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August 1, 2022 8:00 am
Well, where do we go, what we do, how should we think when sinners have the upper hand.
It's been true throughout all the ages, the wicked seem to prosper for a while. Maybe you've joined with the psalmist and asking why do you stand far off Lord. But as Pastor Don Greene will remind you today on the truth pulpit.
You need to apply biblical perspective to gain understanding hello again until right.
Don is presenting part one of the message called when sinners have the upper hand and done what can we look forward to in this series will my friend are going to go to a lesser-known Psalm in God's word. Psalm 10 to give us help with addressing an age-old problem. How do we respond when a person uses their position of authority or influence, and they turn and harm us without authority that were not in a position to challenge I've suffered that I'm sure you have at one time or another. Whether it's on a social level or an individual level what you're going to find is it God's Word gives us clear direction, clear comfort and a sense of our security and Chrysler can pave the way for thanks.
Done right now friend here is our teacher to continue teaching God's people. God's word in the truthful are song Psalm 10 gives us strength and it gives us courage, and it gives us the biblical perspective that we need.
But if you would look at Psalm one verse six.
I just want to remind you of this principle that we talked about so many times and I want you to see it again because, as we focus on this. It's going to help you have a perspective about all of the songs about the message of the Psalms.
If we remember this interpretive guide that was given to us in the very introductory song. Psalm one in verse six it says that the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 10 is simply an application of that verse. It simply takes that universal principle that that dynamic interpretive light to all of life, and it applies it in a particular situation. The Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. What were going to see in Psalm 10 is a direct application of it and so turned to Psalm 10.
If you're not there already and will begin at that point the Psalm breaks down.
Basically, into two nice sections. The first 11 verses were going to call the alarm of the godly.
The alarm of the godly where he is stating his concern over the proper conduct of society and he sees it being violated. The alarm of the godly and then point number two will be the appeal of the godly. In verses 12 through 18, and I give you a sense of the flow of the song in all 18 verses of it. He is alarmed as this Psalm opens assuming that it's from David. David is alarmed as the Psalm opens, but as he walks through it all he appeals to God and he ends in a position of trust and what I want to encourage you with beloved is this is that that is always the process that we can walk through no matter what it is that is agitating your heart and I'm not saying that this happens in a moment of time or as a result of the five minute prayer, but the reality of our Christian position. Is this that we have the capacity we have the knowledge we have the spiritual power that is necessary so that we do not have to cave into despair and discouragement in alarm at what we see happening around us. God has given us all that is necessary for life and godliness, look, we don't need a politician to intervene on our behalf. In order for us to have peace. Is that really clear in everyone's mind that is not the Christian position to rely on unbelieving, or even believing politicians to rescue us from the despair that we find ourselves in. We do not trust in mortal men. We do not trust in man whose breath is in their nostrils. No matter how much the political ads and and religious leaders stimulate us in that direction, we have to understand that for what it is. It is an appeal to put our trust in the flesh rather than to put our trust in the spirit of God. Now, Psalm 10 teaches us how to do this.
Psalm 10 shows us how to work through the difficulties of having wicked people prospering all around us titled this message when sinners have the upper hand as they are often going to do in this life. What do we do well look, we don't panic were not afraid we don't retreat we don't join them. We don't trust in man to deliver us, we walk through the situation.
According to biblical truth and we end up in a position where we are trusting God for his ultimate justice. His ultimate righteousness to be displayed.
That is supreme in the Christian position that is supreme in the Christian view of walking in a fallen world, and it's going to become evermore critical for us to think this way and to trust this way because Paul said in second Timothy that evil men are going to go from bad to worse. Well, we can either tremble and frighten hide in a corner over that we can run to the battle. We can stand like men and say no I'm going to I'm going to display my trusting God in this we might as well be Christians who trust God. That's what I think now Psalm 10.
The appeal of the godly is preceded by the alarm of the godly point number one the alarm of the godly is a Psalm opens up. David is crying out over the Lord's seeming indifference to great wickedness. He is discouraged he is in despair.
It sounds something like the opening verses of Habakkuk chapter 1 where he says, why do you stand afar off the Lord, why do you hide yourself in times of trouble.
Here he is agitated as he looks out at the world around him as his Lord. Things are going haywire. Things are not what they should be. Why is it that you haven't intervened.
Why are you letting this continue to unfold wickedness and sinful men are multiplying, and good innocent people are being afflicted and there is no one to help them. Lord, why are you standing by silently as that occurs in the theme of the afflicted is is noticeable in the Psalm. Look at verse two and pried the wicked hotly pursued the afflicted.
Verse 12 oh God, do not forget the afflicted. In verse 17, verse 18.
He says Lord, you will vindicate the orphan and the oppressed and so there is this concern that is not merely a personal concern to David. It's not that he personally is suffering so much, but that he sees others around him.
Oh who are innocent and yet we can defenseless being afflicted by sinful men who are taking advantage of them. His sense of justice is offended and he has cried out to God and he says, and after a period of time.
