the trust of which he is preeminently worthy and yeah I realize I'm saying that in cut to people in the context of a lot of trouble. It's not my place. It's not my desire to shave down the biblical call in a misplaced effort at sympathy. This is the call of God on us. This is how we respond to adversity and he is worthy of it, think about a beloved isn't it true whatever our adversity may be, as we try to live for Christ in this fallen world. Think about it from this perspective, isn't it true, isn't it undeniable that Christ underwent a far greater adversity on our behalf at the cross when he bore the punishment he bore the wrath of God that was designated so to speak. For our sins of which are sins were deserving Christ went through a greater adversity and agony at Gethsemane and at the cross than we will ever go through and he didn't deserve it. Sometimes were just dealing with the consequences of our own sin and the level of adversity.

The God brings to us never measures up to the adversity that Christ suffered on our behalf, and he gladly bore the cross. Can we not in response. Go through some adversity go through some sorrow go through some loss and still worship him after what he is done for us in providing and securing our full salvation isn't that just right. It's just the right thing to do isn't that's the way we should respond to Christ, and we do well to remember that we are tempted in our adversity to lose sight of all of that to let our circumstances blind us to the greater reality of who our God is well part of the reason we gathered together around God's word is to stir ourselves up by way of reminder of these things as we look to what Scripture says now the feast day for Israel reminded them of how God provided in the past we've already covered that verse four statute for Israel and ordinance for the God of Jacob. God had given them a picture lesson by which to remember him. We have our own picture lesson. Don't we in the New Testament to help us remember call communion. The Lord's table. God gives us a picture tangible symbol of brief, simple reminder of remembrance of who Christ is and what he did. His body symbolized by the bread. His blood symbolized by the juice, the wine for some Communion reminds us of what God has done for us in the past reminds us of what Christ has done.

And so even here in the church age God has given us a remembrance. Lest we forget, and we remember and were humbled. And as we remember were brought back to the place of faith. Now as we continue on in Psalm 81 as we should do if I'm going to finish it tonight as we come to verse five we come to verse with a bit of an interpretive challenge. Look at verse five with me were still in this call to joy. He established it for a testimony in Joseph when he went throughout the land of Egypt. And then there's this phrase it says I heard a language that I did not know now it's not clear, and interpreters. Very they differ with one another on this. It's not clear who heard what voice it's possible that it refers to in the context Israel hearing the Egyptian language during their adversity.

There the Egyptian language was foreign to them when they went over there it could refer to Israel hearing God's voice at Sinai.

It may refer to God, hearing the voice of the Israelites, although that seems unlikely to me.

Perhaps perhaps it's best for us to see here the psalmist speaking in the first person and saying he heard the voice of God and what he is about to say, so that he is now claiming there is a pivot at its as he goes from the second and third person he pivots and he goes to the first person in verses six through 16 and it seems like the psalmist is now turning into God's mouthpiece and what follows. In other words, God has God has spoken to the psalmist in a way that the psalmist is now going to be his mouthpiece and what follows.

Whatever you decide about that, whatever the interpretive decision one makes about that point, it's clear that at this point, the psalmist is pivoting. He's gone from a call to rejoice. And now there's going to be another aspect to the way that God speaks to his people and what he calls for them in this song and what you see now is God addressing his people directly, God speaking in the first person and look at this as we look at the rest of the Psalm and set the stage for it in verse eight it says here all my people and I will admonish you.

This is God speaking to his people in verse 11.

But my people did not listen to my voice and Israel did not obey me, and in verse 13 oh that my people would listen to me that Israel would walk in my ways and so is God is now speaking to his nation speaking to his people and addressing them directly in the response that he wants from them. What does he want from them after there's been this opening call to rejoice full point number two he here is making in now a call to remember a call to remember and what we see as we go through this beginning in verse six. Is that true worship in part sometimes will involve recalling the past and what is happened in the past and in verse six you'll see this with me. Verse six God is now speaking in the first person and he says I relieved his shoulder of the burden. His hands were freed from the basket God is telling them to remember what their national hard labor was like in Egypt. Member how they had to make bricks and then they then they had to go out and gather straw to make their own bricks.