He says Lord why is it the trigger. Standing silently by letting this continue. There is a presupposition in this opening verse that God has the power at any time to intervene and to put a stop to it.
And yet when we see wickedness flourish when we see sinful men predominating gain further and further control and influence. It is because God is stood back and is let that happen. And David is wrestling with that same God, why, and how long and then he goes on and describes in detail in verses two through 11.
The nature of these immoral men. Martin Luther is quoted as saying about Psalm 10 quote there is not, in my judgment, a song which describes the mind the manners.
The work the words the feelings and the fate of the ungodly, with so much propriety fullness in light as this song.
When we think about the nature of fallen man, we will quickly quote Romans 323 that all of send and fallen short of the glory of God that there is none righteous, no not one that's an appropriate good cornerstone view of man to have in our minds. That's a good starting point.
What we have in Psalm 10 is an un-holding of the significance of that in the inner and outer man of the wicked. We see how pervasive their depravity is we see how deep rooted their ungodliness is and this is what is resident in every un-redeemed heart. We should not be surprised after we study Psalm 10 to see wicked nests coming out of wicked men. There is a reason why their lives overflow with sin and oppression. It's because that's what dominates their heart.
Jesus said that it's out of the heart of man the come all of the wicked things. Mark 720 through 22 but when we understand the heart of the wicked, then we start to realize that we can expect certain things to unfold and the mystery and the confusion that it would otherwise bring starts to dissipate in the light of spiritual perception, and discernment to say I understand the nature of man enough to know why it's lacking out this way. And so if we have a mature view of sin and what the implications of sin are in the human heart then were going to have a better set of expectations about what walking through this wicked world is going to be like what is it about the ungodly. What can we see what can we learn about the ungodly unchristian man. As we read Psalm 10 will first of all, were going to see that is dominated by ungodly thoughts is dominated by ungodly thoughts. This is the first notable mark of the wicked is their hostility toward God.
Their hostility toward God.
Look at verses two through four with me in, pried the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted and as it's translated here in the Naz B becomes a bit of a prayer that God would deal with them. Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised it could be translated. They will be caught in the plots which they have devised.
But why is it that they feel the freedom why is it that they do this, it's because they have a sense that they can get away with it.
Verse three for the wicked boasts of his heart's desire and the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord. The wickedness in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek him. All his thoughts are.
There is no God, as he is plotting and scheming to pursue the afflicted to take advantage of them to hurt them to prosper off of their misfortune.
He is spurning God is turned away.
He saying that there is not a God that can hold me accountable. There will be no eternal consequence to what I am doing.
There will be no earthly retribution I can get away with this. And so he exploits and crushes the week because he has no biblical perspective to redirect his intentions to create fear in his heart that would otherwise restrain him from pursuing this wicked course. We are accustomed to hearing at least in the world's mind, that all men are basically good that outward some kind of outward morality will make up for a genuine conversion. But that's not true that's not true. We need to understand the depth of the depravity of the human heart.
When men cast aside the true God. When men reject the gospel of Christ. Don't be surprised when eventually in their life. They crush others to get what they want or they destroy those who keep them from getting what they want and so we just need to realize that this is what's resident in the hearts of men. It's true of men. It's true of nations because water nations except populations of basically unredeemed men.
And so when we see this kind of oppression. We can trace it back.
We have the spiritual discernment to trace it back in all the way back and say this is the fruit of an unredeemed heart.
This is the fruit of a heart that does not fear God that sees no consequence to its actions and therefore acts to accomplish what it wants.
No matter who is crushed in the process they are emboldened because they have convinced themselves that there is no consequence for their sin.
And so when unbelievers think that God is powerless, the God doesn't exist or that he is indifferent to stop them.
They will act wickedly to get what they want in ways that would shock us in any other setting their ungodly he doesn't seek God. He spurns the Lord and that's why he can hotly pursue the afflicted. It's because his thoughts are. There is no God.
Why would I do it any other way. It's kind of frightening.
It's sobering and it's just so superficial to attributed to guns and other things like that. We when you do that you're diverting your attention away from what the real issue is the real issue is the wickedness of the human heart of secondly, what else can we say about the ungodly. Well here in Psalm 10 there marked by their ungodly trust their ungodly trust. Look at verses five and six, rather than trusting the Lord with the humble, the ungodly is confident that his prosperity will protect him from harm. Verse five David is assessing them. He is he is giving a spirit inspired analysis of the inner man of the wicked.
It says his ways prosper at all times, your judgments are out on high out of his sight. As for all his adversaries. He snorts at them. There's an arrogance about it. There is a lack of fear he says to himself, I will not be moved throughout all generations. I will not be in adversity in one manner or another he is in a position of strength. There is no adversity. There is no opposition is not struggling with difficulties at this point in his existence and his mindset is I am always going to be like this. I am strong I am capable of perverse persevering in this I can maintain this position, and as he goes on in continues to prosper in it. There's no reason for them to think differently outside of the gospel of Christ. Think of the successful executive who crushes people beneath his feet and then drives home to his mansion in his luxury car that's kind of the picture of what's being said here everything about his life suggested his way is the path to success. There are no immediate consequences to slow him down.