They carried baskets of clay, sand and bricks at the command of their masters.

It was hard labor. It was wearisome.

It was tedious and that was their experience. God is saying. I want you to remember. Oh Israel I want you to remember old my people. I delivered you from that I delivered you from that hard ship. Look at verse seven he says you called in trouble and I rescued you. I answered you in the hiding place of thunder. I proved you at the waters of Marable the thunder. They are referring to the giving of the law at Sinai in Exodus 19 when the law came in there was thunder, booming the water up.

Mirabal Exodus 17 God provided for them in their need. They were thirsty. God provided water for them miraculously is making a broader point is making a bigger point, your beloved.

It's not simply a history lesson. He is reminding them of history and calling them to remember so that they will remember the greater point. The greater point is that God had met with then God had delivered them. God heard their cries and responded in kindness, in love and relieve their hardship.

He says you remember what I did for you in the past, my people, and you would think that a people who would experience that kind of deliverance from their God would be grateful would be dependent would be trusting little what he's done for us in the past. Yeah, we got some adversity here, but our God is a God of deliverance is a God of power God is faithful to us. Think that's what they would do, but they hadn't. They turned away from God. They turned to idolatry, they turned to the gods of the people in the lands in which they were dwellings of God has reminded them of his prior deliverance and now he speaks to them in the present. In verse eight he says here all my people and I will admonish you. Oh Israel, if you would listen to me, just listen to me.

Let there be no strange God among you, nor shall you worship any foreign God.

God is saying to them here in the section, listen to me. He says it three times in those same three verses verse eight here all my people.

Oh Israel, if you would listen to me.

Verse 11 but my people did not listen to my voice. Verse 13.

All of my people would listen to me.

It's the common Hebrew word Shema that is being referenced.

There in the word Shema. In this context is signifying this sentence listen to me, in the sense of follow me and obey me.

The parents can understand that you've dealt with rebellious kids sake, listen to me we are wanting them to do more than simply hear the words that you speak you want them to hear and obey right listen to me. We use the word like that in English need to listen to me. God is saying you need to follow me, you need to obey me.

I wish my people would listen to me parent could say I wish my children would listen to me rather wanting the children to respond in obedience to them.

That's what God is saying here in the whole context of what has been said. Psalm 79 verse 80 beloved the point in this is the time for lamenting is over. This has gone on long enough. Yes, you are suffering.

But it's time to stop lamenting your suffering and time to get serious about faith and obedience. It's time to turn, it's time to have it. Now it's time for faith and submission. Now there comes a point where in your sorrow and your hardship in your adversity in your trials. There comes a point where the regret the complaining, it's time for that to stop and say now it's time for me to have faith.

It's time for me to exercise my faith in Christ. It's time for me to submit it's time for me to trust him say, but the ad but this really massive adversity has plummeted like a meteor into my life and exploded on the scene. Okay asteroids hit the earth. Sometimes, and we work through some of the consequences of that.

But when the dust from the impact starts to settle it's time to stop reciting the fact that a meteor has hit our lives and to just move on and say it's time it's time to continue believing God it's time to trust him, it's time to submit to him because that's who God is and that's what he is worthy of you work at all, through to the end and God is the same now as he was before your trial hit you loved him you worship to him. Then when you were in the light, keep loving and worshiping and trusting him in the darkness. God reminds them in verse 10 said, in contrast to verse nine gone after the strange God, you gone after idols.

He says in verse 10, I the Lord am your God who brought you up from the land of Egypt. Don't you remember who I am. I am your God, not them. You need to turn away from your false worship. You need to turn away from your idolatry and come back to me your true God and listen to me. Follow me asked me that the risk of repeating myself, beloved, that the call of the God of the Bible on his people today in the church in this church age on the side of the cross is of multiplied force to us considering your mind. The cross remember the cross. Remember Christ, remember his love. Remember his suffering. Remember his blood. Remember how they beat him. Remember how they thrust the crown of thorns into his head. Remember how he spoke not a word against it, but rather from the cross, prayed father forgive them for they don't know what they're doing. Remember who your Christ is and realize that he has established in in time and space in in genuine history. This is not some ethereal idea of which we speak we speak of the real God man the Lord Jesus Christ, who literally did all of those things for us and realize that now that he has conquered death for us now that he is ascended on high, your response of faith and joy in him is the only proper response to make to him regardless of what your circumstances may be, he is greater than your circumstances, the history from 2000 years ago is greater than the history being made today and we respond on base on the basis of who Christ is and what he is done for us and we trust him. We obey him with follow him, even if it's hard so God calls his people to remember the been called rejoice the been called to remember and now finally in the last section of the song we see the call to repent the call to repent, rejoice, remember and repent. Christ is who is our rejoice in that Christ did what he did. I remember that. And now we bring it down to a point of application that there is a spiritual response from within our hearts that we make to that and it's a call to repent. God had delivered them from Egypt but Israel responded in rebellion.

Verse 11 member verse 10 he said I brought you up from the land of Egypt.

But what did they do verse 11. But my people did not listen to my voice and Israel did not obey me see the parallelism there. They did not listen to my voice parallel to obey me. That's the idea. Listen to me, obey me is the idea. My people didn't listen to me. So what did God do he let them go their own way. Verse 12 so I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart to walk in their own devices, they abandoned the God who had delivered them, and they abandon the godhood promised to defeat their enemies. Going forward, if they would just be loyal to him and read about that in Deuteronomy 6. Among other places, one level this is insanity for people to leave the God who delivered them the one true God. It's utter insanity at at that level B start to realize how deeply rooted and how deceitful sin is sin is so dark, so compelling, so compulsive so blinding in its effect that it will make an entire nation. It will make a people turn away from the God who had delivered them in the first place.

It's utterly irrational. The only way the reason is going to be restored. Here is if they repent of their rebellion. So God gave them over in verse 12, that's what you want, you can go your way, but God is still calling them back. Despite their hardhearted response to him. God is still disposed toward compassion toward his people. Verse 13 oh that my people would listen to me that Israel would walk in my ways. He saying your sorrow is self-inflicted. I'm ready to deliver you but it's time to repent he says in verse 14.

I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their adversaries. All you're lamenting here in Psalm 79 and Psalm 80 would you just rejoice in me would you remember who I am. Would you repent and I'll be glad to step into the breach. The occasion for their laments came from their own rebellion and God calls them to return to him, the one who had delivered them in the past and promised continued goodness for them in the future, but in the context of the feast of booths.

This national annual feast.

The word is this. Don't just go through the motions don't simply go through the outer conformity with the festival that's been given to you rend your heart, repent don't partake of this festival don't partake of the ceremony while you are still condition toward sin and embracing your own rebellion don't go through the outer motions at the inner reality isn't there. Verse 15 those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to him in their time of punishment would be forever. It's not enough to go through the motions and needs to come from your heart.

That's why we try to say every time we have communion, don't don't do this haphazardly, don't do this when you're when you're holding on to sin. Let this let this time of remembrance.

Be a genuine one where you have repented from your heart of all known sin in your gratefully joyfully responding in a repentant faith to the Christ who is being remembered in the ceremony.

See this if again I say this from time to time. If I had the capacity to flip my pulpit. Now if I had the physical strength to do it. I would do it here because the call of Christ on your life is not for you to simply go through an external conformity with a show of religion that is not real in your heart and that is not marked by genuine heartfelt repentance and faith in walking and following Christ as he is revealed himself in his word I have to tell you this is been on my mind a lot I need to say this on a Sunday morning when everybody's here not just some yeah you know, I worry about this. I worry about this. I lose sleep over this very thing that there would be people within the body of truth Community Church people who are with us week to week, young people, old people, men, women, content to just go through the motions as if an outer conformity once or twice a week would be a sufficient response to Christ when the reality in life is is that your heart is very far from him that you couldn't care less about obedience and that sometimes being here is just more a matter of keeping up appearances before men, rather than the overflow of the heart that is engaged in joy full repentance, joyful remembrance joyful faith in the God of your salvation. I worry about that. Yeah, I do not a lot I can do about it.