There is no one with the authority or influence to answer him to silence him. He says I will not be moved throughout all generations.
I will not be in adversity only as you come to the Scripture.
Do you find the answer to that that they will eventually find their confidence was misplaced, but for the moment they enjoy the fruit of their sin and it emboldens them it makes them it it hardens them all the more Charles Spurgeon said in a word of warning. Be humble old man, for you are mortal and your success will evaporate." So he ceased trusting in his own power.
He's got a godless heart that says that that says there is no God in his plans and is plots are not hindered by any such trivialities, you know, the picture of the man and you also know by your own experience in the world how futile and how easily dismissed. It would be for a humble believer to come and speak to him about Christ to speak to him about the consequences of wickedness is haughtiness is pride in the dismissal of God in his heart causes them to dismiss the warnings of the humble as well to mock and curse them will look beloved. We just got to be of a mindset to understand that and to be undaunted in the face of it, we understand where this is coming from. We understand why men are like this because of their earthbound perspective. When we understand then we are no longer subject to such intimidation from them. Our alarm starts to dissipate as we turn our own trust back to the Lord. But David's not at that point in the Psalm yet he's talked about their ungodliness, in the sense of their ungodly trust their ungodly thoughts and now in verse seven, were going to see their ungodly tongue the ungodly tongue of the wicked verse seven says that his mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression under his tongue's mischief and wickedness.
David says their speech is abusive, intimidating, it is on trust worthy. The question is the question that's that's underlying his alarm hears God, why do you allow this. Why do you as a God of truth and justice allow this to perpetuate. Why do you allow this man to grow in his prominence.
Why do you allow him the freedom to afflicted those who are weaker than he is. Why is this Lord why do you hide yourself, why don't you act. Why aren't you doing anything and as we said when we began the whole series on the Psalms. My hope is, is that some of you who are in that kind of situation, find strength by finding your innermost frustrations and fears being expressed and identified in the language of holy Scripture. You have to love the nature of the songs, don't you, that are so transparent. The Psalms are so unlike the nature of religious environment all around us where everyone puts on the plastic smile on Sunday and everything's great and fine and we play this charade. I'm not saying here in truth I'm speaking more general example of our churches like this, but they play this charade that everything's fine and you you know and there's no trouble, and you go out, but inside, people are dying well. The Psalms don't play the charade. I love the fact that the Bible doesn't go along with that game.
There is a transparency in the Scriptures.
There is a transparency in the Psalms where these thoughts that at one time or another have agitated us all find their expression and if you identify with the spirit of the Psalm because someone has power over you and is abusing it. Psalm 10 is your best friend. Well, it moves from ungodly thoughts to ungodly trust and ungodly tons and into ungodly traps.
We could say in verses eight through 10 and a final flourish.
David describes the cunning violence of this wicked man.
There like animals stalking after their prey you've ever watched the cats going after a birder watched a bigger animal getting ready to jump on its Sunday meal, you have a sense of what's being described in these next three verses David says in verse eight, he sits in the lurking places of the villages in the hiding places. He kills the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the unfortunate. He lurks in a hiding place as a lion in his lair. He lurks to catch the afflicted. He catches the afflicted when he draws him into his net.
He crouches, he bows down in the unfortunate fall by his mighty ones you have the picture of this man plotting and scheming in secret and you know one of the things that I thought about the kind of a modern illustration of this are so many of them that the scam artists that will cheat elderly people out of their life savings smart, suave, smooth speakers who go after people whose middle capacities a little, diminish, they isolate them and they have them take advantage and sign sign over documents I was hearing about something not too long ago where widowhood signed over her, her savings to such a man is this, that's the idea of this wickedness, lurking, getting people off to the side and then attacking them to take advantage of and what we see is is in Scripture is is that Scripture is not silent. God is not indifferent to that kind of of criminal activity. These men hide themselves to hurt unsuspecting people.
They use false pretenses to receive donations after a natural disaster.
You've all seen this. A hurricane hits and tsunamis overseas. All of a sudden there are multiple lists of the new organizations designed to provide relief to send us the check. The money never gets that's done green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati Ohio with part one of this message.
When sinners have the upper hand done will have the conclusion for you on our next broadcast sure to join us then you're on the truth pulpit. Meanwhile, we invite you to visit our website. The truth pulpit.com.
There you can download free podcasts or find out how to receive free CD copies of Don series and if you want to go even more in depth.
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By the way, if you're in the Cincinnati area, check out the service times for truth Community Church. Also on our website and plan a visit because we love welcome. Again, that's all at the truth. Pulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright invited you to join us again next time is done. Green continues teaching God's people. God's word.