You know your your ears listen for people to talk about Christ, not just the events of the day your ears listen for expressions of love for Christ love for his word and I get a lot of that here.

I don't want you to think I'm making a blanket statement about everybody. Truth is not like that at all. That's not my point at all. But sometimes you have to address that the segments the minorities maybe hopefully the minorities are just going through the motions and are content to go through life without any accountability without any sense of genuine love for Christ.

Marking them Christ could fall out of the University. Really, when even change the way they live, how are we supposed to think the people like that are genuine Christians, are we supposed to think that I ask you it wasn't for no purpose. The Christ warned us that there would be tears among the wheat, there would be amongst the true people of God. Those who had the outward appearance, but not the inner reality I want that for any of you kind of pastor would I be if I didn't at least point that out and warn you to examine yourself from time to time. Yeah I know your member okay great.

Remember, that's great. Good good. Are you satisfied with that status on a piece of paper someplace apart from the living reality of a dynamic faith that is energizing engaging your life is giving you a different perspective on all of your trials and adversities. That's where the reality is beloved.

That's what God is worthy of he doesn't accept anything less. Look at it again there in verse 15.

Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to him. No Hollywood makes a lot of money with people pretending to be people. They are at and carry any currency in the church of Christ.

No pretense. It's gotta be real and so we all do well to examine our own hearts. You on the live stream you to you to with all of that this Psalm ends with the word of God of promise of blessing and we see that to whatever extent throughout the ages, the people of God have let that be their experience that sub reality that substitute of reality and just content with the external appearances.

The problem with that kind of hypocrisy is always in the person it's not in God because the disposition of God is been established for all time. He says there in verse 16.

For my part, I would feed you with the finest of wheat and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you. After all, the rebellion, God still says I would be glad to bless you. I would be glad to care for you if you would just rejoice remember and repent, and so this Psalm ends on the invitation to return to God and be blessed and overall of their call to self-examination just now it is on. It is on this. It is on the promise of the blessing of God for the people he would seek him like that God is a rewarder of those who seek him. That's inherent in true faith.

Hebrews 11 God is a rewarder of those who seek him, but it's seeking of reality, not a pretense. It's not an outward conformity just to satisfy the eye test for men.

It is a heart devotion before this great God now for us before this great Christ is the call of the reality.

What's our take away then let Charles Spurgeon have the final word he says and I quote the Lord can do great things for an obedient people when his people walk in the light of his countenance, and maintain unsullied holiness. The joy and consolation which he yields them are beyond conception to them. The joys of heaven have begun even upon earth.

They can sing in the ways of the Lord, the spring of the eternal summer has commenced with them. They are already blessed and they look for brighter things. This shows us, by contrast, how sad a thing. It is for a child of God to sell himself into captivity to sin and bring his soul into a state of famine by following after another, God, and he closes and I invite you to bow with me in prayer as we close in this. Spurgeon closes that great section by saying this.

This is our closing prayers. The musicians, O Lord forever bind us to yourself alone and keep us faithful unto the well my friend.

Thank you for joining us on through the Psalms you know if you're enjoying this podcast I think you would love to join our church on our live stream on Sunday mornings at 9 AM Eastern or 7 PM Tuesday evening. Also, Eastern time. You can find out live stream again our lifestream link is We hope to see you there. God bless you. Thanks Don and Fran through the Psalms is a weekend ministry of the truth sure to join us next week for our study is done continues teaching God's people. God's word and we also invite you to join us on Sunday at 9 AM Eastern. Our live screen from truth community church in Cincinnati, Ohio can find the this message is copyrighted by Don Green.

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